Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Wed

12

MAR

2008

Respecting Copyrights Online, Part 2

In my previous post I stated that I had “no current plans” to divulge the person behind my copyright infringement example. Although this person removed the content, images, and HTML that he took without permission from my websitetips.com site (only after I took drastic measures), he continues to add new content to his weblog that is copyrighted from other websites. Today’s post is a follow-up to my previous post, Respecting Copyrights Online.

Addendum Monday evening, April 28, 2008: Since the copyrighted materials are now removed from his website, I’ve gone ahead and removed the person’s name and website references from this post. The original point was to bring attention to the fact that copyright infringement is a problem that we can indeed do something about and that we have every right to protect our copyrighted materials.

In terms of educational purposes and copyrights: while sharing information with students is great, I also feel it’s the responsibility of the teacher to teach students how to share information responsibly and properly by taking notice of and respecting copyrights, by quoting sources properly, and by only sharing permitted materials in ways the copyright owner allows - whether offline or online.

Like many of us learned in school, it’s often OK to quote a paragraph or two and credit the source. Quoting more than that typically requires permission from the copyright owner.

On the other hand, if you take an entire copyrighted article from a website, remove all the copyright information and author information, do not quote or credit your source, and post it on a public website, it could indeed look like you’ve broken copyright laws and are actually trying to pass it off as your own work. Whether or not your actual intention was to rip off someone else’s material or to innocently share materials with students as part of a college course, don’t be surprised if the copyright owner calls the whistle on you! It’s adding salt to the wound when you also “hotlink” to all the images on the copyright owner’s server and steal bandwidth, too.

So, as I mentioned above, sharing information is fantastic - I have several websites devoted to that, including this blog. Sharing information responsibly and properly, crediting sources, and respecting copyright laws are part of the deal, too.

For more information about copyrights, see my Website Tips' site section: The Legal Side of Web Sites: Copyright Information.

While I refuse to directly link to this person’s website, below is a list of the posts with their corresponding live source URLs. This information is as of 10:40 AM 3/12/2008, PDT. (Update April 28, 2008, evening: the listing below has the person’s name and text URLs removed, as explained above. The original copyright owner source links remain.)

Graphics Resources
Graphics Resources, post dated March 11, 2008
Original Source: Graphics, via Lee’s Summit R7 School District website. Copyright information at bottom of page: “Copyright Notice: No portion of this page may be copied without permission of the web page author. Contact IT Webmaster. 2007”
Web Cams
WebCams, post dated March 11, 2008
Original Source: Web Cams, via Lee’s Summit R7 School District website. Copyright information at bottom of page: “Copyright Notice: No portion of this page may be copied without permission of the web page author. Contact IT Webmaster. 2007”
Tables in Adobe GoLive 9
Tables in Adobe Golive 9, post dated March 8, 2008
Original Source: Adobe GoLive 9.0 Help - To create a new empty table, via Adobe.com LiveDocs. Copyright information at bottom of page: “© 2007 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe® GoLive® 9 User Guide for Windows® and Macintosh.” Adobe’s copyright information page specifically does not allow using their content, markup, images, and related materials at other websites, and doing so is copyright infringement.
Building Your First Web Page
Building Your First Web Page, post dated February 7, 2008
Original Source: Lesson 2: Building your first web page, via how-to-build-websites.com. Copyright information at bottom of page: Copyright © 2004 - 2008 Stefan Mischook www.killersites.com
Giz Explains: Why We’re Psyched for Silverthorne
Giz Explains: Why We’re Psyched for Silverthorne, post dated February 7, 2008
Original Source: Giz Explains: Why We’re Psyched for Silverthorne, via Gizmodo. Content is copyright Gawker Media. While they DO allow syndicated feeds at other websites, there are specific Terms of Use requirements, including attributing Gizmodo, linking to their site, using their logo button, etc., none of which is followed at the website in question.
10 Tips on designing a fast loading web sites
10 Tips on designing a fast loading web sites, post dated February 1, 2008
Original Source: 10 Tips on designing a fast loading web site, via Entheosweb.com. Copyright information at bottom of page: Copyright © 2004-2008 www.entheosweb.com - Entheos. All Rights Reserved.
Troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications
Troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications, post dated October 2, 2007
Original Source: Windows Sysinternals, via Microsoft TechNet. Copyright at bottom of page: © 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Link to Microsoft Terms of Use and Copyright information.
Three high-level keys to affiliate marketing success
Three high-level keys to affiliate marketing success, post dated October 1, 2007
Original Source: Three high-level keys to affiliate marketing success, by Ola Edvardsson, via affiliatetips.com. Affiliatetips.com copyright information: “All content provided by AffiliateTips.com is copy written and any use, without express written consent of AffiliateTips.com, is a violation of applicable copyright and or trademark laws.”
AOL for Mac Is Finally Here
AOL for Mac Is Finally Here, post dated September 30, 2007
Original Source: AOL for Mac Is Finally Here, dated September 28, 2007, 7:31 PM PDT, by Kristen Nicole, via Mashable! Copyright at bottom of page: © 2006-2008 Mashable!
20+ Tools For Working With Flash
20+ Tools For Working With Flash, post dated September 30, 2007
Original Source: 20+ Tools For Working With Flash, dated September 28, 2007, 7:31 PM PDT, by Sean P. Aune, via Mashable! Copyright at bottom of page: © 2006-2008 Mashable!
Website Layouts-Columns and Grids
Website Layouts-Columns and Grids, post dated May 13, 2005
Original Source: Columns & Grids, dated May 13, 2005, by Dave Shea, mezzoblue.com. Copyright at bottom of page: © Copyright 2001 - 2008, Dave Shea, all rights reserved.

