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1UP, Plagiarizing, and Other Bits of Joy

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the well-not-really dept.

Media 106

Nathan writes "1up recently posted their Dead or Alive 4 strategy guide on their website. It didn't take long for users at the Dead or Alive Central forums to recognize their hard work analyzing the fighting game engine had been blatantly pasted into the strategy guide without any credit given whatsoever. While movelists are largely factual and can be argued to be public knowledge, the most incriminating evidence is the section on the evasion system, which had been pasted into the 1up guide with a few reworded sentences. Discussions are ongoing at Gaming Age Forums (with 1up members defending the writer of the guide) and DoA Central. Perhaps the most interesting bit about this is that just a month or two ago, Dan Hsu from EGM and 1up had famously written an editorial criticizing shady ongoings at other publications." I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited. Update: 01/23 22:20 GMT by Z : 1up has announced that they've pulled the guide to review the situation.

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106 comments

Game "Journalists" (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538283)

I interviewed at 1up recently, and when I brought up the subject of game "journalism" the guys just laughed it off. They said, basically, that they're in the business to make money, and that the editorial wall of old-guard journalism doesn't apply.

Re:Game "Journalists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14539549)

I interviewed at 1up recently, and when I brought up the subject of game "journalism" the guys just laughed it off. They said, basically, that they're in the business to make money, and that the editorial wall of old-guard journalism doesn't apply.

That's just so unlike from computer-ralated journalism in gereral, huh?

Re:Game "Journalists" (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541330)

I'm not surprised, given that it's a Ziff-Davis company.

A few years ago, some of the key staff at e.g. Gamespot, Official US Playstation Magazine seemed to get it into their heads that they were edgy and awesome adults, and therefore obligated to act as "hardcore" as possible. The ZD gaming magazines and websites were never paragons of great writing, but suddenly it was like they'd been taken over by the main characters from Gummo trying to be Jay and Silent Bob.

I hope Sony takes Microsoft's lead and gives their "official" magazine to another publisher, because I'm not interested in supporting such a crappy bunch of writers in order to get demo discs.

Re:Game "Journalists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14543078)

...seemed to get it into their heads that they were edgy and awesome adults, and therefore obligated to act as "hardcore" as possible.

And then...

I hope Sony takes Microsoft's lead and gives their "official" magazine to another publisher, because I'm not interested in supporting such a crappy bunch of writers in order to get demo discs.
You mean you want them be like just like OXM? ROTFL!

How do you cite combo strings? (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538286)

I had some problems with this article submission and kind of wondered why I was reading it exactly.
1UP, Plagiarizing, and Other Bits of Joy
Where are said "Other Bits of Joy"? All I found was a DoA guide which looked a lot like forum material at DoACentral and then I subsequently found two forums full of flame posts and colorful language. None of which was joyful in the least.

I did enjoy Hsu's blog [1up.com] which was discussed but not linked in the article.
I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited.
I went to Kate Turabian's site. Nowhere did I find evidence of how to cite string combos from gaming websites. I found "non-periodical internet sources" but they were stealing their words, they were stealing their research in a game. Ironically, I believe the inventors of those combos (the programmers and authors of DoA) would be the sole owners.

Furthermore, who do you give credit to? The forum owners? The owners of the posts? If it's the owners of the posts, how do you acquire their real names? Should I be writing "Taken from a post by worksucks69 at DoACentral"? And how do I know that this material wasn't ganked from some other website without my knowledge? What are you to do if you want good information from a forum but it is in no way credible?

Re:How do you cite combo strings? (1)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539265)

Since when does it matter what your material is? If I performed the research, then it's documented periodical information and needs to be cited as such. Whether my research involves rats' responses to certain drugs or game strategies is irrelevant. Your assertion that just because it's a listing of game moves it doesn't matter is erroneous.

Furthermore, who do you give credit to? The forum owners? The owners of the posts? If it's the owners of the posts, how do you acquire their real names?

First of all, any reasonably intelligent person would understand that based on the rules of any internet forum (including this one), all posts are owned by the respective post's author. As to the last question, I would think that the obvious choice of contacting the user and asking for their name so that you could accurately cite them would be a logical course of action.

Re:How do you cite combo strings? (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539303)

As to the last question, I would think that the obvious choice of contacting the user and asking for their name so that you could accurately cite them would be a logical course of action.

Indeed, or if that's not feasible for some reason, at least cite the username and the website you got it from. If that's not feasible, then cite "an unknown author" or something. You definitely do not take the credit for yourself!

