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Plagiarizing Wikipedia For Profit

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the ip-is-on-the-other-foot dept.

Books 223

An anonymous reader sends word of a dustup involving the publisher John Wiley and Sons and Wikipedia. Two pages from a Wiley book, Black Gold: The New Frontier in Oil for Investors, consist of a verbatim copy from the English Wikipedia article on the Khobar Towers bombing. This is the publisher that touched off a fair use brouhaha earlier this year when they threatened to sue a blogger who had reproduced a chart and a table (fully attributed) from one of their journals.

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223 comments

How are they going to claim... (1, Interesting)

The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334201)

...losses, when they give away their work? This is an interesting aspect of free license law that hasn't really been delved into yet.

Re:How are they going to claim... (5, Informative)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334251)

Because GDFL allows copying only if you allow the work to be freely copyable, and release the work it is included in under the GDFL.
If this is the case, then the whole book that this text is in becomes freely copyable, as long as it's source is attributed. If the publisher chooses not to conform to this license, then it becomes in breach of copyright (as the works on Wikipedia are covered by copyright law, they're simply globally available on a license backed up by copyright law).

Re:How are they going to claim... (1, Insightful)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334799)

If the publisher chooses not to conform to this license, then it becomes in breach of copyright (as the works on Wikipedia are covered by copyright law, they're simply globally available on a license backed up by copyright law).
That's all fine and good. But the owner of the copyright is a collection of anonymous donors. Is some guy named 63.233.10.12 and some other guy named PediaMan2435 going to sue Wiley to assert their copyrights? Sure, they license their work to the Wikipedia Foundation (or whatever the legal name is), but do they license the right to enforce and sue based on THEIR works? I think not.

Re:How are they going to claim... (4, Interesting)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334881)

You are correct. The Wikimedia (with an 'm') Foundation does not have any legal rights to the content of Wikipedia other than what the GDFL gives everyone. If anyone is to be sued over copyright violations of text in Wikipedia, it needs to be by at least one of the editors of the article in question (not including editors that have just corrected spellings, added cleanup tags, etc).

Re:How are they going to claim... (3, Insightful)

allcar (1111567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334851)

Is anyone else reminded of Hitchhikers?

It is interesting to note that a later and wilier editor sent the book backwards in time through a temporal warp and then successfully sued the breakfast cereal company for infringement of the same laws.

Re:How are they going to claim... (5, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334875)

No, licences do not automatically apply, the *PL and CC* licences are not viral. If I copy your work and disregard the licence, then I have violated your copyright, and you can take me to court. If you released it under a particular licence, then that is pretty much irrelevant to me - if I didn't follow the licence, then I have simply violated your copyright. This author may well have asked a researcher or even a member of his family to come up with a couple of paragraphs about that incident and they copied Wikipedia, it would be unreasonable for the author's entire book to become freely available under the LGPL due to his carelessness in not checking the actions of a third party. A judge might come up with a reasonable compromise, such as ruling that the modified version of the text as appears in the book must be licenced under the LGPL and made available on the publisher's web site for download, and that future printings must credit the Wikipedia article as the source on which the text is based.

Re:How are they going to claim... (4, Insightful)

TheOnyxRocket (921830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335441)

No, licences do not automatically apply, the *PL and CC* licences are not viral. If I copy your work and disregard the licence, then I have violated your copyright, and you can take me to court. If you released it under a particular licence, then that is pretty much irrelevant to me - if I didn't follow the licence, then I have simply violated your copyright.
If you violated the copyright, then you are liable for damages. The measure of damages is calculated based on a variety of factors, one of which is what the author charges for the copied work in the marketplace. That "charge" or fee is usually the *minimum* liability for infringing the author's rights. In this case, the author's "charge" is a license to copy the rest of the work under the LGPL/CC. That charge is highly relevant to the measure of damages suffered by the author.

it would be unreasonable for the [infringing] author's entire book to become freely available under the LGPL due to his carelessness in not checking the actions of a third party.
You may think it's unreasonable, but others might not. The infringing author had an obligation to supervise third party created works and not to infringe. I place a high value on the rights granted to the public under LGPL and CC licenses and comparatively much less value on private copyright rights to prevent the public from copying.

Re:How are they going to claim... (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334265)

This is an interesting aspect of free license law that hasn't really been delved into yet.

You're so right! Noone on the wider internet or even slashdot has ever considered this!

Re:How are they going to claim... (3, Informative)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334275)

Copyright doesn't require proof of damages, but damages could be calculated from the sold copies of the book.

Re:How are they going to claim... (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334315)

but damages could be calculated from the sold copies of the book.

