Sunday, November 13, 2011

Copyrights - "Safely ignored"s in the Internet

I recently found an exact copy of one of my blog posts in another blog, without any credit or pointer to my blog. I tried to comment on his blog post with the link to the original post. He never approved my comment. Hence I decided to report his blog to google, for the copyright violation.

In the topmost banner of the blogger blogs, you can see "Report Abuse". I just clicked, and reported the post.

Google replied with,
Thanks for reaching out to us!

We have received your legal request. We receive many such complaints each

day; your message is in our queue, and we'll get to it as quickly as our
workload permits.

Due to the large volume of requests that we experience, please note that

we will only be able to provide you with a response if we determine your
request may be a valid and actionable legal complaint, and we may respond
with questions or requests for clarification.  For more information on
Google's Terms of Service, please visit http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS

We appreciate your patience as we investigate your request.


Regards,

The Google Team

After within a few hours, Google took the page that violated the copyrights down in accordance with DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998), and sent me this message.

Hello,

Thanks for reaching out to us.

In accordance with the DMCA, we have completed processing your
infringement complaint and the content in question no longer appears on
the following URL(s):
http://{blog-name}.blogspot.com/
2011/07/{post}*.html
Please let us know if we can assist you further.

Regards,
The Google Team

* I have removed the blog url to avoid harassing the blogger who copied the blog post.

After all, "Llovizna" is not a commercial blog. According to my knowledge, I am not earning anything directly or indirectly out of this. Just a display of a link or indication to the original post would be sufficient.


One of my friends mentioned, why would I report that person's blog post. My friend mentioned that the person who copied my post is indeed helping me by spreading my thoughts to the followers of his blog. 

No, it doesn't work that way. If someone finds his post in web search instead of me, further interaction with the reader will not be possible. If my view point is challenged in the blog post of that person, he will not be in a position to advocate for my thoughts. Most probably he himself would have forgotten the original post that he copied from, leaving the discussion to a nowhere-zone.

In print, everyone takes utmost care about the copyrights. But when it comes online, it is taken for granted that anyone can violate others' copyrights. It is common to see posts that are copied from the web, even in newspapers as "Thanks: The Internet" or "Thank you: The web". No one bothers to give the exact url or the author of the post, which is in fact a bad practice, and offensive just like any other pirated material.

I, however support open knowledge. Some restrictive licenses prevent others from using the content at all, than merely reading and understanding it. Licenses should be open, just like the open source licenses. In "Llovizna" (and wherever online/offline), I made sure to use only the content or images that are in the public domain, or made sure to provide the credentials to the original license holder, whenever I reused others' contents. Many images with supportive licenses, or those are in the public domain can be found in wikipedia or wikimedia. We need more of them.

Sharing is not just a copy-pasting. It should provide value to the original content, while giving the appreciation that it deserves, and engaging with the content.

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