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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

This 41 message thread spans 2 pages: 41 ( [1] 2 > >     
Wikipedia has my content!
Content from my website is in Wikipedia
Matt Probert




msg:3429098
 5:27 pm on Aug 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia has reproduced a large number of articles from my own (older) encyclopaedia without permission.

Short of hiring a bank of lawyers, which would require remortgaging my house and those of all my family, is there anything practical I can do?

Of course I have lost money, since Wikipedia stole my articles, they took my traffic with them and there went my advertising revenue, also.

Estimated losses to date are in the region of £10,000 since October 2006.

Matt

 

LifeinAsia




msg:3429109
 5:34 pm on Aug 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sending them a DCMA complaint seems like a good first step.

Wlauzon




msg:3429212
 6:52 pm on Aug 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia does not "steal" content.

The people that edit articles for Wikipedia might.

Wikipedia usually catches anything it thinks is copyright material.

jtara




msg:3432083
 6:56 pm on Aug 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia's FAQ suggests that you simply remove the copyrighted material yourself, and goes on to explain how to make an official request, but seems to discourage the latter as "slower". They also provide an email request for making an informal removal request - apparenty for people who prefer not to edit the material themselves.

[en.wikipedia.org...]

BTW, you learn something every day when you read Wikipedia... Apparently, what we've been calling a "DMCA Request" isn't. It's an OCILLA request. (Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act). It's a part of the DMCA.

A more general Wikipedia page on "copyright problems":

[en.wikipedia.org...]

keyplyr




msg:3446104
 7:24 am on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

After reading this thread, I found 3 articles of mine published at Wikipedia, of course without permission. I created a username and removed them with the caption "copyrighted material removed. Intellectual property of mydomain.com"

What irks me is they have cited several sources and list several internet sites as links - none of them me!

Grandmas Cookies




msg:3446271
 12:35 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

As the second person if I am not mistaken has said it is not wikipedia's fault. It is the dude that has published it to be blamed

stapel




msg:3446615
 6:54 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

keyplyr said: I found 3 articles of mine published at Wikipedia, of course without permission.... What irks me is they have cited several sources and list several internet sites as links - none of them me!

Dontcha just love that? Is it that you're good enough to copy from, but somehow not good enough to reference? Or is it that they know they're being bad?

Either way, it's insulting.

Eliz.

Wlauzon




msg:3446710
 8:40 pm on Sep 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

So edit it yourself and put the links in.

Wally




msg:3446881
 12:36 am on Sep 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

They have loads of my stuff on Wikipedia. I tend to ignore it when there is something which they link back to.
But I have deleted quite a bit.

skunker




msg:3450782
 3:00 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

If they have lots of your articles duplicated on wikipedia, aren't you concerned that maybe you'd incur a duplicate penalty?

Webwork




msg:3452767
 1:57 pm on Sep 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some random thoughts . .

Whomever uploaded the articles needs to be banned as an editor for utter lack of discretion, lawlessness, etc. IF Wikipedia refuses to remove those who consistently (matter of proving this) flaunt the rights of others Wikipedia may eventually be deemed to either a) collude; b) be accepting the derived benefits of unlawful behavior; c) you name it.

DMCA helps, a lot, but isn't necessarily the solution to having someone authorized to act (an official act of Wikipedia) WHO exhibits a consistent pattern of misappropriation.

Methinks, at some point, a legal case will establish that just removing the offending material will not grant immunity IF there are "other, related issues" - such as consistent (repeated) patterns of troublesome behavior, particularly is that behavior can be traced to an individual AND nothing is done to remove "the troublemaker".

Also, curious to know: A) Will the appearance of your original material in Wikipedia begin to effect "who ranks for that material"? If so, is it possible that a competitor might be acting to screw you? B) IF your material appears in Wikipedia will that result in its accelerated scraping, leading to new copyright enforcement issues? (Might be a separate cause of action here.) C) Will Wikipedia help you to identify the person who initiated the copyright violation so you can pursue that person directly, for the copyright infringement? Wikipedia (likely) has a duty - enforceable by subpoena or joinder "as a party defendant for the purpose of discovery" - to turn over all identifying information to help you enforce your copyright claim.

