Wednesday, 5 March 2008

To Whom It May Concern

The blogosphere is a strange kind of place when it comes to intellectual property. Bloggers (well most of 'em at any rate) place their cunningly crafted, finely honed pearls of wisdom into the public domain day in, day out. And once they're out there, they're out there. The blogger is left to trust that these words (or these thoughts) are not misrepresented or misappropriated.

Sometimes you might find your posts being picked out by one or more blog portals or aggregators and, in effect, re-broadcast to a wider community. And this is 'A Good Thing'. I am delighted that this blog has been picked up by a few such sites. Personally, it gives me great encouragement and pleasure to know that I am not just writing these words for myself, and that others (even if only a few) are entertained by my sometimes tortuous meanderings. In each case, the site concerned makes clear and unambigous attribution to Ambling in Second Life - and that's all that I ask.
[ OK... cash would be nice... but attribution is just fine. ]

I was therefore somewhat dismayed to come across a site today - one I had never encountered before, and with whom I have had no discussion or prior contact - who have taken one of my posts and simply re-broadcast it, word for word, with someone else's name as the author! I may be easy-going, but this is going too far.

I daresay this is the result of a poorly designed aggregation script that has simply inserted "Written by: so-and-so" - and I acknowledge that the article header (if one thinks to check) actually does link to here. Nevertheless, the article gives the distinct impression that it was written by someone else.

What am I saying - "gives the distinct impression"? It baldly states that it has been written by someone who did not write it! Whether intentional or not, this shows a cavalier disregard for my intellectual property. Furthermore, I am unlikely to be the only blogger affected by this.

You will understand why I choose not to name the site - I see no point in providing free advertising to a site that gives every impression, not of plagiarism, but of wholesale plundering.

So... to whom it may concern... I should be grateful if you would take appropriate steps to rectify your error and either remove reference to this blog henceforth or, in the interests of the wider blogger community, ensure that all aggregated feeds receive clear and unambiguous attribution.

Thinks: I wonder if this will show up as a news item there in a day or two's time?


dandellion Kimban said...

Yes, I saw it today as well. Nothing o do, but I sent them a message, alarmed Twitter community. Both title and internal links link back to your site. One of the wise things is to link to yourself at each post, use your name in first person etc.... There are some plugins that can insert a notice or whatever identifying at the end of the post. But, that is the battle we will have to fight for a long time.

Aleister Kronos said...


Thanks - I too have raised it with twitterchums (we probably have overlapping sets!). Prior to this I have never felt aggrieved by the treatment of this blog. I hope others are now checking to see whether they've been plundered too.

Good point about linking - as often as not, I do do that. But I may be more assiduous about it in future. For example, I have just added a link into this post.

dandellion Kimban said...

Oh, I just got a reply to my email... so we have a nice I-don't-know-what-are-you-talking-about conversation....

... to be continued...

dandellion Kimban said...

He was very quick to chanbge things.... Take a look.

Aleister Kronos said...


SO he really was simply ripping off my post then? To totally replace it with a "press release"? Laughable.

Thanks Dandellion - - - and thanks for keeping me posted!


For your information the person that you wrote the story about gave me the link as a press release. I presumed that it was with your authority.

It has been replaced with another press release handed to me via notecard in SL.

Cash Yiyuan

Aleister Kronos said...


Does it read as a Press Release?? In what way can it be seen as a PR?

Incidentally, a simple: "sorry, an honest mistake" would have been nice.

Cash Yiyuan said...

Well Aleister you and me both know that I sent you a notecard inworld...unless you have not logged in. The note card did say sorry and explain the situation. But where is your reference to that?

Tateru Nino said...

There are about a dozen sites at any one time that republish my posts as their own. We get them closed down, but new ones spring up just as fast as we do it.

Aleister Kronos said...

I have not received anything inworld yet - and that is probably due to the fact that I have relatively limited inworld time. Your comment has prompted my to check my personal webmail - and sure enough, there is the offer of inventory - the mail timed at 2:15 this morning GMT (18:15 last night PST). As I am unlikely to get inworld until 13:00 PST today, I have no idea what the inventory item may contain.

So " you and me both know that I sent you a notecard inworld" was not actually correct at the time you posted your comment.

I will not pass comment then on your implication that I chose to ignore your response made inworld.

Aleister Kronos said...

I have now been inworld and picked up the notecard, (thanks Cash) which does indeed contain an apology and an explanation of the circumstances that led to an unverified entry being posted.

Despite appearances to the contrary perhaps, I am a firm believer in "cock-up, not conspiracy" - and this has proved to be another such instance.

AS far as I am concerned, the matter is closed, tho I would point out that the standard format of the site could do with a re-think to prevent such incidents happening in the future.