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Ofslides ible poaching Answered

I ran across this site that has republished my ibles with no link to the original content. I've asked them to remove it. I'm guessing one person has taken and republished it there under my username. I thought some others might want to check to see if their ibles had been copied as well. 

http://ofslides.com/brooklyntonia-487028

Discussions

After filling out several copyright infringement forms and searching for how to find the right form, I finally got a response from Hetzner, who is the host provider for Ofslides. Yesterday, they sent me a message that said they had forwarded my complaint to the originator with instructions to fix the issue and send me a message when it had been resolved. I still haven't received any contact from Ofslides, but when I go to their site, all I see is a blank white page.

Well done!
That means the hoster has cut the access to the domain.
A common task when a website owner does not react to contract breaches or copyright problems.
Usually access is denied until the problems are confirmed to be fixed.
If the hoster does a good job they won't go online again as without Ibles there is not much left.
So no more money from the pop ups and ads, not worth to keep going.
If they have the usual server backups they will be back in a few weeks on a different hoster and domain though.

And here's another site that's stealing whole Instructables with no attribution: http://diyourself.ru/

I'm guessing the ru stands for Russia. There is no way to contact anyone on the site. Could you please forward this to the legal team as well?

NOTE: We the authors can also take free legal action here: https://www.dmca.com/FAQ/How-can-I-file-a-DMCA-Tak...

File a "DMCA take-down request" and the whole site can be shut down.

Judging by their SITEMAP I would say basically every single Ible out there is copied.
But if I understand the official way of Instructables correctly it means that we now have to find a way to contact the endless amounts of people that created one or more Ibles so they can all try get their legal rights one by one ;)

As said: If you don't want it stolen, don't put it on the internet.
Or is the copy of the entire Ible section enough to act on? ;)

It surely complicates things if it's in Russia and on such a large scale. Generally, though, posting here to let other members know can be highly effective. I have even sent out over 20 PMs to other members to notify them, and the offending user's account was taken down before all of them got my message.

https://www.instructables.com/community/Just-wonder...

Looks like they have all of mine on the ofslide site. I think its a breach of the creative commons coppyright not shareing it which im personally ok with ... to a point. I would prefer it to be on instructables because i think this site is ace. but its the changeing of it which im not because they have used the crappest images. :( if anyone has a standard leagaly thing we can send them I would be happy to send them a contact or two. In the long run i think their site will faid into the obscurity it deserves. Its definatly a good way to piss off the people who would otherwise be interested in useing a site.

after asking instructables service, i get this reply, makes me think twice about publishing on instructables, dmca costs money i have not got, as such a large amount on instructables has been copied, it seems like a total copout, both sites have many revenue generating adverts. as a probably former content generator im not feeling valued by either site. Now if instructables was to talk to the dmca on behalf of the many members who have had their work stolen (for the purpose of generating advertisement revenue) armed with statements of authorship and permission to act on their behalf the whole site could be taken down instead of it being done page by page costing each member a significant amount of money. . is that such a really difficault task for the admin team to undertake?

Hello,

Thank you for posting this question! Every now and then there are sites that decide to steal others content. You are always able to file a DMCA takedown notice to the site requesting that they remove your content. Since instructables.com does not own any of the content hosted on the site, we cannot file this notice for you.

One place this was discussed in depth previously is here: https://www.instructables.com/community/Ofslides-... After a lot of work on the part of the content owner, they were able to get it taken down.

I hope this helps!

Best,

Support Team @ Instructables

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DMCA takedown notices do not cost anything unless you want to hire someone else to do the work for you, which I would strongly not recommend. The site you reference wants you to hire them to act in your behalf, but that is not necessary.

"DMCA" is just short for "Digital Millenium Copyright Act" which you can read up on here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act.

Filing a DMCA request is a little bit of work, but not difficult and anyone can do it for free.

But it requires specific steps for the request to be valid. I would recommend a quick google search of "file a dmca request" or similar and a few minutes of reading up, but here's a good place to start that outlines the steps: https://artlawjournal.com/submit-takedown-notice/

The responsibility to police ownership of copyrighted work rests fully on the copyright owner, which is you/me/etc., as authors and creators who have chosen to share our work online.