Well, if I could steal someone's work and create something to sell, I wouldn't mind paying for the royalties AFTER the sales, if any. Afterall, I can still rightfully claim my part of work like organizing the content, publishing, marketing etc.

Re:How are they going to claim... (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334353)

No, the first thing that happens is continued distribution of the infringed work must cease.

Also keep in mind the penalties for copyright violation. A single instance can be a penalty fine of several thousand dollars in the US. If you run a red light, there's a flat fine simply for punitive reasons. Same thing with copyright violations.

Re:How are they going to claim... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334293)

interesting aspect of...license law that hasn't really been delved into yet

Ehhh...no?

Wiley published their content under a completely different license that the original authors had not agreed to. Getting the agreement of said original authors to publish their work is commonly done by paying them for that privilege. No money changed hands.

Or put differently...courts deal all day with putting a monetary value on things that cannot be mathematically calculated (for example: loss of life, loss of amenity, loss of potential future earnings, mesne profits, damages in torts actionable per se, e.g. trespass to the person). This is no different.

Re:How are they going to claim... (4, Interesting)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334483)

I know you are asking how Wikipedia will claim losses -- but I could as easily turn it around to the publisher.

How will the publisher claim losses, when (by the GNU FDL) they are now going to have to give away their work?

Quite simply, the answer is that the publisher won't have to give away their work. Rather, the work of the publisher is specifically in making a text available in the form of a book, along with referencable ISBN. They *will* at this point have to include a GNU FDL with the book, *even if they remove the offending pages from future copies*, since the entire book is now contaminated.

But honestly, the amount of photocopying and such that will happen is not going to significantly increase.
In the end, the fair price that a publisher can charge is defined by the utility that the publisher adds. Aside from that, the price that a publisher can *get* is more defined by the current accepted fair price for other books than for this book. So if a FDL goes in the book, then the reader will just look at it, say "oh, nice." And go on.

Now, how can Wikipedia claim damages? There are more damages possible than cash value. There are damages to the reputation of the actual authors, damages to frequency of customer visits, and these do have an inherent value to which a lawyer will assign a cash value. Yes, it will be slightly arbitrary. But, on the other hand I think that a jury will find that the value of damages is (1) relatively large, and (2) at least proportional to the increased value recieved by John Wiley Publishing and the author. Typically, when theft occurs value is destroyed (they steal my car, but bust up the key mechanism). Therefore, you might expect damages to total 1.5-3 times the expected sales of the book, scaled down by the proportion of pages that were plagiarized. So for a 120-pg book, 2 pages copied, damages could total 1/40 to 1/20 of total expected sales.

Not giving awayl licensing. (3, Informative)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334751)

How are they going to claim...losses, when they give away their work?


They're not giving ANYTHING away. They're licensing a copy of their product to you, under certain conditions.

Re:Not giving awayl licensing. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335387)

Isn't that just the same as linux? Before someone says "Oh noes!!! conditions are a restriction of teh fr33dom", nobody's holding a gun to your head - if you don't tlike those conditions you're free to do without, look for an alternative, or roll your own.

Re:How are they going to claim... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334933)

By claiming that they wouldn't have licensed the content for this particular use except for a reasonable royalty. That opens the doors for punitive damages too.

To my mind the lost sales claims are the most dubious anyway. It's better to claim that the economic benefit enjoyed by the infringer rightly belongs to you.

I NEED THE SHITEATING COPYPASTA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334211)

PLS ADVISE

Re:I NEED THE SHITEATING COPYPASTA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334771)

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I
had to take a piss. As I entered the john a big beautiful all-American
football hero type, about twenty-five, came out of one of the booths.
I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he
washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and
married - and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with
him.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated,
hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still
warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the
shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left
behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It
apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat,
stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd
- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist.

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and
wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd
always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little
clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass
and not an end in itself. Of course I'd had jerk-off fantasies of
devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't), but I had never done
it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound
turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy
and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's
handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both
hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled
like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the
consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit
without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it
smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into
my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock,
beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and
bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet
flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had
chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed
I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I
soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd
passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily,
sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My
only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down
with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the
cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more
delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with
the rich bitterness of shit.

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But
then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There
was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished
them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my
briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the
shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever
unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an
unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using
them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my
mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit
trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six
orgasms in the process.

I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out
of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could,
and at least once did, bring to a grateful shiteater.

According to law... (4, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334225)

According to law, they are doing nothing illegal and are even protecting their own legal rights. This is what happens when law dictates human behaviour, instead of morals. Precisely this situation Plato envisioned when he said that good men need no laws to tell them how to behave, and evil men will find ways around the laws.

