Tools: Tracking down copyright violations (Take II)

Subject: Tools: Tracking down copyright violations (Take II)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Kelly Smith <redheadedquilter -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 10:55:33 -0400

Kelly Smith wondered: <<Several years ago I wrote an essay and
published it to the web. Some time later someone let me know that it
had been translated into German and reposted without my knowledge or

Sympathies. It's always flattering when someone asks for permission
to translate our work (after all, the goal is to be read, no?), but
the key word there is "asks". Also, it's important to distinguish
between plagiarism (pretending it's their work) and publishing your
work with full acknowledgment; the latter is still annoying and
probably illegal (depending on copyright), but far less offensive.

<<I suppose this tool will only find copies that are in the original
language? (Since I don't have a German version to test it with.)>>

My assumption is that it effectively Googles text from your article,
so I can't imagine how you could detect translations.

<<Also, once you discover the stolen property, how does one go about
having it removed or receiving compensation for it? Especially if the
thief is in another country?>>

A few thoughts:
PHPSESSID=a8aa59b165d64ff05529907f0111d00f (or go to the root URL and
click the link for "plagiarism".

Most violations are innocent -- that is, there's a broad and
incorrect perception that anything found on the Web is not
copyrighted. (Don't forget that most people, unlike us, are not
professional creators of intellectual property.) Some people do it
because they figure no harm is done, and will stop as soon as you
complain. Others do it with malice aforethought (i.e., desiring to
profit somehow from your work), but I suspect that when strongly
confronted, most such people in countries that are signatory to the
Berne convention on copyright will back down in a hurry. That's
particularly true if you parrot back the appropriate intimidating
legal jargon, making you seem far smarter than they are (and more
likely to be a lawyer <g>).

I'm not sure whether the U.S. ever formally signed the treaty, but in
practice, my understanding is that U.S. courts will enforce
comparable protections on your rights.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Re: Tools: Tracking down copyright violations: From: Kelly Smith

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