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Our New Approach To Plagiarized ATS Member Content

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posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 08:53 AM
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We've recently been through a few rounds of rather frustrating responses from website admins after encountering ATS member posts being used on other sites without proper attribution -- the method to provide attribution is clearly specified on every post of ATS.

The reactions have ranged from a startling degree of vindictive anger to threats of counter legal action, and everything imaginable in-between. Presumably, the reactions stem from some type of assumption that we (ATS management) are terrible people who believe we own the content of our contributing members. Far from it, we're idealists who care deeply about the effort each of our members put into their posts, and have an overriding desire to see credit given where credit is due.

In short, we're refining our notification policy, and only doing so when the ATS member who authored a plagiarized post authorizes us to do so.

In more detail...



Misinterpretation of Attribution Requirements

Clearly, there is a misunderstanding of our intent which apparently has been at the root of a rather deep rift between us (ATS) and a very-short of list other sites. Our intent is not to create animosity. Our core ideals have always been focused on collaborative learning through cooperation and shared knowledge... this has been, and continues to be, the driving force behind our efforts to grow ATS. And, in our eyes, giving credit to the author and source of important or interesting information is a vitally important aspect of the collaborative process.

In fact, we feel so strongly about this that we don't allow entire pieces of content to be lifter from other sites to use on ATS, we insist on snippets & link-backs, and we've banned people found to be representing the content of others as their own.



Revising Our Approach

In the vast majority of instances where ATS member content is used elsewhere online, those doing so have provided proper attribution. However, oddly enough, the only sites/admins that have responded with intense animosity and anger are other "conspiracy theory" or "alternative topics" sites, our online peers... the very sites which should be on the same collaborative page as us. Since the intense animosity in this sub-set of sites is counterproductive, we're modifying our approach. Our new policies regarding potentially plagiarized ATS member content online will be:


Individual Posts:
If we encounter a member's post on another website without attribution, we'll notify our member. We will take no overt action to rectify the improper use unless our member asks us to do so. Also, if an ATS member alerts us to a plagiarized post of theirs, we'll take action.


Entire Threads:
We will only take proactive action in the much-more-rare cases of where entire threads of content, including the rather unique formatting of ATS, have been used without attribution or permission.


All Other Potential Violations:
All other violations of partial content, artwork, video, or audio material that is seen elsewhere online, but lacks attribution, must be brought to our attention by the ATS member who originally created the work. Only then, and with their say-so, will we seek to rectify the improper use.



This IS NOT A License To Steal Member Content

In fact, with the go-sign from our members on specific violations, we're likely to be even more diligent and aggressive in ensuring member content is either properly attributed, or removed.

However, it's our sincere hope that this refinement of our policy and clearly defined collaborative intent inspires these other sites to finally adopt the spirit of cooperation and give credit (and link-backs) to our members when using their content.

Also, we realize that some of our members may not be concerned that their posts are used without attribution, and our refined approach places the decision for potential action in their hands.



There Is NO Relaxation of ATS Content Rules

Our members, as always, are still expected to provide proper attribution and refrain from inserting entire pieces of content from other sites.



Frustration and Being a Good Internet Citizen

Proper link-backs to the sources of content we use online has been a core value of the Internet culture since hyper-text links were first introduced. It's unfortunate, and incredibly frustrating, that this core principal is seeing erosion such that people either don't care, are malicious, or seek to misrepresent their own talent.

If you encounter plagiarism of your posts, and desire proper attribution, we will go to bat for you.

If you encounter plagiarism of your posts, and are fine with that, we will respect your stance.






Feel free to offer your opinions or observations.

But if you do encounter plagiarism for which action is needed, please contact site admin privately via U2U, don't post examples in this thread.

Thank you.




posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:13 AM
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so when you started a site dedicated to like minded people sharing ideas about fringe topics, did you ever think you would have to be the kindergarten teacher? Just curious. Thanks for keeping this site fun.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:19 AM
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Just to let you know - I have found some of my threads reproduced - word for word with pictures in other forums - with people using it as their own - (especially the crop circle ones - recently) . I notified the owners of the sites and linked back the threads - to prove it was my thread reproduced.

But now I will know what to do, if it happens again.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:22 AM
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It might be helpful if you take the additional step of informing the "author" when you find out that some of their content is being used elsewhere as they might not otherwise discover it on their own.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:22 AM
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Originally posted by questioningall
But now I will know what to do, if it happens again.


A properly formated DMCA Take-Down Notice, from the publisher (us) with your authorization is the correct method for such cases.