People are amazing.

Re:How do you cite combo strings? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541350)


Am I missing something obvious here? If they've stolen heavily from the online forums and this pisses the posters off, the n the posters should hold of the guide and distribute it online themselves at their forum. If it was free for this company to steal, then it's free for them to take back. And if it's not free, then the company is going to have to start redistributing some cash based on the sales they've made.

Re:How do you cite combo strings? (2, Informative)

analog_line (465182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539533)

I believe the essential sarcasm of "Other Bits of Joy" has passed you by. =)

As to your other points...

"Ironically, I believe the inventors of those combos (the programmers and authors of DoA) would be the sole owners."

No, the move lists are facts. It isn't violating copyright or plagiarism to tell the world that "down, down-forward, forward, punch" makes Ryu and Ken throw a fireball in Street Fighter 2, no matter how many billions of other people have written FAQs with that move listed there. It is a fact. Facts cannot be copyrighted, only the presentation thereof.

From the 1up.com strategy guide in question:
"Dragon Elbow
P+K
Jan performs a back-turn attack that hits mid and is extremely fast. But if it whiffs or is blocked, Jan will be highly vulnerable for a free throw or a combo."

The name of the move ("Dragon Elbow") is, I am presuming, a fact. Most modern fighting games have in-game movelists with names associated, or have a name associated in the manual. If the writer of the manual/in-game movelist called it that, it's a fact. The move itself ("P+K") is a fact as well. What would be plagiarism is copying without attibution, the description of what the move does, and the commentary on its usefulness.

"Furthermore, who do you give credit to? The forum owners? The owners of the posts?" and later, "And how do I know that this material wasn't ganked from some other website without my knowledge?"

Whom did you directly pull the text from? That is who you give attribution to. You are not responsible for the plagiarism of other people. Yes, you can plagiarise other people's plagiarism. Yes, it is just as bad.

"If it's the owners of the posts, how do you acquire their real names? Should I be writing "Taken from a post by worksucks69 at DoACentral"

Yes, you should be attributing it to whatever "nom de plume" the author you are quoting wrote it under, or give the URL of the forum post it was under if there are multiple authors at the very least. If you are embarrassed by the source you are quoting, your only other choice is to find a less embarrassing source, not lie about who or what the source is.

"What are you to do if you want good information from a forum but it is in no way credible?"

If the information isn't credible, why, by all the gods, are you even considering passing off suspect information as your own?

Re:How do you cite combo strings? (1)

Billygoatz (861464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539567)

I had some disgreemnts with this article submission and kind of wondered why I was reading it exactly.

1UP, Plagiarizing, and Other Bits of Joy
Where are said "Other Bits of Joy"? All I found was a DoA guide which looked a lot like forum material at DoACentral and then I subsequently found two forums full of flame posts and colorful language. None of which was joyful in the least.

I did like Hsu's blog [1up.com] which was discussed but not linked in the article.

I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - maybe poorly cited.
I went to Kate Turabian's site. Nowhere did I find evidence of how to cite string combos from gaming websites. I found "non-periodical internet sources" but they were stealing their words, they were stealing their research in a game. Ironically, I believe the inventors of those combos (the programmers and authors of DoA) would be the sole owners.

Furthermore, who do you give credit to? The forum owners? The owners of the posts? If it's the owners of the posts, how do you acquire their real names? Should I be writing "Taken from a post by worksucks666 at DoACentral"? And how do I know that this material wasn't ganked from some other website without my knowledge? What are you to do if you want good information from a forum but it is in no way credible?

Irony Day? (-1, Offtopic)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538291)

Is this Irony Day on Slashdot, where we see copyright infringement being rightly condemned, instead of the usual "wink-wink P2P has alternative uses" and usual piracy-justifying abuse of economic "logic" that would put most creationism abuses of "science" to shame? Did I miss the memo?

If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (5, Insightful)

AdityaG (842691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538295)

"Oh, oops, I forgot to cite my usage of these third party pieces of code. It's just poor citation. It's not stealing or anything right?"

Yeah, people need to stop making up euphemisms for things.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538327)

Yups, but must remember that all of your code belong to **US**

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (3, Informative)

PrinceAshitaka (562972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538330)

I agree, That is what I was taught plagerism was, using someones ideas without citing them.

Using copyrighted material is entirely different from plagerism. Plagersism is about not giving credit to the source.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538670)

Yes, and doesn't that source automatically fall under copyright owned by the author of that piece of information?

