Copyright - Is It Clear? Are We Safe?

By
Education & Training with Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty

Copyright Violations and Plagiarism on ActiveRain are coming to an end, but it may not happen over night.

When you see a Police Car ahead, and you're speeding, don't you slow down?  Hopefully Harlen will have that same impact and affect as he travels around and throughout the Network.  I have heard he's already making a dent on AR.  His presence alone here should make a difference, knowing he's lurking in the shadows.

This post is in response to a thread of comments I read yesterday; The Active Rain Police: So now what, everyone gets booted?  Posts like Gregory Lohr's prove that the word is out, and that the message is starting to go Viral. Carolyn Tann has also written a post in the Club Chaos Group and even emailed the members regarding this topic as well.  It all stemmed from this announcement that Harlen had arrived on the scene.

Is the message clear?  Members want Clarity and Answers.   

Lenn Harley, as witnessed in the comments of Greg's post, is very well versed in the area of copyright laws and violations.  Still not clear on Copyright?  Just go read Lenn's Blog and all her posts on the topic.  She's a great resource for what you can and can't do.  Also review http://www.copyright.gov    

IN A NUT SHELL:

The idea of posting jokes, poems and recipes etc. is fine, it's your Blog, just don't copy and paste or plagiarize others sites and other authors material.  Create your own.  Be an author, not a copycat.  It's OK to take a small snippet, then add a link to the original source, but then write about it in your own words.  How much of a snippet is acceptable?  Great question.  I would never use more than a sentence or two max, just to be safe. (That's just my opinion, not sure it's a Harlen, Lenn, or copyright law)

Pictures, Graphics, Images, Screen Shots, Logos, Art work?  Simple, don't use them unless they're yours, or you paid for them.  Make sure you clearly understand the rules and copyright laws of the sites that offer them (questionably) for FREE.  Just be safe and not sorry.

ARE WE SAFE?

As far as Harlan and his role here, my understanding is that he is going through ALL Blog posts, both NEW and OLD trying to help clean up our network.  All he's requesting is that you go through your own Blog, and clean it up.  If you don't, the penalties here are pretty stiff.  CRUSH PLAGIARISM!

  • One reason is to protect you, our member.  In my opinion, it's better that you find your posts before Harlan does, and it's even better if Harlen finds these posts, before the original authors do, wouldn't you agree? Have you seen some of these fines? OMG!
  • Secondly, asking members to go through their own Blog posts and clean them up is alot easier and faster than Harlen trying to go through all of them himself.  You're helping him, he's helping you. 
  • Thirdly, this effort makes our Community and Network a much better place and resource.  We want to provide ONLY original content for our visitors.  We get over 7,000,000 visits per month.  This adds Value and Integrity to the network, and it keeps our traffic coming back while at the same time referring us to others.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

One last important issue to consider about copyrighted material, you need to make sure you are copyright protecting your own content too.  Our members produce some of the best stuff on the Web, and we need to make sure we're protecting our own content as well.  Cleaning up our Blogs is a much easier process than going out there and trying to find out who has violated us in the same manner.  Shouldn't we be just as concerned about who's stealing our stuff?  Yes.  Check out Copyscape.com, I see many members use this site for their AR and other Blogs. 

I see a day coming soon when we will have to change Harlen's role on AR because he will eventually help Crush Plagiarism here.  Then we'll give him additional tasks like Smashing Spam, and Deleting Gamers etc.  Help us give Harlen that new role as soon as possible, clean up your Blogs, and get rid of anything that's not yours.  It should be clear as day!  Keep Blogs safe, stay clear of Harlen and the Copyright Police.

Photo Image Courtesy of FreeFoto.com: Thank you for using FreeFoto.com. Please remember to give attribution and a link back to this site. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License  Image Reference: 04-04-12

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Ambassador
798,828
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

BRAD:  Again...THANK YOU! It has been another difficult day. With the situation the way it is, I was not comfortable being away for her. I'll be thinking of you guys. Have fun!! I'll be there next year, hopefully. GBU!

Elizabeth - you'll be missed, hopefully things work out to where you can come next year!  GB :-))

Nov 03, 2008 10:54 AM #132
Rainmaker
262,033
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Thanks (most humbly), Brad, for the accolade...the way that I am finding and the places I have found to have a voice and contribute to the communities, fostered by AR, is the most unexpected OUTLET that keeps me plugged into worlds that I can't believe are at my fingertips...they are growing as a part of my life, as an influence in how I relate, how I do business, how I learn and grow beyond the confinements of a small town...I've long believed that each day is BIG with blessings, and the seamless Universe is brimming with ideas and information, wisdom and grace...What a wonderful time to be here...to be wired, to be plugged in...we're amplification systems in a Universe of energy, of vibrations (loving or not, thought-full or plagerized---we can choose)...it's a SOUND Universe and a Universe of SOUND... (Is that what was meant by 'be of a SOUND Mind that Paul wrote about?---not Paul Slaybaugh, of course)...I say, turn it on and turn it up---because we can. I appreciate all the work that you and the AR team do for the community... what incredible and heavensent opportunities...:-))) And thanks for getting rid of all the plagerized static!