How about thinking about a license first (1, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334489)

How about the fact that the license explicitly gives them the right to? We have all the laws there to assign any license you wish to your work, to fit whatever moral rules you wish.

Find it distasteful for example that someone would use your work for profit? Fine! Put a "not for commercial use" clause on it then. Or put the BSD "thou shalt give credit" license on it. Or whatever you wish.

But if you chose to place your work under, say, the Creative Commons, you've just told the world at large, "here, take it and use it as you wish, I don't want anything in return, I don't forbid anything, have fun with it." So please have the _decency_ then to not act enraged when someone does just that. You _had_ all the framework you needed to protect it in any other way, and you chose explicitly not to. People are doing exactly what you officially told them it's ok.

Or do you think it's morally superior to make an U-turn on your word there. "See, I said you could use it, but I didn't _really_ mean it. Now let me tell you retroactively the _real_ conditions that I want you to obey. And let me call you names, while I'm at it." It's like me telling you that, sure, you can use my ballpoint pen, and then retroactively making a fuss that you used it to sign a cheque and trying to impose conditions retroactively. See, I thought it would be self-evident that it's only for non-commercial stuff and that you must worship the ground I walk on for letting you do that.

No, the problem isn't with laws vs morals, it's with idiot utopians getting surprised that the world doesn't work like their utopian fantasy world, and that they've been preaching a stupidity all along. Again: you had your chance to impose any morals and conditions on using your work as you can possibly wish for. If you chose to essentially waive all rights and demands, it's pretty damn stupid to expect everyone to somehow just know that you don't _really_ mean that. It's not exploiting some obscure legal loophole, it's doing what that license explicitly told them that it's allowed.

Briefly: if you explicitly chose a license that, essentially, goes contrary to your morals/beliefs/sense-of-justice, then it's not the world at large who's callous and immoral when they obey that license. It's you who's too fucking stupid to even know what you really want.

Re:How about thinking about a license first (4, Informative)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334781)

But if you chose to place your work under, say, the Creative Commons, you've just told the world at large, "here, take it and use it as you wish, I don't want anything in return, I don't forbid anything, have fun with it."

They neither wanted nor did that, the Wikipedia text is under the GFDL which requires attribution of source. The WP author mentioned released his contribution to the public domain, but the wider Wikipedia community has the right to be outraged that this writer a) plagiarised Wikipedia and b) didn't credit the authors of the text that he plagiarised. He claimed the words as his own, which is unlawful in many copyright jurisdictions regardless of any licence that the original author may have used. If the publisher sells that book in Finland, then they could find themselves in hot water. And I don't mean a nice invigorating sauna.

Re:How about thinking about a license first (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334931)

Thanks for the correction.

Though, the way I see it, that doesn't change the point I was making at all. If Wikipedia covered their arses legally, then there is _no_ "morality vs legality" lament to be made about them. Definitely kudos to them, but, anyway, then they _don't_ have a grey area between what's legally expected and what they morally expect. Making the whole GGP lament rather irrelevant too.

I stand by what I've said: the only people who find themselves moaning about morality vs legality, are the ones who were too fucking stupid to choose the right license for whatever morality they expect.

Re:How about thinking about a license first (3, Informative)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334817)

But if you chose to place your work under, say, the Creative Commons, you've just told the world at large, "here, take it and use it as you wish, I don't want anything in return, I don't forbid anything, have fun with it." So please have the _decency_ then to not act enraged when someone does just that.
That would be all well and good and I'd be right there with you applying the LART to dotancohen were it not for the minor inconvenience that Wikipedia is not covered by the Creative Commons license but rather by the GFDL: From Wikipedia's Copyright FAQ [wikipedia.org]:

* Can I reuse Wikipedia's content somewhere else?

Wikipedia's textual content is copyrighted, but you may reuse it under the terms of our licensing requirements, summarized below.

Text in Wikipedia, excluding quotations, has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License (or is in the public domain), and can therefore be reused only if you release any derived work under the GFDL. This requires that, among other things, you attribute the authors and allow others to freely copy your work. (This is a summary, see the licence text for the exact details.)

If you are unwilling or unable to use the GFDL for your work, use of Wikipedia content is unauthorized. Small quotations of Wikipedia content, with its source attributed, may be permissible under the "fair use" clause of U.S. copyright law. See Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia for information about the proper citation of articles. No permission is needed to create a hyperlink to Wikipedia or its articles.

Emphasis mine, used to highlight the important bits.

