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Approving waymarks with copied content?


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I'm an officer in one category. I've noticed that the long descriptions for some of the waymarks that I see submitted are cut & pasted directly from other websites. Because I'm new at this, in the past I've approved a few of those waymarks. However, Groundspeak's terms of use say that content may not violate existing copyright:

"D. Restrictions. Permission to use our services is subject to the following restrictions. Whether these restrictions have been violated shall be determined in our sole discretion. You agree not to: ..."

"x. Upload, post, transmit or otherwise distribute any content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any person, including without limitation under any privacy or publicity rights."

from http://www.geocaching.com/about/termsofuse.aspx

 

I'm not actively looking for copyright violations in every waymark I see, but certain things make me suspicious and it is very easy to find out if something has been copied. Should I approve waymarks that I know are plagiarised, or is that solely on the shoulders of the person who submits the waymark?

 

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that this has become more of a concern for me since I recently found some of my own content was cut & pasted into the long description for a geocache.)

 

Edited to add: I should clarify that I'm aware of the non-copyright issues around Wikipedia's Creative Commons licenses and similar copyleft and public domain issues; I'm talking only about things which are not covered by such copyright exceptions, such as most business and personal websites.

Edited by Country_Wife
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I'm an officer in one category. I've noticed that the long descriptions for some of the waymarks that I see submitted are cut & pasted directly from other websites. Because I'm new at this, in the past I've approved a few of those waymarks. However, Groundspeak's terms of use say that content may not violate existing copyright:

"D. Restrictions. Permission to use our services is subject to the following restrictions. Whether these restrictions have been violated shall be determined in our sole discretion. You agree not to: ..."

"x. Upload, post, transmit or otherwise distribute any content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any person, including without limitation under any privacy or publicity rights."

from http://www.geocaching.com/about/termsofuse.aspx

 

I'm not actively looking for copyright violations in every waymark I see, but certain things make me suspicious and it is very easy to find out if something has been copied. Should I approve waymarks that I know are plagiarised, or is that solely on the shoulders of the person who submits the waymark?

 

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that this has become more of a concern for me since I recently found some of my own content was cut & pasted into the long description for a geocache.)

Among the basic posting requirements that should go without saying is also that a waymark submission should not break any laws.

 

So when you happen to notice a copyright infringement, this is a very clear reason to deny the submission. That's how I do it, and I think anyone should.

 

But you are not responsible for someone else's copyright infringements, and there is no reason to check the postings on a regular base.

Edited to add: I should clarify that I'm aware of the non-copyright issues around Wikipedia's Creative Commons licenses and similar copyleft and public domain issues; I'm talking only about things which are not covered by such copyright exceptions, such as most business and personal websites.

Here you are completely wrong! Public Domain is something else, but all those Copyleft, CC licenses and sorts are very, very strict with their license definitions. You may use the material as defined in the license, often for free. But it has to be declared, and not giving credit to the creator is a very clear copyright infringement. The exact conditions do vary a bit depending on the exact license type.

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I'm an officer in one category. I've noticed that the long descriptions for some of the waymarks that I see submitted are cut & pasted directly from other websites. Because I'm new at this, in the past I've approved a few of those waymarks. However, Groundspeak's terms of use say that content may not violate existing copyright:

"D. Restrictions. Permission to use our services is subject to the following restrictions. Whether these restrictions have been violated shall be determined in our sole discretion. You agree not to: ..."

"x. Upload, post, transmit or otherwise distribute any content that infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any person, including without limitation under any privacy or publicity rights."

from http://www.geocaching.com/about/termsofuse.aspx

 

I'm not actively looking for copyright violations in every waymark I see, but certain things make me suspicious and it is very easy to find out if something has been copied. Should I approve waymarks that I know are plagiarised, or is that solely on the shoulders of the person who submits the waymark?

 

(In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that this has become more of a concern for me since I recently found some of my own content was cut & pasted into the long description for a geocache.)

 

Edited to add: I should clarify that I'm aware of the non-copyright issues around Wikipedia's Creative Commons licenses and similar copyleft and public domain issues; I'm talking only about things which are not covered by such copyright exceptions, such as most business and personal websites.