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539406)

>Yes, and doesn't that source automatically fall under copyright owned by
>the author of that piece of information?

Not nessecarilly. Examples can be things that have had their copyright run out, or things like facts, ideas and others that you do not get copyright on.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539610)

Yes, and doesn't that source automatically fall under copyright owned by the author of that piece of information?

No, copyright doesn't apply down to every last fractional bit. If it did, then "for(int i=0;i Basically, it comes down to this:

copyright violation - making exact or near-exact copies of original work
plagiarism - copying whole concepts, ideas, or designs and passing them off as your own work after minimal "personalization"

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539670)

(let me try that again without that monkey wrench...)

Yes, and doesn't that source automatically fall under copyright owned by the author of that piece of information?

No, copyright doesn't apply down to every last fractional bit. If it did, then "for(int i=0;i!=10;i++)" would be controlled by the first person to write it, which is absurd. No, just like other written works, plagiarism can apply far below the point of copyright violation. If you write a story about sentient robots built by "U.S.A. Robots" by a "Dr. Kalvin" where the robots are subject to "three rules of robots", you'd easily be outside Asimov's copyright, but if you don't cite him as inspiration (or, for such a blatant rip-off as the above, probably even if you did) you'd definitely be accused of plagiarism.

Basically, it comes down to this:

copyright violation - making exact or near-exact copies of original work
plagiarism - copying whole concepts, ideas, or designs and passing them off as your own work after minimal "personalization"

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538691)

It's a question of intent. Forgetting to attribute something is nowhere near as bad as deliberately passing it off as your own work.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539437)

If you don't attribute it you ARE passing it off as your own work. There is no way to see your intent.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14539587)

Did you think that up all by yourself?

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Zenmonkeycat (749580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539620)

No, I thought of it, but the parent poster read my mind and stole my own thoughts. That means I'm entitled to a fabulous cash prize.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539906)

Sure, there's no way to see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. If you kill someone, you've killed them and there's no way to see your intent, but to my eyes at least there's a world of difference between deliberately and accidentally doing it.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Zenmonkeycat (749580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539551)

You know what professors call "poorly cited" research?

Theft. If you don't cite something, you're claiming you wrote it. And if you cite something poorly, you're still implying that you wrote it, even if you make a half-assed attempt to claim otherwise.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544863)

Actually, they call it plagiarism - unless you actually stole the hardcopy containing the words that you were copying.

They might treat it as seriously as theft, but only the disingenuous or misinformed call it theft.

Re:If everything can just be "poorly cited"... (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14545596)

You know what professors call "poorly cited" research? Theft.

..and do you know what I call those who call it that? Fucking Morons ... plagiarism is FRAUD. Fraud and plagiarism mean the same thing. Theft is nothing more than a emotion grab at enforcing a vaild concept, and a stretch from realism IMO.

Plagiarism == copyright violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14538324)

Unless otherwise stated, you own the copyright to your creative work. Copyright can result in criminal prosecution, it isn't just civil. If someone cares enough to chase this down, it could result in a world of pain for 1up.

Re:Plagiarism == copyright violation (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538368)

No, copy-pasting is a copyright violation. Rewording of sentences, while inacceptable practice for a professional journalist (in the case the sources aren't cites) is completly legal.

Furthermore, one could argue that an information published in an internet forum is public. I agree that a journalist have been unprofessional here, but I am surprised with most opinions expressed here, that tend to go against the "information wants to be free" /. dogma.

You're wrong on two counts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14538393)

You can change a lot of the wording and still be found guilty of copyright violation. There are lots of precidents here.

The act of publishing something does not erase my copyright. Copyright is automatic.

Re:You're wrong on two counts (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538550)

I agree on the second argument. A copy-paste of something, even publicly published, requires a citation. The amount of change required for something to be a different work is a gray zone and is very subjective (ever wondered why Lucas trademarks every name in his Starwars(c) tril..er saga ?) But I think it is commonly recognized that a rewording transforms sufficiently a work.

Re:You're wrong on two counts (1)

majikenny (827364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539342)

But I think it is commonly recognized that a rewording transforms sufficiently a work.

Says who? Lester, of the infamous Lester's Guide that I hated from around 5th grade thru speech class in college, in all His glorious versions, says otherwise. According to Him, all sources must be cited. Even just a paraphrase. My friend failed his senior paper for far less than that.