Re:How about thinking about a license first (4, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334845)

But if you chose to place your work under, say, the Creative Commons, you've just told the world at large, "here, take it and use it as you wish, I don't want anything in return, I don't forbid anything, have fun with it."

In addition to what Phil has pointed out in another reply, it's worth pointing out that there are many different Creative Commons licenses, and they vary in what they permit. Some of them do not permit commercial use, some of them require attribution, some of them are more permissive.

Please, if you are going to make claims about what something does and doesn't permit, at the very least you should be vaguely familiar with it yourself. Creative Commons is a brand name for a bunch of different licenses, not a license itself.

So basically you're making my point? ;) (0, Flamebait)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334967)

So basically you make my point, the way I see it. There _are_ plenty of licenses and flavours to choose, to fit whatever moral code you like. Whether they're called Creative Commons or not, there are already plenty to choose from, and you can even create your own if neither fits your moral principles. The only people left moaning retroactively about morality-vs-legality are the ones who were too stupid to choose the right license. In which case, it's not the world at large or the rule of the law that's at fault there.

That's all I'm saying.

Re:According to law... (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334513)

Yeah, because that works -so- well. Let's see... Completely disregarding what the Bible says (which is the moral guidance for a -lot- of people), there have been plenty of other 'moral' actions that we no longer consider moral, or that a portion of the world, and a portion doesn't... Slavery, the equality of women and men, war, circumcision, -many- aspects of sex... The list goes on and on.

There are those who honestly believe it's okay to just physically take whatever you want. Does that mean it's okay?

There are those who honestly believe it's okay to just copy whatever files they want. Does that mean it's okay?

'Morals' are not an adequate replacement for laws. The morals of the majority are a good basis for the laws, though.

Re:According to law... (2, Funny)

KaoticEvil (91813) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335277)

I personally think that "morals" should play no part whatsoever in lawmaking. What one person thinks is "morally correct" I may feel is immoral. Or vice versa.

For example: I am quite sure that my wife and I do things in our bedroom that some bible-thumping religious nazi would find highly immoral. Does that mean they should be illegal? I think not.

Re:According to law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335437)

And if I think I am morally justified in killing my neighbor on a whim?

Murder is wrong. I don't see how you can call that statement amoral.

Re:According to law... (2, Funny)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335315)

There are those who honestly believe it's okay to just copy whatever files they want. Does that mean it's okay?


Yes.

Well that settles that then. Thanks for your time.

Re:According to law... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334729)

> According to law, they are doing nothing illegal and are even protecting their own legal rights.

You mean US law, right? In the US, I believe they could try using a `fair use` defence. It might make for a good test case of the GNU Free Documentation License:

http://www.gnu.org/licenses/fdl.html [gnu.org]

"derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense".

Does fair use allow you to use whole pages? How many pages? 1? 2? 100? 10,000?

Plato forgot ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334813)

- Plato forgot that most men (and women) are neither good nor evil. Most people "blow with the wind", meaning that they don't have a strong sense of morals and/or ethics. Law (good, bad or indifferent) provides that for them.
- Remember too, to "blow with the wind", is neither good nor bad, it is however adaptable. People will adapt to good laws, bad laws or indifferent laws. Adapting includes "gaming the system". Those that don't adapt, generally suffer unpleasant consequences.
- On the other hand, from an evolution stand-point, adaptable is "good".
- Ultimately it is the quality of the laws that matter. And, as laws generally are usually no better than those people who make the laws, God help those entities whose political structure attracts the worst of people.

Plato forgot no such thing (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335149)

The paraphrase of Plato from the grandparent post may not have addressed Plato's opinion of most people being neither completely good or completely evil, but if you're even passingly acquainted with Plato's works you should realize that he fully understands laws as being there for the people in the middle.

And I think your estimation of the quality of laws being key is mistaken. I might agree that high quality laws combined with a high quality enforcement process would make a tremendous impact. But as it stands, culture and mores tend to matter much more. For example, would theft rates go up if stealing was not forbidden by the law? Perhaps, but I'm not so certain.

Re:According to law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335301)

Morals have no place in law, only common sense.
Morals are entirely subjective and vary from person to person, and from culture to culture, people mistakenly confuse morality with common sense (which still varies, but to a lesser degree and is more general).

It's awfully pretentious to infer that one's morals are the absolute and necessarily shared by all. It's even more absurd to equate one's own morals with good, and conflicting ones with evil, this attitude starts wars, this attitude causes inquisitions. It always has, it always will.