 

I cut and paste quite frequently - all you have to do is give proper credit by enclosing the information in quotes and advising the website that you pulled the information from. It would be nigh on to impossible to be an expert on all of the subjects that a lot of us post. I'm learning a lot about Historical Buildings, but the description from the actual Historic Property Application carries alot more weight than my poor attempt at describing the building.

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You must also remember that paraphrasing someone else s work without giving them credit is a form plagiarism.

 

In general, unless I'm an expert on whatever subject I am writing about, I cite my source. If I have any concerns that the source matierial shouldn't be quoted ver batum I will paraphrase and include a like to the original.

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You must also remember that paraphrasing someone else's work without giving them credit is a form of plagiarism.

Good point. I wanted to review that for my own information, and this link does a good job of describing the difference between a good paraphrase that doesn't plagiarize, and some examples of paraphrases that are also plagiarism. The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison, "Avoiding Plagiarism: Successful vs Unsuccessful Paraphrases"

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You're going to be very popular.

Are you suggesting that I shouldn't worry about this? Because that's what I'm asking about, whether it's appropriate for me to consider copyright issues when approving waymarks, or if I should approve waymarks even in cases where I'm pretty sure there is a copyright issue, because that's up to the person submitting the waymark.

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You're going to be very popular.

Are you suggesting that I shouldn't worry about this? Because that's what I'm asking about, whether it's appropriate for me to consider copyright issues when approving waymarks, or if I should approve waymarks even in cases where I'm pretty sure there is a copyright issue, because that's up to the person submitting the waymark.

I wouldn't worry about it.

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Be careful. That previous poster has 0 waymarks listed and 0 waymarks visited. You should always take such replies with a pound of salt.

 

Personally, I wouldn't spend time looking for copied content. But if I just happened to know that it was copied without attribution I would reject the waymark and ask them to put in the attribution before re-review.

 

Main reason is that I (like most waymarkers) do not want to give Waymarking a bad name. What happens when a bunch of victims of plagiarism start taking Waymarking to task with the folks at Groundspeak?

 

Play nice.

Edited by MountainWoods
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Personally, I think this is an important issue from several aspects.

 

First, there really are some legal issues involved, and Groundspeak does periodically get complaints about copyright infringement, so we cannot take this lightly.

 

Beyond this, it is just good practice to cite one's sources. This is not only an ethical obligation, but it actually strengthens the waymark!

 

Quoted material should be clearly indicated as such. Quotation marks are the accepted and obvious way to do this. I cannot imagine a reason NOT to do this, except laziness. Then the source should be clearly cited. If it is from a web site, the the NAME of the web site AND the URL should be given. I prefer to have them embedded with HTML tags, but that is optional.

 

Even if the actual writing is my own, I still cite my sources. This is really standard practice in writing. So, I might say something like, "The above (or belowo) is taken from Source A and Source B." I also see people listing resources saying something like, "For further information see Source A and Source B." All of this makes a very strong waymark, providing resources for those who might want to find out more.

 

Most of us do a lot of "cut and paste," and that is fine if proper attribution is given. But, I have a strong preference for having at least SOME original description. This is what Waymarking can contribute to the body of knowledge -- our personal observations and experience of the waymark, even if it is just a statue or even a McDonald's store.

 

I Do decline waymarks if it appears that unattributed material has been copied or used. Usually people are cooperative, but once in awhile someone gets offended. That's no fun, but I believe we have an obligation to uphold the integrity of Waymarking.

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As a reviewer, this is my main gripe. I'm very strict..... even if a submitter provides the source...but doesn't use quotation marks...I decline. Citing the source without using quotation marks implies that the material is paraphrased.... but if it is quoted..... those quotation marks are a must. As Silverquill mentioned, most folks make the easy edit...but a few have gotten quite upset. Sorry...but this is one area where Waymarking has to be stringent.

I have had my own submissions denied because when they quote, for example, Wikipedia pages with footnote marks. I have been asked to delete the footnote marks because they just confuse the reader. Again...I don't think that request is appropriate. If you are quoting...you quote the whole passage unless you use ellipses to indicate that something is missing.

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