Introduction: How to Steal an Instructable

Stealing Instructables is a time-honored method of receiving acclaim and attention that lazy people would not otherwise receive. Plus, you can email your friends who would not normally visit the website and show them all the excellent work you've done, and they'll never know the difference. They'll be overly impressed and buy you dinner.*

There is a subtle art to taking that which isn't yours, and it all boils down to the golden rule: Do that which is the least amount of work. Now, on to acquiring your very own instructable!

*See step 5 to claim dinner prizes

Step 1: Steal Original Ideas

Coming up with a good idea is often the hardest part of making a fantastic instructable. Luckily, you can just surf the forums and find plenty of mentions about instructables people are working on or think someone should make. If you choose an idea someone is working on, you should publish it quickly to support your case that you had the idea first. If they mention it in passing or otherwise indicate they have no intention of publishing it, you can procrastinate a little more. You may even want to wait until someone else does it, so you have something better to steal. The most important part is to make everyone think it was your idea.

~~In fact, this instructable idea was found while sifting through the forums.~~ I thought of this instructable entirely on my own. I know you're impressed.

Step 2: Copy and Paste Key Text

Don't bother writing your own stuff, there are literally thousands of people who have already done this. Simply find one of those over-achieving do-gooders and copy and paste their text. For example, this disclaimer I'm using doesn't apply directly to stealing ibles, but it's close enough that most people won't notice anyway. Very few people read the text, it's all about the pictures. You can tell because many of the questions you'll run across in comments are directly addressed in the instructable itself. And, the best part? Cntl C, Cntl V. Bam, done. Even Emeril would be jealous.

I must tell you someting. If you are stupid enough to actually try this (besides us, it was all in the name of science) and you get hurt, it is not my fault! You were the one that tried it, and I cannot control what you do with this information. Anyway, there are some much more dangerous instructables out there. So don't try try this if when you get burnt you'll blame it on me. Got it? So don't be an idiot.

Step 3: Take the Best Images (Or Create Your Own Really Crappy Ones)

This looked like a good picture, so I took it. I'm not really sure how it works, but it the instructable I stole it from is nearing 200K views so it must attract attention. Don't bother to grab the actual pic either, the thumbnail from that step will do just fine.

Don't get too worried about the pictures creating interest, your sub-par instructions will ward off pesky questions. And besides, you'll be busy accusing people of stealing them, so questions aren't really of any concern. There are even more devious things you could do like changing perspective and/or color values in photoshop; but that's simply too much work and only amateur thiefs make such mistakes.

Another school of theft states that you don't steal thumbnails, but rather just take your own pictures. However, instead of taking quality pictures they should be blurry, obscure, dark, grainy and otherwise inferior to the original. Remember, quality photos create questions about the project itself.

Step 4: Attribute Nothing (and Make Sure Nobody Else Does Either)

It's important to make sure you cover all your tracks when taking other people's stuff. If you are stealing text, you should probably skim through it and make sure there aren't any mentions of the author's name in it. Better yet, steal large blocks of text and use the search function in microsoft word. Then you don't have to read it at all.

Pictures are very similar. When stealing pictures, make sure they don't somehow identify the author. If the author is in the picture or otherwise identified, you need to take action. I suggest cropping the identifying portion out of the picture if possible. This doesn't take much work and is an acceptable picture edit, as discussed in the last step. There are other things you could do, but if it's going to be much work, simply steal a different picture. The easy path is the one that pays dividends now, whether it's "right" is for other people to worry about.

Finally, you need to watch your comments in case somebody recognizes that the project is not yours, or even worse that it is theirs. You should immediately flag these comments, and if that fails, you might try threatening the poster's well-being. I'm quite certain a court of law would side with you and allow you to threaten people when they find out the truth.* It's really just up to you to convince them that you're really the one being threatened, as well as being a victim of intellectual property theft.

*This will also be addressed in step 5

Step 5: Lie About Results to Boost Interest

People who write quality Instructables often include fun facts like whether using their ible to make a product will save you money over buying that product new at the store. Often times that answer is no, but there may be other redeeming factors such as higher quality finished products, ability to recycle materials that would otherwise go to landfills, or knowing the specific ingredients of foods or chemicals.

It doesn't matter what the original author tells you about these fun facts. For example, if building your own product would actually cost you more, just say that it would be cheaper. This will attract the attention you are so desperately seeking. Even better yet, make a big flashy and annoying graphic that conveys your idea. After all, if two instructables are otherwise identical, wouldn't you read the one that made the bigger, better claims? Of course you would!

Step 6: Copyright and Claim Ownership

Just because some authors publish their instructables as public domain doesn't mean that you can't add your own special licensing requirements to your ripoff. Instructables defaults to attribution non-commercial sharealike, which is okay for most stolen ibles.

