Gizmodo rips off Instructables?

Gizmodo recently posted about vodka-infused gummi-bears, but presented it as if it was their own idea.

I tried to leave a comment to point out that the process was posted here, nearly three years ago, but I was informed that my post was "spam" because it was "too short", and "contained too many links".  How is one link "too many"? 

I tried again, typing a lot more, and including no links at all, yet that comment mysteriously did not appear, either.

So, I checked the FAQ, to see if I'd accidentally broken some rule, and I found it:  according to their FAQ, Gizmodo "only approve the comments we love".

To me, only allowing comments that say nice things about the site, and preventing plagiarism (or mistakes) being highlighted, is censorship, and cowardly.

Rant over - there doesn't seem to be any way to contact Gizmodo with actual criticism.

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lemonie6 years ago
You think that courtnix was the first person ever to do this?
To establish a legitimate argument against Gizmodo (within the terms of the licence) you would have to prove that the technique was copied / modified from the Instructable you've linked.
Can that be done?

Kiteman (author)  lemonie6 years ago
Oh, I doubt anything will come of this particular instance, despite the similarities noted by karlpinturr, but I would hope that they could be encouraged to avoid such events in future.
lemonie Kiteman6 years ago
If you've judged that this is a knowing republication, rather than an independent or parallel publication of something that is already known and used; can you justify that or are you only standing on an opinion here?

ewilhelm6 years ago
It's not plagiarism because they do not use the images or exact text from the Instructable. The idea of mixing alcohol and candy is not protected by copyright, and could only be protected by a patent (if it wasn't already obvious).

If the author of the Gizmodo post was inspired by an Instructable, it would have been kind, and built trust with their audience, to say so; however, technically, they are doing nothing wrong.
Kiteman (author)  ewilhelm6 years ago
OK, so anger futzed my definitions.

What about the deliberate practice of refusing to publish comments that are not completely complementary?
I cba to retype the coherent, annotated argument I just lost when my browser crashed, but I do not think it is at all obvious that it is not and could not be protected by copyright; according to the US copyright office recipes can, in fact, be copyrighted when they include original explanations or the like.
Original explanation refers to the prose, images, or other individually copyrightable parts of a recipe. The idea or form of the recipe cannot be copyrighted.

In the US, it is not possible to copyright "mix alcohol with candy"; it is possible to copyright the story about why one decided to try mixing alcohol with candy.
So - I finally figured out what had me confused here.

I know ideas aren't copyrightable, but kept thinking "wait, wait, I KNOW taking someone's idea from somewhere and using it without attribution is plagiarism" - it's been metaphorically beaten into me. ;) Turns out plagiarism and copyright violation are similar but not the same thing - it IS plagiarism to steal an idea, but it isn't copyright violation. This may not be copyright violation, but from the description, it is plagiarism; it may not be illegal (dunno, haven't compared the two articles side by side to check), but it is definitely unethical. I guess the distinction is that if you steal exact text, you're a criminal, but if you steal ideas, you're just dishonorable.
colorex6 years ago
I posted this on the author's Facebook wall:

"You should not credit this idea, as it is not yours nor your friend's. This has been posted on Instructables before!
Please credit the original author properly!"
did anything happen?
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