IF you haven't done so already - and may legally still do so - you might wish to formally file for copyright protection by recording your works at the proper offer. This will aid in the prosecution of any future claims that might arise.

Interesting final question: In the future will a case arise where an entity may not be accountable for damages for copyright violation due to protections of DMCA like laws BUT may be accoutable for paying the costs associated with cleaning up any mess associated with the publication - such as the legal fees for all the pull down notices that may be required to remove all the illegal copies generated as a result of the article first appearing "in the highly scraped and duplicated source", as for example Wikipedia? They may not be responsible for direct damages (copyright infringement) but they may be responsible for "consequential damages" in the right circumstance.

RandomDot




msg:3453047
 5:54 pm on Sep 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't get why wikipedia doesn't have a feature to run every submission over 400 words, through copyscape and check if it's already out there.

It's not my or any other webmasters job to pull an article down and then rinse and repeat that with every article you've ever published, until you found all the articles and removed them, while they have all magically reappeared in your footsteps everywhere else on wikipedia and you can just rinse and repeat the process again, and again, and again.

Perhaps i'm wrong, but didn't google have to develop software to actually detect the copyright infringements on youtube before they happened? (think it'll be implemented around 1. january, according to the articles i've read in the news)

Oh, the internet, in it's less than innocent childhood, come, out from thy mothers womb. Okay, i'd better stop before I go all poetic and soft,

Sincerely and have fun,

keyplyr




msg:3453323
 11:00 pm on Sep 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

The trouble is that "we" are obliged to do the leg work to find out if "they" have violated our property.

The articles I found at Wikipedia have now been recopied to their clones, i.e. Answer dot com, and all the blogs, forums, et al who pull down their content. I must now spend the work hours searching for all the spin-off violations.

Why hasn't Wiki been held accountable for all the damage they cause.When I deleted my articles, I left a polite, but stern note theat they are not entitled to use my property without consent, but I have never received an explanation much less an apology.

RandomDot




msg:3454132
 6:32 pm on Sep 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps make a website "WikipediaStoleMyArticles.Com" - and build a community around it, then make a everybody in the community tip in on a lawsuit against Wikipedia holding them responsible for the articles published on their domain, and the distribution of them for something which they're not, as open source to other websites.

Sincerely and have fun,,
The Webmaster Rights and Protection Foundation.
Making you liable for damages caused by your users since 2007.

Frida




msg:3454944
 2:35 pm on Sep 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia has reproduced a large number of articles from my own (older) encyclopaedia without permission.

Short of hiring a bank of lawyers, which would require remortgaging my house and those of all my family, is there anything practical I can do?

Of course I have lost money, since Wikipedia stole my articles, they took my traffic with them and there went my advertising revenue, also.

Estimated losses to date are in the region of £10,000 since October 2006.

Matt

I guess they call this sharing not stealing

rogerd




msg:3461531
 3:24 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

While editing the entries with appropriate notations should cure the problem, I'd guess (I'm definitely not a lawyer) any claims about lost revenue would have to apply to the individual who copied your stuff and posted it. Chasing after that is unlikely to be a profitable exercise, IMO, unless the damages are truly massive; in that case, of course, the villain probably won't have enough assets to pay anyway.

This is a good argument for content monitoring, i.e., picking a batch of unique strings from your best content and searching for them periodically. The earlier you can catch stuff like this, the better.

BillyS




msg:3461580
 3:53 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Frida - Just courious - Why did it take almost a year to figure out what happened? That seems like a decent down payment on a lawyer's fee.

I am no doubt sympathetic to your loss of income, but that is in the past. Just start editing away.

WiseWebDude




msg:3461611
 4:18 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Something disturbs me as I read this thread. The fact that this is happening at such a high rate is not good. The same goes for artists that have their stuff stolen and downloaded by every bonehead in the world for free applies here. Fact is, it cannot keep up like this and something will, inevitably, give and give hard. There is going to have to be some type of cyber-cop that patrols the net in the end or the internet will, surely, self-destruct. There are far too many people coming on every day that are much too willing to take what has been produced by brilliant minds and use it as their own, and there is NO honor, whatsoever, on the net. The internet IS great as an open place...but, we (who have common sense) had better find some way to regulate the net in some way or it will be done by the Government, OR the net will implode due to all of this. Why should this man rack his mind to produce his own encyclopedia only for some crack-smoking moron to come along, copy and paste it in Wikipedia depriving him of credit and his monetary rights?