However, if you find something really extraordinary, you should probably use a stronger license to protect your newly-swiped intellect. I was going to steal a link regarding licenses, but the link was broken so I'm just posting a picture of that broken link instead. Remember, it's only stealing if you don't have to work for it!

Step 7: Publish and Answer Comments As If the Ible Was Your Own Unique Idea

Step 8: Hope Original Author Doesn't Notice

~~Hope Original Author Doesn't Notice~~ Never mind... I nearly forgot we don't care about the original author. In fact, it would be better if we beat them to the punch and called them a liar and a thief. Sure, anyone can look at the publish dates, but who's going to take the time to do that? Certainly not most people.

Step 9: Go Find Other Ibles to Steal!

Now that you've mastered all the things necessary for stealing your first instructable, you are free to take whatever you want! Nothing is safe from your pirating abilities now. First Instructables, then the world! Also, posting lots of useless comments in the forums and on other people's projects is a good way to make people curious who you are and inadvertantly direct them to your stolen instructable. Make sure to link to your own projects as often as possible. If you can combine the links with accusations of theft, you've hit the double bonus. If you can use the Q on your board at the same time, that's 20 points for those of you scoring at home.

You should probably start with stealing less prominent Instructables to build your credibility, and work your way up to the bigger and better ibles after you have more street cred(ability) to back up your claims. Remember, steal from others before they can steal from you! If you have experience stealing other people's instructables, your tips are most welcome. Or, if you've had instructables stolen from you, hopefully you'll be more prepared on how and why this happened so you can avoid such mistakes in the future.

(Author's note: This instructable was created for irony purposes only. Huge thanks to yoko for letting me do this. For the real deal, be sure to check out yokozuna's ible)

Comments

author
jaypal made it! (author)2009-06-20

Oh!!! You guys just stole my Instructable!!!! :P Joking! Just to make one question: What's the point of doing this? I was hopping for some way to share complete Instructables with colleagues without having to send a PDF or the link to them. Otherwise funny, I see no point in it, but I might be mistaken, that's why I'm asking. ;)

author
purduecer made it! (author)purduecer2009-06-20

It was done mostly for irony reasons, and just in general to be funny. So as for the point...comedy I guess (everyone needs a good laugh ;-P)

author
S200 made it! (author)S2002017-04-17

Search for Errorcode401's 'ibles.

Heaps of stolen copies!!

author
jaypal made it! (author)jaypal2009-06-20

:) Very creative, then!!! Keep on, lol!!!

author
youngdutchcrafters made it! (author)2013-05-18

don't you dare it to do that by my or i give you up as an chief by the instructables staff

author
crockman1 made it! (author)2013-03-18

can u post stuff on here for a pre- copyright and show it in court to prove it was your idea if people steal your stuff when u show it to them, kind of like the mail thing? it seems a bit more legitimate to put your product on here to keep a record. feel free to make my stuff to the folks out there just u know don't steal it ;)

author
the.mk95 made it! (author)2009-08-20

yeah this is the stolen one, the original is the one that got featured. lol

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Steal-an-Instructable/

nonetheless great instructable

author
yokozuna made it! (author)yokozuna2011-02-03

They were actually both featured, and his even got featured before mine did. :)

author
zascecs made it! (author)2009-11-08

 The perfect instructable to steal. Now, who do I give the credit to...


yokozuna for making the original instructable, or

you for making it a funnier instructable...*


*by stealing it,...

author
Buzzsushi made it! (author)2009-10-14

OOOOOOOOOOWNED!

author
djr6789 made it! (author)2009-06-24

it would be ironik if someone stole this ible lol

author
DJ Radio made it! (author)DJ Radio2009-07-21

someone actually did steal this ible, and the stolen ible got featured.

author
thefunktopus made it! (author)thefunktopus2009-06-28

This ible is actually stolen!! down the comments someone pointed this out, and linked to the original!!

author
thefunktopus made it! (author)thefunktopus2009-06-28

i think....

author
purduecer made it! (author)purduecer2009-06-29

yes, that was the joke...

author
thepelton made it! (author)2009-06-20

I don't have internet connection on my home computer, but I like to take stuff off this site, and transfer it to the flash drive I got at the Extreme Bargains Computer Store for all of seven dollars US. I can then take them home and study them to heart's content after transferring them to my home computer.

author
Nastan made it! (author)Nastan2009-06-21

does your computer at home have something that will open a PDF file?

author
thefunktopus made it! (author)thefunktopus2009-06-21

called adobe reader...

author
thepelton made it! (author)thepelton2009-06-22

Yes, I can open PDF files. I got adobe.

