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To be or not to be upset Answered

So, with recently finding out that tons of people's instructables had been published without their permission on a paid subscription site, I decided to google my username and see if anything came up. This is obviously something everyone should do from time to time, and I figured it was time to give it another go. In the image search, I found an image I didn't recognize and clicked until I found the source of the connection to my username.

A seemingly reputable website has written an article on one of my ibles. At first, I was excited. It was cool that someone saw my work and thought it cool enough to write about it. However, that joy turned to turmoil when I realized that the article wasn't a short description accompanied by one or two images. It is a full rehash of my ible. Basically, anyone that sees the article can follow the links to my version (there are several), but the author of the article has really not given them any reason to do so. They've taken most of my images to re-write my ible without asking or notifying me. They didn't break the CC license by writing their own version, but I believe they did when they took all my images. 

What do you think? Would you be upset and ask them to change or remove the article, or chalk it up to promotion and be excited to see your work spread?
By the way, there have only been 138 hits on my ible from that website.

The article
My ible


This is a problem I noticed shortly after I startet publishing here.

I was looking for an ible that I could not find so I used Google to find it.

I would say that almost every Instructable that is really good is listed on other websites / collections.

For me personally it is also an issue of support.

Let me put it this way: We do good here in the hope people like what we do but get little to none security in return.

It is totally up to the author to find copies of the work and to take actions against it, which I think is not enough.

A license does not help anyway as stealing the work of others is common practice these days.

The share alike license is basically an initation for bad people to post it as their own idea by just changing a few words, most, as you noticed don't even bother to use their own pictures.

A better system here would certainly help to protect the authors and their work.

IMHO it not just about the license but how it is misused.

If Instructables would enforce some measures that protect the authors it would be so much easier.

Let's say something in the way like this:

You publish something here, no matter under what license, and it becomes sort of property of Instructables.

With a clear statement that no Instructable, parts or images of it can be used without the consent of the author and Instructables there would be a means to fight back.

Right now it is down to the user to check and take action.

If Instructables itself would participate in this action a lot more idiots would think twice about stealing.

Sadly right now there is basically nothing to fear at all if you do.

The worst thing that can happen is that the person using the stolen art is asked to take it down, or as in other cases that the website hosting it takes it down.

IMHO not what I call helpful for the people posting here.

Youtube is also a good place to find copies, often with far more hits that here and no comment on who actually created the work, just someone using it to get a lot of hits and in some cases money...

Some of my circuits made it on the free web as well and in one case I was able to have it taken down but most of these people can't be bothered as WE have no legal means to go against it.

The only way that the site can chase copyright violation is if the authors all sign over complete ownership of their work to the site (we currently authorise them to use it).

As it stands, there are approaching 150,000 individual projects, from probably 70-100,000 authors - there is simply no sensible way the site could employ enough staff to chase all the potential violations (they would have to manually google for variations of every single project, on a daily basis).

Thanks for your thoughts. As Kiteman commented and I agreed, the user did not violate the license. He was within his rights to take the images and re-create the ible in his own words provided he cited me. If you looked at the article, he cited me many times and credited me for the photos as well. He also did not need to ask my permission under the particular CC license I use.

It is a clear violation of the license if someone does not cite the original work, so for all those that have had this happen to them, I would strongly suggest you take legal action. This was never about legal action. It was more about a possible unethical practice. I have had most of my ibles featured on various sites and blogs as a "blurb". They take one picture and the first few sentences and link to my ible. These are great promotion and mean that more people may be affected by my work, regardless of how trivial it may be. This article was different, and I wasn't sure how to feel about it.

I don't think it's Instructables' responsibility to protect me either. I know that any intellectual property I expose to the internet is in danger of theft and I will take responsibility for that. It would take a massive amount of resources to protect the large scope of instructables that spans various countries and different laws. This is an unreasonable expectation IMO. All I could expect is that if I was to take legal action against someone, the Instructables staff would provide me with any "backup" they could to support me as a member.

Well, I might not have used the right words in context with your "case".

What I was trying to say is that for those that have their work stolen without any credits and presented as the idea of someone else, it would certainly help to be backed up by Instructables.

If an indivdual contacts someone that has posted his work elsewhere most are not too impressed.

Some webservices offer good assistance in these cases and if the original author has proof, like the earlier posting date here, they are happy to help.

But those others I think it would help to have Instructables joing in to help.

Ignoring a single person is one thing, ignoring the whole Instructable community much harder ;)

Just don't stop and give us more of your ideas to replicate and try out!

For the moment, Ive chosen not to click yr link to the other site. Ive skimmed your ible. Cool project. How would you characterize the differences between your writeup and theirs?


3 years ago

In this particular case I would not be unhappy, they linked your username and the corresponding 'ible - I think enough credit was given but if you think otherwise it is OK.

Since you get credit from the word go, and all the way through, and they aren't making you pay in any way to read the article, I don't think they're breaking the terms of the license of your original.

Best take it as a compliment and move on.

(I wonder, since they also link to your Orange page, how many views your other projects have earned thanks to this article? Unfortunately, you won't be able to tell, since they'll show as hits from internal links.)

For some reason, I had the misconception that under CC the work should be shared only with permission. (As MsSweetSatisfaction pointed out, it would have been polite regardless.) This ignorance surely came from my not having read the CC license since I posted my first ible many years ago. I have read it again, and I believe you're right that they did not breach the terms.

I desire to share my ideas freely for any small betterment I might contribute to the world, but it can be hard sometimes. Ultimately we are selfish, and I just felt a bit icky when I saw that so many of my images were used to form new instructions instead of simply linking to my original work. It just feels more like plagiarism than the spirit of the CC license to share or improve.

Well the way I look at it is that if you're upset, and given your feeling of turmoil I'd say you are, then it's worth doing something. From that article I can see a reasoning for being upset, although they've cited the photos as being yours they don't cite it as being your IDEA and your build. I would say you can email them and ask them to add the citation as your design and your build. That way they give your more recognition and it's not very much work for them making it likely that they'll actually do it. You can also add that you would have appreciated them asking to use your images, it is considered polite internet etiquette.
However if you're not bugged then I would leave it, they are crediting you and I'm sure you're getting more views as a whole because of it.