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You may be a victim...  (Read 10058 times)
Rikka
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2012, 12:40:51 pm »

Well, I did try to verify if I got your point right (something I feel I have failed abysmally at) and I will have to think the whole thing over again. I guess I just don't really get what you're trying to do here (language barrier being a mayor issue again since I also did not make my point to you at all).
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2012, 01:26:18 pm »

Rikka and Na... Don't get too frustrated. Smiley  I've been looking at the language files for the forum software and trying to figure out if I can update some of them for the alternative files since many things are not translated.  I was going through Google Translate of course and decided it was just too big a job. I was starting with German since I thought perhaps some of my childhood exposure would help but I was wrong. Did you know that in German the word "Bookmark" is valid but when I tried to figure out the plural for it I came to a stand still. Bookmark = Lesezeichen and so did Bookmarks = Lesezeichen.  spin
pagestep007
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2012, 07:48:00 pm »

Na, I really feel for you. Coming from Australia makes it difficult to get your head around theft (of course it is wrong). I'm from NZ so I know that... and here I am in a VERY corrupt country, where piracy and theft is a way of life. The Government steals, the average joe bloggs steals, people make a profession of it, all Cuba's software in the entire country is pirated, because no one is allowd to sell to them... and back to here, thieves work in gangs and clean out whole apartment blocks with trucks and all... even people in church don't think copyright violation is stealing. In fact they willy nilly download from the internet becaue they firmly believe that that is  where all the free stuff is. Anything on the internet is fair game to them... for even church people , everyone else even worse.The software pirates sell on the corner in the computer sector,and the police buy from them. In our neighbourhood you cannot rent a movie. You have to buy the pirated version, and we live with bars on all the windows and skylights...to hopefully keep the thieves out.
    When we started doing TV here, I tried registering our characters with the copyright dept of the govt. I found there is no protection here. Anyone can legally copy Disney stuff, as long as they made it. A character nor idea for a program is not copyright. So anyone is legally entitled to copy your characters and your program idea, as long as they write their own scripts, and produce it themselves. It is shoddy  cutthroat stuff.This all made us think hard when we entered into production. What do we do if we are pirated? Well , while we are small it  is advantagous, as it is free  advertising. when we are big , you can afford lawyers. However, we reasoned that  it is difficult to copy us, because the  flavour of a  group is  intrinsically linked to  the  creatives in the group. No other group does what and how you do it. One guy used our material to try and get a contract. It fell through because he could not produce what we produce. And if he  could, he would be a noteworthy producer, and would start making his  own flavoured stuff, and good luck to him.
   There is a debate about piracy. Some say that  some  big studios even feed to the pirates.. because it is free advertising. There are 4 groups of people concerning piracy. One are those who will never buy pirated goods. They are safe. next are those who might if  they can't get the origonal. They are also a safe market. If you don't supply the product they get it anyway, but will buy it  if you  supply it. ...safe. A third group are the opposite. Those who  will never buy your product , because they usually can't afford it. They are a safe  market also.. you  will never sell to them. But the good part is, they still see your stuff, and  are part of the  groundswell of  support and often buy  merchandising. so you still get something out of them. The  fourth category are the unsafe ones.. they are capable of buying, have the cash, and the product, but they buy  pirated. I am not sure on the statistics of  how bigthat group is. They are the ones who you might lose  money on.. but  you may  get them also  buying  merchandise, and-or still go to the movies even after buying  pirated movies for example. 
   Concerning the internet... you are dealing with cultures all over the globe who are  downright dishonest.. as cultures. It is no sin to them to   copy-steal. You have two options, and your situation as a writer is a hard one. You either do not publish something if you don't want it stolen, or  you become so prolific, that you are the  biggest guru around...and have enough clout to track those stealing your stuff.
   My advice is  swamp EHow.com with your articles... have them pay YOU and not the others. Become the biggest authority on EHow. Granted puppetry is a niche audience , but the good side of that is that if someone goes searching.. your name will pop up as one of the  best.
   People  tell me I should charge for the tutorials I do. I wouldn't know how... and I follow the first rule , If I don't want the idea-product-technique stolen... I don't publish it. What  I do publish.. I accept that it it is open to every man and his dog to do with what they want.

