Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Stealing someone elses work.

Today I was searching the Internet for information on "The Milkman's workbench".
It was my dad who sold his old one to Christopher Schwarz, so I once in a while like to read about all the different places this little bench has been built.

I just random clicked on the hits that looked interesting, and one of them was from a site that offered an instruction in building a copy. I had hoped that they perhaps had found some novel idea to make it even easier or more user friendly to build etc.
Instead it was a copy of the original article as it appeared in Popular Woodworking Magazine a couple of years back. As it happens I have brought that issue with me on board this time, cause I like to read my older issues every now and then, so I checked to make certain that I was not mistaken.

A vague attempt had been made to incorporate a water mark from the site, but it was so poorly done it couldn't fool anyone.

My Friend Brian Eve told me some time ago that he had encountered a similar thing, and he had contacted Megan Fitzpatrick of PWM, to let her know what he had found.
So I thought that I would do the same thing.
Megan replied and thanked for the information which made me glad that I took the "trouble" to write a couple of lines and add a link to where I had found the information.

I don't know what can be done about it, but I guess that FW publications have got some sort of lawyer that might be able to approach the people behind the website.
After all they are the holders of the copyright to the article, so offering it like that is actually a way of stealing from them.

Most people have the courtesy to inform if they try to follow the advice of someone who has made a book or an article about it and this piece of work is being used as a direct source of inspiration during the build.
But is is still interesting to see how that particular person goes about getting the job done.

What I don't like is a downright rip off like what I encountered today, where another persons work was just copied and offered in a shameless manner, like the owner of that site had the right to do so. I am fairly sure that the only reason someone would do that is to get traffic to their site, and that way earn some advertising money.

I am a bit angry with myself because I couldn't spot the bad site while looking at my search hits, and I hate to think of that I might have helped generate 1 more click on some jerks page full of illegal stolen content.

Guess I just had to blow out some steam..


  1. I have come across similar situations in the past. I'm not sure what is to be done about it, though. I once saw an article that was nearly word for word of one of my old blog posts, worded just so that it wasn't a "copy". Considering that I don't get paid for the blog I didn't care so much, I only wished that the writer at least would have given me a little credit for the subject.
    I guess that in the world of internet there really isn't much that can be done.

    1. Hi Bill

      Well you do happen to be a great writer, so I guess that is why someone would copy a blog post of yours.

      But again it is really low to not mention a source of inspiration if there clearly is one.
      A simple re-blog is a lot better. After all that gives the credit to the right person i.e. the one who wrote the post.

      I am afraid that you are correct about that there isn't a whole lot that can be done about it, but I just checked the link I sent to Megan, and the page doesn't work anymore, so maybe they have already managed to get the page removed from its host/server.


  2. I've not encountered the theft you note, but if anything like what I encounter, you will be receiving emails--how he got it I don't know--a persistent rash of emails. Ted ... ? Ted (Somebody).

    1. Hi Bruce
      At first I also suspected Ted..
      But it was a different site. And it didn't say anything about having to pay for the content, but I guess that would come if you continued on the site.

      I think that if we report pages like that when we see them it will give the copyright holders a little better chance of protecting their right.

      Thanks for commenting

  3. Jonas,

    In Texas you will hear folks say "His mama didn't raise him right". The internet gives a home to a lot of folks who's mama did a poor job. With no "gate keepers" and little cost to publish there is not much that can be done other than note and shun.


    1. Hi Ken
      That's a very fitting description.
      I guess it happens a lot more that the single incident that I have noted here.

      just coming to think of it, when I was attending the Engineers college, my class visited a large Danish pump manufacturer. They had a department that only had to think of ways on how to manufacture a pump in such a way that it could not be copied if ever opened.
      This was as I remember done on the circulation pumps for e.g. house heating purposes.
      They said that if they didn't do it, any one of their pumps would be copied from China within a very short time.
      So while I don't usually like things that can not be repaired, I can see why some things have to be produced that way.
      The distinct line between what is rightfully yours and what isn't seems to be rather blurry in the eyes of some people.
      Thanks for commenting.