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Idea stealing


iwikepie
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In the area there is a cacher who sends all the puzzles she wants to find to a friend in another country to solve. He solves it and they both log the find.

 

Back in June i hid my first puzzle cache. The puzzle wasn't anything special-just some basic googling was required. About a week later though, i noticed that the foreign country puzzler had posted a similar puzzle cache. In fact, it was very similar. Title, description. format puzzle were copy and pasted. Now, I was flattered that someone would like my puzzle enough to recreate it.

 

Now i just hid my second puzzle a couple weeks ago. This one was one completely from my mind and i don't think had ever been done before. It has frustrated a lot of people so naturally, the one local cacher sends it to her friend. He eventually solved it and they both logged a find (not sure if that is legal). Now again, the foreigner posted a new puzzle cache, this time using the same puzzle idea i had. This time he says Suddenly, out of the blue at lunchtime, at 12.20, I had an idea for a new puzzle cache." There is no mention of me or anything and it is written as though it is his idea.

 

This time i feel slightly offended. Shouldn't there be some mention of where the puzzle idea came from? Whats your opinion? Have you had experience with this sort of thing?

Edited by iwikepie
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I understand if they have someone else help you but if that other cacher is not there physically to sign it then that to me is armchair caching. If I was the one who lived far I would wait till I came to the area and then log it. To me that is not right to log it if you aren't there. And if that cacher logged it but didn't sign it then delete it.

Edited by jellis
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It sounds as though the idea for the second puzzle cache you listed constitutes your intellectual property. I'd indicate at the bottom of your cache description that the puzzle is copyrighted to your username, with an effective date, then contact the plagiarist and suggest that his cut-and-paste of your ideas are legally actionable in most jurisdictions, domestic and abroad...

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Team effort for the find - I'm abivelent about such things. I think if they worked as a team I don't mind. For all I could know the cacher who does the physical bit could just switch hands and pens and scrawl something and I'd be none the wiser. The puzzle solver I have met and think if you have issues with claiming a find you should be more direct with, rather than air it here.

 

As for swiping your idea, well, same applies.

 

I'd politely say I'm flattered you like my puzzle ideas, but please, if you are going to borrow them, please do them in your own words, at the very least.

 

It's less firm ground the concept of IP theft for a puzzle or cache idea. No guarantee you are the first to think of the idea, but if someone is doing a cookie cutter job, that's a bit offensive and they need to put a bit more effort into their own version. Though I suppose the first cacher to use an ammo box or do an LPC could just as easily gripe that everyone else has stolen their idea for a hide.

 

Be tactful first, it usually pays better dividends than a hostile message.

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This time he says Suddenly, out of the blue at lunchtime, at 12.20, I had an idea for a new puzzle cache." There is no mention of me or anything and it is written as though it is his idea.

 

This time i feel slightly offended. Shouldn't there be some mention of where the puzzle idea came from? Whats your opinion? Have you had experience with this sort of thing?

 

Thats par for the course. It seems he really was not trying to claim the idea, but rather the phrase was part of the puzzle. 12=0 Almost all puzzles are copies of others in some way or form. Most "original" ideas are actually taken from other applications and adapted. Leaders often follow the example of other leaders. Most experts in any field are followers in other fields. Most inventions are really part of a natural progression of ideas. I would not get too uptight about it. Perhaps you could post a gracious note to the page saying something like "Nice puzzle, I had fun solving it and have one very similar" , I doubt he was trying to be malicious. At Holling, you are to play your Ball honestly for the Hole, and not to play upon your Adversary’s Ball, not lying in your way to the Hole. :)

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I have to admit that I was a little upset when someone copied down, word for word, the entire content of a web site that I had at the time without giving credit. But a caching puzzle? I don't think I would be any more concerned than the original lamp post hider must be. But if it bothered me, I would do what I did with my web site and write a polite letter.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then plagiarism is the sincerest form of stalking.

 

Seriously: Delete the log if it makes you feel better, but if it were me I probably wouldn’t bother. I would probably just bask in the flattery, but I'm shallow that way.

 

If you really want to mess with the idea thief you could always post a note to his unauthorized copy-cache, explaining the origins of his 'original' idea, and including a link to your cache page. Interested readers could then compare the publish dates and see for themselves. Re-post the note each time he deletes it.

 

I bet that would stop the bootlegging.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then plagiarism is the sincerest form of stalking.

 

Seriously: Delete the log if it makes you feel better, but if it were me I probably wouldn’t bother. I would probably just bask in the flattery, but I'm shallow that way.