The issue ultimately isn't that Instructables/Autodesk won't do it for you, it's that legally it is a responsibility that rests (as it should) on our own shoulders as the copyright owners of our work.

To me there are just two options:

- Do the leg work and try to police my content and chase down everywhere that it appears online, or . .

- Be aware that when I post things online, the images, text, videos, files, etc. will likely be stolen and copied by disreputable people and sites.

For my own sanity I go with option 2, but that's just me.

Another thought too: google is good with their SEO, and when we post something FIRST, it shows higher in search results. So ultimately we are rewarded for our originality and thieves are not.

See the image for Creative Commons rules. They did not satisfy the criteria for republishing. On top of that, at least one of my ibles is published with all rights reserved, so they had no right to republish those at all.

No, those "jobs" are usually done by data collecting bots.
All text is copied, links to images and other things are downloaded onto own servers and linked accordingly.
For a hand full or more it might be a single user trying to gain something but not like that, must be automated and totally on purpose.
After all, you get there through Google as well when searching for projects and if you click on the russian link they get the revenue.

It may have been. What I meant was that it was a particular user on the other site that had uploaded ibles under their name with no credit given. When one or two of us complained to the site, they removed his whole account from their site. You can see how it went down in the link.

i found my work on diyyourself. also. thanks for link i hope it works

thwere must be a way that does not involve emptying my bank account

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gmoon

2 years ago

There's a post on Slashdot today worth reading: Ebay Shop Scrapes Thingiverse, sells designs in violation of Creative Commons.

Makerbot, creater of Thingiverse, is at least rumbling about possible legal action to protect Thingiverse contributors. Good development... Not completely analogous to the situation here at Instructables, but any developments in this type of legal case could lead to better and more actionable laws, as applied to the maker-sphere.

Thanks for sharing that. The direct link to Makerbot's statement is here. I'm sure their statement is greatly appreciated amongst their members. Though, their statement does seem a bit empty in that they allude to their lack of ability to legally act, and the Ebay shop in question was emptied shortly after the issue arose. It is quite possible the affected members' complaints were enough to get Ebay to act, and Makerbot didn't have to do anything. I also found a blogger with a sophisticated knowledge of copyright law that breaks down the situation point by point. He then elaborates even further.

Yep. Thanks, I read the first blog post yesterday. He pretty much dismantles the defense made by the Ebay shop, the one that's abusing the CC licenses of the Thingiverse members..

Indeed, the section on registered vs unregistered copyrights for photographs were something we discussed at length in college. But like most internet profiteers, I doubt they actually believe their own defense.

Unfortunately, when I clicked on the second blog post, it looks to have been "Slashdotted" (unavailable due to high volume)...

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gmoon

2 years ago

A thought: watermark all the images with instructables.com or something up to each user (like username and licence).

The solution: if you are using Instructables to get links back to your site or to wherever, post links inside your articles. That way, the more your articles are stolen, the more links you get. It's not like these sites are stealing your revenue. They are stealing Instructable's revenue.

That might work for some, but I would expect those that do redirect already have links within the text. However, I'm not redirecting viewers to another site and don't have revenue attached to my content. I simply want those that view my content to know that it's mine, the license it's published under, and how to contact me.

I have found this has affected myself also. While it's limited to only some of my projects, I'm not amused by it at all.

I have submitted a request for my content to be removed given that it was not reposted as it should have been to observe the terms I set. I have yet to receive a response.

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gmoon

2 years ago

Some of my I'bles are there, too (six). Could be hosted in Russia, the webcounter has a .ru address. :-P

Good luck to the legal team.

Wouldn't that be the perfect oportunity to say: We help our members with that matter and Instructables or Autodesk uses their legal power?
I mean the site is making money from what the members offer here, seems only fair to step in if the stuff is being stolen on an extra wide front...
But I know it's just my opinion here ....

I hear what you're sayin'...

However, I don't believe I'bles is profitable enough to defend the legal rights of thousands of makers. It's not as though Ibles/Autodesk own the rights themselves -- their revenue mostly comes from advertising.

