ActiveRain New Hire - Welcome Harlen 'The Copyright Crusader'

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with ActiveRain
https://activerain.com/droplet/qJC

Harlen 'The Copyright Crusader'

Our network is being plagued by cut and paste content! So today we hired a new team member. Let me introduce you to Harlen 'The Copyright Crusader'.

We are a community of PROFESSIONALS! 99% of you understand that. Harlen has been brought on to ensure that  the 1% who are bringing the rest of us down are dealt with. He has assured us that his relentless pursuit of justice for the holders of copyright protection will be unmatched. He has guaranteed to crush copyright infringement in 30 days or we don't have to pay him (can't beat that). How you might ask? well............

Every time you submit a post on Activerain you see this:

 

Some of you choose to ignore it. Some of you think that since you have gotten away with it before, you will continue to get away with it. You will not. Today, on his first day on the job, Harlen suspended the accounts of four members who had previously been warned about this type of behavior. One member had over 150,000 points. That's a lot of time wasted copying content and trying to pass it off as your own. Please, Harlen implores you, do not be the next person this happens to. He will be hunting content to the far and wide reaches of the network and running that content in Google to find the original author.

If you see someone copying content, leave a link to this post in their comment section. Warn them about Harlen and his 'Copyright Crusade'. Because if Harlen sees it before it's pulled down, the first offense will be a two week suspension. No questions asked. (Harlen thinks this is really lenient. Read that image above again.......it says "Posting copyrighted material without permission WILL result in being removed from ActiveRain")

The second time will be a ban from the network. Harlen has guaranteed this garbage will STOP!!! Plagiarism is polluting a network that thousands of people have poured their heart and soul in to making stellar. Harlen promises you that plagiarizers will no longer leave their mark on ActiveRain.

We have something very special here at ActiveRain. Your participation here is not a right, it is a privilege. By abusing that priviledge you are making yourself, and more importantly, the rest of ActiveRain look very unprofessional. Our community guidelines say: ActiveRain is a place where real estate professionals can network with their peers and discuss industry insider topics. It is also a public forum where consumers can pull back the curtain and see what the real estate industry is really about.

Do we really want consumers pulling back that curtain and seeing plagiarism, stealing and dishonest gaming? Harlen does not!!! Harlen believes that we all learned about plagiarism in elementary school. He remembers his fifth grade teacher Mrs. Robinson sending him to the principals office when he copied a passage from Marcus Valerius Martial without citing it:

"Why, simpleton, do you mix your verses with mine? What have you to do, foolish man, with writings that convict you of theft? Why do you attempt to associate foxes with lions, and make owls pass for eagles? Though you had one of Ladas's legs, you would not be able, blockhead, to run with the other leg of wood." - Marcus Valerius Martial

Here is a great resource for what you can and can't do: The wise advice of Lenn Harley

(This is not a joke, even though it is kind of funny)

 

Posted by

Bob Stewart
ActiveRain Ambassador

 

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Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Michelle Minch 10/29/2008 04:00 PM
  2. Gayle Balaban 10/29/2008 04:37 PM
  3. C Tann-Starr 10/30/2008 12:57 AM
  4. Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging 03/19/2010 05:01 AM
  5. Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging 03/19/2010 05:02 AM
  6. Kat DeLong 06/02/2010 03:25 AM
  7. Maureen McCabe 09/30/2010 05:30 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Tags:
plagiarism

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Rainer
113,497
Ryan Martin
Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Commercial RE Broker

Alright, I went through all 126 of my past blog posts and everything is tidy. I only found a couple of images that could possibly be considered borderline copyright violations. Either way, I removed them and I am 100% white hat :)

Nov 03, 2008 02:42 AM #158
Rainmaker
443,584
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Woo hoo!! I missed this blog until Connie Telebanyi (i'm sure I just butchered that spelling, sorry!)  posted about it .... I'm so glad to know about it!! 

Nov 03, 2008 12:40 PM #159
Rainmaker
643,145
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Bob, I am glad to see (well kind of see; even thought I can't make him out) Harlen on board.  I work hard on my post and it gets frustrating to see the cut and paste.  Will he also be looking for copying of pictures?  I get frustrated with that also.  I have seen pictures taken straight from a subdivision HOA site and put on a blog. 

Nov 03, 2008 02:33 PM #160
Ambassador
2,090,381
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Harlen, Harlen, Harlen! This is well overdue and really look forward to the change and look forward to the integrity this will help bring to the community.

