Copy Wrong

Some time ago, I created a web page with the intention of helping out people.

You’ll find it here. It’s a guide on fixing a common problem on the 8L Audi A3, which I originally based on this post on, re-using some of the photos (with the copyright holder’s permission) and expannding on it based on my own experience. Once in a while, I get a thank-you email from someone, which is nice.

You’ll notice that I released the info under a Creative Commons Licence, meaning, basically, that anyone is allowed to use the original work for any purpose, but they should credit me, and the derivative work should also be released under the the same licence.

Which meant I was a bit miffed to find this site re-using my work, uncredited. The photos are HTC’s from, creditied in my original article, and mine (of my car and my lawn!), and the words are mostly mine, for the A3 part of the document (check the PDFs).

I sent the site contact an email:

Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 12:34:30 +0100
From: Chris Bartram
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:13.0) Gecko/20120615 Thunderbird/13.0.1
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: A3 window Fix
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit


You seem to have a derivative work some of my web content on your site
That's OK, the document is for anyone to use, and you have modified it,
but is is licenced under this licence:

which means that you should credit me for my original work, and also
licence your work derived from it under that licence. Could you please
add a credit?


Chris Bartram

So far, no response.

So, question for the panel: what next? I originally created the document just to help people. I’m not interested in financial gain, but it annoys me that someone is re-using my work without a credit.

6 Responses to “Copy Wrong”

  1. species5618 Says:

    Found a load of my articles on IIS clever stuff, was buried in experts exchange articles, can’t remember what i did though

  2. BrownhillsBob Says:

    I feel your pain. Sadly, I don’t think much can be done.

    I don’t mind people using my work, or leaning on it, for their own stuff, but I hate it when folk rip it off for commercial purposes (Express & Star: ) and I also hate the laziness inherent in some other local history sites.

    BrownhillsBarry, a ‘blogger’ who popped up one day, copying my whole approach, ( ) look and feel, is a case in point. Recently, he’s trying his hand at local history, with some self generated content. ( ) which is great, I support anyone doing that, the more the merrier, yet he liftem mapping from my site, without asking. If I ever do that, I take great pains to seek permission – it’s only manners.

    Further, Barry goes on in his triumph (herald, presumably) to compile this piece: ( ) – starts great with the loco, then riffs into the grove pit disaster. It’s a straight lift from here ( ) which has also magpied some stuff – the photo of the memorial is actually from Webster’s history site, and since he’s beyond contact right now, I suspect permission wasn’t sought.

    What’s really galling is that Barry, BFHG, Webster and a Wikipedia article ( ) that appeared on July 23rd 2012 all repeat the incorrect statement that 14 miners are buried in a grave divided into ten plots in Brownhills Cemetery. This is arrant toss. John Bernard Whittaker was buried in Brookland Road, Walsall Wood. I know this because I seem to be the only recent person apparently to spend any time researching the subject – over a month – in 2010. The other three poor chaps were buried elsewhere, and I’m still trying to find out where.

    This annoys me specifically, as a. Folk think it’s quite alright to just lift stuff and fiddle with the text b. the seem to be seeking the authority of knowledge without doing any, you know, work and c. anyone who comes searching for the history now sees 4 wrong versions in Google.

    Maybe it’s wrong to care about this, but it’s the magpie culture of stealing content that’s making it worse.

    There’s nothing you can do. These people don’t understand the work required, and just see stuff as there for the taking. Barry’s done everything except actually apologise.

    Here endeth the rant, sorry.


  3. stymaster Says:

    Of course, we could take the view ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, but it’s still annoying.

    As to the local history thing, this is, of course, a potential problem for future accuracy: we end up with lots of innacurate “references”.

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  6. Willenhall Lad Says:

    Blatant plagiarism in my opinion. A decent chap would have and should have referenced your article. F- and failed the exam. Perhaps they though that “Audiclips” had more authority sounding name than Stymaster?

    I don’t know what you can do about it though, bar the course you have already taken.