Nov 03, 2008 11:18 AM #133
Rainmaker
298,945
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Brad- I think everything has been covered but I want to expound on what the Anon Poster wrote.  There is someone on here that I have wondered for a long time how they have such beautiful Polished Posts....but then every now and then I read something that the writing style is night and day different.  I gave it 2 different causes....1) Plagiarism or 2) A Ghost Writer. But if it is a Ghost Writer aren't you still responsible if the stuff is found to be Plagiarized/Cut and Paste/Stolen ( they are all one and the same aren't they )......I think this is a growing trend people offering to write your Blog, but what are they writing? 

 

Nov 03, 2008 12:01 PM #134
Rainmaker
913,966
Ann Hayden
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO
SelectAnn.com

Brad,

I went back to ImageChef and found that for $80 a year you can use all of the items they have there.  I needless to say deleted all the images from my posts.  I did not have too many.  I tend to use my own photos.  I am interested in how to protect those...:-)

Thank you for the excellent info!

Ann

Nov 03, 2008 01:24 PM #135
Rainmaker
286,422
Tina Maraj
RE/MAX Cornerstone - Fullerton, CA
Top Agent in Fullerton 2016-2018 714-403-7901

It's about time. I have been on AR for almost two years. It has bugged me how much plagiarism there has been. Also people that read your blog and write almost the same blog and re-post!

Nov 03, 2008 02:41 PM #136
Ambassador
798,828
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Here's what photobucket is doing to make Harlen's Job easy here. 

Yes, this was found this morning and reported to Harlen and a suspension is surely to follow.

Nov 04, 2008 01:30 AM #137
Ambassador
2,738,698
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Quoting Alan above, "Many of the graphics I'd found on google images were non-copywritten, but I didn't keep track of which were, and which weren't..."

How does one know that an image on Google Images is "non-copywritten"? 

Nov 04, 2008 07:22 AM #138
Rainer
52,351
delete account
Clayton, MO

Almost done and that was not fun!! I ended up making a lot of what I used on my blog now to replace the old stuff. :) That was actually fun!! Thanks again Brad. What would we do if you weren't here to keep us informed and honest?  :)

Nov 04, 2008 08:46 AM #139
Rainmaker
298,945
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Brad- Did I read that right....all images, even the ones that we make with our words on imagechef need payment? (see Anns comment above)  Is there some way you can give us a definitive answer :)

Nov 05, 2008 07:27 AM #140
Ambassador
798,828
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Lenn - that's a great question.

Pamela - wasn't it great to go through all those awesome posts? Bet ya forgot about some of them eh? :-)

Kathy - you'd have to check with their license agreement and terms of service.

Lenn is going to be our guest next week on RAIN radio, The topic: Obviously Copyright, I hope everyone will join us...watch for my post on that coming soon.  :-)

Nov 05, 2008 08:35 AM #141
Rainmaker
1,476,302
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

woo hoo - he's got his work cut out for him!

Nov 05, 2008 01:22 PM #142
Ambassador
798,828
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Georgina - that's no joke.  I think the members are willing to help out though, that will make a big difference.

Nov 05, 2008 04:09 PM #143
Rainer
82,537
Julie Staradumsky
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Northfield, NJ
CREN

Thanks for all of the great information.   I will go through and check my blogs.

Nov 07, 2008 03:12 PM #144
Anonymous
Tracy Saunders

Brad-

Can you recommend a few good websites where we can buy graphics to use leagally.  Maybe Active Rain can have a resources section.

Nov 10, 2008 09:03 AM #145
Ambassador
798,828
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Tracy - we are working on something right now that will address this for our members.  Just hang tight, there's a new UI coming soon, and you'll see the benefits of this and more when it's launched.  Till then, I wrote a post about the FREE 200 RE sites that offer these tools, services, photos, graphics etc.  You'll find a link on my AR profile page.  :-)

Nov 11, 2008 10:19 AM #146
Rainmaker
517,112
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

I fully support this initiative and trust that it will also reduce some of the duplication and re-blogging that is going on in ARland without the proper credits being posted.

Nov 15, 2008 02:11 AM #147
Rainmaker
2,494,231
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

This was a big need for AR network.  I can relate to this as I retired from a government agency as Director of an IT security office.  There are many copyright violations, not only in the government, but all over.  People just think it is OK to copy and paste, who's going to know.  Well, I'm also glad  that Harlen is working with AR on these issues.  YOU GO HARLEN!

Nov 18, 2008 01:53 PM #148
Anonymous
johnpetersen

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Nov 28, 2008 05:21 AM #149
Rainmaker
166,473
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

I'm so glad that with my first copyright infringement problem, I know exactly where to turn for help.

Oct 29, 2009 02:35 AM #150
Rainmaker
166,473
Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

I'm so glad that with my first copyright infringement problem, I know exactly where to turn for help.

Oct 29, 2009 02:37 AM #151
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