Acceptable (with the whole link later in a sources cited page): Yvanhoe, in his comment on www.slashdot.com, says that if you just take text straight from a document, you must cite it.

Unacceptable: It isnt really settled how much you need to re-word someones writing before it becomes your own.

Re:Plagiarism == copyright violation (2, Insightful)

kailoran (887304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538462)

Information wants to be free, but it also wants its original author(s) properly credited (as in at least mentioned *somewhere*).

Re:Plagiarism == copyright violation (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539626)

but it also wants its original author(s) properly credited

And perhaps paid what you would pay a freelance writer for it.

Re:Plagiarism == copyright violation (1)

omeg (907329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538560)

I am surprised with most opinions expressed here, that tend to go against the "information wants to be free" /. dogma.

The problem is that 1up isn't licensed under the GFDL; sure, the GFDL allows commercial use of information, but it's still pretty bizarre for such a large site that gets so much profit copypaste something others wrote. If someone were to mirror the information on Wikibooks [wikibooks.org], it wouldn't have been as wrong as this.

Rewording is creating a derivative work (1)

DanTheLewis (742271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541252)

No, copy-pasting is a copyright violation. Rewording of sentences, while inacceptable practice for a professional journalist (in the case the sources aren't cites) is completly legal.

Furthermore, one could argue that an information published in an internet forum is public. I agree that a journalist have been unprofessional here, but I am surprised with most opinions expressed here, that tend to go against the "information wants to be free" /. dogma.


Information doesn't just want to be free, it wants to be legally distributed according to the author's permission. Public does not mean "public domain." Rather, information published in public is subject to the author's right to control its distribution, even if it's a derivative work. From Copyright Office Circular 14 (pdf): [copyright.gov] "Only the owner of copyright in a work has the right to prepare, or to authorize someone else to create, a new version of that work. The owner is generally the author or someone who has obtained rights from the author."

1. Type The Stand into word processor.
2. Change the names of all the characters and places.
3. Reword more than half of the sentences in each chapter.
4. Send work to 20 publishers.
5. Receive 20 rejection letters.
6. Publish magnum opus on Internet.
7. Profit!!!
8. Get sued by Stephen King.

IANAL

Not plagiarism? (5, Insightful)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538336)

I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited.

Which is exactly the opposite of everything they teach you in school. If you don't cite your sources, you are plagiarizing. Claiming incompetance by poorly citing your work is no excuse...

Re:Not plagiarism? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538424)

Also, there's a limit to what's considered "citing." When you're doing more citing than actual writing, that's still not kosher

Re:Not plagiarism? (1)

JourneyExpertApe (906162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538459)

I'm not surprised to see a comment like that by a ./ editor. It's kind of like reading an article written by a former Tyco executive where he says, "I don't see it as embezzlement in the whole, just poor accounting practices."

Its honest theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14538338)

I meant to steal it, I just forgot to tell you

Wow, didn't know this was still in effect! (-1, Offtopic)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538339)

Browse a few pages with useless info, cramped with ads and banners left and right, instead of loading a txt file on gamefaqs? I'm signing up right now...

Not Plagiarism? (4, Interesting)

aryanproletarian (945185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538344)

"...I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited." It's widely accepted that poor citing == plagiarism.

Plagiarism (2, Informative)

gonerill (139660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538357)

I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited. Copying something without properly citing or crediting its course is the definition of plagiarism.

Re:Plagiarism (1)

gonerill (139660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538371)

>> I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited. >Copying something without properly citing or crediting its course is the definition of plagiarism. Gaah. Should have used the preview button. I meant to say, copying something without properly citing or crediting its source is the definition of plagiarism.

Evidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14538360)

Does anyone have a link or can show what the actual plagiarizing is? I clicked on two links and brought to a forum of fanboys crying over this instead of making a judgement for myself.

Re:Evidence? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14539733)

"Helena Can avoids Most attacks, except low mids, and low attacks. "
vs
"Helena Can't avoid low mids and low attacks."

"Lei Fang - Avoids most attacks with proper timing, not good against mid kicks. "
vs
"Lei Fang must have good timing to avoid most attacks, but is horrible against mid kicks"

"Class B- These are characters who can evade alot of single blows, and evade some attacks within strings."
vs
"Tier 2 characters can evade a great deal of single blows, and even some attack strings."

