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Translators copying and stealing project history
Thread poster: Elvira Schmid

Elvira Schmid  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:33
English to German
+ ...
Jul 17, 2007

I was extremely surprised when a client of mine asked me to withdraw the information I had in relation to translations done for them from my CV. It turns out that my client found out about a Turkish "translator"
with basically the same CV as mine, including references to translations that I had done for that company, but they have never had any relationship whatsoever with this "translator".
When I checked the CV for myself, I saw indeed that it was not only the information in relation to this client of mine which had been taken and used, but also information and projects relating to other agencies that I had worked for.
Has anybody ever heard of this happening on Proz before, and if so, what procedures are in place to deal with this type of issue?
I find that this is unequivocally inethical, and at the same time is fraudulent and is ruining the name of genuine and honest translators.

[Bearbeitet am 2007-07-17 14:12]


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xxxM TRANSLATIO
Germany
Local time: 16:33
English to German
Report! Jul 17, 2007

Hi Elvira,

I was you I would report this "translator"! Like you said you can proof it!?

Kind regards
Mike

p.s.: Ist ja echt ´ne Frechheit!


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:33
Member
English to Turkish
Contact the site staff via support Jul 17, 2007

Hi Elvira,

Sorry to hear the situation, but unfortunately this may happen from time to time. That means a Yes, I have heard it happening before. However, profile and CV theft are in no way condoned at Proz.com, so I strongly recommend that you contact the staff immediately via a support ticket here: http://www.proz.com/support

Also, may I ask you to remove the link from your message please, to avoid things getting personal? Thanks!



Regards,
Özden

[Edited at 2007-07-17 11:12]


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:33
Dutch to English
+ ...
CV theft Jul 17, 2007

This has happened to me. The agency that stole my CV applied for a job offering services at half my rates. The customer who received this application was luckily a customer with whom I have a good relation and they called me to ask me why this agency in Asia was offering my services at half the normal rate. Imagine my surprise

I contacted ProZ and they dealt with this promptly and correctly.


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Narcis Lozano Drago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:33
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Be careful with what you post in your profile Jul 17, 2007

Actually I heard about similar cases in the Chinese forum. Aparently some copycats stole not only CVs, but also sample translations. Some even took scanned certifications, edited them and placed their name instead. Pretty scary stuff.

I have since become more aware about this problem and from now on I'm only sending my CV and sample translations by request.


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
Report to ProZ staff Jul 17, 2007

Hi Elvira,

I have no CV on my profile site, but maybe I can still contribute to this matter.

Some months ago, a "fellow translator" used ProZ as a platform for his website, which turned out to be a copy of our website. Of course I contacted this guy and complained, but he didn't take the site off the web. Next step for us was to contact ProZ staff and after a very short time the translator was banned from ProZ. His profile was excluded and he wasn't allowed to use ProZ as a platform for his website.

Next chapter in this story: After some weeks the same guy put his website (same format and same text, i.e. a copy of our website) on a server in the Middle East, hoping that nobody would notice. As we constantly scan the internet for any plagiarizers, we found this site as well. After some discussions with the new web provider, this site was also closed.

Seen from a technical aspect, there's not much we can do about this. Text blocks on a website are HTML code which of course can be pasted and copied and then re-used somewhere else. There's the legal method to put in a (c) on every single page of a website, and also into the ProZ profile. This might scare off some of the potential plagiarizers. You can also insert hidden copyright notes which are only visible when reading the source code.

Although this has nothing to do with copying a CV, it's still a copyright infringement. And on top of that, I don't understand what advantages anybody would have in the long run with stealing another one's CV. One day he/she will have to show his cards and be honest to client.

Regards
Erik

[Bearbeitet am 2007-07-17 12:10]


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:33
Swedish to English
+ ...
Make their lives a bit harder Jul 17, 2007

Elvira:

If you have the full Adobe Acrobat software, you might be able to make life a bit more complicated for would-be CV thieves.

If you convert your CV to a pdf you should be able to adjust the security settings to not allow copying or printing. That way the would-be thief would have to physically re-type and format "his/her" CV.

Eric:

I'm no IT expert, but would it not be possible to define all/most layout of your website using CSS? AFAIK it's not possible to view style sheets by clicking 'View' and 'Source'.

The would-be thief could still be able to copy all your text and images, but would have to spend some time reproducing the layout.

Hard work is not something thieves seem to enjoy.

[Edited at 2007-07-17 19:19]


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Andrew Levine  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:33
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
css not much safer Jul 18, 2007

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

I'm no IT expert, but would it not be possible to define all/most layout of your website using CSS? AFAIK it's not possible to view style sheets by clicking 'View' and 'Source'.

The would-be thief could still be able to copy all your text and images, but would have to spend some time reproducing the layout.


Unfortunately, it is a rather simple matter for a thief to copy the style sheet easily (and the javascript, etc) as the link to this information is reproduced in the source code. For example, I was able to find the Proz style sheet for this page quite easily by examining at the source code. The thief then only has to copy this info into his own style sheet. All it does is make his job take perhaps five minutes longer.


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