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IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS

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posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 07:40 PM
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The staff and I have been seeing an increase in opening posts and replies that are composed of completely of material lifted from other websites without proper attribution or links. Along with this, we're also seeing more and more incidents of posts where significant portions of the content is material from other sites or sources, without appropriate attribution.

AboveTopSecret.com Is Different
We respect the work of other writers online.

One of the long-standing hallmarks of what has made us different, and will continue to make us different, is our insistence that our contributing members respect the content found on other websites, no matter what the stated usage rights might be. We believe strongly in giving credit where credit is due.

If you find material worthy of sharing with the ATS audience, please simply post a snippet of the content, then a link to the web page on which you found the material.




Appropriate Attribution Example: Normal Content

Here is an example of an acceptable way to include content from another site, or online author:

creativecommons.org...

Too often the debate over creative control tends to the extremes. At one pole is a vision of total control — a world in which every last use of a work is regulated and in which “all rights reserved” (and then some) is the norm. At the other end is a vision of anarchy — a world in which creators enjoy a wide range of freedom but are left vulnerable to exploitation. Balance, compromise, and moderation — once the driving forces of a copyright system that valued innovation and protection equally — have become endangered species.

Creative Commons is working to revive them. We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them — to declare "some rights reserved."

What makes this acceptable on ATS:

1) A clear link to the source material is provided.

2) The "external source" tags ([ex] to open, and [/ex] to close) are used to differentiate the external material from your post or quotes of other members.

Why we like this:

It shows respect for the work of the author and sends traffic to the website containing the author's work.




Appropriate Attribution Example: News Content

From time to time, there will be important material you find on news websites that isn't necessarily breaking news for an opening post, or is important breaking news for a reply to a post. In these cases, here's an example of appropriate attribution:

blogs.pcworld.com...


So will YouTube have an effect on the U.S. elections? It undoubtedly will. Will the election turn on one or more YouTube videos? It might. Does it make it frivolous for a presidential candidate to be chosen based on some YouTube videos? No. YouTube is just another communications channel. You either tune into it or tune out.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

What makes this acceptable on ATS:

1) A clear link to the source material is provided.

2) The "news" tags ([news] to open, and [/news] to close) are used to differentiate the material as coming from a news-oriented website which helps readers who are scanning the thread to quickly ascertain the potential importance the material you posted.

Why we like this:

It shows respect for the journalistic source and potentially sends traffic to the entire article. (Even if we may not fully respect mainstream media, this approach demonstrates impeccable online manners.)




Appropriate Attribution Example: Offline Content

In some cases, there will be material from books or magazines that supports a point you're making in a post. Below is the appropriate way to source offline content, and provide appropriate attribution:



From Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"

'Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

en.wikipedia.org...

What makes this acceptable on ATS:

1) A clear link to online content about your source material is provided.

2) The "external source" tags ([ex] to open, and [/ex] to close) are used to differentiate the material as coming from a source not on ATS.





Why we do this:

There are two primary reasons we desire our members to follow these simple guidelines, and neither of them have anything to do with fear of legal ramifications if we don't:

1) Being Good Netizens: Using snippets and links to interesting online content is a long-standing practice of being "good Internet citizens" that dates back to the early 1990's. In all that we do here at AboveTopSecret.com, portraying impeccable ethics is at the top of our list. From an "Internet ethics" standpoint, it doesn't get any better than this.

2) Perhaps We Will Be Given The Same Courtesy: In the past 30 days, more than 6,000 different websites (other than search engines) sent traffic to ATS. And an average of 8 new websites link to us every day. We're an often used source of interesting information. If we consistently and clearly demonstrate an unwavering respect the work of others, perhaps we will be treated in kind.




Exceptions to the rule:

1) Simple links with no comment: we don't want to see posts that are simply "look at this" then a link or embedded video.

2) Using your own website without permission: we're not a means to send traffic to your own website. However, if you feel you have something important, please contact us to receive permission.

3) Sites with porn, racial hate, exceptional vulgarities, gore or other inappropriate content: I'm not sure how this material would be of value within our posts anyway.




But... What about fair use?

In many cases, there may be content available for you to use in your post where the intellectual property concept of "fair use" might apply, or where the author has clearly indicate you may share the material however you see fit.

I don't care.

The right thing to do is to indicate source, use a snippet, and link to the originating website.




Yes, We Are Serious:

Violations to these guidelines are subject to immediate post removal or thread deletion. As ATS is becoming a more busy place, our staff may not have the time to edit your post to apply appropriate attribution notice and links. Please help keep AboveTopSecret.com the excellent example of impeccable Internet manners that it is, and properly source and attribute outside content that you use in posts.

