Plagiarism is Copyright Infringement AND Poor Form

Please repost / reblog / spread the word, should you have been victim of a similar act of plagiarism or copyright infringement!

With my blog getting increasingly popular, I’m more and more facing the problem of plagiarism. Plagiarism is bad for a variety of reasons:

  • It hurts the original author’s SEO, as content starts getting less relevant when duplicated verbatim across the net.
  • It is very poor form and just a plain embarassment to the offender.
  • It will inevitably get back at you. Right, Mr Guttenberg?

Why do people engage in plagiarism? When there is Fair Use? Why do people pretend they have authored something themselves, which they have stolen? Why do people obscure their sources?

I am going to take plagiarism very seriously and not tolerate it. With Google and Google Analytics, it is very easy to detect plagiarism. I’ve recently had an article removed from a popular Indian website, which seems to heavily engage in plagiarism: TechGig.com

ITeye.com is another platform from China, whose members ruthlessly engage in plagiarism as well. Yes, Google also ships with Google Translate. Another great tool to detect plagiarism. Beware, offenders! I will be going after you. And if you make money with my content, I am more than happy to collect some of that, or have your domain challenged with your registrar! All top-level domains are eventually protected by the DMCA, as the ICANN is an American-dominated organisation. You don’t want to risk such action just because a couple of geeks on your platform cannot control themselves! And if your platform itself is the offender, then be sure that you will close down very soon!

Here’s a letter I wrote to CSDN.net (registrar) and ITeye.com. I am licensing this letter as public domain, for you to reuse against your own offenders. Take any parts you may need.

To whom it may concern,

I have found your contact through a whois lookup, as ITeye themselves fail to respond to my recent enquiry. I am continuing to notice that a couple of ITeye bloggers and curators copy and translate articles off my blog http://blog.jooq.org, which is a promotional blog for my database product jOOQ.

In particular, these posts here:

… were in fact copied from my popular blog post here:

… which was syndicated with my express permission to DZone and JCG:

Plagiarism and copyright infringement is a non-trivial offence in many countries, including Switzerland from where I am operating. I urge ITeye to

  • give full author attribution to myself for all blog posts that ITeye writers copy and / or translate verbatim
  • have such authors link to my *original* blog post (not to syndications thereof)
  • have such authors keep promotional links in place
  • or to remove such blog posts immediately

I am taking this infringement very seriously, as the above displays go beyond what is known as “Fair Use”. I am sure ITeye understand that it is of utmost priority for a platform such as ITeye to comply with such laws. I am also sure that CSDN, the registrant will be able to execute the appropriate actions, should ITeye fail to comply, in case of which I will need to act on behalf of the American DMCA.

Please do not engage in plagiarism. Please, critically review your writers’ works and actively block all suspicious content.

Sincerely,

Lukas Eder

The Announcer Badge on Stack Overflow

It just struck me like lightning. I just realised one (surely not the only) very important reason, why Stack Overflow always winds up at least once in the top 10 search results on Google for virtually any programming-related search. The Announcer Badge. When you share a link to a Stack Overflow question or answer using the “share” button, you get a personalised link including your own user ID. If that link generates 25 clicks from distinct IPs, you’ll get an Announcer Badge as a reward for linking to Stack Overflow. This badge has been awarded more than 25k times. Note, there’s also the Booster Badge (awarded around 800 times) and Publicist Badge (awarded around 300 times).

Stack Overflow uses a lot of techniques following the Gamification principle. But this particular badge is really clever. Trick your users into creating highly relevant links from arbitrary websites towards Stack Overflow helping to add relevancy to the platform and to its various questions / answers.

Well done, Stack Overflow!