Saturday, June 9, 2007

Internet Plagerism

This topic has been the bane of my existance for the last few years. I have been akin to a dog with a bone - it's something I just can't let go.

Why you might ask. Well, because I have been a "victim".

When I first put together my website, "Women of History" back in 1998, I little realised that it would be copied - maybe I should say "cut and paste" - without permission and without discrimination, and posted just about everywhere.

I didn't mind when visitors to the website came for research, and asked permission to use my information, with the relevant accredition. There was little to no information on the web regarding the majority of biographies that I researched and then posted. So, I was quite happy to promote historical women that weren't as famous as some of their counterparts.

However, I first became aware that my website had been "copied" with the emergence of the "w....pedia" phenonenom (c.2001) when doing a search. Yes, when I first put my biographies out on the web in 1998 there was no such thing called a "w....pedia". As you know, this and its ilk, are an encyclopedia that is built upon "user" contributions. Simply put - websites are systematically data-mined and reproduced, without credit.

I also found quite a bit of my work (researched and written by me) reproduced on forums and other websites - again, without permission and without credit; and when sent a "please explain" email - no response.

So, how could I prove that these were MY works and that I wasn't the guilty one? Well, I have all my original notes - so what you might say. I have numerous copies on discs - again, so what.

But just today I came across the most amazing thing - Internet Archive. Guess what - every single page ever posted on the Internet has been archived from 1996.

Well, "Women of History" has been around since 1998 - and every page that I ever created has been archived! Mind you, some of the graphics are missing, but all my textual work (as each page was revised and updated) is there, right up until each page's very last update (2006, I believe).

So, now I have the proof - right in front of me. What can be done - nothing much unfortunately. But now I can log every single page with the date that it was archived as proof - it's going to be a long night!

But, I can hear you say, I have posted my works here on the Blog. That's okay - some of the biographies are old versions, and others are articles that are there for general use (all dated and documented from my end).

Author beware .......

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