back to article Copyright wally of the week

At El Reg we're happy to license our copy, and if you ask nicely, you might even get use of it for free. But this is the most unusual request I've ever received. Subject: Sunny Spain article use for local US newspaper Andrew, Thanks for the hard hitting and brief article on solar power. I would like to submit it to our local …

COMMENTS

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  1. Ken 16 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    so do you have a link to that newspaper?

    I mean you were totally giving him permission to use it, dude!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sometimes...

    ... a quick whack on the head with a large blunt object and a stern talking-to is just that more effective. The ``whatever, dude'' is just asking for a double helping of same.

    Besides, if the possibly unnoticed threat of a $150k fine isn't helping, would threatening with a $300k fine help? Besides, these jokers probably aren't worth even $50k, so tough cookies trying to collect. *shrug*

  3. Turtle

    Not clear at all!

    The official position of this website seems to be that music piracy should be punished by the most meager of legal sanctions. And that the jury awards against pirates such as Jammie Thomas et al verge on being crimes against humanity. Shouldn't you also be campaigning for changes in copyright law that will essentially decriminalize the outright stealing of YOUR ARTICLES TOO? Or should it be only music and movies that are exempt from copyright protection? If there are reasons for the theft of music and movies to be penalty-free, but your articles protected by copyright, please explain them, as the situation as it stands now is not clear at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Proportions

      The difference between a "pirate" like Jammie Thomas and this person is that 1: Jammie Thomas and all are not making money out of other people's work, just taking it without paying. Still a crime, but not the samr yhinh

      2: This person is proposing to publish (and likely get payed for ) someone else's work AND taking credit for it.

      The second one is the kind of actions that the DMCA was supposed to stop and punish with 6 figures fines.

      BB, cause he doesn't see the difference either.

    2. Annihilator Silver badge
      Boffin

      Erm, not quite

      There is a big difference. As Andrew points out, El Reg will allow you to republish content as long as you name the source, but may charge for it.

      What this "dude" is doing is akin to me downloading a copy of Bananarama's "Love In The First Degree" and releasing it as a single, possibly by Milli Vanilli, to turn a profit. Admittedly it wouldn't be much of a profit, but you see my point.

    3. Mike Brown

      not really the same...

      Downloading music isnt the same; there isnt many freetards that download Lady Gagas latest single and try and pass it off as their own......

    4. Z 1
      Headmaster

      Ummm

      Do you read a different website? El Reg's coverage has been about whats happening and any campaigning has been about bringing in sensible reforms where authors/musicians are compensated and users get their stuff easily enough. Never have I seen anywhere on the Reg any condoning of piracy. They have, however, been scathing in the way the music business and other lobbying bodies have reacted.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Confused?

      I think you are mixing up the attitudes of the average Reg comments page with the attitudes in Andrew Orlowski's articles.

      Agree with him or not, he's pretty consistent on the subject of authors and artists being rewarded fairly for their work - it's a central theme of a lot of his stuff. A freetard he most certainly ain't.

    6. Alex Wells

      Well, pretty clear actually...

      The Reg have been pretty clear (see multiple 'freetard' articles) that they strongly disagree with piracy, even where idiot Music corps are involved - writing about defunct distribution mechanisms and knee-jerk litigation/kicking-the-door-down of companies' own customers is not the same as giving carte-blanche to 'pirates'.

      The discussion could go on and on regarding the above - but please remember that legality is not an issue with piracy - copyright infringement is a civil offense, one which this chap has every right to complain about on a website to which he is a contributor.

      By the way Capslock writing went out with the 90's, you should be able to provide emphasis within your comment without resorting to bad grammer... paragraphs may help.

    7. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      WTF?

      @ Turtle

      Just to add to the rest of the people saying that you really haven't got a clue, El Reg's "official" position (such as it is), and Andrew Orlowski's in particular is that the world has moved on, the old distribution model for music etc is outdated, and that the music companies in particular should not be able to use draconian laws in order to maintain market dominance. There has never been any suggestion on these pages that content creators should not have their rights protected.

      Now, Turtle, get back in your shell and swim away.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Hey, they asked!

    This sort of thing happens all the time without the thief asking permission, at least this thief was stupid^H^H^H^H^H^H polite enough to ask for permission.

