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Copying other translator profiles/websites PART 2
Thread poster: Rebecca Hendry

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:29
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 9, 2011

Hello all,

Way back in 2006, I posted this topic http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom:_translator_coop/58996-copying_other_user_profiles-page1.html after I discovered a Proz.com profile almost identical to mine, but in somebody else's name. The same thing has happened to me several times over the years and I have always contacted the site user in question and asked them to modify their profile content. Fine so far. I was disappointed at the time at Proz.com's lack of rules in this area, and as far as I'm aware nothing further has been done about this.

I have now discovered a website (not linked to Proz.com) of another freelance translator working in my language pair (plus others) where entire sections have been copied and pasted from my own website. The only changes have been the title of my degree to the title of the other translator's degree, etc....

I'm going to contact the translator in question about this. I'm aware that I don't have any copyright for my website and there is nothing really to be done on the vast WWW, but I wanted to share this experience with other Proz.com users and get your input.

I'm flattered, of course, but sheeesh! Doesn't being a translator mean you're a good writer too? A little bit of originality would go a long way!

Anyone else had any experience of this?

Becky.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
Copyright... nevertheless Mar 9, 2011

Hello Rebecca,
you can nevertheless copyright the content of your website for free. This will give you some more weight when contacting translators about this laziness which drives them into copying from your contents.

On my website, you will find a clickable copyright mark on the bottom right of every page. Maybe you should consider such a basic protection.

The best of Scottish to you!

ETA: by the way, my motto is Na bean don chat gun lamhainn.

[Edited at 2011-03-09 10:00 GMT]


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:29
German to English
Why not protected? Mar 9, 2011

Dear Rebecca,
Why isn't the content of your website protected by intellectual property rights?

Officially registering, declaring, or posting a copyright is fully irrelevant almost everywhere (including the UK) = Berne Convention.

I'm no expert: Is some relevant exception involved here?

Sincerely,
Michael


 

Jaroslaw Michalak  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:29
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Copyrights Mar 9, 2011

As far as I know, in most jurisdictions the author is protected from the moment the work is created, so applying copyright marks is no longer necessary.

This means that (unless local regulations do not state otherwise) the text on your website is indeed protected by law and you can demand removal of it if it was used without your permission or even seek damages if you feel the person obtained benefits from the use of your material.

But of course, IANAL, TINLA, etc.


 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:29
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Copyright Mar 9, 2011

Thanks all for your input.

I have very little knowledge of the copyright situation, but it's very interesting to see that perhaps I don't have to do anything official to protect my web content. I'm going to look into it a bit more and see what I can find out.

Thanks!


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:29
German to Serbian
+ ...
Theft. Mar 9, 2011

I don't see why people can't understand that copying someone else's content is a theft. This is especially bizarre coming from content professionals ( at least that's how they call themselves).

I don't know for sure, but I believe you do own some copyrights to your ProZ profile, however perhaps you would require some legal action to add an extra layer of protection to it.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:29
Spanish to English
+ ...
If they are Mar 9, 2011

geographically local, you could always "send the boys round"...
I'd be flattered if someone stole my details, they're welcome to them because I made up most of them up anywayicon_wink.gif


 
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:29
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
How much copying is allowed? Mar 9, 2011

Rebecca Hendry wrote:
I have now discovered a website (not linked to Proz.com) of another freelance translator working in my language pair (plus others) where entire sections have been copied and pasted from my own website.


I think I found the site -- quite a lot was copied, but the site is different from yours and won't be confused with yours by anyone, I think.

I also found a site that had a whole paragraph from your "prices" page, copied word for word (even comma for comma). But then... I checked the Wayback machine to see which of you wrote it first, and I discovered that the other translator's web site has an archived copy from 2007, whereas your domain was only registered in 2008. Does this mean you copied that paragraph from their site?

http://www.google.com/search?q=The%20cost%20of%20translating%20a%20text%20is%20generally%20calculated%20according%20to%20the%20number%20of%20words%20in%20the%20original,%20or%20source,%20text,%20and%20I%20always%20tailor%20my%20rates%20to%20suit%20each%20project%20according%20to%20its%20subject%20area,%20urgency%20and%20complexity

The question is therefore how much one is allowed to copy before it becomes plagiarism.


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
I agree Mar 9, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

(.../...)

The question is therefore how much one is allowed to copy before it becomes plagiarism.



 

Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:29
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How much copying is allowed? Mar 9, 2011

Samuel Murray wrote:

I also found a site that had a whole paragraph from your "prices" page, copied word for word (even comma for comma). But then... I checked the Wayback machine to see which of you wrote it first, and I discovered that the other translator's web site has an archived copy from 2007, whereas your domain was only registered in 2008. Does this mean you copied that paragraph from their site?

The question is therefore how much one is allowed to copy before it becomes plagiarism.



Although I don't think many clients (or anyone, for that matter) would come across both my site and the copied site and then take the time to use the Wayback machine (first I've heard of it, to be honest!), it's a concern to think that the automatic conclusion would be that *I* had copied the other one!

However, your point is a good one - would it be considered acceptable to copy just one paragraph or sentence word for word, yet unacceptable to copy the whole structure of the website?


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:29
German to English
Fair use Mar 9, 2011

Hello Samuel,
I think that the fair-use tolerance for material copied for commercial purposes is pretty close to zero. I also don't think that the issue is about confusion (as in logos, etc.), but ownership of specific ways of presenting material (paraphrasing without citing a source can also be in violation of copyright).

The identical paragraphs relate to another problem; here, I am hopelessly out of my depth. Some texts don't qualify as intellectual property because they do not represent sufficient intellectual activity and others are excepted for other reasons (certain government documents, for example). I assume that these standards vary wildly from country to country.

Sincerely,
Michael


 

Laurent KRAULAND (X)  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:29
French to German
+ ...
Be original, then! Mar 9, 2011

Michael Wetzel wrote:

(.../....)
The identical paragraphs relate to another problem; here, I am hopelessly out of my depth. Some texts don't qualify as intellectual property because they do not represent sufficient intellectual activity and others are excepted for other reasons (certain government documents, for example). I assume that these standards vary wildly from country to country.

Sincerely,
Michael


 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
Contact the ISP if Necessary Mar 9, 2011

If you are certain that your content has been lifted by another translator, you should write a "cease and desist" letter to the author of the site, letting him/her know that you are aware of the theft and expect the stolen content to be taken down; otherwise, you will take further action.

Wait a few days, then take the next step, which is contacting the ISP that hosts the offending site. In most cases, the ISP will remove any pages containing plagiarized content.

When it comes to commercial websites (and many other situations/platforms as well), no, it is not acceptable to copy a sentence or paragraph word-for-word.


 
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