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My stuff has been plagiarized. Again. I need a better strategy for solving this

paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20637
    ∞

Every few months I get obsessed on some topic and write an article - and I usually spend about 40 hours over the following month polishing it to make it just right. And then I find it copied and pasted somewhere without any credit to me. This has been happening more and more. Today's examples is this article on soil ph which has been copied here.

When I contact these folks, I want to convince them to change it to "here is an article I like" - maybe have a paragraph and then a link to my article. Instead, about half the time I get some bullshit about how they wrote it first. So then I go to the wayback machine and prove I wrote it first. Then they say that there is no such thing as copyright on the internet. They are nearly always livid pissed that I could be such an asshole about it. Well ... it just ends up a big hassle. In the end, they usually delete it and I feel like crap for having hassled them.

So I already have a way of confronting them that turns into a big shit storm and ends up with them sending me all sorts of nasty and after all sorts of pain, they finally delete it.

I want to find an approach so that the response is "sorry about that - let me make it right by making a link to you and telling folks your stuff is good!"

So I'm fishing for suggestions. Any ideas on how to approach these most recent offenders?


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Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8829
    
    5
<total ad hoc reckoning>

If these articles exist in a fairly well known universe, could you let the inhabitants know, proactively, that an article is about to be published?

</total ad hoc reckoning>


Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20637
    ∞

Here is a quick draft of what I'm thinking of
-------

Hi!

I was surfing the net today and came across your article at _______ and thought it was really good. And then I noticed it sounded really familiar. It took me a moment to figure out that it is a copy of my own article!

I'm really glad you like my stuff. I hope we can figure stuff out so that we can both be happy campers.

My biggest hope is that since you like my stuff so much, that you might make links to more of my articles. I have an article on diatomaceous earth I would really like to get more links to.

I'm sure you are trying to fill your site out a bit, and I think I can be of help with that. The trick is that having more than one copy of article makes google mad. Google thinks we are trying to trick them, so they penalize all copies. An odd thing is that if you have a couple of paragraphs on _________ and you then link to a page about _________ then google likes that a lot.

So if it is something you are okay with, I would like to come up with a strategy that is mutually beneficial. Maybe I could write a few paragraphs for your site and that would include a link to my original article. Then we could erase the penalties from google and actually add something good to both sites.

And then we can, if you are comfortable with it, talk about some of my other articles?

---------------------

How does that sound? Too much? Should I make it shorter?

I do think it needs some polish. Some parts come off a bit klunky - I need better phrasing.

And, of course, if the party on the other side turns out to be icky, then I can contact their host with some scary legal stuff.
Vikas Kapoor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
IMO Paul you're being Canadian(Ref : How I met your mother S-4 E-11).

I would draft like this. Hi! You have copied some or all of my contents of particular article. This is called plagiarism. XYZ gives me pain.
XYZ could be - you did not link to my webiste for ref.- You are generating revenue from plagiarism. - My material is not for free. - I want some part of that revenue.
Please do ABC to relieve me from pain. else I will contact your hosting company and you will start getting pain.
In other words, be straight and tell what makes you uncomfortable. Just my opinion.

One question, how active the internet police is in such situation?
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61433
    
  67

Vikas Kapoor wrote:I would draft like this.

I like Paul's approach better -- why be confrontational right off the bat if a possibility of win-win cooperation exists? I think that the time to get nasty is after they've proved themselves to be tools.

See


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Vikas Kapoor
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 16, 2007
Posts: 1374
Warm blood and inexperience.
Wouter Oet
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Oct 25, 2008
Posts: 2700

I would go for a mix between the to drafts. Something like

[Small confrontation] Copied an article of me. Plagiarism. Forbidden by law.
[Sharing] No problem if just a few paragraphs and link
[Solution] If changed and you'll use the same approach in the future then no problem.


"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand." --- Martin Fowler
Please correct my English.
Chris Baron
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 21, 2003
Posts: 1049
Wouter Oet wrote:I would go for a mix between the to drafts. Something like
[Small confrontation] Copied an article of me. Plagiarism. Forbidden by law.

I wouldn't leave it unmentioned but soften it with a "Not".

I'm not writing this to threaten you with legal consequences but to ask you to comply with common netiquette... Google... Backlink... Please let me know until... Thanks.

Something like this but in proper English

Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Oh, just be like the music industry. Have your lawyer issue a DMCA take down notice.
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8927
    
    9

Pat Farrell wrote:Oh, just be like the music industry. Have your lawyer issue a DMCA take down notice.


Hire some goons. Cheaper than lawyers.


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Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/report-cheater.php

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30764
    
156

Eric Pascarello wrote:http://www.plagiarismchecker.com/report-cheater.php

Thanks Eric! Just used that site for something else.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20637
    ∞

Yeah eric, that is a great link.

When i have contacted these folks in the past, some seem to think that there is no such thing as copyright. I think that document goes a little further in helping them understand what the consequences can be.

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: My stuff has been plagiarized. Again. I need a better strategy for solving this