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"Copying" other user profiles
Thread poster: Rebecca Hendry

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 3, 2006

Hello all.

A couple of days ago I clicked on the link to a Proz.com user's profile when I saw that user, who works in my language pair, post in the forums for the first time (or at least it was the first time I had seen them). When I looked at their profile, I noticed that it was strikingly similar to my own - clearly my html source code had been copied and pasted into this user's profile. Key words had been changed, but the structure of the profile and a number of sentences have remained exactly the same. Anyone comparing the two profiles would think they had been written by the same person.

How would you feel if you discovered this? Flattered? Annoyed? Would you contact the person in question? Report them?

I am the first to admit that when I wrote my own profile I used those of others as a guide, but it would never have occurred to me to copy and paste entire segments.

My initial reaction was annoyance, followed by concern (I mean, what's to stop a potential client from looking at the two profiles and thinking that I copied the other one?) I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about it and whether or not anyone else has encountered a "mirror" profile somewhere on the site.

Happy Friday afternoon!

Becky.


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Walter Landesman  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
annoyed Nov 3, 2006

Rebecca Hendry wrote:


How would you feel if you discovered this? Flattered? Annoyed? Would you contact the person in question? Report them?
.

Annoyed. I might have reported this to a moderator looking for guidance.


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 13:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
CV Nov 3, 2006

A similar thing happened to me some years ago when I was still new to Proz.com. Someone in my primary language pair copied my CV.

And it was quite interesting how I learned about it. An outsourcer contacted me about a project I never applied to. After clearing out some confusion I had realize that this person who copied my CV made the terrible mistake of leaving my own email address in the copied CV! I checked the profile and I had to realize that not only the format and the layout of my CV was the same, but even the areas of specializations to a great extent.... and the email address

I was very angry at first, but then I did not worry too much as I realized that I gain more and more work with ever increasing rates at proz.com... so why bother?

Csaba


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
English to Spanish
don't worry too much Nov 3, 2006

Hi Rebecca

I am sorry to hear that. I would feel anoyed, but not too worried.

I think if someone does that, it shows. The profile will look good, but —given that the person had to copy it— other bits might not (CV, etc.).

A very important thing of how you present yourself is that the whole package functions as a unit. Your profile probably forms a unit with the different sections of proz linked to it. In the case of the person who copied it, I would be surprised if it did. Unless, the person has copied more than the profile (glossaries, CV...), in which case I would no doubt report him/her.

Pass the page (can you say this in English?)

Kind regards,

Marta

[Edited at 2006-11-04 09:29]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:01
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
change your profile Nov 3, 2006

I think I would be more annoyed than flattered and I would certainly make the moderator in your language pair and/or the proz.com staff aware of it. But I'm not sure if there is much that can be done, except change your own profile.
I know it seems a shame to change a perfectly nice profile, but that's what I would do.

[Edited at 2006-11-03 18:57]


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Michèle Ménard  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:01
French to Italian
+ ...
Don't change your profile Nov 3, 2006

... because it is very good, complete and coherent with the rest of your pieces of information (site, glossaries and so on). Contact a moderator to get the problem solved and try to laugh about it - I would feel annoyed, too, but I think smiling is better.

On your personal tab, for instance, you could add something like "Welcome to one of the most imitated Proz.com pages. If you wish to know who is using my profile, feel free to contact me".



Of course, I will.

Michèle

[Edited at 2006-11-03 19:23]


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
Take it easy Nov 3, 2006

Hi Rebecca,

This has happened to me too. When I found it out, I contacted this person and suggested that for completeness of his profile he should also use my photo. The other day he changed his profile completely. I am not sure this tactic will work in your case, but I know for sure that this person is going to have a lot of problems. If he/she happens to attract a client due to this nice profile, than the client will expect such a quality of translation that is consistent with the profile. Someone who is unable to build a profile independently can hardly insure a more or less acceptable quality of translation. It’s much like dating someone through Internet by showing someone else's photo.


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
Member (2002)
Swedish
+ ...
More than annoying Nov 3, 2006

Rebecca Hendry wrote:

When I looked at their profile, I noticed that it was strikingly similar to my own - clearly my html source code had been copied and pasted into this user's profile. Key words had been changed, but the structure of the profile and a number of sentences have remained exactly the same. Anyone comparing the two profiles would think they had been written by the same person.

