Hell hath no fury like Intellectual Property unattributed

I’ve been witness to an interesting couple of hours on Twitter.

A L&D consultancy network (who shall remain @Gilfuseducation) has an extensive “industry news” section. There’s just one problem with it: much of the content has been scraped from other sources. Here’s one example from Alan Levine’s cogdogblog.

To give Gilfus a modicum of credit, there is a passing reference to some authors in the headers. One recent tweet from my feed hints at the root cause:

@tomspiglanin: @Quinnovator Fine print: “Feed aggregator technology via FeedWordPress is setup to provide proper attributes to authors.” #FAIL

….but most of the folks in my PLN feel as Tom does and the “solution” falls far short. To the uninformed, the way the articles are structured, it almost looks like many of the named authors (among them my favourite “genial malcontent”, Clark Quinn) are writing for Gilfus. **  (UPDATE: Here is Clark’s take on the issue and he notes that the eminent Jay Cross has also been victimized by this activity)

The backlash across the ‘Verse has been strong and swift. What I found most heartening was that it was primarily “ordinary L&D folk” who raised the alarm and started pushing the awareness to some of the impacted authors in their direct circles, but I’m certain that the list of victims unaware of this “theft” is much larger than most of us will know.

What today demonstrates was two-fold: first, that there are unscrupulous asshats engaged in serious IP “douchebaggery” (credit to Aaron Silvers and George Takei) who cannot make the distinction between “public access” and “public domain”, or they just can’t be arsed to make the effort. Second, it shows just how many people have your back as a valued contributor to the L&D community.

So…to Aaron Silvers, Kris Rockwell, Tom Spiglanin, Donald H. Taylor, Alan Levine, and Brian Lamb, thanks for watching our backs.*

*Apologies to anyone I missed…
** NOTE: In the time between my initial explorations of the issue and the final posting, the named article by Clark Quinn mysteriously disappeared. Thx to Clark for noting that on his RT

About Mark L. Sheppard

learning geek, lifelong learner, terminally curious, recovering blogger and Ed Tech explorer.

Posted on September 5, 2012, in commentary, networking, opinion, PLN, rant, reflection, Social Learning, thoughts, Twitter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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