  5. Tom_

    At least he asked

    Many people wouldn't even bother doing that. You can just say, "No."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Er

    Dude, can't you take a compliment? He thought your article was so good he wanted to redistribute it, and the way he wanted to do it didn't allow for you to get attribution (or pay, but I'm assuming no-one would have got paid for it). His solution was silly, but complaining about it publicly is pretty rude considering that at the end of the day the guy was paying you a compliment.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      "I was paying her compliment"

      Is what the Flasher told the Court.

      1. mmiied
        Joke

        re:"I was paying her compliment"

        can I use that excuse?

        I will of corse pretend that is mine and will not credit you but at least I asked

        thanmks dude

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      No compliments here...

      It's not about compliments at all! Would you work for free -- or let somebody else take credit for your work -- just because it was somehow a compliment? "Great work on that report, but I'm going to pass it off as my own and you should feel honored that I think it's worth plagiarising." My plumber won't work for free, no matter how great it is for him to expend his efforts on my toilet.

      Contrary to common misconception, the value copy-able material CAN BE diminished with each copy made. I read The Reg because there's content there that is unobtainable elsewhere. My page impressions are a marketable commodity, which in turn pay for the fees awarded to the writers whose content compels me to endure the ads.

      The Ohioan freetard didn't get nearly the drubbing he deserves.

      1. veti Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: No compliments here...

        "Great work on that report, but I'm going to pass it off as my own" would indeed be an Evil sort of compliment.

        "Great work on that report. Is it okay with you if I pass it off as my own?", however, is quite a different sentiment.

        He's only asking. Take a deep breath. Accusing the guy of anything, or even calling him a "freetard", is entirely unwarranted.

        tl;dr: Whatever, dude.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: Er

      Er, indeed. "Dude", it isn't a compliment when someone comes up with a cock-and-bull story about having a "local person" submit an article under their own name. If the tone of the article serves the agenda of this clown (is that a compliment, too?), but someone gets to rub out the name of the author and put their own name on it, it starts to look quite a bit like astroturfing to me: "Local resident Joe Q. Sixpack is outraged, blah, blah, here's his take on the matter."

      Such people should just go back to Facebook and keep clicking the "like" button on stuff - it's clearly where they belong.

  7. JimC

    Sadly

    the only suprising bit is that he contacted you at all...

  8. Lionel Baden

    What do you think

    Whatever Dude !

    *request for "the Dude" Icon please

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      "Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

      From now on, Andrew Orlowski will be known to me as "The Dude." Andrew, I will drink a White Russian in your honor. The Dude abides.

    2. Ministry of Truth

      Oh my yes

      The Dude Abides

      But don't forget my cake icon.

      And maybe a "the cake is a lie" icon too.

      No icon - boycot them til we get the new ones!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    simple...

    Whatever, Tom.

  10. JimmyPage
    WTF?

    At least he asked

    unlike the Daily Mail

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      daily mail

      You dont need permission to make stuff up down the pub the night before your deadline!

      1. JimmyPage
        Coffee/keyboard

        icon

        says it all

  11. Brian Miller

    Maybe you should contact the paper

    It looks like Tom would like to see the article in his local paper. How about if you contacted the paper directly? They might be willing to allow you to main in a signature, instead of needing to show up in person.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Maybe you should contact the paper

      But why would I want to do ... anything?

      1. Petrea Mitchell

        Well, fraud and all

        Maybe to warn the paper that any op-eds this astroturf group does give them should be investigated a little more than normal?

      2. Adam Williamson 1

        Well...

        well the guy thought you wrote a good article and the readers of his local paper would benefit from reading it, and proposed a way for this to happen. It was you who, following your own particular obsessions, saw this immediately through the prism of 'intellectual property' and your 'ownership' of what you wrote. Not everyone thinks about this stuff all the time. That angle probably hadn't even occurred to the guy. His thought process was just 'hey, it'd be neat if this appeared in my local rag so some other people could read it'. Sure, for professional or amateur copyright law enthusiasts there are more proper ways to go about making that happen, but it's not as if he was asking you for permission to sell photocopies down the local market for a fiver, is it?

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Well...