Double-edged sword: they are providing (free) web-hosting and promotion (good traffic on the site), in exchange for those ad revenues. Me thinks we shouldn't complain too much, since this is fallout from having more traffic and greater visibility.

I probably have a jaded attitude, since I work in (visual) media and know it's VERY difficult to defend intellectual rights in the digital age. That's no reason to surrender your rights, but individual Makers who wish to also makemoney usually need to explore other avenues beyond the legalities of intellectual property rights.

The jaded part of me would say: "if you don't want it stolen, don't put it on the internet."

I understand your point here as I was involved with forums and everything that comes with it for many years.

But I also understand the frustration on a user level and I guess that is the part that quite some users might see in a similar way.
A lot of Ibles are posted by people that basically see the site as a chance to get their creations into the world.
To get a pro membership if featured is an added bonus of course.

Having said that and considering the standard approach when it comes to these violations and the stealing of rights:
Between the lines it reads like this to me: "We love to make the money while people watch your work but if you expect more it might be best to publish elsewhere."
To say it blunt: Why should someone continue here after being lost trying to get his stolen work off the other websites?

As for the legal part: It costs only a few bucks to have someone from the constantly employed legal time write a proper letter to the offending websites.
Even without a legal team at hand we had great success by just sending the right Emails on a admin level to offending websites ;)

No offence though ;)

No offence taken, at all.

To say it blunt: Why should someone continue here after being lost trying to get his stolen work off the other websites?

Yes, I think that sums up the attitude of many DIYers. And I think that Instructables (and similar websites) need to listen to that frustration. It's not just makers, it's authors, photographers, musicians, artists etc. Unfortunately, it's probably beyond the scope of project aggregation websites like this to extend legal coverage...and IMHO inappropriate to blame Instructables for someone else's theft.

It's ALWAYS been the responsibility of the copyright / licence / patent holder to protect their intellectual property. This was acceptable in an era where you needed to partner with a publishing company / manufacturer to produce or publish. Your partners had a vested interest in protecting your IP (and their profit), and the deep pockets to do so. Any they took the lion's share of compensation, too.

The digital age has swept much of that away. IP law is definitely shifting sand, and change constantly. Can the IP / copyright laws change to accommodate technology? Probably, but often they seem to change in the wrong direction.

I don't know the answers. I've observed the similar anger from people who feel they've been ripped off -- yet they're willing to steal an idea, or steal images from other websites.

RE: legal moves -- I'm afraid it's much more complicated than that. Just vetting each Ible (making sure it's original content and worthy of legal protection) would be a Herculean task. Also, writing a letter -- to whom? It's easy to publish anonymously on the web, or hide behind shell companies... which may be in other countries, with other IP laws. Each legal response would need to be unique to the specific circumstance. And one of the most effective legal counter-responses is...none at all.

The law is a freaking morass; always has been.

Seamster has already said that he's sent the info to the legal team. That being said, Instructables/Autodesk doesn't own the copyright to ibles created by members. Most sites won't/aren't allowed to remove content unless the copyright holder contacts them directly, so in most cases, staff can't legally do anything about it. It is up to you to police the internet if you want to keep people from publishing your work elsewhere.

I used their contact page and said they are perfectly welcome to keep my content on their site, as long as they abide by the terms of the licence and link back to the original or my orange page.

(If anybody else is looking at the site, just search for your own user-name.)

I used their contact page (the day I posted this thread) to tell them to remove it since many of mine are classified "all rights reserved," and I haven't heard back from them.

Legally and on the net? ;)
Usually you can be happy if the content is removed, getting a DMCA complaint is also not that easy without a big backbone.

Thanks for that. My attempt to contact them has not be reciprocated.

A search for my own user name turned up quite few projects, including some by other authors. Like yours' there's no accreditation.

Time for an email.

There are quite a few Ibles there that don't look like the author knows it happened.
For example the popular 30kW induction heater.
Found a few more after doing an image search through Google.
Seems that noone there cares about copyrights or such things.

Good find!
I hope a lot of members are reading this and check if their work was stolen as well.
Although in case it is really damn blunt to even use your name for it.
Make me wonder how many views you lost because of it and how many people used your work comercially as over at that site there is no protection of the work in any way.