Morals are a personal thing, morals should only be applied to individuals, not to collectives. I'd go so far as to say that morals CANNOT be applied to societies. Except morals conflict from individual to individual within a collective, that where laws come in. They exist to insure that order amongst collectives is maintained, they're designed to be morally agnostic, they're designed to insure that individuals within a society are free to follow their individual morality, but not to impose that on others. Now, that may not be the case in practice, but all that means is that legal systems need to be revised, not scrapped altogether.

Theocracies are what happens when morals are allowed to dictate law, fascism is what happens when morality is able to dictate law. Some people consider basic freedoms such as speaking out against the status quo to be immoral, some consider pre-marital sex to be immoral, some consider abortions and same-sex relations to be immoral, some consider having a different set of beliefs to be immoral. Others consider marrying outside your culture to be immoral, etc. Do you really want to live in a society where these things are passed into law?

A society's Laws need to me amoral in order to (in a free society, anyway) ensure basic freedoms to its people, laws also need to be amoral so that they can balance between maximal freedom and maintaining freedom. Freedom ceases to be free when one's group or individual's freedom when it tramples on another's.

plagiarism (0)

0232793 (907781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334241)

if it is unattributed, its plagiarism - passing off someone else's work for urs

Re:plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334709)

If it is unattributed, it's plagiarism - passing off someone else's work as your own.

There, I fixed it for you

Copy/Paste needs help (2, Funny)

MollyB (162595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334243)

Perhaps an imaginative programmer out there will develop a "De-Plagiarize" application and port it to all platforms. Paste the text or graph into the box and out pops a perfect paraphrase.
(Profit?)

Good idea, but (1)

keirre23hu (638913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334281)

with the applications where teachers submit papers into a plagiarism database (I cannot remember the name.. its 6AM), if two students use the same program, the second one is going to get busted for plagiarism anyway.. unless there is some randomness built in the sentence structure and words used.

Re:Copy/Paste needs help (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334323)

I think its already been done [yodaspeak.co.uk]

Develop a, perhaps an imaginative programmer out there will "De-plagiarize" To all platforms application and port it. Paste the text or graph into the box and out pops a perfect paraphrase. Yes, hmmm.

Does it get any more perfect than that?

Babelfish round trip, En - It - En (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335327)

Four signs and seven years ago our fathers have caused on this continent one new nation, conceived in the freedom and dedicated to the proposal that all the men equal are generated. Hour we are couples to you in great a civil war, difficult if that nation, or any nation, therefore conceived and therefore dedicated, can long resist to we have come to contact of on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a part of that field, like space of final pause for those who has given their screw here that that nation could living. Altogether it is adapted and adapted that we would have to make this. But, in a greater sense, dedic-we cannot we cannot consecrate-we we cannot hallow-this earth. The men, the good life and breakdowns, that they have fought here, consecrated it, far away over our poor feeding to add or detrarre give. The will of the world little famous one, neither long is remembered of that what we say here, but can not be forgotten never that what Is for we the life here, rather, to be dedicated here to the job not ended that that they have fought here up to now they have advanced therefore noble. It is more rather affinchè we is dedicated here to the great operation remaining before we that from these dead men honored we take the increased devozione to that cause for which they have given the last complete measure of devozione that highly we resolve here that these dead men will not be died in useless that this nation, under the God, will have one new birth of the freedom - and that the government of people, from people, for people, will not perish from the earth.

Plagiarism database, do your worst!

Re:Copy/Paste needs help (2, Funny)

geordieboozer (849533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334413)

this is already available by using babelfish to translate to another language and then back again:

"Possibly imaginative programmer will outside there begin "de -.Plagiatorstvuet" application and holds it to all platforms. You will stick text or diagram into the box and outside flap the perfect paraphrase (profit?)"

Re:Copy/Paste needs help (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335331)

I could entertain myself for hours doing that. Greek is the best.

"Geja'soy, I am jim. I am student in the university Purdue I studying the management of aviation. I seek to become controller of enae'ras circulation in the way of a exchange. Appreciates the television games, more specifically maximum governor"

Apparently Supreme Commander in Greek is 'maximum governer'

Re:Copy/Paste needs help (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334589)

"Hi! It looks like you're trying to steal someone else's intellectual property! Would you like me to a. attribute it properly for you or b. adjust it so your theft isn't so blatantly obvious?"

summary: The copied text is subject to GNU FDL. (4, Informative)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334245)

Although the author of the linked page says he wrote much of the disputed text and released it into public domain, the license governing Wikipedia is GNU FDL, as can be seen by a link at the bottom of every page. The combined work, because it includes work by others, is covered by that license.