People stealing or copying your stuff still sucks. But that is the big cruel world we live in. Keep educating people. You  may make some difference.
Na
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« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2012, 03:49:37 am »

Well, I did try to verify if I got your point right (something I feel I have failed abysmally at) and I will have to think the whole thing over again. I guess I just don't really get what you're trying to do here (language barrier being a mayor issue again since I also did not make my point to you at all).

That's ok, I probably haven't expressed myself very well.

My aim: to inform other people that plagiarism is occuring and to make them aware of their rights; to encourage other people to police their own work and by doing so, decrease the likelihood that plagiarists get away with it; and to put public pressure on the plagiarists to change their behaviour.

I'm not asking for money, nor suggesting anyone should be paying me for copies. If my comments are directed towards plagiarists at all, then it is a request that they simply don't copy my work without receiving permission from me first. Or to simply stop doing it at all, and come up with their own work.
Na
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« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2012, 04:25:36 am »

Na, I really feel for you. Coming from Australia makes it difficult to get your head around theft (of course it is wrong). I'm from NZ so I know that... and here I am in a VERY corrupt country, where piracy and theft is a way of life. The Government steals, the average joe bloggs steals, people make a profession of it, all Cuba's software in the entire country is pirated, because no one is allowd to sell to them... and back to here, thieves work in gangs and clean out whole apartment blocks with trucks and all... even people in church don't think copyright violation is stealing. In fact they willy nilly download from the internet becaue they firmly believe that that is  where all the free stuff is. Anything on the internet is fair game to them... for even church people , everyone else even worse.The software pirates sell on the corner in the computer sector,and the police buy from them. In our neighbourhood you cannot rent a movie. You have to buy the pirated version, and we live with bars on all the windows and skylights...to hopefully keep the thieves out.
    When we started doing TV here, I tried registering our characters with the copyright dept of the govt. I found there is no protection here. Anyone can legally copy Disney stuff, as long as they made it. A character nor idea for a program is not copyright. So anyone is legally entitled to copy your characters and your program idea, as long as they write their own scripts, and produce it themselves. It is shoddy  cutthroat stuff.This all made us think hard when we entered into production. What do we do if we are pirated? Well , while we are small it  is advantagous, as it is free  advertising. when we are big , you can afford lawyers. However, we reasoned that  it is difficult to copy us, because the  flavour of a  group is  intrinsically linked to  the  creatives in the group. No other group does what and how you do it. One guy used our material to try and get a contract. It fell through because he could not produce what we produce. And if he  could, he would be a noteworthy producer, and would start making his  own flavoured stuff, and good luck to him.
   There is a debate about piracy. Some say that  some  big studios even feed to the pirates.. because it is free advertising. There are 4 groups of people concerning piracy. One are those who will never buy pirated goods. They are safe. next are those who might if  they can't get the origonal. They are also a safe market. If you don't supply the product they get it anyway, but will buy it  if you  supply it. ...safe. A third group are the opposite. Those who  will never buy your product , because they usually can't afford it. They are a safe  market also.. you  will never sell to them. But the good part is, they still see your stuff, and  are part of the  groundswell of  support and often buy  merchandising. so you still get something out of them. The  fourth category are the unsafe ones.. they are capable of buying, have the cash, and the product, but they buy  pirated. I am not sure on the statistics of  how bigthat group is. They are the ones who you might lose  money on.. but  you may  get them also  buying  merchandise, and-or still go to the movies even after buying  pirated movies for example.  


Leaving aside the issue that stealing is everywhere...

In copyright law, there is a general consensus that you can't copyright an idea or method. So you can use Henson's method of building puppets, but you can't use Kermit as a character. That to me seems fair, but obviously leaves a rather grey area.

The thing is that copyrights are far more complex an area of law than I make it sound, which is why I'm trying to get people to pay attention to the issue. I can't speak to the plagiarism of someone else's work, only my own.

As for NZ, I'd look into whether or not they're a signatory of the Berne Convention. My guess is you would be, as Australia is. The Convention means that those countries signed up to it have to respect the other countries' copyright law. I highly doubt anyone can actually copy Disney stuff without permission, since that would break US copyright, to which signatories of the Convention would have to respect. I suspect it's more a case of people getting away with it because it's hard to be aware and enforce copyright across international borders. It's also expensive to sue, which means more people get away with it.

Take the issue of music: you must obtain permission (here in Oz) to use music in a performance. Even if it's 10 seconds worth. Many pro and amateur theatres don't bother because they *know* they could get away with it. Who in the audience will notice that nobody got permission? Who will check for permission slips? No one. So they do it anyway. Personally I always felt that if you can't come up with your own music then you're not trying hard enough.