          "It was you who, following your own particular obsessions, saw this immediately through the prism of 'intellectual property"

          Duh, Adam.. that's because (wait for it...) *IT IS* about intellectual property.

          (I don't own what I write here, my employer does, it's a cash-for-IP arrangement.)

          "Not everyone thinks about this stuff all the time"

          Maybe it would help if at least some people thought about it for at least a little time. And your post demonstrates the confusion that arises when they don't.

          These are all fairly simple concepts, why do you find them so difficult to respect? Is it a professional inconvenience? Is it a grudge?

          1. Adam Williamson 1

            Every time

            "These are all fairly simple concepts, why do you find them so difficult to respect? Is it a professional inconvenience? Is it a grudge?"

            Every time I talk to you you seem to make the odd mistake of assuming I'm the same person as whichever unfortunate you're sinking your journalistic teeth into this week. let me remind you once more that I'm not a 'freetard', I don't download music, and I'm not the guy who asked you if he could have your article printed in a newspaper somewhere.

            "Duh, Adam.. that's because (wait for it...) *IT IS* about intellectual property."

            To you. Yes. To the guy who wrote the letter, it's about whatever the hell your original article was about (I've forgotten, now). I work for Red Hat. When people who have no particular interest ask me what I do for a living, I don't launch into a two-page diatribe on the importance of free software, because I understand that they probably don't give a shit, even though I do. This is the mistake you make in assuming everyone else cares a huge deal about 'creator rights' or whatever you're calling the law of copyright this week. Most people just don't care about it that much or know a lot about it. To lots of people, the request that guy made of you wouldn't seem particularly weird. They would think that perhaps you wrote the article out of an intrinsic interest in its argument, not just because you're a writer and you need to get paid, and hence you might like to see the article printed as widely as possible even if it happens not to be attributed to you. Of *course* you have the right to say no to this, which the guy was implicitly accepting by asking your permission first; all I'm saying is that to many people, the mere idea of asking wouldn't be so laughably absurd as you seem to assume it is.

            1. Trokair 1
              FAIL

              Uber-Fail

              Your posting privileges have been revoked.

              "To lots of people, the request that guy made of you wouldn't seem particularly weird." - Hey, I'm going to take your work, change a few things, then call it my own would seem weird to everyone but you apparently. Idiot.

              "They would think that perhaps you wrote the article out of an intrinsic interest in its argument, not just because you're a writer and you need to get paid" - Except that he works for a *wait for it* News Rag and it his job writing that puts food on his table. You are a moron.

              "to many people, the mere idea of asking wouldn't be so laughably absurd as you seem to assume it is." - To ask permission to reprint the article giving proper attribution is not an absurd action. To ask permission to actively plagiarize it is. Now go away and do-not-come-back.

              "to many people, the mere idea of asking wouldn't be so laughably absurd as you seem to assume it is." - To ask permission to reprint the article giving proper attribution is not an absured action. To ask permission to activly plagerize it is. Now go away and do-not-come-back.

              1. Adam Williamson 1

                Er.

                "Hey, I'm going to take your work, change a few things, then call it my own would seem weird to everyone but you apparently. Idiot."

                Everyone but me, anyone who ever published anything into the public domain (hint: that's a lot of people), and a rather large swathe of human history. How many songs do we have for whom the author attribution is 'traditional'? How many old stories? Have you ever wondered why copyright isn't particularly respected in China? It's because socially they haven't developed - fairly recently - the tradition of venerating authors so highly as we currently do in English-speaking countries (in particular). Go look at history (even in England prior to the last few centuries), and note that those who are valued creatively are generally 'bards'; that is, they are valued for their ability to _tell_ stories, not to _write_ them.

                Broaden your horizons a bit. Again, you're doing what Andrew is doing, and viewing everything through the 'ownership' blinkers. The guy who made the request didn't want to 'call it his own' because he wanted to pretend he was the amazing author who wrote it. He wanted to 'call it his own' to satisfy a rather quixotic demand of the newspaper in question.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          WTF?

          Wake up you Muppet!

          What planet are you on pal?

          FFS! I do a lot of photography, purely as a hobby, I make no money form it. Let me tell you, if some scumbag asked me "Oh dude, can I take one of your pictures and like put my name on the bottom and publish it where I like, maybe make a little cash, would that be OK?"