If Wiley published this text without citing the FDL, they're in violation of it. Seems pretty clear. Further, the license says that if the work is modified, the resulting document must also be released in FDL, according to section 4. This is where it gets interesting. :)

In that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334357)

...you could make an analogy to embedded software. If I were to include busybox, unmodified, into my device (which is still GPLV2 AFAIK) I don't have the obligation to divulge and make available my complete system's sourcecode, only that of busybox.

As the sourcecode here is essentially the wikipedia text, they are already complying more or less, right ? Then again, perhaps they are not embedding, but linking the text to their sourcecode and compiling that into a deliverable/book in which case everything turns GPL :) (IANAL)

Very interesting indeed.

Re:summary: The copied text is subject to GNU FDL. (3, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334695)

Not that "interesting" really. Saying that it "must be" under the GFDL isn't the same as saying that it automatically is under the GFDL. They are in violation of copyright, plain and simple, the GFDL doesn't automatically apply to the whole book, that's crazy talk. It's then up to the lawyers or the courts to come up with a suitable violation penalty and a solution going forward.

Here's my opinion on copyright violation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334697)

Validity of lawsuit claims
In press reports, the RIAA makes the assertion that every unauthorized copy of a song represents a lost sale. [69][70][71] This claim is highly criticized due to the fact that a single download of a song may not correspond to the loss of a potential sale. A large number of studies conducted since the RIAA began its campaign against peer-to-peer file-sharing have concluded that losses incurred per download range from negligible to very small.[72][73][74]

[edit] Unfair legal practices
In one file-sharing case, the RIAA has been referred by the defendants as "a cartel acting collusively in violation of the antitrust laws and of public policy, by tying their copyrights to each other, collusively litigating and settling all cases together, and by entering into an unlawful agreement among themselves to prosecute and to dispose of all cases in accordance with a uniform agreement, and through common lawyers, thus overreaching the bounds and scope of whatever copyrights they might have".

See, e.g. UMG v. Lindor[75], where the RIAA has moved to "strike" those accusations. The motion to strike the charges is pending, and is scheduled to be taken under consideration by the Court on October 2, 2007.

Like I always say (1, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334247)

If it's unattributed, its plagiarism -- passing off someone else's work for yours

Re:Like I always say (-1, Offtopic)

nietsch (112711) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334363)

For those not yet quite awake: look up, find the same text, think, it's funny!

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334377)

It's not the same text.

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334667)

It's not the same text, but slight modifications of the wording still amounts to plagiarism. Even when the purpose of those changes is to correct punctuation and remove the lazy factor. ("urs"... for fucks sake, are you so lazy you cannot afford the time to type "yours"?)

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334849)

("urs"... for fucks sake, are you so lazy you cannot afford the time to type "yours"?)
up urs!

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335159)

I just googled the GP, and the only 100% match I found was the GP post. By some extension of logic, he plaugurised himself. The captcha is perfect for this post: derives

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334427)

You stole my comment above u theif

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334633)

Since plagiarism isn't illegal anywhere in the world this is of doubtful relevance.

Copyright isn't the be all and end all (5, Interesting)

Skippy_kangaroo (850507) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334259)

The Wikipedia link discusses the problem of bringing copyright violation charges. But, even if it is released in the public domain, the problem for the publisher and author is the charge of plagiarism.

Many high-profile authors have been brought down by charges of plagiarism. They have not been sued for copyright violations but they have suffered significant consequences nonetheless. See, for example, the recent case of Kaavya Viswanathan [nytimes.com]. As such, I would think that the copyright violation angle can be pretty much ignored. It's distracting and weak. The plagiarism charge, however, could have significant consequences.

So is it plagiarism (2, Interesting)

od05 (915556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334305)

Is it plagiarism if I make up something, post it in Wikipedia, write an academic paper, and cite the reference I previously had made up?

Re:So is it plagiarism (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334331)

No, that's just silly.

Re:So is it plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334335)

Dunno, but you would get laughed out of the room for citing Wikipedia as a source in an academic paper. Provided people weren't asleep at the wheel your paper would never make it past peer review.

Re:So is it plagiarism (1)

ahadock (727720) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334519)

Not plagiarism but still academic fraud. That being said, I'm fairly certain _nobody_ publishing "academic papers" would take seriously an article that cites Wikipedia.

Re:So is it plagiarism (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334597)

Maybe not the top flight journals, but I have caught a glimpse of several papers intended for publication in peer reviewed journals recently that have cited wikipedia as a source. The most amusing one had as the first entry in the references

[1] Wikipedia, http://www.wikipedia.org/, retrieved 2007-06-05

Do not think for one minute that everything which calls itself academia is actually worthy of the title. Most of it is pure tripe.