"Class C - These are characters who can evade only a select few blows(high and jumping attacks), and evade hardly any attacks within strings. "
vs
"The characters Tier 3 are limited to evading a few highs and jump attacks, and can barely evade any attack strings. "

Lesson Learned (5, Interesting)

mslinux (570958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538364)

I once showed a script I wrote to a guy who heads IT security in our company. A few months later in a company newsletter he mentioned the script, how it had helped find and resolve a serious security falw and how he had submitted it to a 3rd party security organization for review. He took full credit for everything and ended up getting an interview with SANS. Granted, the guy is higher up the corporate ladder than me, but he's not my boss and my name was never mentioned as being the autor of the script. For me, this was a lesson learned.
 
I'll never show this dude a script again! Now, I understand how he got to where he is... making friends with smart people and using their work to gain a reputation that he does not deserve.

Re:Lesson Learned (2, Funny)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538417)

So beat the shit out of him. What's the problem? If you cannot do it find someone who will...

Sorry, that's the Sicilian coming out of me... I'm in "construction"!!! Lol, ...

Re:Lesson Learned (2, Insightful)

pikine (771084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539105)

When you work, that's a different story. All your work and ideas belong to the company, so if he receives the credit on that external revenue---some third party organization and with SANS---for the company as a whole, then it is okay. But if he didn't acknowledge your work inside the company, say didn't mention your name in the company newsletter, then there is a problem.

What I'd do is whenever people talk about the script, you ask (assuming his name is John), "Oh, is that the script that John and I worked together on?" If you talk to other people, tell them the story, "hey, you know the security flaw that John and I discovered together? He's getting an interview with SANS. I'm happy this flaw is receiving some coverage." You don't want to ask for exclusive credit on that one particular thing, but to hint that you and John (and possibly others) have always worked together as a team; and as a team, you're proud of his work.

If you want to be more subtle, give him an opportunity to lie, saying he did everything himself. If you do this right, someone will recognize that he doesn't value teamwork, and this is a negative quality that can quickly send his work life downhill.

Don't go around telling people that John doesn't value teamwork, but make it self-evident. If your company doesn't care about teamwork, then that's another thing. :-/

Culture of Copy and Paste (4, Interesting)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538365)

Anywhere I go on the web to find information I see the same thing. Whether it's a Doom walkthrough or a guitar tab/chord guide for the latest song it's the same thing. One person did some work and everybody else with a site is there to copy and paste that work to their own site. Melissa Etheridge's 'Closer to Fine' guitar tab for instance. I've found that one tab at a ton of sites, not one site bothering to change one word of the introduction from the one person who tabbed out the song. Go look at Google News and find all the related stories under one header and you'll find 1000 stories, all the same. Same words and sometimes attributed to a wireservice report. Now just let me copy and paste this comment into my Digg comment on the same story. No use fighting against the tide here.

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538585)

Go look at Google News and find all the related stories under one header and you'll find 1000 stories, all the same. Same words and sometimes attributed to a wireservice report.

The difference here is that this is the entire purpose of the wireservice reports. By signing up and licensing the wireservice feed, the smaller papers are given the right to print those reports, so long as they are properly attributed. You really don't think the Boise Daily Spud is going to have a reporter sitting in the UN, do you?

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538633)

Course not. I'm talking about the 'culture of cut and paste' in general. Mostly the wire reports are labeled as such. But sometimes they aren't. And sometimes the cut and paste boys aren't too bright. Witness the occasionaly Onion article making it into the main stream media. Well, if you call Iran news part of the media. Of course the Boise Daily Spud should have it's own take on the Potato festival and other spudly news. I would hope.

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539233)

But that's not cut-and-paste, that's perfectly legitimate reprinting of an attributed source.

The parent article would be a non-issue if somebody had added a single line: "Information gathered in part from http://whatever.com/ [whatever.com] main contributers so-and-so, such-and-such, and whats-his-face."

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (0, Troll)

CaptainFork (865941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538777)

Anywhere I go on the web to find information I see the same porn. Whether it's a Doom walkthrough or a guitar tab/chord guide for the latest song it's the same thing. One person did some work and everybody else with a site is there to copy and paste that work to their own site. Melissa Etheridge's 'Closer to Fine' guitar tab for instance. I've found that one tab at a ton of sites, not one site bothering to change one word of the introduction from the one person who tabbed out the song. Go look at Google News and find all the related stories under one header and you'll find 1000 stories, all the same. Same words and sometimes attributed to a wireservice report. Now just let me copy and paste this comment into my Digg comment on the same story. No use fighting against the tide here.