If you repeatedly use the work of others without any effort to indicate the source, we will likely assume you're trying imply you wrote the content and your account will be subject to termination.




posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:05 PM
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Thanks for the information, but I always took it as a given courtesy(posting sources).
This is just one more reason why I stick around at ATS.
I always read seasoned members asking newer members for source links and it doesn't take long for folks to catch on.
The reminder is a good thing as well.This house rocks.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:15 PM
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Fully agreed Citizen Truth.

Thank you very much for the instructions also Skeptic Overlord! I always cite my sources, but I was clueless on how to get my external material to appear within the external gray box. I've seen others do this, but couldn't figure it out.

I always link to my sources and use quotes anyway, but it's good to know how to do it right. I'll certainly use this formatting in the future. It makes long posts with multiple sources a lot easier to read with the gray boxes too. This house does rock



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:20 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 

As I'm sure you're aware, I had an incident today that almost got my thread deleted by mistake. I do journalism work for deviantART.com and they host my art gallery and attribute copyrights of All of my articles and artworks. The incident today with my rather long post was being debated as a possible cut and paste operation by me. I don't do these things. All of my poetry is online and published. I don't plagiarize.

But many people see no issue with doing just that(as a victim of this kind of lack of manners, I know). And it should be prudent for the members of ATS to seek excellence, because if we're EVER going to be taken seriously on the sensitive issues we discuss, then we have to maintain a level of courtesy and professionalism. And if we can't handle that, then we've already lost the debate, no matter what we say.



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:26 PM
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Thanks. I will respect the rules for ATS. As you know I have carte blanche from several sites- since you do not really support my nephews user content site (you support all the others..still scratching my head over that one!). I have only used links when asked for resources as to where I heard about something.

I really enjoy this site and it has inspired me to be much more diplomatic in my posts. The general content on here has always been a personal fascination for many reasons and for the most part I really like the folks here.

You guys do a great job- you really do! Otherwise I wouldn't bother. believe me- there is a lot out there!

You guys are terrific!



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I wasn't aware we had a problem with plagiarism. Whatever the case may be people, let's cite the author. Its good not to get ATS into any legal trouble, right?

Thanks for the heads up Skeptic. I'll do my best not to copy other people's work. I think I'm pretty good with citing my sources though.



[edit on 2/7/2008 by biggie smalls]



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 09:15 PM
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I'm a visual artist and have been plagiarized several times, so know the damage that can happen to individuals who live by their visual works.

When someone uses one of my images without permission, it takes from my ability to make a living. Imagine if someone could steal a day or a week of your hard work from you. All your wages for a job. Now you get the picture.

There is a perceived normality to this, and many artists whether visual, writers, musicians are sorely supported in our society due to the very common practice of plagery. The web has made this very easy, especially for writers. You might be surprised that the worst offenders are some of the larger publishers.

I always give permission to those who ask me, but those who do not, or assume that either they will not get caught or just have no sense of the law, I will send a bill and/or a cease-desist and consider lawsuit. If I do not, the image is thrust into public domain and I loose my right to copyright forever and any living I can make from my works..

My union has a saying;

ASK FIRST

To understand the laws, take a look at these LINKS, and support our cultural creatives, and in fact everyone's creative rights.

And, if at all in doubt, ASK FIRST or do not use.

Be GOOD!


ZG



posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 11:01 PM
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The Best Policy

It's the foundation of our community and rule #1: honesty.

It's the first thing you'll be asked if you post any claim: "What's your source?"

It's the only way facts can triumph over falsehood.

It's our creed.

We ARE Different!

We resist the status quo.

We take the high road.

We demand the truth.

Cite your sources: It's the ATS Way.



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 02:29 AM
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What's the policy on using material that we ourselves have posted here on another website?



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 03:49 AM
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as a writer (even a little insignificant one...
) I really appreciate ATS pointing this out. It's not cool to steal other peoples Ideas, or concepts... HOWEVER it is VERY COOL to point out those peoples Ideas and concepts to those who might be interested. Plagiarism is for idiots, or those who aren't creative enough to think for themselves. Hopefully all of our members will be willing to follow these new guidelines (which only ensure credit is given where it is due), and add their own perspective to others ideas and concepts to get the conversation going.

Basically... That whole paragraph is really just a big ole
to S.O. and everybody else on the ATS team for bringing this to the members attention!

Coven



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 


It's your work, go for it. You can post your original work anywhere you want.