Re:So is it plagiarism (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334605)

If your academic paper cites wikipedia, well, good luck with peer review...

Re:So is it plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335419)

Nah, they probably won't mind if the paper argues that the world will end if we don't ban incandescents in an effort to stop global warming.

Re:So is it plagiarism (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334735)

Despite all the replies pointing out that Wikipedia's academic standing is relatively low, the question itself is valid, interesting, and of some importance.

I am reminded of the story about the guy who writes a paper for the government which is then classified so that he is no longer entitled to read it. (Always wondered if he is also legally obliged to forget everything he wrote? What if he has an eidetic memory?)

Re:So is it plagiarism (1)

Aleksej (1110877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334823)

You will either have to cite a certain version of the page, or have your reference marked "[citation needed]" or removed.

If no one notices it while you are writing the paper, then the paper is probably about nothing. If the paper is successful, though, then it is probably not about Wikipedia, but about stupidity.

IANA

PS: Shouldn't you write the paper _first_?

"There's no such thing as plagiarism..." (3, Funny)

DreamingDaemon (1185117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334347)

As the incredibly-talented sci-fi writer Bob Unherdof said to his struggling burger-flipper friend George Lucas in 1975....

Slashdot tags (5, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334389)

This article is tagged "thief". I thought it was standard /. wisdom that copyright infringement isn't theft?

Anyway, are we sure that the text is from Wikipedia, and not both from a third source? It's probably unlikely, but "they copied from Wikipedia" is far from the only explanation.

Re:Slashdot tags (5, Insightful)

Sirch (82595) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334465)

I thought it was standard /. wisdom that copyright infringement isn't theft?
Only when it's Joe Public doing the infringement. When Bob Corporate infringes, Slashdot's bile rises...

While that's a gross generalization of what I perceive to be a double-standard, I can see some kind of justification behind it - Joe Public generally doesn't make money off it, whereas Bob Corporate infringes for profit.

Re:Slashdot tags (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334491)

So if I steal something but don't sell it it's ok, but if a gang steals the same thing and sells it, it's NOT OK? /me is confused

Re:Slashdot tags (3, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334843)

I think the double standard arises because it is ok to copy something, but to do it for profit is wrong. That seems a more reasonable standard than the one that you propose.

Re:Slashdot tags (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334511)

1) Not everyone on Slashdot agrees on everything.
2) I don't think it takes that much to make a tag appear.
3) It might be a "meta" statement.

Re:Slashdot tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334521)

I think the important thing is that they copied it from somewhere and didn't attribute the source.

Re:Slashdot tags (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334529)

How could wikipedia ever prove any of its content is original, when it just appears from random IP addresses?

Anyway, the slashdot commies are of course complete hypocrites. When it comes to copyright, the old adage "what's yours is mine but what's mine is my own" comes to mind.

Remember: lefties don't create, they redistribute.

Re:Slashdot tags (5, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334643)

The thing is that they did copy the text and said "this is mine, I created this", thus you stole the attribution. This does not happen when you send an mp3 to a friend.

Re:Slashdot tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334787)

The thing is that they did copy the text and said "this is mine, I created this", thus you stole the attribution. This does not happen when you send an mp3 to a friend.
Also note that this book isn't given for free at bookstores. I find it unlikely that your friend will pay for that mp3 (Which is what makes the monetary compensations required by the American record industry so ridiculous, if it was done for profit then the amounts would make sense).

Re:Slashdot tags (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334861)

Identity theft is another example. It's not the material itself that's stolen, it's the status in the social sphere.

Re:Slashdot tags (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334871)

Which is fraud, not theft. You know, different crimes but both illegal? If you don't care about that distinction, why should you care about the distinction between copyright infringement and theft?

Re:Slashdot tags (2, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334873)

you stole the attribution

That's as disingenuous as when record companies claim that you "steal" potential profits. This is not theft. Nothing is being taken away from the original author's possession. There is a perfectly accurate word for what has happened here, it is "plagiarism". Why play word games instead of using the proper word for things?

Re:Slashdot tags (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335357)

plagiarism

Literary theft. Plagiarism occurs when a writer duplicates another writer's language or ideas and then calls the work his or her own. Copyright laws protect writers' words as their legal property. To avoid the charge of plagiarism, writers take care to credit those from whom they borrow and quote.

"plagiarism." The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 13 Nov. 2007. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/plagiarism>.

Yep, nothing starts off a morning like a good old pissing contest.

