April 12, 2007

Steal This Movie (But Not These Words)

So, earlier today Nat made mention of websites that steal people's work. He wrote about his own experience as well as that of MaryAnn the Flick Filosopher of websites just blatantly stealing blog entries and claiming them as their own (or, at least, not attributing it as otherwise). I have indeed noticed this several times before with my own stuff through the magic of technorati. Mostly Fametracker taking entries about Steve Carell, Natalie Maines and Rinko Kikuchi, but my understanding of Fametracker is that they are just a site that accumulates work from all over the web and everyone knows.

However, there are several sites such as Celebrity News which seem to be stealing work and passing it off as their own. They even stole Ja's recent entry about not being able to see Twin Peaks' first season. What use is an entry like that to anyone other than My New Plaid Pants readers? That site also stole my When Bad Posters Strike entry on I Could Never Be Your Woman. People who don't read me would have no freakin' clue what they're on about! This other site called Sexy Celebrity took my entry about The Home Song Stories and popped it up on their site. And because I'm going through the archives and giving all my older entries labels (to benefit y'all) all my older entries are floating to the top and even those are being stolen. I mean, the news is old so I don't get it at all.

While my situation isn't anywhere near as frustrating as Nat or MaryAnn because I don't get any revenue from writing this blog (although when I get a full time job and start living in Melbourne sometime in the next year, who knows...) so I'm not losing money, but it's still frustrating that these weird news services steal people's work and just pop it up without even a hint that it's not their own, let alone whose it actually is. I'm sure it's happening to you.

It's incredible bizarre when these sites steal either very person entries about people we know in real life (like, for instance, my friends Georgie and Hannah who I have mentioned on occasion) or link entries. I just... ugh.

I know none of you guys read these weird sites so I can't really tell you to stop (well, no, if you read them STOP) but if you do come across something that you know is written by me or anybody else then please fire off an email (addresses in the top right corner) and (if possible) leave a comment. I'm not sure how to stop it (none of these places have contact info) but my work and everyone else's that is written by them is under copyright from the moment they put it into the public domain (I've studied this so, at least, that's the law in Australia as I remember it from hazy studying two years ago) so it's actually illegal, and it's also just unfair and really stupid.

I'd really like to investigate this further. I should get in contact with one of my former teachers who was all about copyright. She'd know. Anyway. Thank you for letting me get this off my chest.

edit: I got an email from Joe at Low Resolution. That "Fametracker" thing I mentioned isn't www.fametracker.com it's another one that I can't seem to locate now (they've all disappeared from my Technorati page). So, yeah, don't think that that actual fametracker steals stuff. Cause they don't.


J.D. Judge said...

They stole this post. Good lord.

JA said...

Oh my god, that's hysterical! I mean them actually stealing THIS post.


Marius said...

Ah, it appears that they're playing with your head! Those sick bastards. Does this mean war?

Anyway, I understand why you and other bloggers are pissed. I made a similar comment on Mary Ann's blog. It’s not cool when someone plagiarizes or steals an entire post. However, no one seems to complain about how bloggers often misuse/misrepresent information. I’ve read a lot of posts that fail to mention the source of an original idea. Even worse, some people state things as fact, without any mention of the source of the information. For example, everyone seems to have their own definition of what a Groundhouse film is and some bloggers go off about how this a certain film fits the definition because of this or that; while other sites argue the opposite. Clearly, someone’s wrong. Obviously, opinions vary, but when will bloggers learn to respect their readers and provide accurate (unbiased) information.

Honestly, we have no way of knowing if the material on a blog actually belongs to the person who maintains it. We assume that’s the case. For all we know, that blogger is stealing phrases and ideas from some book or magazine.

J.D. Judge said...

Hm. Excellent point. I'm gonna put source links in my posts from now on, like I did with a Requiem for a Dream video I found at InContention. "src" means source, right? I am also, like it'll happen to me in my early C-list life, I shall try to post a link somewhere in my blog in all of my posts so if in the case said post is stolen, people can know the truth (suggestable to bigger blogs also.)

And yes, I think war is fair.

"Don't shoot the fat whore!! She's my key to free pancakes!!!!"
-Paraphrased quote of Stewie Griffin

Kamikaze Camel said...

Marius, if someone is outright taking someone else's definition of a grindhouse film and not mentioning that they didn't even come up with it, then that's just as bad.

But that's ridiculous. I can't believe they stole an entry about them stealing entries. That's not even remotely celebrity-related either.