So, What Now?

I sent the above list to the webhost’s legal counsel, and I’ve notified a couple of the above website owners. Maybe they don’t mind him using their content, but maybe they DO mind. I leave that up to them.

At any rate, I’m bringing this public to make others aware that you ought to check to make sure your copyrighted content is not being posted at other websites without your permission. Note that the person’s site above also hotlinks to the images on the original source servers, so he’s stealing bandwidth from all these sites, too.

Update Monday evening, April 28, 2008: As noted in the Addendum above, the copyrighted materials have been removed from the website in question. Therefore I’ve gone ahead and removed references to his name and the website URLs from this post.

Comments

Comments, Trackbacks: 3 so far. Add yours!

  1. This is incredible. This dirtbag loser is blatantly copying, word for word, someone else’s hard work and passing it off as original. After one or two pages I thought there was no way it could go on, and it only went on and on... Disgusting.

    Because of information in your first copyright section, a few of us very observant local artists have now nailed a person in Chicago who was stealing artwork online and selling it on Ebay.

    Hiring an attorney did it. Now the guy is in all kinds of hot water and it looks like he will be for quite some time to come.

    It’s fascinating how so many plagiarists feel they are anonymous—it took all of about 5 hours to find out who this guy was who’d stolen the artwork. It seems the higher organizations became quite interested in him as well.

    In spite of being the lowest of the low, they continue to do it, but it has become rather entertaining watching the law take these thieves down. They think it’s okay—it isn’t. They are now being closely watched. The trick here, as you said, is to make sure we all stay vigilant to what is happening online and report the infringements to whomever we can so that everyone knows what’s going on.

    Bravo Brainstorms and Raves for posting these articles. It helped us nab one of the thieving scum who ruin it for everybody.

    04:09 pm, pdt12 March, 2008Comment by Bella

    comment #1 permalink ·

  2. Bella, oh, what a bittersweet comment. I’m so sorry to hear about this guy in Chicago stealing the artwork and selling it on eBay. I’m also thrilled to hear he’s gotten caught and that he is and will be paying the consequences for his deceit and thievery.

    And yes, I so agree with you that all too often these copyright infringers think they’re so anonymous. Five hours to track down and catch that guy stealing the artwork isn’t very long at all, especially for a crime of that nature.

    For my own copyright infringement problems it typically doesn’t take me long at all to find them, find out their webhosts, and other pertinent information to send the Cease and Desist notices. I have several ways of catching them, but I don’t want to reveal those publicly here.

    I will say, though, that search engines are great for finding them, of course.

    There are also services such as Copyscape that monitor sites and content for you and send you updates and alerts specifically looking for potential copyright infringement.

    Google Alerts is also a great tool. I originally started using it to get alerts when people link to one of my sites, but it’s also handy for catching copyright infringers.

    Bella, I’m so glad you wrote this comment. I’m thrilled this guy stealing the artwork in Chicago got caught! I hope in addition to jail time that he also has to pay back every penny he made from selling this artwork fraudulently! I’ve been hearing of this happening more lately.

    I also hope there’s plenty of publicity about your artwork thief getting caught. At a minimum, if your local news stations don’t know about it yet, they might enjoy that story. And it could also help deter others from doing the same thing.

    It is truly my hope that my posts on this issue can be of help, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that this information really IS helping. Thanks so much for letting me know. You made my day... even though I also wish this theft problem didn’t exist at all!

    06:16 pm, pdt12 March, 2008Comment by Shirley Kaiser

    comment #2 permalink ·

  3. If he’s hotlinking to the users site, then it would be great fun, childish (but fun) to replace the images on the hosting server with certain other images that may not be flattering to his business. That will often wake the offender (and the readers) up to the gravity of the situation and what they are up to.
    I’ve had one site taken down due to copying my page content and design without permission so I know it can happen to everyone. In my case I used my log files to find out someone had hotlinked images.

    02:11 pm, pdt13 March, 2008Comment by Andy

    comment #3 permalink ·

This discussion has been closed. Thanks to all who participated.

top


Visit iStockPhoto - Royalty-free stock images. Click Upload Earn, Click Download Create 

I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via amazon.com: Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca (Canada), Amazon.co.uk (UK), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

Cover - CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions, by Andy Budd, with Simon Collison, Cameron Moll. Published February 13, 2006.

Cover: Dont Make Me Think, Second Edition (2005), by Steve Krug. 

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

In association with
 In Association with Amazon.com 
http://brainstormsandraves.com/archives/2008/03/12/copyright2/
Page last modified 1 May, 2008 - 9:14am PDT Page load time: 0.010151 seconds.