Springer...



posted on Feb, 8 2008 @ 09:10 PM
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Source Authority


Originally posted by Beachcoma
What's the policy on using material that we ourselves have posted here on another website?

As Mark pointed out, if it's your stuff, it's your stuff.


That said, it's possible for misunderstandings to arise.

It's not because of something sinister, but rather if you post an article under one name on one site and a different name on ATS, it might appear to someone researching the subject that the article has been plagiarized -- and yes, our members tend to be very thorough about such things.


To prevent confusion, if you do post material that you have previously posted elsewhere, I recommend providing attribution crediting the other site(s) in your article when you post it here, even though you wrote it.

That way, there won't be any doubt about where the material originated, and if there are any conflicting claims regarding authorship, they will be easier to resolve.

I hope no one minds that we are so adamant about this, but in the Information Age it is imperative that we manage source material in conformance with the highest ethical standards and leave nothing to chance.



posted on Feb, 9 2008 @ 10:49 PM
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This is why ATS is several cuts above anything else on the internet.

I'm still new here, by comparison, but I see the integrity displayed by the owners and mods, in an attempt to keep the site above reproach.

Just after writing this, I realized it seems I am trying to 'curry' favor, so I want to state categorically that this is not the case. I simply want to thank everyone for providing a forum such as this. Sometimes there are squabbles, there are penalties, and even 'time-outs'...just like any family.

Above all, the discourse is meant to be salient, and, to quote a mod...'scholarly'!

I applaud the efforts to maintain the dignity and respect of this site.

Cheers to all.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 02:14 AM
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Thanks for bringing this to my attention, i thought the breathing earth simulation was too good not to share with everyone on ATS and didn't have enough time to write a review. Ill bear this in mind in future and do my best to use the ATS features properly.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 02:22 AM
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I've been seeing quite a bit of uncredited work getting round lately, so I think this reminder is quite timely.

One that stood out was 3 full pages of cut n paste from several different sources with no links whatsoever, it was a mess.

[edit on 9-3-2009 by Chadwickus]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Agreed,

It is just this sort of diligence that has allowed researchers such as Jim Marrs and others to utilize the contents of this forum as an actual research tool - something which could not have been done if it weren't for the efforts of the membership here to cite and source our posts.

(Well heck, maybe Jim would've done it anyways, but keeping our sources and citations up-to date and accurate probably saved him alot of time and effort ;-)

[edit on 9-3-2009 by Exuberant1]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 



And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor.....Shall be lifted-nevermore!
...Edgar Allen Poe

Just a quick question Skeptic. I have quoted sayings of historical figures and even Bible quotes before. After the quotes I put the person's name who said it like I did above. Edgar Allen Poe.

My reasoning at the time of doing this was that if someone wanted to find the quote they could copy and paste the whole thing and put it into google or copy and paste just the person's name. That being the external source. They were all well known quotes but I didn't provide an actual link to the source of the quote because I put the name of the person who said it.

As for larger quotes and articles I always provided a link though. Great topic here and I'm glad you brought it up.

Edit to add that I'll take a no response to mean that you would like me to follow your example in the opening post from now on.


[edit on 29-7-2010 by jackflap]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 05:09 PM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Yes, We Are Serious:

Violations to these guidelines are subject to immediate post removal or thread deletion. As ATS is becoming a more busy place, our staff may not have the time to edit your post to apply appropriate attribution notice and links. Please help keep AboveTopSecret.com the excellent example of impeccable Internet manners that it is, and properly source and attribute outside content that you use in posts.

If you repeatedly use the work of others without any effort to indicate the source, we will likely assume you're trying imply you wrote the content and your account will be subject to termination.


I know of an ex member here who didn't quote correct citation on a single thread and was banned immediately.. I read all of that members posts and couldn't see anywhere else where there was an infringement.

I guess it just depends what mood the mods are in.

Korg.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 05:14 PM
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So this new pop-up thingy that comes up when I paste from my notepad is new? I understand the intent, but it's seriously annoying as heck. Can we shut it off? Sorry if I missed a discussion of this somewhere else, but it seemed related to this thread. Mods, please delete if this is not the appropriate place for this comment.





[edit on 7/29/2010 by ~Lucidity]



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by ~Lucidity
 

I actually think this is a wise addition. Too many people obviously don't read the "before you reply" section and the majority of ATSers aren't going to read this thread. An active warning such as this is the best way to reach the masses. Maybe if they were able to remove it for some posters who have proven themselves as properly quoting for a certain duration of time, or other criteria, but possibly too much administrative work. I don't know, just throwing some ideas out. Personally I don't see it as being very annoying. At least not yet.









 
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