I have not the answer to this dilemma, but I suggest we all at least take this seriously and THINK about it. It sure is easy to tell someone, "oh well, you're screwed," until we are ALL screwed! OK, I am on a rant here, but this problem has been bugging me for quite some time. I have a bad feeling about all of this. I think people will just give up trying to do extraordinary things when some idiot can just take it from him without a word said. Is the internet going to dumb down society to the point where we are all drooling drones and without any empathy at all? Why care if it doesn't matter what you do? If Google takes Matt's work and dumps it for their buddy's pages at Wikipedia then why will others try to do better? Look, the fact is this problem is only going to exacerbate in the years ahead to a breaking point. What do you think should happen? Will the Government step in and patrol the net with cyber-cops? Can the internet self-regulate, somehow? What IS the answer?

[edited by: WiseWebDude at 4:31 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2007]

jcoronella




msg:3461666
 4:47 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Two exploits of this come to mind:

Sabotage a competitor - post their content on a fresh wikipedia page, and get them dupe-bumped.

Free Links - post your own content as an anonymous user, and then remove them with a link (ala keyplyr's recommendation) to your own site.

These of course, are symptoms, and the problem is the massive authority given to a UGC (user generated content) site.

I'm not advocating these as they are probably illegal, and just not nice. However, all of us who have quality origional content should be on the lookout.

Matt Probert




msg:3461682
 4:58 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

the problem is the massive authority given to a UGC (user generated content) site

This is one of my big bug bears. As a human, I make mistakes. But, with regard to my encyclopaedia I am contactable, and accountable. People spot the odd typo (very embarrassing) and some even spot errors, which I then spend time and money rechecking with reputable sources - for example 'Jane's Yearbooks'.

The same is simply not true of so called UGC sites. They can publish all sorts of nonsense, and yet people take it as gospel. Okay, when some years ago I claimed that Iraq didn't have WMDs, in contradiction of the US and UK government's takes many people thought I was publishing nonsense, and I couldn't offer reputable sources to back up my claims, but I think I have been vindicated by the years.

Matt

zCat




msg:3461700
 5:13 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

An acquantaince of mine, who has one of those office jobs with internet access and a disgustingly relaxed schedule, has developed an interesting hobby: making his own, very "individual" contributions to Wikipedia and seeing how long they remain. He reports a very high success rate - it appears to be a matter of selecting less-active articles and a subtle way of writing (although I think there's at least one county in the USA which now has an elephant park or something it doesn't know about).

m1t0s1s




msg:3461772
 6:25 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

keyplyr, why not just add your link as a reference? Since Wikipedia has your content, they can't come back and say you are spamming. Plus you'll get traffic from people looking for more information..

It's interesting what someone added to your talk page:

All of your edits are to merely add links to a commercial, and not very well-written or informative, website. Please stop. This is considered [[WP:Spam]] and [[WP:Vandalism]]. If you have reliable information that can be cited, please add it to the articles instead. Thanks. - [[User:Special-T¶Special-T]] 14:00, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

keyplyr




msg:3461955
 8:49 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

keyplyr, why not just add your link as a reference? Since Wikipedia has your content, they can't come back and say you are spamming. Plus you'll get traffic from people looking for more information - m1t0s1s

Well yeah, that's what I did 6 months ago. I found that one of the Wikipedia editors scraped several of my articles and posted them without my permission, so in the interest of education I left them up and appropriately cited where the content came from by adding the links to the source (my website.)

Then a week later all those links were removed and that insulting message was put up. Unbelievable isn't it? If my articles are merely "commercial, and not very well-written or informative" then why are they being plagiarized again and again by these very same people?

Now, I'm just deleting them. I'm through playing that game. Someone outa sue them big time!

gibbergibber




msg:3461964
 8:58 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing that happens disturbingly often on Wikipedia is that contributors regard it as totally okay to steal material as long as it's rephrased.