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (2, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538814)

Melissa Etheridge's 'Closer to Fine' guitar tab for instance.
I'll take "Song By The Indigo Girls" for $200 please, Alex.

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14538865)

Oh, I'm sorry. The correct question is "What are dyke songs?"

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (1)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539072)

Duh, sorry. Was just thinking about Melissa Etheridge when I was writing that. You're right Closer to Fine by Indigo Girls. Both are great as can be. But at least I can play Closer to Fine now. :-)

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539242)

Me too! It's a pretty accurate tab that. Gotta strip the capo off, or I can't hit the high notes in the chorus.

Re:Culture of Copy and Paste (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541737)

You can fight the tide. I write on Everything2 (same username there) and I am careful to cite when I use information from someone else's article/document/etc. Granted, I am only one tiny schlogg of foam on the waves of the 'net but like they say, "let peace begin with me".

Internut (0, Redundant)

Konster (252488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538369)

Why, O WHY should one, on the web, use olden schoole style of reference? Use a link! It's the new standard!

Re:Internut (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14539223)

two words: broken links. couldn't we then make up anything and just attibute it to some website that isn't there. I suppose this could be the case with any website, but at least there is some information about the source if it has the title, date, etc, granted not all that much though. I suppose such transient sites aren't very trustworthy anyway.

Re:Internut (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541763)

If the internet archive is doing its job, you can sometimes find old articles. Especially if you link to 'em enough. Google can sometimes help here as well, but it's not nearly as helpful.

Copyright (2, Interesting)

ezratrumpet (937206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538374)

If the TOS for the boards says, "Anything you post becomes our property to be done with as we wish," there's not a lot of recourse for anyone. The writers all agreed to the TOS in order to post, and the board managers turned it all into a manual. Odious, but within the letter of the law - provided that the TOS was bulletproof. Another reason to read those things closely......

Re:Copyright (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538506)

>Anything you post becomes our property to be done with as we wish

Considering we talk about copyright here, I fail to see what this statement would do, basically nothing. It seems to talk about something about proprties, which doesn't have anything to do with copyright.

Even if such a thing would work out though, it would still fail in many ways, for exmaple, there is really no way to tell that the person who posted it to the forum is the creator and hence holds the copyright. If you don't hold the copyright, you can't of course transfer it or grant others the right to, for example, copy it.

Re:Copyright (0)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538641)

The work may belong to the website, but that doesn't magically make the website the creators of the post. That's what people are fighting, that they are not getting credit, and that's what most of the internet is about. That's what Slashdot karma is about. etc..

Re:Copyright (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538844)

Wait, the people in charge of the forums did this? What the hell is everyone complaining about?

Every game forum I've ever been on (especially gamefaqs) has helpful topics that can't/won't get stickied and eventually drop off into obscurity. So the admin did the work of collating a bunch of tips into a guide and their users are bitching and moaning about it? Seems to me they were done a favor.

Re:Copyright (1)

Flaming Babies (904475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538941)

I was under the impression that posts from one forum were used to create an article from a completely unrelated site.
The TOS has nothing to do with it,
other than perhaps the complaint should be for the board to get the credit instead of a single author.

Re:Copyright (2, Interesting)

faceless (91137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539351)

You seem to have missed a few of the details along the way. The posts on the DOA Central forums were sourced into a guide on 1up.com. It wasn't the DOA Central admins who did it, it was a 1up.com staffer/freelancer named Richard Li.

This isn't about an admin stickying posts or compiling them on the same site for better clarity/reading/etc, it's about someone else on another site jacking the strategy for their job...

Plagarism (3, Funny)

CaptainFork (865941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538398)

Nathan writes "1up recently posted their Dead or Alive 4 strategy guide on their website. It didn't take long for users at the Dead or Alive Central forums to recognize their hard work analyzing the fighting game engine had been blatantly pasted into the strategy guide without any credit given whatsoever. While movelists are largely factual and can be argued to be public knowledge, the most incriminating evidence is the section on the evasion system, which had been pasted into the 1up guide with a few reworded sentences. Discussions are ongoing at Gaming Age Forums (with 1up members defending the writer of the guide) and DoA Central. Perhaps the most interesting bit about this is that just a month or two ago, Dan Hsu from EGM and 1up had famously written an editorial criticizing shady ongoings at other publications." I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited.

speaking of plagiarism (2, Interesting)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538453)


Speaking of plagiarism, this slashdot user [slashdot.org] has ripped all the content right out of here [4q.cc], without attribution, and is taking credit, getting mainstream press and making money off selling t-shirts as a result. I think that is so shitty; like a link to the original source would kill him or something.

