How to Steal an Instructable




About: Whoever first said "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me" obviously never attended a ninja poetry slam.

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 five.

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. This has been instructable number seven, hope you enjoyed it.



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127 Discussions


2 years ago

I've spent many hours on instructable, reading instructions on how to make something with Arduino, only to find that most of them actually don't know what they are doing, or they are copying the project from someone else. I'm very disappointed, and finally someone points out the problem, but Instructable still carry on like that...


Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

That particular comment refers you to step five, which is then titled "Lie About Results to Boost Interest".


Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Love the Irony of finding this 'ible by following the 'credit' from the sanctioned copied 'ible...but finding the 'song' posted here is a another real gem.

Of course it could be said that the original instructable was the Bible:

Ecclesiastes 1:9

What has been will be again,

What has been done will be done again

There is nothing new under the sun.

Although many have shown that the Bible is based upon much earlier writings...


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction


I stole it from LasVegas(idea), Sunbanks(disclaimer), CameronSS(picture), and Bumpus, Kiteman, =Smart=, and RocketScientist2015(comments). Oh, and honorable mention to certain un-named members(inspiration).


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I can assure you westfw, that I had a conversation with yokozuna 3 weeks before Tom had this idea.

DJ Radio

9 years ago on Introduction

You can get banned for this stuff, if the ible you steal gets flagged and staff notices that there was another ible, they WILL check the post dates.

7 replies
DJ Radiomg0930mg

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I know its a joke. Besides, why the hell did you reply to a one month old comment.

The IdeanatorDJ Radio

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I would guess that you stole his comment from some other ible and reposted it as your own here, thereby completing the cycle of plagiarism where nothing is original!!