Friday, December 7, 2012

Copyright Infringement

Well guess what, I am the victim of copyright infringement. Someone on Facebook copied part of one of my blog posts and passed it off as his own. I happen to be "friends" with this person so I saw the post. Actually, it was TWO posts. I commented on both stating that it was copied without permission so that those persons who had also read his posts and commented would see where the material came from. I then sent a private message to this person telling him to remove both posts. In the meantime, someone else sent me a private message stating that he had seen the Facebook post and knew it came straight from my blog. This person also told me that some of his posts have been copied or paraphrased by this person without permission. Another person, one who had commented on the offenders post saying how good it was, (thank you, I will take credit for that), messaged me stating that she knew of another instance where this person had copied material from someone else. Apparently this was not an isolated incident.

I sent a message to the Association of Professional Genealogists mailing list alerting them and one of the other bloggers on the list went to the Facebook page to take a look and found that one of his photographs had been copied from his blog. I have a feeling that this person received several angry e-mails yesterday.

If this person had just asked I would have given him permission to use it as long as he linked to my original blog post or gave me credit. I think that is a reasonable request. Every one of my pages has a copyright notice on the bottom and he had to have seen it. Not only was what this person did copyright infringement, it was just plain unethical and rude.

The person did apologize and he removed the posts but judging by the wording in his message he didn't really understand the big deal. I sent him my blog post on Copyright. Hopefully it will make things clearer for him.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis <-------- THIS WOULD BE A COPYRIGHT NOTICE

10 comments:

  1. With "friends" like that, who needs enemies?

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  2. I am hoping it was done out of ignorance and not malice. That would make me feel better.

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  3. I sometimes blog about other's blog posts, but always always it is with comments about their blog post with at least one link back, and often more links back. Sorry for your experience!

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  4. That's all I wanted, Sherry, either a link to my original article or a proper citation.

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  5. I am so very grateful for the wonderful research and presentation of information on the genealogy blogs I find while researching my ancestors. They are often researched and written to a higher standard than what I am capable of doing. I understand the impulse to use another's words. HOWEVER, I would never think of passing it off as mine. When making passing reference, I link and reference in the text of my blog and when I really want to do extensive paraphrasing or quoting, I ask permission before posting. I hope incidences of copyright infringement won't stop others from continuing to post their work. I hope your efforts taught this person a lesson.

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  6. I haven't done any actual linking at this point, because I don't seem to have learned how! But I always reference my comments to another posts, whether on blogs or at our genealogy group "Dorrance Pait Family ad Genealogy." A distant cousin of mine is on Ancestry. but is not a member of the Facebook group. He has some lovely information at Ancestry. I direct people there, I mention facts that I find there, but I DO NOT used direct quotes, nor do I post all of his materials. His work at Ancestry is HIS research. We share a family, we DO NOT own each others' research.
    Thank you for reminding people of this fact.

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  7. You can use direct quotes as long as you say who said it :) :) :)

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  8. This type of theft was recently written about at In-Depth Genealogist in reference to Becky Wiseman of Kinexxions blog. Someone posted several of Becky's blog post to Ancestry without attribution. Instead of a copyright statement she adds "Published under a Creative Commons License" at the bottom of her posts with a pre-written citation that someone who wants to use the article can add the date to.
    It's yet another approach to a challenging subject.

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  9. Interesting. I am not sure if I want to let people copy my stuff carte blanche even with a citation. I want to know who they are and how they plan on using my stuff. However, this might solve a few problems if you did it this way.

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