The idea that it's "free advertising" seems like a myth to me. Going back to what I was saying about eHow crediting their own writers for *my* work: if someone sees the article on eHow and thinks it's good work, it's NOT free advertising for me. It's free advertising for the plagiarist.

Also, one of the articles on my site was an original and the most blatantly copied: a tutorial on making a marionette from a teddy bear. eHow has since removed the article and gotten some other puppeteer to do a video tutorial on making stuffed toys into puppets. (Note: I have spoken with that puppeteer and know they weren't plagiarising my work) I know stuffed toys into puppets is not unique, but that particular tutorial was and yet it was stolen by an eHow writer. Uniqueness does not prevent someone from stealing it; and likewise, if no one ever stumbles across your original work, no one knows to compare your style with the stolen work. This is actually one of my biggest points: people on the internet generally don't think to check the quality of information, the reputation or accuracy of the content and the person providing it.

All you have to do is look at how many people believe in conspiracy theories based on Youtube videos. Half of Americans still don't think evolution happens:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/21814/evolution-creationism-intelligent-design.aspx

Let's go back to my example of the Henson replica maker. The reason this person sold puppets in the first place is because they looked so darn good in photos (the customer then gets the replica and realises how shoddy it is) and didn't bother to check whether they were official merchandise. Or if they did, they didn't care. These are the people who are going to bother doing any research to see if the "style" matches someone else's. They just want what they want and they want it now. (Apologies for repetition)

Even then: going back to the Potter Puppet Pals, the people who have posted on YA are always people who love Neil's work, but refuse to support him by buying official merchandise. They don't want the official merchandise because he doesn't sell the puppets (just T-shirts I believe), and if they can't have the puppets, they'll go wherever they can to get them. They recognise they are replicas, but don't give a shit about supporting the person who makes the art they like.

Now here I'll state something I've never said before: I'm guilty of buying a rip-off DVD. I wanted a copy of a TV show, couldn't find it anywhere, asked the producers if they sold it (they didn't), found a DVD seller who offered it, and purchased it. I got a really crappy set of DVDs that were clearly recorded from the TV. I fervently believed when I bought it that it was some person who'd managed to get the rights and the producers merely didn't realise (the person who replies to customer enquiries in a large production company may not know everything). I know better now.

I'm not blaming the innocent people who might not know any better; which is why we need more education on the topic. I am however blaming the people who ought to know better: writers and editors and staff of large organisations who knowingly do it even after being called out on it.

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  Concerning the internet... you are dealing with cultures all over the globe who are  downright dishonest.. as cultures. It is no sin to them to   copy-steal. You have two options, and your situation as a writer is a hard one. You either do not publish something if you don't want it stolen, or  you become so prolific, that you are the  biggest guru around...and have enough clout to track those stealing your stuff.


1. I refuse to not do something because I'm scared that it will be stolen. That is punishing the victim, not the offender.
2. I am already prolific. The whole reason I've been plagiarised so much by eHow (about 20 articles thereabouts, though I haven't actually counted them. Some were plagiarised more than once, others just once) is because when people search for info on puppetry my site comes up more than most. Being prolific only means you come up higher in search results, which only means you're more likely to be plagiarised. Again, this is punishing the victim, not the offender. What needs to happen - and google already does some of this - is for plagiarists/content farms to have less of a presence so less people find their stuff. Again keep in mind that eHow and similar farms produce content on every topic they can come up with, based on search keywords that people use, so I can't outcompete them on say, info about taxes.

Having a well-known profile on eHow is not the same as being known as an authority. There are a number of well-respected puppeteers who post video tutorials on that site; they do so because they already had a well-known name and were approached by eHow to create stuff for them. Besides which, I don't want to be known as a guru. I want to be known as someone who doesn't know everything, but shares what she can. (This idea that I know everything confounds me. I know I make it sound authoritative, but that's only because... I do my research and write after doing lots of learning. If I don't know anything on the topic, I won't write about it.)

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  My advice is  swamp EHow.com with your articles... have them pay YOU and not the others. Become the biggest authority on EHow. Granted puppetry is a niche audience , but the good side of that is that if someone goes searching.. your name will pop up as one of the  best.