author
Nastan made it! (author)Nastan2009-06-23

alright since your a member u can download a pdf of different instructables Just look at the steps and look at end u will see a download like.

author
thepelton made it! (author)thepelton2009-06-24

That's what I've been doing. I have a bunch of instructables, and probably some I haven't even read, but they sounded neat enough to lift into my flash drive.

author
Nastan made it! (author)Nastan2009-06-28

if thats what you have been doing why did you ask!!!!! jk but why?

author
thepelton made it! (author)thepelton2009-06-29

Thought I would joint the discussion. 8>)

author
mg0930mg made it! (author)mg0930mg2009-06-22

Other programs can open a pdf file,too.

author
bigbodysmallbrain made it! (author)2009-06-20

my instructables are all copy righted

_

author
programedfiles made it! (author)programedfiles2009-06-20

so you pay 60$ for no one to "steal" your instructables?

author
bigbodysmallbrain made it! (author)bigbodysmallbrain2009-06-27

yes i do

author
CybergothiChe made it! (author)2009-06-22

Yo, you totally stole my idea, dude...not cool.

author
purduecer made it! (author)purduecer2009-06-22

Yes, well, I was simply following step 1, if you will ;-)

author
frollard made it! (author)frollard2009-06-23

Having steps in the first place was my idea!

author
Plasmana made it! (author)2009-06-23

Haha! I knew it! I knew we'd get lots of spam!

author
lemonie made it! (author)2009-06-20

Why was this one Featured? (I don't get it) L

author
trebuchet03 made it! (author)trebuchet032009-06-20

Because it's hilarious :p

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-06-20

Is it that much more hilarious than Yokozuma's original for having been stolen? I get the joke, but I don't see it as being Feature-content. L

author
trebuchet03 made it! (author)trebuchet032009-06-20

No - but things don't need to be more hilarious than something else to qualify has humorous. That said, I'd be stepping on some toes if I un-featured a project featured by the big cheese :p

author
lemonie made it! (author)lemonie2009-06-20

Aye, I just think it a little unfair on Yokozuma - you must see the irony in this? L

author
trebuchet03 made it! (author)trebuchet032009-06-20

One doesn't even have to look for the irony - it's spelled out in the last step :p It sounds like issues of fairness and etc. were worked out before publishing :)

author
yokozuna made it! (author)yokozuna2009-06-20

It was, no worries from this end.

author
scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2009-06-21

No, I think it's way more hilarious that this was featured first! (also glad I had the chance to see yours first, or I wouldn't have gotten the joke!) I love Eric's sense of humor.

author
sensoryhouse made it! (author)2009-06-20

I was expecting this 'ible to be posted by lemonie or Kiteman.

author
NuclearWinter made it! (author)2009-06-20

OK call me stupid here, I don't know your work well enough to know - you say it's for irony but did someone so this to you?

Also you say "Plus, you can email your friends who would not normally visit the website"

Isn't that why they provide a link to email people your project who don't know about the site and get more members? That's how I found it. My niece has some articles here and while I couldn't find my way out of a paper sack to make one of these I have found lots of useful things.

Is this for fun or am I taking it too seriously?

author
purduecer made it! (author)purduecer2009-06-20

No no, just for fun ;-) (like Kiteman said, check the last step for details)

author
NuclearWinter made it! (author)NuclearWinter2009-06-20

OK thanks I just wasn't sure being a teacher it's a touchy area for me and I thought someone was being nasty. LOL sorry for the mix up.

author
Kiteman made it! (author)Kiteman2009-06-20

Waaaay to seriously.

Check the link in the last step...

author
robotguy4 made it! (author)2009-06-20

Funny. Following step #2: I wasn't aware I was reading a stolen 'ible until I read the comments. Maybe an irony-purpose made, but it worked. Good job! (both at stealing the 'ible and seamlessly making it pass as yours.) Also, great job at following the instructions! While Yokozuma's had no license (all rights reserved), yours had an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike!

author
robotguy4 made it! (author)2009-06-20

Or command C, command V if you're using a Mac...

author
KedaDibandion made it! (author)2009-06-20

Nicely done. Yokozuna would be proud...

author
Gjdj3 made it! (author)2009-06-20

Haha, I love how this is the featured version of the 'ible.

author
arirang777 made it! (author)2009-06-20

Hahaha. I fell for it. I wasn't aware I was reading a stolen 'ible until the end. Maybe an irony-purpose made, but it worked. Good job! (both at stealing the 'ible and seamlessly making it pass as yours.)

author
Father Christmas made it! (author)2009-06-20

Haha I actually read through this too. lol

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Bio: When life gives me lemons, I make batteries. Check out my website at http://nbitwonder.com
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