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home - www.IFoundYourNewHome.com

Nov 05, 2008 01:29 AM #161
Rainer
28,568
Brian Bloom
www.AllinOneStaging.com 1-630-292-2710 - Bartlett, IL
All in One Staging Inc. - Home Staging Consultant, Redesign Expert

YES....... I knew something would be done if we kept complaining about it.

I told AR to do this a year ago, and finally it is done, thank you!

We have been so busy @ All In One Staging & Redesign and I have not been able to spend much time here on AR lately, but to see this is such a relief!

We are moving shop soon, (grew out of the space we had) but soon after I hope to read some more great posts by great Stagers here!

Thank you again AR, I'm so glad you heard me, us I should say and take action on these ppl.

Brian Bloom

Nov 08, 2008 09:00 AM #162
Rainmaker
1,115,804
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

What do you do if an Active Rain member prior to joining Active Rain, and even while a member of Active Rain, has a business whereby he occasionally provides free content that anyone can use on their web sites?

He does not copywrite or license such work, and those who choose to use it understand that others might also choose to use it. He has the original documents and would be justified in using the content here at Active Rain to help Active Rain members and their consumers. However, if you were to run it through Google, you'd probably find 30 web sites with the same content.

I understand copyright infringement but your post makes it appear that "no questions asked" will mean that he wouldn't have an opportunity to defend himself.

Understanding that some people will abuse whatever system they happen to be in (the 80/20 rule probably applies here), I think the way your post is worded makes it seem that the accused have no recourse. 

Nov 09, 2008 11:01 AM #163
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

Jim Frimmer sent me over here since I'm the subject of his comment.

Many home inspectors at Active Rain, of which I am one, might have a problem here. Let me explain why.

The world's largest home inspector trade association is the InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) with over 9,000 members. The founder and owner of that organization, Nick Gromicko, previously was a Realtor, as was I. Nick and I have written hundreds, perhaps thousands cumulatively, of articles for the InterNACHI membership as a benefit of membership. Those articles regularly show up on InterNACHI member web sites. I've already seen some of that content here at Active Rain. It makes me proud.

The articles are owned by no one per sé. Nick has been providing content since around 1994 when he founded InterNACHI, and I've been providing content since March 2003 when I jointed InterNACHI. Sure, there are some people who join InterNACHI for a year or so just to get at the content we have written, but neither of us have the time to track down who is using our content but not a member of InterNACHI. We have far more important things to do.

If you run all of the blogs of the Active Rain home inspectors through Google, you'll probably find that some of it comes from their web sites, much of it duplicated, and much of it written by Nick and me. The earliest entry on any web site does not mean that that person owns the content. It just means that he was the first to put it on his web site in a place accessible to the public. It would be grossly unfair to summarily suspend or dismiss such a member.

Because I've written so much content prior to joining Active Rain, I would not hesitate to use any of it for a blog entry here. Thusly, it would be grossly unfair to summarily suspend me for using content that I wrote, notwithstanding that someone else is using it on their web site and I have chosen not to.

I'm probably using it as part of my own marketing campaigns because I rotate content every month. I probably also have it in a non-public area of my own web site so that I can use it as a link in my home inspection reports in order to provide my Clients with something above and beyond what my competition provides.

The other problem with the copyright avengers is that just because something appears on a web site does not mean that they wrote it or own it, even if it is the earliest known content on the Internet. I've already seen at least one person who copied some text directly from a book that I have in my library with no quotes and no source attribution. It's an older book and out of print, although still available at amazon.com. What do you do there? I emailed her privately but I never went back to see if she had changed her blog entry; too many much more important things to do.

With over 40 years of experience in all areas of real estate, I have a huge library, do a lot of reading, and am always writing new content to keep my marketing and web site fresh.

So my word of caution would be not to let the Lenn Harleys and other copyright masked avengers run amok too much here at Active Rain and summarily suspend or terminate someone "no questions asked." I realize that this is a private enterprise, just like InterNACHI is, but remember that it is, indeed, the Internet, and suspending or terminating the wrong person for the wrong reason with "no questions asked" could inspire such people to, as Paul Harvey said, tell "the rest of the story" far and wide on the Internet. Each circumstance needs to be handled on a case by case basis to determine what truly might be going on.

There actually are those of us who like to see our content spread far and wide on the Internet, notwithstanding whether or not we have been paid for it or get credit for it.

As my wise old grandmother said, "If you LOVE to provide FREE HELP, you'll make a lot of money." That's been true in whatever industry I've worked in since I started researching and writing for college students when I was 10.

Nov 10, 2008 07:03 AM #164
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

My other comment would be about sites where one can buy content and then use it with limitations. Dreamstime comes to mind.