~jeff

Re:speaking of plagiarism (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538708)

What's interesting is the chuck norris copy cat site, at the end, the guy thanks everyone and their mother, so this guy knows how to cite, its just that he refuses to do so.

Re:speaking of plagiarism (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539326)

Are you sure the site in question is maintained by that user? People don't necessarily put their own sites to the URL field, they sometimes put Some Other Funny Crap there. You must be new here. =)

The copypastejob, if any, seems fairly typical, though.

Re:speaking of plagiarism (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544450)

Chuck Norris doesn't plagiarize. He roundhouse kicks the content to himself, and then licenses it under a Creative Chuck license.

Of course, no living person has ever plagiarized from Chuck Norris.

Sigh ..Big Suprise (3, Insightful)

Mycroft9x (858322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538706)

Actually these guys have been ripping off video game FAQ authors for years. Even as far back as 1993. A well known faq author for some of the Mortal Kombat games would actually poison his FAQ with false moves just to see if they appeared in other peoples FAQs or magazines. Any MK fans from that era will prolly recall seeing the "Tiger Run" move from MK2 posted in an EGM "strategy guide" in one of their issues. Sure enough, EGM was there to rip of his every word, even the fake ones. A few years later they ripped of a FAQ author of a Tekken 3 Moves list. So to most of the people in the fighting game community this isn't really nothing new. Really sad, but it has been happening for over 10 years now.

Re:Sigh ..Big Suprise (1)

hogfat (944873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541416)

That's entirely because a moves cannot be copyrighted: they are only facts. Facts are legally free for the taking and there is nothing illegal in failing to cite a source for facts.

Cry me a river (1)

digitalrevolution (904258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538710)

So what ? These guys are the same people that copy music online. Does everyone write something for getting credit ?
What a lousy attitude. I'm sure Aristotle, Einstein and Newton are ashamed.
DR.

Put it on a Bit Torrent enhanced box and.. (1)

Tominva1045 (587712) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538874)



Put the files on a bit torrent box and poof-- it won't matter who copies it where. The magical, rose-colored, I-don't-care-who-really-owns-it glasses make all problems go away. :-)

Movelists? (0, Offtopic)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14538894)

Can someone tell me what a "movelist" is?

Pause...

Oh, right... novelists.

F7 baby, F7.

Re:Movelists? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14538969)

Nope, it's movelists - As in lists of moves, for fighting games. It probably shouldn't be one word admittedly, but it certainly isn't novelists. ;)

Plagiarism vs Research (3, Funny)

TimeZone (658837) | more than 8 years ago | (#14539510)

Stealing from one person is called plagiarism, stealing from many is research.

I'm sure there's someone I should cite for that quote, but I can't remember who. ;)

TZ

Re:Plagiarism vs Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14542467)

When I was young researcher, great Lobachevsky he say to me...

Great Moments in Understatement (2, Funny)

DanTheLewis (742271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14540806)

"I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited."

"I don't see this as torture in the whole - just cruel and unusual interrogation."
"I don't see this as lying in the whole - just truthiness deficient."
"I don't see this as adultery in the whole - just extramarital polyamory."
"I don't see this as murder in the whole - just intentional killing without extenuating circumstances."

1UP, Spam, and Other Bits of Joy (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14540881)

1UP is my top source for spam. I don't remeber signing up for any of their junk and I've never managed to sucessfully unsubscribe. The unsubscribe link in the email points straight to their page where you're told you have to log in to edit mailing preferences. Having never created an account this can be somewhat difficult...

Guides written by fighting game experts (1)

StarFire_FIN (532729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14541202)

As is often the case with guides like this, the strategy guide itself displays the authors' phenomenal understanding of the game and fighting games in general.

Quoth the guide:

The system allows you to hit your opponent out of their combo string by executing a well-timed attack that goes under or over their blows.
This statement (and some other statements about "combo strings") is unclear and stupid. A "combo" in fighting games is, by definition, a series of attacks which cannot be interrupted or escaped, no matter what you do. A "string" is a series of attacks which is not a combo. In other words, it is possible to escape a string by acting correctly (may require guessing correctly). It is unclear whether the author means a combo or a string here (it obviously cannot be a combo, never mind what the author actually says).

Now, it could be argued that the DoA series does not deserve to be called a "fighting game" (the terms "counter contest" or "ogle-fest" could be used instead), rendering this post moot, but if they are calling it one, they should at least use the proper terminology correctly.

