Members who plagiarise our posts

velisarius

Senior Member
British English (Sussex)
This happened to me for the first time recently: a member came to EO and started asking questions, usually with a link to another language forum where the same question had been asked.

For some reason, I went back to the thread a couple of days later and opened the link again - only to see my carefully thought-out answers presented as the OP's own (and they were also claiming on the other site to be a "native" speaker of English!)

I abhor this behaviour and reported it, but nothing seems to have been done - though in one thread I did see that the offender had the grace to add the name of one member of our forum whose post they "stole". No link to WRForums though, or any mention of it.

I wonder what policy is on this kind of thing, Mike? (Apart from just ignoring the plagiarist.)
 
  • mkellogg

    Administrator
    English - US
    Seriously? And the other forum did nothing about it? Strange.

    Personally, if it is an isolated incident, I try to ignore it and not waste my time. If it is a pattern, I go through a process starting with polite messages to less polite and then threats to do what we are legally entitled to do. It is illegal to copy like that and we can, at least, get the page blocked in Google.
     

    Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    only to see my carefully thought-out answers presented as the OP's own
    Is it a word for word copy of what you wrote? If so, I would enter that thread myself and say something like: "Congratulations! Nice plagiarized copy from here (and insert the link to your post so everyone can see where it was copied from)".

    At least, if that is allowed by our forum here.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I wanted to avoid open confrontation with a relatively new member, which is why I just reported it when my own posts were copied.
    Since then, I noticed yesterday that they've continued with this pattern of behaviour.

    Thanks for the reply, Mike. If I spot this behaviour again, I'll report it. I am guessing that the member involved doesn't realise that such behaviour is unacceptable.

    Edit: I see now that steps seem to have been taken, thanks to the mods on EO.:thumbsup:
     
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    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English (U.S. - Texas)
    It might also be worth keeping in mind that if you post something of your own here and then decide to post it elsewhere, you could (unless I am misreading the terms of service) be guilty of theft of intellectual property for cutting and pasting content that you created.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Anyone can post anything and claim it as their own words. I'm not too worried about my words of unwisdom being spread all over the internet under someone else's name, but it's a bit thick when it's a fellow-forero who's doing the copying. (The problem has gone away now.)
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    It might also be worth keeping in mind that if you post something of your own here and then decide to post it elsewhere, you could (unless I am misreading the terms of service) be guilty of theft of intellectual property for cutting and pasting content that you created.
    I'm very much open to correction on this, but my understanding is that although when you post something in one of the forums you're granting WRF an irrevocable licence to use it and re-publish it under the terms of Rule 20, you retain the copyright as the original author. So there's nothing to stop you re-posting it or using it somewhere else.

    What you can't do, of course, is take excerpts from other members' posts, or content, and copy them somewhere else.
     
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