          NO! It fucking would not be!

          Here's one for you. How about you took some pictures of your family and those pictures then got taken and printed in say an guns magazine, a pro-hunting magazine or any publication against which you had strong feelings, would that be OK too?

          Really gets my goat! This "FaceBook generation" that sees all artist's work as being in the public domain, to be used and abused as the downloader sees fit.

          Yes, I want people to see my pictures, but when and where I choose to display them!

          Arrrgh! Where's my pills?!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: But why would I want to do ... anything?

        except write a snarky article and get paid off the back of someone being sort of polite instead of just ripping you off wholesale

        1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: But why would I want to do ... anything?

          See that thing sailing 30,000 feet over your head? That's the point, that is.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dude, I hope you got permission to publish that request

    Because if you didn't there's a $150,000 bill coming your way!

    He was asking for permission. Did you?

    1. PirateSlayer
      WTF?

      Dude...

      ...he didn't pass it off as his own request...so no bill in the post.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was this Ohio bloke a character from Idiocracy?

    Is this a real story or a review of Idiocracy?

    Mind you, I've had Register writers send unsolicited emails to me making as much sense in the past...

    I wonder if he'll submit 'his' story to the local rag anyway?

  14. Desk Jockey
    Happy

    Too stupid to write his own article?

    Despite being head of several single issue groups (they look a bit made up to me!) he doesn't already have his own material and can't just use your article as a source (with reference of course)? Plus talking about Spain in the US might not actually work with a local readership as they will probably think Spain is in Mexico or Louisiana or something!

    I think the reason why the local rag wants the authors to sign it is so that they can prove they actually know the subject matter and wont write complete rubbish. Unlike UK papers, US papers actually have standards!

    I think you would do the guy a favour by saying no because he would not be able to answer the questions on any technical or research aspects of the article, thus would look a bit of an idiot. Admittedly, a nice enough to ask at least sort of idiot!

  15. Chris Collins

    Free as a bird now

    The official position of this website seems to be that music piracy should be punished by the most meager of legal sanctions. And that the jury awards against pirates such as Jammie Thomas et al verge on being crimes against humanity. Shouldn't you also be campaigning for changes in copyright law that will essentially decriminalize the outright stealing of YOUR ARTICLES TOO? Or should it be only music and movies that are exempt from copyright protection? If there are reasons for the theft of music and movies to be penalty-free, but your articles protected by copyright, please explain them, as the situation as it stands now is not clear at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Chris Collins

      I hope you got permission from Turtle before submitting your comment.

    2. CD001

      heheh

      once again the downvotes show how people somehow manage to completely miss the irony here.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: heheh

        Quite!

  16. Mr Smin

    calm down

    Looks like the asker is asking (on behalf of a non-profit organisation) if you don't mind them circumventing their local newspaper's requirement that submissions must be signed over in person - he likes your article and thinks people in his area should read it and this was the best way he could think of to do that.

    Mis-conceived, poorly explained but not really worthy of your reaction.

  17. Warren 2
    Pint

    Junket

    Perhaps you should have hit him up for an all expenses trip to sample the finest that Bellefontaine, Ohio has to offer.

    This bustling metropolis of over 13,000 is famous the world over for having the first concrete street in America built in 1801, and the shortest street in America, McKinley Street, which is about 20 feet long.

    There could be a signing ceremony followed by beers at the Jug & Jazz Bar & Restaurant. (darts tournament from 9:00pm). http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/pint_32.png

    1. Apocalypse Later

      Figures

      "This bustling metropolis of over 13,000 is famous the world over for having the first concrete street in America built in 1801, and the shortest street in America, McKinley Street, which is about 20 feet long."

      So, 20 feet of concrete; that was quick. I expect that the famous street paved with gold is even shorter.

  18. John Tappin

    not even an acknoledgement to the great el reg?

    There is a sort of respect for things that are copied and good enough to be followed, but simply being ripped and re-badged is a bit mean

  19. Mark Flingstone

    Executive director

    Another instance of a Scarlett O'Hara approach to taxpayers' money ... gone with the wind ...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money for nothing

    After a recent article I saw about the US claiming that they invented English, I would use the full force of the vocab available.

