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report blatant copyright violations Answered

Who should we be reporting stolen content to? IE. having it removed for review

It's not MY content but I won't just watch and ignore while other people submit material ripped off from others.

It shouldn't require a request from the owner for something do be done when it's so obvious.
Step up and confront it.

At least add something to the flag menu.


We cannot do anything unless the original author comes to us.

the heck you can't:

You acknowledge that Instructables does not pre-screen Content, but that Instructables shall have the right (but not the obligation) in its sole discretion to reject or remove any Content that is available through the Site. Without limiting the foregoing, Instructables shall have the right, but not the obligation, to remove at any time any Content that violates any of these Terms including Content that is objectionable or that infringes or is alleged to infringe another’s intellectual property or other rights.

You agree that Instructables, in its sole discretion, may terminate your access to the Site or any Service or your account, and remove and discard any Content within the Site, for any reason, including the lack of use, or if Instructables believes that you have violated or acted inconsistently with the letter or spirit of these Terms

Technically, the original author should be reporting the offence. I've had a similar issues on other websites.

However, if you are certain that the project comes from elsewhere, I would make a comment on the project, include your source, and then flag the project as "inappropriate". Staff can sort it out after that.

They cannot be expected to know when their material is being used without their permission. I would be ******** if I found out that a random site had kept up a posting of my content after they were notified it had been unlawfully used.

One of the examples I and someone else just recently saw had the images cropped to remove the watermarks that were on the originals. That doesn't happen by accident.

Similarly, admin staff cannot know an alleged violation is genuine unless they have access to the facts, and the way I understand the law in the US, that requires that accusations of breach of copyright must be brought by the material's true owner. Quite a number of projects here *look* plagiarised, but actually their author published them elsewhere, under a different user name, before discovering instructables. My first six or seven projects were actually posted on a BBC website before I joined here - I got a number of accusations of plagiarism before people worked out the truth.

However, as I mentioned above, if you add a comment to a suspect project, include the URL you believe thet came from, then flag as inappropriate, the admins will do what they can.

I understand that possibility, but if the real author actually had posted it, they either would have used the original images that were taken or the same ones uploaded to their site. They probably would have also left a note and or a link saying to come visit them. Neither were present.

I guess that will have to do...

Actually, I can think of a bunch of recent projects where the author originally published in an online magazine, then edited the images to use here. :-)

Well, did you comment on that instructable to see if the plagiarizer responds?

Well, this is the internet. Does the person stand to make a lot of money from ripping off someone else's work? Probably not. Will the person do it again? Probably. There are bigger fish to fry. You did all you could do.

But the staff is not. And that's what pretty sad to me.

It's not about money, it's about honesty and integrity in coming up with new ideas, solutions, and products. I really don't know what motivates people to do things like this; not only is it disrespectful to the original authors but it's pathetic that they couldn't be bothered to replicate it for themselves.That's not the kind of guides that made me want to sign up for this site.

From now on, if I see content clearly ripped off, I'm going to be ignoring the "be nice" comment policy.

Can you reply to thenPM I sent soon after you posted this topic?

Yes....there really ought to be a more noticeable notification to let you know when you have a message. A popup would be nice.

You get an email to the address you used to create your account, there's a notification in the "You" drop-down menu, and a link on the left of your "You" page.

What are we talking about here if you would provide an example for the discussion, some photos used to illustrate an instructable or the entire text of something copied word for word. It is a poor judgment call to use something if you don't have an original photo or it might have been necessary to use something but it was not cited properly. I guess you would have to figure out the intent of the author. I have a whole bunch of ibles. Some of it randomly appears "ripped off" in obscure DIY sites, a lot of it is randomly reblogged without attribution. So from a creative standpoint, imitation is flattery and more exposure. The whole open source vibe and creative commons, and fair use practices either make you want to track down every violation to the letter or just let it work itself out.

It seems to have disappeared.

There is a BIG difference between reproducing someone else's idea or making changes/improving it, than simply copying it, especially when they make obvious attempts to protect their content. IE. image watermarks. Plenty of ideas/techniques have been re-used (look at water tanks or hydroponics) and there's nothing wrong with that...

Yes, there should be a spot to indicate the original sources for outside images and have them visibly displayed in the guides. I don't see why that hasn't been implemented already.

One hat comes to mind: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Moss-Graffiti/

Even though I and others wrote, that the pictures (and text) were taken from around the web it still got featured in the newsletter....

I honestly believe, that people can have the same idea and post the same project. Even though I search the web before I publish anything, it has happened to me, too.

Taking somebody else's pictures though is just not right! I agree that it might be hard to know, whether the same person has published the instruction elsewhere, but some are just obviously stolen. 

I see, and also sprinkles of improper use of trademark and registration symbols all pointing to a kid making an instructable for the sake of having an instructable. It does bring up the debate on whether ibles should be vetted for quality and content though. I think ibles staff is underpowered to do all the policing but still has a responsibility to do what is right.