Website plagiarism the myths and facts.

I am sure the red tape, rules and regulations will increase and modernise in the years to come, so I was glad to see that some sites still have a bit of fun with their terms and conditions.

One such site is Ctrl+Alt+Del as mentioned in the New Scientist magazine. If you care to notice the footer text it reads

By reading this fine print your soul is now the exclusive property of Ctrl+Alt+Del and subsidiaries. Unauthorized use of Ctrl+Alt+Del characters, images, materials, souls, odors, and oxygen is strongly discouraged. We know where you sleep.

Nice to see a break from the norm, not just a recent stunt either as that one has been there since Nov 2005 (Archive.org) with an even better one before that.

If I find you violating, or molesting my property in any way, I will employ a pair of burly convicts to find you, kidnap you, and perform god-awful sexual experiments on you until you lose the ability to sound out vowels.
I don’t know why you are still reading this, but by doing so you have proven that you have far too much time on your hands, and you should go plant a tree, or read a book or something.

Interestingly if you do a search in Google for the main part of that notice you will see that plagiarism is as strong as ever with thousands of other sites copying their footer text.

Plagiarism

It seems every successful site leaves itself open to being copied, is copying the sincerest form of flattery? In the offline world perhaps but online the motives are very different and invariably start and end with profit and trying to profit from someone else’s hard work.

I don’t mind people taking ideas and building on them, after all we share ideas aplenty in this blog, in fact someone tried to do that with the tattoo fonts site that I own, it is sometimes interesting to use Google to do some investigating and a certain Khalidwa was desperate last year to get a script that did the same. This doesn’t trouble me at all, as I say if you have a good site it will get copied but the manner in which people want to profit sometimes leaves a little to be desired.

Where can I get the script on this website… http://tattoofonts.net/
I’ve searched and searched with no luck. I cannot seem to extract the script from the site either. Any help would be MUCH appreciated!

If he had contacted me perhaps I could have helped, even members on the forum he posted try and offer an insight but Khalidwa is in far too much of a rush to learn from others

sorry but im really looking for a script as i don’t have time to learn as i don’t have the time

I have seen other people do tattoo fonts thing, better than I have, almost everything is plagiarised to some extent, I have also taken ideas I have seen, read and heard about and evolved them into better things and I think it is wise to learn from the mistakes of others and improve on what is out there but I do wish people would put in some effort to at least make something new, evolve an idea or build on an existing theme.

There are some common myths regarding plagiarism that are worth remembering

Myth: If I list the author’s name in the text, I can copy word for word and quotation marks are not necessary.

Fact: All direct quotations require either quotation marks or block indentations.

Myth: Material on the web is not copyrighted, so it’s okay to use anything without quotation marks or attribution.

Fact: Everything in a fixed format is immediately copyrighted by its author. Whenever you quote or borrow from someone else, you must cite the source and include quotation marks or block indentations.

More myths can be found here, taking rules & legalities aside at the end of the day if the work is not yours – cite your sources! If you see something you like or read an interesting article you’ll often benefit more morally and financially by contacting the original author & citing your sources. Plagiarism is not flattery, it’s theft.

About Scott Jones

Scott hails from the north east of Scotland and started earning online at the end of 2000 building websites for local businesses during which time he won an award from Lord Alan Sugar for Excellence in Enterprise. After having quite a bit of success with domaining Scott mainly runs educational evergreen websites which generate over 3 million visitors per month but is always on the lookout for a fresh thinking out of the box way to turn a buck. Follow on Twitter.

Comments

  1. I think people would take this issue a lot more seriously if they were re-inforced harshely. Not just money wise but also by search engines. But we see a lot of plagiarism going around and no one can do much about it.

    Thanks for the clarification though on some of the myths because I was starting to get confused by what it all really does.

    • I don’t think its that easy to enforce something over the web.

      The only way to enforce, which I can think of, is if the search engines join the party and penalize such sites.

      • Then the problem becomes knowing who the original source is, given two different pages that use the same content. Search engines crawl at different rates and in different directions, so different engines may come to different conclusions.

        • Search engines have often tended to prefer high pagerank pages so a high PR page taking content from a low PR page can take over the rankings from the possible original source.

        • I think the instances of site,s with high PR stealing content are probably not the main culprits simply because of the risk to their own site.

        • I’d agree, those are rarer – just a point to show that engines can’t always be relied on as present to deal with it.

        • I think if the search engines did try and enforce it more, it could create more problems that it can solve. I don’t think its easily solved by tweaking their existing Algos, more often than not they’d probably get it wrong!

  2. The whole copyright myth is baffling to me. I think I learned in high school that everything put in fixed form is automatically copyrighted, but people still persist in ignoring it.

    Copying is just way too easy online. A copy and paste and you have content ready for your site.

  3. “If I find you violating, or molesting my property in any way, I will employ a pair of burly convicts to find you, kidnap you, and perform god-awful sexual experiments on you until you lose the ability to sound out vowels.”

    Ha!

    Scott, what about those who “steal” RSS feeds? Is that also plagiarism?

  4. Jason, even though your question was addressed to Scott, I want to answer that it is still plagiarism. It is still stealing content.

    • I’m more concerned at times with the way some people try and just copy/paste other people’s work or try and steal content without any injection of originality – all content taken and reposted without citing the source & quoting is in effect plagiarism although you could argue there are various levels of it.

    • Hmm… I still don’t understand the boundaries, but thanks for your responses.

      Not that I rip off content, I’m just curious… How are these buttholes getting away with it?

  5. It took me a few months to figure out that unique content is where its at, seems to me that the search engines have already implemented a system which will not reward stealing others content. I’m sure their is a few sites out their making a few bucks from others but the policing of this is so difficult i doubt if it will ever become a major deal simply because of the way the net rewards unique content. Obviously I don’t condone stealing content but i think its a part of the online world & we need to just live with it. again for the most part those that do things correctly are rewarded & those that cheat the system will get their just rewards in one way or another.

    • I’ve experimented with different kinds of un-unique or semi-unique content, and original and unique content is essential for any LONG TERM site.

      Sadly some people thing rewriting an article and passing it through copyscape.com qualifies the article as unique, sadly this is’nt the case.

  6. We had a proxy tagit our site. Loost some traffic. Abot 300 a day of total 5000. Obvious for Googlel since the page hade our brand and everything.

    Google didint do anything.

    So after 4 month I started surfing the proxy myself at Cuts blog. Ranked out loads of his blog posts. After a week the proxy was gone from Google.

    Google is obvios buggy about this.

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