Re:Slashdot tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335461)

Yep, nothing starts off a morning like a good old pissing contest.

Nonetheless, plagarism is the correct word, and you are playing word games.

Why not just admit that you want control of who can use what information for what purpose, and you want laws to be selectively chosen/enforced in order to give you that control?

Re:Slashdot tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335093)

It does when I send an mp3. My friends think I'm a frickin' musical genius.

Re:Slashdot tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334919)

for profit == thief

Re:Slashdot tags (2, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335245)

Copyright infringement != theft. But this is about plagiarism, and that is theft.

There's a world of difference between copying some Beatles song versus you claiming to be the author of a "new" song that is actually a Beatles song. (Yet other issues are raised by unintentional plagiarism such as Harrison's "My Sweet Lord".) The difference is even more pronounced for out-of-copyright material such as a Beethoven work. Copy that all you like, but don't try to claim you wrote it, and sue everyone to collect royalties. Publishers are free to use Wikipedia articles, as long as they include the GFDL and don't try to take credit for that work. Or they may use anything from the public domain, and need not give any credit or notice. Usually though, they'll have some boilerplate "all contents copyright Wiley", and I'd think that if there was other material included, they shouldn't leave it at that. Although no notice is required for work in the public domain, one shouldn't imply that such work is one's own. Yet another tricky gray area is claiming copyright on expressions or modifications of a work in the public domain. So an orchestra can perform a work by Beethoven and copyright that. I suppose someone could make and copyright an audio version of any book in the public domain. Where it gets unclear is suppose the original had different spellings and usages (Shakespeare) or questionable translations (King James Bible), can a corrected or updated version that is otherwise a verbatim copy be copyrighted? But whether or no such can be copyrighted, it surely can't be claimed as one's own. For a translation of Shakespeare, it'd have to be "Joe's translation of Shakespeare's plays, translation copyright Joe" if anything, and not "Joe's translation of some plays, all content copyright Joe".

plagiarism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334477)

if it is unattributed, its plagiarism - passing off someone else's work for urs ... hehehehe sorry.

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334539)

Those fuckers should be expelled and then sent to gJuan Tanamo.

Wikipedia: victim and perpetrator (5, Informative)

harmonica (29841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334545)

There are (or were) at least two articles in Wikipedia that are my texts (from my site) with slight variations on sentences. So whoever visits those Wikipedia articles (or did so in the past) and then my pages must come to the conclusion that I stole the stuff from Wikipedia without giving credit. I can't even prove that because I don't have a public version history, and archive.org is spotty when it comes to my site.

In this case (Wiley book) the articles were there way before the book, so the case seems to be clear, but in general, I recommend to keep an open mind about who copied where.

The solution (4, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334591)

John Wiley and Sons could just edit the wikipedia article to be different. Problem solved.

Wikipedia's Official Reaction... (3, Funny)

CheeseburgerBrown (553703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334635)

...was unfortunately deleted by an overzealous editor who argued that the issue did not meet notability criteria.

Boycott the assholes ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334657)

Don't buy any Wiley books, ever. Never seen a good one from them anyway.

Wikipedia Copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21334745)

From what Wikipedia says [wikipedia.org] they can copy Wikipedia at their pleasing as long as they cite it, provide a link back to the content (which should be in the citation), and provide a copy of the text should anyone request it. I would imagine them a form letter directing the user to the Wikipedia revision would be reasonable, until a point where Wikipedia closes.

I'm sure that rarely people would make a big deal about providing the text, since the link is indeed cited.

they are known scumbags (2, Insightful)

Kuj0317 (856656) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334795)

Wiley made my EE intro to circuits book. 1) there were many mistakes, on 3rd edition run. 2) you had to purchase the answer manual seperately. Ordering it got you a cheap, useless book and a registration card for their online system to actually get the answers. The site made it difficult to save the answers, and the registration expired after 1 year. Yeah, scumbags.

Wikiplagarism (4, Insightful)

PhearoX (1187921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21334803)

I would submit that Wikipedia contains more plagarism than any one textual work ever created.

So someone copied Wikipedia?

Meh.

How to make profit (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21335033)

1. Buy a computer
2. Order up cheap ass DSL
3. Plagiarize wikipedia
4. ??????
5. PROFIT!!!

This isn't the publisher's fault (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21335443)

Wiley are not responsible for copyright infringement in the stuff the publish. They can't possibly be expected to check all of the work submitted by every author against every other known source. They do ask authors to sign a warranty that the work that is submitted for publication is not somebody else's intellectual property. So if the authors did this, and signed it off as their own, then it's the authors fault.
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