 

If you really want to mess with the idea thief you could always post a note to his unauthorized copy-cache, explaining the origins of his 'original' idea, and including a link to your cache page. Interested readers could then compare the publish dates and see for themselves. Re-post the note each time he deletes it.

 

I bet that would stop the bootlegging.

 

Good analogy.

 

He could also appeal to GS citing plagirism and/or implied copyright violation and have the reviewer who published the cloned cache archive it.

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There are very few original ideas in geocaching these days. Personally I'm flattered when one of my ideas is copied. In a few instances I've been e-mailed and asked for permission to do so. A nice gesture, but not necessary. I also admit to copying ideas from others.

 

As far as people who didn't actually hunt the cache, logging it, I can't for the life of me understand why anybody would do that. It doesn't hurt anybody, but it is on the cheesy side. If it were my cache I'd delete the log of the armchair logger. That is up to the individual owner though and if an owner is OK with the armchair find that is between him and the logger.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then plagiarism is the sincerest form of stalking.

 

 

That is an absolutely brilliant quote. Is that a KBI original?

 

Hey, I copied a puzzle. But I thought it was the right thing to do to axe the owner, whom I know a little (but only via events) if I could copy the idea. He said go for it. My cache here is a blatant copy of this cache here 90 miles to the North in Canada. I give credit to him on the cache page, although very cryptically, that probably only me and finders of that cache could understand.

 

I mean yeah, most stuff in Geocaching is copied, but this was a very unique idea I copied. It wasn't exactly hiding a film canister under a lampskirt, or hiding an ammo box in a hollow log. I think I too would not like this distant person copying my puzzles without asking, as outlined in the original post.

 

And yep, I'd delete a remote puzzle solved find, without visiting my actual cache site, in a microsecond. But I'm just an obnoxious old-school Puritan, that way. :)

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then plagiarism is the sincerest form of stalking.

 

Seriously: Delete the log if it makes you feel better, but if it were me I probably wouldn’t bother. I would probably just bask in the flattery, but I'm shallow that way.

 

If you really want to mess with the idea thief you could always post a note to his unauthorized copy-cache, explaining the origins of his 'original' idea, and including a link to your cache page. Interested readers could then compare the publish dates and see for themselves. Re-post the note each time he deletes it.

 

I bet that would stop the bootlegging.

 

:o:angry:

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then plagiarism is the sincerest form of stalking.

 

Seriously: Delete the log if it makes you feel better, but if it were me I probably wouldn’t bother. I would probably just bask in the flattery, but I'm shallow that way.

 

If you really want to mess with the idea thief you could always post a note to his unauthorized copy-cache, explaining the origins of his 'original' idea, and including a link to your cache page. Interested readers could then compare the publish dates and see for themselves. Re-post the note each time he deletes it.

 

I bet that would stop the bootlegging.

 

:o:angry:

Well said. I find myself strangely yet powerfully in full agreement with this post. You are indeed a wise and insighful soul, 4wheelin_fool.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then plagiarism is the sincerest form of stalking.

Seriously: Delete the log if it makes you feel better, but if it were me I probably wouldn't bother. I would probably just bask in the flattery, but I'm shallow that way.

If you really want to mess with the idea thief you could always post a note to his unauthorized copy-cache, explaining the origins of his 'original' idea, and including a link to your cache page. Interested readers could then compare the publish dates and see for themselves. Re-post the note each time he deletes it.

I bet that would stop the bootlegging.

:o:angry:

Well said. I find myself strangely yet powerfully in full agreement with this post. You are indeed a wise and insighful soul, 4wheelin_fool.

I was just about to accuse 4 W_Fof plagiarism.
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I'd indicate at the bottom of your cache description that the puzzle is copyrighted to your username, with an effective date, then contact the plagiarist and suggest that his cut-and-paste of your ideas are legally actionable in most jurisdictions, domestic and abroad...

Only if you really did copyright it. Anyway, probably not the best idea suggested here. :o

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I'd indicate at the bottom of your cache description that the puzzle is copyrighted to your username, with an effective date, then contact the plagiarist and suggest that his cut-and-paste of your ideas are legally actionable in most jurisdictions, domestic and abroad...

Only if you really did copyright it. Anyway, probably not the best idea suggested here. :o

It's copyrighted as soon as the words describing the puzzle cache are typed onto the screen (as long as the idea and/or words are original to the author).

From U. S. Code, Title 17, Chapter 3, SubSection 302: "Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation..."

I would be flattered if somebody copied my cache idea and had the courtesy to ask first or inform immediately after the fact, but I would be annoyed if somebody used my idea without citing its origin. After re-thinking my original reply, however, I would probably follow other, wiser advice that came afterward (ie: to contact the "plagiarist" and try to resolve the situation with diplomacy).