Re:Guides written by fighting game experts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14544440)

A "combo" in fighting games is, by definition, a series of attacks which cannot be interrupted or escaped, no matter what you do.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_Instinct [wikipedia.org]:

'a player is able to 'break' out of the large, and potentially devestating, combos, via a special attack (known as a "combo breaker").'

EGM (1UP) taking others' work? Nothing new. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14542743)

I wrote a FAQ (movelist,) for the original DOA game, it originated as a
series of posts [google.com] to Usenet. As I translated characters' lists I'd post them to the newsgroup, ultimately to lead up to a full FAQ.

Half of these posts showed up in EGM's "Ultimate Fighting Guide," with a note to the effect of "the rest of the characters coming in a later issue!" Why that note? I didn't finish them all at the time they went to press, so they had nothing available to take.

This wasn't the first time they used my work without attribution. This wasn't the first time they used the copy & paste functions on the net either.

They steal content often. (1)

NEOGEOman (155470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14543576)

I know an artist who's had a work stolen by 1up, and know of another group who've had at least two of their works appear on 1up's site. It takes several emails, and sometimes a bombardment of emails, before they'll take the work down (they refuse to offer credit, they'd rather remove it).

I'm not at all surprised to see they lift text as well as images.

Gaming plagarism is less rampant now than before. (1)

rogerwong (104575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14544843)

During the early 1990s, writers had a decent chance of getting away with misappropriating information from Internet-distributed strategy guides.

I myself had at least two Internet strategy guides plagarized or used without attribution during that time.

In the first case, an almost word-for-word copy of my Command & Conquer strategy guide -- which itself was a distillation of comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategy posts used by permission-- got printed as a booklet, and featured as an "extra" that month for a tier-one newstand magazine. I found out about it from a fan 10,000 miles away on another continent who sent an e-mail to congratulate me on making the cover.

The editor and I agreed that I would be compensated standard rates for the material, and that he would deal appropriately with the irresponsible freelancer.

In the second, a staff writer from a tier-one gaming website copied data from another guide -- I don't remember if it was Red Alert or X-COM 3, but it was stuff that could only have come from my guide. In any case, I wrote the editor, who in turn had a word with the writer. The next day, those portions had proper credit given to the guide.

There was also the email I got from a guy who wanted me to produce a valid U.S. copyright registration within 30 days or else he was just going to steal my work and publish it on his own. *shakes head back and forth*

So, anyway. The mid-90s was the end of the "get material free on teh Intarnet"* era for publications that wanted to remain respectable. Even then, the Internet audience had grown too large to plagarize Internet-distributed material without someone noticing the similarity and raising a stink.

As the 1-up case shows, the chance of someone getting away with that today is near zero.

* - it's even becoming more difficult for college students to plagarize term papers verbatim, as more professors are asking students to register their term papers on similarity-checking websites.

See what happens when you hire unqualified writers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14545028)

This is pretty despicable. Anyone who has been through high school or college knows the importance of citing...but this development along with plenty of other horrible articles on 1up recently have lead me to believe that they just drop by any stoned gamer's house and hire him because he's the buddy of Dan Hsu's 3rd cousin. They probably tell him "Never had a writing class? nah, no prob, it's easy, anyone can do it, brah." Then they go turn down Mr. "I just graduated from NWU's Medill School of Journalism" because he was "too on top of it and will probably just make us look bad."

Game "journalists" are lazy as hell as it is...what do they do? previews, reviews, bits of industry news (though only controversial enough to get fans riled and little else), and the occasional interview. The ability to make bad jokes, feign wittiness, wackiness, and/or authoritative are all pre-reqs to the job. Game informer has added a few colums which add some substance to their magazine, with a key industry figure interview every month and a column for an industry insider's view on critical issues of game and game design. Play express their p.o.v and aren't afraid to be different, which is nice, but overall, most periodicals look the same. I've heard Edge is good, but I have yet to read it.

anyway, professional gaming news outlets shouldn't get away with using amateur and fan researched info out there, plain and simple. As an intelligent, well-read gamer, I look forward to the day when I can pick up a gaming mag and feel connected with my hobby, rather than get force fed a bunch of the same old crap that's used to get 13-year olds excited. I honestly don't feel the face of gaming journalism has changed since the days of the 300 page issues of EGM. Now that gamers are getting older, there really needs to be a mag for a different demographic.

This is just one of many signs.

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