Becky.


Hi Becky,

I would definitely feel more annoyed that flattered. After all, you have probably invested quite a few hours with setting up your profile, adjusting the format, improving the text etc. until it was perfect. It's your investment for your business.

There is no reason why somebody else should be allowed to copy your text, and it's even worse if the same html code is being used. Taking a text as a guide or inspiration for your own profile is another thing.

Of course any text on the internet can be copied and used on other sites in more or less identical form, and there is practically no way to stop it, even with copyright legisliation etc. - but if I were you I would first ask the other translator about the reason for copying and demand him/her to change the profile. If this person has some kind of moral left, you can be successful.

If this however leads to nothing, contact a moderator immediately. And by the way, your profile is very good and informative so I don't see any reason for you to change it. If you start thinking of changing your profile, that other translator has finally succeeded, and who knows when your next profile will be copied?

Good luck!

Best regards
Erik

**********************************
Erik Hansson ( SFÖ )
Technical translator DE-SV
Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH
Website www.hansson.de
ProZ profile http://www.proz.com/pro/21654
***********************************


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I would report it Nov 3, 2006

I think Proz' staff would like to know (at least) that this is going on in the community. And I believe they have the big picture view and can decide if an action should be taken.

Csaba Ban wrote:

A similar thing happened to me some years ago when I was still new to Proz.com. Someone in my primary language pair copied my CV.

And it was quite interesting how I learned about it. An outsourcer contacted me about a project I never applied to. After clearing out some confusion I had realize that this person who copied my CV made the terrible mistake of leaving my own email address in the copied CV!

Csaba


I might be off-topic with the following, but I remember a story (I'm not sure if it's true, but it could) of a highschool student who copied a complete test from another student... even the name!

Best,

Andres


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 06:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
No secret Nov 3, 2006

If you want to know who copied Rebecca's profile, no need to ask her; it can be found by searching.

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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:01
Member
English to Turkish
Contact the site staff Nov 3, 2006

Hi Rebecca,

Plagiarism is not condoned at Proz.com. Please communicate the issue to the site staff submitting a support ticket.

Best,
Özden


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:01
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Search engine +proz and some expressions Nov 3, 2006

GoodWords wrote:

If you want to know who copied Rebecca's profile, no need to ask her; it can be found by searching.

Yes, you are right. Just use a search engine (like Google)
In Rebecca's case:
+ proz and the first words of her profile text.
And soon you will find another much to similar profile.
The profile of the copying user is really rather bare without the pasted text of Rebecca's profile.
If being contacted I am sure he will be insightful.
Chin up, Becky! This will be solved.
Steffi


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:01
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all. Nov 3, 2006

Thank you all for your comments, opinions and advice. I am, in a way, somewhat relieved to hear that I'm not getting worried about nothing.

I have no intention of changing my own profile as I don't believe I should feel forced into changing something that I have invested a great deal and time and effort into making and improving. But I will follow the advice of others and send in a support ticket. As far as I'm aware, it was just the profile format plus a few sentences in the CV that have been copied - I don't think any glossaries or sample translations have been used. And I certainly don't think they have been foolish enough to leave my email address in there, more's the pity!

I will also consider emailing the person in question to ask them to rethink their profile design.

Thanks to you all!


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 07:01
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Did they already change it? Nov 4, 2006

Tuliparola wrote:

GoodWords wrote:

If you want to know who copied Rebecca's profile, no need to ask her; it can be found by searching.

Yes, you are right. Just use a search engine (like Google)
In Rebecca's case:
+ proz and the first words of her profile text.
And soon you will find another much to similar profile.
The profile of the copying user is really rather bare without the pasted text of Rebecca's profile.
If being contacted I am sure he will be insightful.
Chin up, Becky! This will be solved.
Steffi


I tried, and all the Google links with proz and "reliable and punctual" just turned up Rebecca.


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:01
Member
English to Turkish
Don't be so sure Nov 4, 2006

Rebecca Hendry wrote:
And I certainly don't think they have been foolish enough to leave my email address in there, more's the pity!


I remember a case where the whole keywords area was copied, apparently without even checking: it included items in languages the copycat didn't work with, as well as the domain name of the original profile's owner


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