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I'd indicate at the bottom of your cache description that the puzzle is copyrighted to your username, with an effective date, then contact the plagiarist and suggest that his cut-and-paste of your ideas are legally actionable in most jurisdictions, domestic and abroad...

Only if you really did copyright it. Anyway, probably not the best idea suggested here. :o

It's copyrighted as soon as the words describing the puzzle cache are typed onto the screen (as long as the idea and/or words are original to the author).

From U. S. Code, Title 17, Chapter 3, SubSection 302: "Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation..."

I would be flattered if somebody copied my cache idea and had the courtesy to ask first or inform immediately after the fact, but I would be annoyed if somebody used my idea without citing its origin. After re-thinking my original reply, however, I would probably follow other, wiser advice that came afterward (ie: to contact the "plagiarist" and try to resolve the situation with diplomacy).

An international copyright lawsuit would almost certainly bankrupt most of us long before it was completed. And given that the copyright owner could not prove loss of any income, I doubt that even a favorable court would reward any real judgement.

 

Better yet, just email the "puzzle pirate" asking politely to be given credit for the puzzle, and stating that you would prefer to be asked first next time. 99% sure that would work.

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There are very few original ideas in geocaching these days. Personally I'm flattered when one of my ideas is copied. In a few instances I've been e-mailed and asked for permission to do so. A nice gesture, but not necessary. I also admit to copying ideas from others.

 

This would be the gist of my reply too. I mean, no royalty money is being lost.... Is there? :lol::angry:

 

One of my most watched caches was a borrowed idea. I borrowed it from a well known cacher after hearing another geofriend's experience with it while visiting his area. When asked if I could give him credit on the cache page, he said, "NO." He believed it would ruin the surprise if his name was known on the cache page. :lol:

 

My wife would tell the OP to suck it up and put dirt on it. :o

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An international copyright lawsuit would almost certainly bankrupt most of us long before it was completed. And given that the copyright owner could not prove loss of any income, I doubt that even a favorable court would reward any real judgement.

 

Better yet, just email the "puzzle pirate" asking politely to be given credit for the puzzle, and stating that you would prefer to be asked first next time. 99% sure that would work.

 

Why doesn't the puzzle originator post a public bookmark titled "Stolen puzzle cache ideas?" The plagiarist can't delete your bookmark.

Edited by Kit Fox
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It would be nice if he gave credit to the cache that spawned the idea, but I wouldn't get too bent out of shape about it. I assume he doesn't actually say on the cache page, "This is a puzzle idea I came up with myself." and it's a case where he just doesn't say where he got the idea? (Like most puzzle caches.)

 

In the other guy's defense, pointing to the cache that gave the idea might give hunters more clues than he'd like for his new hide. No idea if this is, or could be, the case here.

 

At any rate, a confrontational e-mail threatening to sue for copyright infringement is very unlikely to yield a desirable result.

Edited by rob3k
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An international copyright lawsuit would almost certainly bankrupt most of us long before it was completed. And given that the copyright owner could not prove loss of any income, I doubt that even a favorable court would reward any real judgement.

Better yet, just email the "puzzle pirate" asking politely to be given credit for the puzzle, and stating that you would prefer to be asked first next time. 99% sure that would work.

Why doesn't the puzzle originator post a public bookmark titled "Stolen puzzle cache ideas?" The plagiarist can't delete your bookmark.

I'd think this would be an appropriate "next step" if the email was ignored, but I'd think it preferable to receive credit for the puzzle idea on the cache page, than for my "You Stole My Puzzle From Me!" bookmark showing up on that cache page. Much more positive, IMO.
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Didn't we have a thread about this part of the OP not all that long ago?

 

In the area there is a cacher who sends all the puzzles she wants to find to a friend in another country to solve. He solves it and they both log the find.
Even down to the "another country" part.

 

That was my first thought too. Decide if it's important to you and then act accordingly. If I had a really good reason to think that somebody claimed a find and never left their own country, I'd probably delete the log.

 

As for the "stolen idea" part... If it was a local cacher setting up puzzles that were exactly like mine I might get a little rumpled. If they used the same .jpg images I'd be more rumpled. If they were linking directly to them images that are hosted on my website then I'd just change the file on the server...

 

But somebody in another country- probably wouldn't bother me too much at all. I understand that there's the compound irksomeness of them claiming finds on these same caches.

 

I have had two cachers in other states ask me about my two puzzles (that I helped them solve). I think that one of them was planning on using the same concept for their own cache. I told them to go for it.

 

Maybe I should put a note on these two that they are "open source"...?

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