1. There's no way I would work for them. They are notorious for treating their writers badly. Half the reason there's so much plagiarism is because the writers are paid very little (a few bucks per article). There's no incentive to do any proper research or original work, which is why they simply google their keywords, read what someone else has posted, rewrite it, and then submit it. To work for them, I'd have to churn out hundreds of crappy articles and I'm not willing to reduce the value or quality of my writing simply to prove they suck.

2. The other part of it is that I don't want to associate myself with a site like that. It diminishes my ability to sell myself as someone who can research and write good quality articles. If I want to work for less than minimum wage, I'd rather take a job at the local supermarket: at least that's good honest work.

Again, the better outcome is to force them to change their policies, not play by their idiotic rules.

(3. It defeats the point of building my own website. Instead of posting articles all over the place, it's far better to put them on one site so that site builds its own profile. They don't have to search for my name, they just have to search for a topic or keyword and my site pops up. It's the same basic premise as eHow except I write quality content - or hope I do - based on what interests me rather than writing five articles with the same title because flooding the internet is all eHow cares about. The site is therefore known for useful content that's in-depth, rather than articles for the sake of high pay-per-view advertising dollars - their business model)
 
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People  tell me I should charge for the tutorials I do. I wouldn't know how... and I follow the first rule , If I don't want the idea-product-technique stolen... I don't publish it. What  I do publish.. I accept that it it is open to every man and his dog to do with what they want.


And that's your prerogative. In all of this, do not forget that copyright is a PERSONAL thing. There are some articles for which I have creative commons; some lie behind a paywall; some are free but copyrighted completely. Australia, like some other countries, also have "fair use" clauses, for satire, educational purposes (schools, etc), or for criticism.

And lastly: I have had people contact me about using my articles for their work (puppeteers/teachers, etc). I have given them permission, WITH NO CHARGE TO THEM, but simply a word of attribution.

I am not against copying so much as I am against copying without permission, and/or taking credit for my work.

I fully understand that people will print copies of my work - in fact I know they do - and see personal use as different than outright plagiarism.

... As for changing people's minds.... I don't know. I have no doubt that to lurkers I'm probably coming across as a ranting loon. Wink
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 04:38:16 am by Na »
Rikka
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« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2012, 06:18:27 am »

Philip, you really helped me understand the problem I try to relate. Thank you for that.
Shawn, German will be a tough one. "According to the U.S. State Department who groups languages for the diplomatic service, the "easiest" languages for English speakers, are the ones usually requiring 600 hours of classwork for minimal proficiency. In this case they’re the Latin and Germanic languages group. However, German itself requires more time, 750 hours to be exact, because of its complex grammar." (From mylanguages.org) "Zeichen" (sign) (and also "Lesezeichen" (bookmark) which is deducted from it) happens to be an irregular plural (like sheep in English). If there is any help I can offer, I'd gladly do so!
Na, I think I tackled the misunderstanding (thanks again, Philip!). You are living in a very "lawful good" society (Marc will crack up on this one) and thus you have your admirable view on things. I happen to have run across my share of people who are much less so. I do NOT agree with those people (I agree with you, really), but for me they seem to make up the bulk of users around here. It has nothing to do with copyright infringements being against the law or the Genevra Convention but with the view of the people. Sometimes people think the law is wrong and they will not go punished so they do as they please. And here they may be less common then in Columbia but they really seem to be much more common then in Australia or New Zealand. And they pose a problem to you, I think and I am very sorry for that. How to change it? Beats me.
Na
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« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2012, 06:57:54 am »

Na, I think I tackled the misunderstanding (thanks again, Philip!). You are living in a very "lawful good" society (Marc will crack up on this one) and thus you have your admirable view on things.

Er, no I'm not. And I never said I was. Maybe I'm one of the "good ones". There's plenty of crime around here, including plagiarism.

Quote
Sometimes people think the law is wrong and they will not go punished so they do as they please. And here they may be less common then in Columbia but they really seem to be much more common then in Australia or New Zealand. And they pose a problem to you, I think and I am very sorry for that. How to change it? Beats me.

And there are people like that here. In the case of plagiarism though I think most people just don't know about copyrights to either care or understand or follow the law.

How to change it? Like most things: educate, educate, educate.
Brian Douglas
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2018, 03:44:17 pm »

This is a great thread.  Reminds me of a thread I created in another forum about downloading pirated videos.

The self-justifications were rather funny.  It has become so common place today that it is considered passe to complain.

Either it is stealing or it's not.  No need to blur the edges with justifications.
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