Scholarship or theft?

Someone unknown to me has copied numerous of my posts and posted them at their own site here.

I am delighted for others to use my material with a credit line, but this source includes no indication of the source of the material. It cost me many thousands of dollars to obtain the photos that I use on this page. Gaining permission to use material is not that difficult, and a credit line is certainly required.

You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15 NAU)

He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. (Ephesians 4:28 NAU)

Update Regarding Ethical and Legal Violations (March 27, 2010)

I knew that the person back of the actions mentioned above had done something unethical (sinful, according to the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament). I knew they were in violation of copyright law. After doing a little check, I learned that the practice is an infringement of the agreement made with WordPress, and a violation of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

After checking the archives of the web site, I learned that this practice has been going on since December, 2009. The owner has used my photos with the same or similar captions, but has removed “Photo by Ferrell Jenkins” or other credits that I included. Outrageous, isn’t it?

Update (March 29, 2010): In response to my letter stating that my material had been plagiarized, WordPress has notified me that the offending web site “has been removed.” Thank you, WordPress. You are a great service.

Update # 2 (March 29, 2010): Soon after the single post that I reported to WordPress was taken down, others were moved to the top of the blog. Later, I reported 40 of my blogs that were copied. Late this afternoon I received this note: “The entire blog has now been removed, as per these multiple reports.”

ArchaeologyExcavations taken down from WordPress.

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9 responses to “Scholarship or theft?

  1. That’s awful. Is that a violation of the WordPress use contract? If so, it may be worth an email to them.

  2. familymomentsphotography

    Ferrell, it’s shocking to see how people steal so carelessly.
    I hope you can take some legal action about it.

  3. I agree with familymomentsphotography. It is my admittedly limited understanding of intellectual property law that failure to vigorously defend a copyright can void your protections. Good luck!

  4. It’s dishonest, like plagiarism, which involves failure to cite sources for intellectual property belonging to another. This copying of your photographs, like the ones at Dan I watched you make, does not constitute “fair use”. Regarding legal remedies or defending your copyright, I would rather you not waste your money, must less your valuable time pursuing the matter! Our mutual [attorney] friend, [___], might advise otherwise. :-)

  5. Thanks for the kind comments. I am delighted when others find my material helpful, but the principle here is an important one. If a person can copy my intellectual material and photos without credit, then he could come into my driveway and steal my car.
    A friend told me by phone of a (named) minister who was fired because he was preaching another minister’s sermon on the radio. The other minister heard it and recognized it as his own. This is a serious issue.

  6. Ferrell,
    The site is back up and copying again.
    Mark Russell

  7. archaeologyexcavations

    Hi I am the person who runs the archaeologyexcavations.wordpress.com… First of all I would like to apologize. Being new to the internet everything was fantazied by me… I did take a few things for granted and a little ahead. But please understand this was not done purposely but only out of ignorance and a passion for archaeology. If you could forgive me I will provide all the credits and a link to your content and not the original content as it is posted in my website or if you still find it offending I remove all your contents…

    So that I can bring up my site again and a lesson learnt… well learnt to credit the deserving authorities. Waiting for your reply…

  8. Thanks for writing. I don’t find it difficult to believe that a person might copy a paragraph or two and overlook mentioning the source. Probably everyone saves notes that get separated from the source. You copied at least 41 of my articles and photos almost complete. The worst thing was that you REMOVED my name from the caption line. In one photo (The entrance to the temple of Baal-Berith) you cropped my name and copyright notice and put the name of your blog.

    I am delighted that you have learned, and I hope you will be able to have a new blog to prove yourself. In the case of my material, I prefer you simply link to anything of interest.

    For 25 years I taught at the higher education level (college/university). If a student presented a paper using uncredited material he/she received a failing grade in the course. I hope you will do better in the next course.

  9. Pingback: A look at copyright basics | Ferrell's Travel Blog

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