So for example they might copy a long article from another site in terms of the facts it mentions, the order it mentions them, the general structure etc, but because they've rephrased every sentence they don't regard it as a copyright violation.

I've seen this happen particularly often with biographies of famous people, they'll find a biography elsewhere and then "process" it so they can use it on Wikipedia. It's still obviously a copy of the other source with no cross-referencing to verify any of it, but none of the phrases are exactly the same.

I have no idea what the legal situation is with this kind of activity, but it seems pretty immoral. It's like children at school copying each other's homework, only one of them has actually done the work.

ericfwebmaster




msg:3461973
 9:22 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wont it be wonderful when everything is free and nobody makes money for any form of digitally copyable art or writing. It will soon be a utopia of worldwide communism. Maybe we can have do-it-all single product manufacturing machines in our back yard and can just upload the free plans from the internet and build our own lawnmower or toaster oven in five minutes from the comfort of our back yard. Where the only people that make real money are the people who make these machines, oil companies and farmers.

Or maybe the powers that be will have a virtual cyber cop bot that goes around ticketing copyright violators. And while their at it the Google faction of the powers that be can change the way they handle dup content. Maybe register the content and then next to the content put a cetified pixel from the Google Ministry of Information. And of coarse we should get rid of all UGC sites because you just cant trust users.

Well whats our choice because we cant have both. Oh well just go on and make your diminishing returns off adsense until the decision is made.

swa66




msg:3461994
 9:44 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Free Links - post your own content as an anonymous user, and then remove them with a link [...] to your own site.

Wikipedia is using rel="nofollow" on external <a href> tags, hence no use for PR to create those links, at best it's useful if it's a high traffic subject.

As for the wikipedians to be responsible and not at all wikipedia itself: I'm not that sure you can escape liability if you are found to facilitate anonymous passers-by to commit copyright infringement. Since they moderate content, they are for sure not a "mere conduit" like ISPs, hence they should have some level of liability for the use of their services.

swa66




msg:3462002
 9:51 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing that happens disturbingly often on Wikipedia is that contributors regard it as totally okay to steal material as long as it's rephrased.

Copyright law protects the words, the images, the expression, the "art", not the ideas, not the information itself, not the research. The information, the facts, etc are free to be copied.

E.g. painting of an apple is copyrighted, but you can still make your own painting of an apple, no problem. You however cannot copy the other painting on a photocopy machine and start selling those copies.

Generally it's considered good practice to mention sources, but the law is silent on such things as far as I know.

Patents protect ideas, but e.g. software patents are next to nonexistent outside the US.

m1t0s1s




msg:3462009
 9:58 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

As a preventative solution to this, it might be a good idea to setup a separate google alert with a sentence or sentences from it in quotes for every page of unique content. It doesn't scale very well, although a standalone application that automates this by spidering your site, logging in to google and setting the alert might be a good idea.

and to keyplyr, the only thing I would say is either join your enemy at their own game, either by fixing little errors here and there in wikipedia, or turn your site's content into a wiki resource.

I guess wikipedia likes to "improvise" content, heehee.

gibbergibber




msg:3462074
 11:33 pm on Sep 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

--Copyright law protects the words, the images, the expression, the "art", not the ideas, not the information itself, not the research. The information, the facts, etc are free to be copied.--

That's the problem though, what is the expression? Is it the exact phrasing or is it the overall structure? Facts are facts, but there's an art to presenting facts. It requires talent and imagination to present facts in an intelligent way that analyses them instead of just stating them.

If I submit a novel to a publisher, they send it back with a rejection slip, then they issue a novel with an absolutely identical plot but none of the same phrases... I can still take them to court for stealing the overall plot.

I realise it's different with non-fiction, but it seems very unfair that you can spend months researching an article or book, then see someone else carbon copy it with slightly rephrased language and claim it as their own. It's punishing the intelligent analyst and rewarding the know-nothing plagiarist.

jcoronella




msg:3462102
 12:31 am on Sep 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>using rel="nofollow" on external <a href> tags

It's the new 'Social Web Era'. Links are for clicks.

All that 'PR' crap is SOOOoo web 2.0.

;)

This 41 message thread spans 2 pages: 41 ( [1] 2 > >
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