Also, our DMCA notices first seek to rectify attribution problems, and if the sites don't comply, we ask for removal of the content.

If you let us know about the infractions, we will proceed accordingly.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by wayno
It might be helpful if you take the additional step of informing the "author"

That's the whole point of our new approach, and this announcement thread.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:24 AM
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I really feel this is all apart of those working behind the scenes to divide us further. Turn "conspiracy and alternative topic" websites against each other and create animosity between them to elicit mistrust and suspicion. At the end of the day, anyone who visits these types of websites will be labelled crazy and delusional.

For those who have made a sincere mistake: keep your head up while you acknowledge your errors and try to learn from the experience.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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Draconian copyright still causing a nuisance for ATS; the horror. Just be done with it and let it be a free-for-all. Let the internet be free from the shackles of stupid laws that are so fluffy they can't be imposed with 100% certainty. You want an example, okay:

OP:
"This is my sentence, it belongs to me. Copright is f# ridiculous"

Plagerised:
"This is a sentence, it belongs to moi. f# copright, tis ridiculous"

Probably a bad example as i understand you are trying to stop people just copy 'n pasting content, but why????? They will soon be exposed when asked questions of their post and it's obvious they have "misrepresented their own talent".

Honestly, copyright and the internet is such an oxymoron.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by PrisonerOfSociety
Honestly, copyright and the internet is such an oxymoron.

It still remains astonishing to me when I encounter someone who doesn't feel an ethical need to attribute credit, where credit is due, to the author of information.

It's not just "copyright," it's good manners and ethics.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:35 AM
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Just thought of a possible solution for you SO:

When people create a thread, then they can choose to encrypt the content. This then creates a screen-shot of the post and this picture is inserted into the thread. There will be latency from creation to publication as it will need to be rendered server-side, but it would eradicate the threat level.

If people still wanted to plagiarise, they will have to type it out word for word.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:39 AM
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out of curiosity

how do you that posts are being used elsewhere word for word?

I mean is a staff member taking every post on ats and googling it?
or do you have software to manage this?

Just curious

Thanks



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Originally posted by PrisonerOfSociety
Honestly, copyright and the internet is such an oxymoron.

It still remains astonishing to me when I encounter someone who doesn't feel an ethical need to attribute credit, where credit is due, to the author of information.

It's not just "copyright," it's good manners and ethics.



I agree with SO wholeheartedly. It's not about law, it's not about policies and regulation.

It's about the basic courtesy of acknowledging those people whose contributions are so notable as to prompt people to propagate them.

It's about being forthright, and courteous.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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It amazes me that the so call "conspiracy theory" or "alternative topics" sites, our online peers... are spending quite a very good amount of time looking for posts and threads in ATS that are linked or that have information that they can used to claim that is from their sites.


Perhaps the real truth in here is that actually is more information been taken from ATS to their sites that their sites to ATS.


I do not visit other conspiracy sites but only sites that provide information that is easily available in the net so that is why I am not familiar with how much has been copied from those sites to this and from this site to theirs.

But I imagine that is quite some if the management is having the need to make a statement about it.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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Thanks for the clarification of the new approach. It really puts the ball more into the members court which is a good thing.


In case anyone is interested in ways to find if their posts or threads have been cannablised at other sites without credit......

A really simple method is take the first line of your posts and google them.

If you do this weekly, monthly or however often, you can keep track of who and where this is occurring and take it from there IF it bothers you and you want to do something about it.

I'm sure there are other methods but just thought I'd share this one that was suggested elsewhere that I found useful.






[edit on 20-7-2009 by Flighty]



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by Flighty
 


Thanks I never would have imagine to do that, as I don't really care for sites out there beside this one.

Yes information and news sites are my favorites but not from blogs.

I remember that in various occasions I had been asked by other members if they could used some of the information I have posted before, I find this very nice and polite.

Who knows perhaps if I do a search I will be very surprised of what I would find.




posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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Thanks for that. Another tool we can use.



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:06 AM
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if i were to be plagerised on another site , i would never know. i don't go to
any other sites. how does anybody have time for that?



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:08 AM
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If you're all so concerned about plagiarism, then bloody don't write content...it really is as simple as that.

Go and write a book and sell that, and you'll have all your IP bounded by the covers



posted on Jul, 20 2009 @ 10:30 AM
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I grew up with a saying, Give credit where credit is due. Simple courtesy. Without such ethical stricture, plagiarism is rife.

It was wrong for my grandmother to pass off her store bought baked goods as her own homemade ones. Don't act like my grandmother!

Thanks for this ATS support.




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