I've been buying images from Dreamstime for about five years now and using them as permitted (you can read their permissions and restrictions here). However, Dreamstime has 4,100,000 images available for purchase and 1,000,000 registered users.

If you look at their images, you can see that many have been downloaded hundreds of times, so with the power of Google's search engines, it is highly likely that duplicate images will show up in a search.

Now I happen to be one who keeps all my receipts for my purchases since they are tax deductible in my businesses, but I would be hard pressed to find any one specific receipt for any one specific image.

The Internet is still too new, court case law too little, legislation too little, and too many gray areas to suspend or terminate an Active Rain member "no questions asked." I've come to expect more from Active Rain than that and hope that questions will, indeed, be asked. Everyone has a right to defend themselves and to meet their accusers.

Nov 11, 2008 07:37 AM #165
Ambassador
556,968
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Russel...

I also had such concerns but what I know to be true will prevail. Each case will be looked at individually. That's the way it works around here. I don't see that changing.

AR Upper Management knows of these things. They're our think tank :)

And for the record we (Hubby and I) were contacted for hijacking an image before we knew better. We paid to play and learned our lesson the Cha Ching way :)

TLW...ROAR!

Nov 11, 2008 08:13 AM #166
Ambassador
686,008
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Questions will be asked folks. We will not simply suspend people without contacting them unless the offenses are determined to be egregious. And even if that is the case, we will allow folks to explain what is happening. We are not robots, we are human beings with a heart and a brain and after getting an explanation, we will do our best to determine if it was a suspendable offense.

On the matter of using content that you have permission to use, but did not author......there is a little box every time you post something that you can check that alerts us you have permission but did not author the post. In that case, you will not get points. Points are only awarded for content that a person wrote themselves. If you don't check that box, and you do it repeatedly, you may be given a suspension. You may also have large numbers of points removed. It's not fair to our other members that spend hours writing their posts and get the same amount of points as someone who takes content they did not author and posts it without reporting that they did not author it.

There are a ton more questions on this topic. The bottom line is: You are the one at risk. ActiveRain is protected by the DMCA but you as an individual are not protected. Resources abound for finding out what is OK and what is not. If you want to stay on the safe side of the law and you intend on posting content that you did not author, you had best find those answers.

Right now, today there are people on the internet that have ways of tracking images that you take without permission. They are hunting people down who use their images and suing them. They are winning. You can expect the same thing to happen at some point with written content. It's in your best interest to make sure the stuff you are using is legal for you to use. If you only post stuff you write, you don't have a worry at all.

Like TLW just said, we will look at each case. It won't be a blanket solution because the issue is very complex.

Harlen is really busy all day researching and tracking this stuff, however, my phone is always open for you to call and discuss any of these issues with me. 425.216.2754 is my office and 425.753.7340 is my cell phone.

Nov 11, 2008 08:30 AM #167
Ambassador
556,968
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL

Whoa...

Okay then :)

I still miss that $800 dollars I had to pay. But alas it did serve to let folks know it ain't okay to jack the images. So, I guess it was money well spent :)

TLW...ROAR!

Nov 11, 2008 08:56 AM #168
Rainmaker
1,452,044
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Bob - And here I thought your number was (nun) yab-izns

Nov 11, 2008 10:48 AM #169
Ambassador
686,008
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Georgina,

That's actually Harlen's number :-)

Nov 11, 2008 10:49 AM #170
Rainmaker
1,476,478
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

is Harlen still with us? 

Does he work primarily with images? 

Or with content, text that is copy and pasted??

Feb 16, 2009 03:28 AM #172
Rainmaker
179,901
Jason Rose
123 ConEd LLC -- Michigan real estate continuing education - Farmington Hills, MI
www.123ConEd.com

Welcome Harlen!  It's good to see that someone is out there protecting us from copyright violations.

Feb 16, 2009 04:20 AM #174
Rainmaker
70,243
Jeff Corbett
BoomTown - Charleston, SC

Maureen-

I see Harlen almost daily...If you notice any copyright infringements feel free to email me and ill pass it along for Harlen to check out :)

Feb 16, 2009 04:29 AM #175
Rainer
289,770
Daniel J. Hunter
REALTOR® - New Port Richey, FL

looks like this did not quite catch on, or am I wrong

Jun 01, 2010 11:35 AM #176
Ambassador
1,892,884
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Halen it's time for you to come back to work.  Need to send a message in 2012 to clean up the network and add a new tone of professionalism to the AR network.

Jan 05, 2012 12:59 AM #177
Rainmaker
1,476,478
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

Bring Back Harlen!!!!

 

Jan 05, 2012 11:26 PM #178
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