    Secondly, I'd keep an eye on Bellefontaine, Ohio's website for any sign of the article showing up. Once it's up and viewed a couple of times....SUE THE DUDE!!!!!

    After all we invented the law suite culture.......

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Turtle

    If I may?

    "The official position of this website seems to be that music piracy should be punished by the most meager of legal sanctions."

    Actually you will find the position changes depending on the author of each particular piece. However it seems to me that El Reg generally supports meaningful protection of IP along with reasonable and effective sanctions should one breach those protections.

    "And that the jury awards against pirates such as Jammie Thomas et al verge on being crimes against humanity. "

    The award in the Jammie Thomas case was absurd. Both in the actual amounts and in the amounts related to the ability of the defendant to pay. There is no inconsistency in agreeing something should be punished but decrying excessive punishments.

    "Shouldn't you also be campaigning for changes in copyright law that will essentially decriminalize the outright stealing of YOUR ARTICLES TOO?"

    This is a non-sequitor. If El Reg (or more relevantly the particular author of each piece) did actually condone piracy then fairy snuff. But they don't. So they don't.

    Now, many posters think it is their right to steal any IP they want (cf. freetard) but that is not the stance of El Reg. I am confused as to what basis you formed this opinion.

    "Or should it be only music and movies that are exempt from copyright protection? If there are reasons for the theft of music and movies to be penalty-free, but your articles protected by copyright, please explain them, as the situation as it stands now is not clear at all."

    Again, you have made assumptions based on something only you seem to have read.

    Any confusion or lack of clearedness here is entirely down to you, my friend.

  22. Neil Brown

    Rather an overreaction?

    He was asking permission, to get around an onerous requirement by a local publisher - and, as you say, sometimes you see merit in your content being used without a royalty being paid. He did the right thing - he asked for a licence - and got a pretty shirty, sarcastic response back. If you did not want him to use the article, would a simple "I'm afraid that I would not be willing to license your use of my work in this manner" not have sufficed?

    You may be the owner of the copyright in the article at law, but, as the Register so often promotes, copyright law is entirely out of touch - the article was built on the learnings, discoveries and writings of others. A definite case of "standing on the shoulders of giants". The requestor was so keen to get the article republished that he was willing to invest time and effort in modifying it, and seeking your approval of the modifications before going to print.

    Perhaps a Creative Commons BY-SA licence grant would have been ideal, allowing him to get the article published, with a few minor amendments to circumvent the restrictive policy of requiring a local author, and still retaining attribution etc. (e.g. "This opinion was based on a piece by Andrew Orlowski, available at http://www.theregister.co.uk."). The Register gets its name further out there, for what appears to be very little cost at all - if the target audiencehad not already seen the Register, the attribution might prompt them to do so; if they had, then, they have already seen your store etc.

    1. CADmonkey
      Grenade

      You presume a lot

      The 'dude' made no mention of attribution, licences,or anything. He sounded more like one college kid asking another for a favour (or a favor)

      Had I received such a message, I would have found his request casual & friendly, but also ignorant and disrespectful of the value of someone else's graft.

      Going by his second message, I'd guess he couldn't give a fuck one way or the other and won't even waste valuable drinking time wondering what the guys fucking problem was. A flea in his ear is what was due, the cheeky whipper-snapper. I think he got off lightly.

      Bah!

      1. Neil Brown

        Suggestion, not presumption?

        I suggested a (cc) licence, which requires attribution, as a way of fulfilling the request, but also retaining (and, perhaps, increasing) the value to the author. The requester may not have thought of.attribution, so the suggestion of the equivalent of a link back / source reference might be appealing.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Rather an overreaction?

      Fantastic parody of the Profession Freetard mindset.

      Say Three "Hail Larrys" and take the rest of the day off.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      No!

      "They will print it provided the author shows up and signs a release in person. To get around this, I would like permission to make minor modifications and have a local citizen submit it as their own."

      This is the clincher, you plank!

      Basically, I know you can't get here to sign it off ( they can't accept a fax and telephone conversion? ) but tell you what, I'll submit all your hard work under someone else's name. They will get the credit and if there is any, the financial reward too!

      The phrase, "get around this", which translates in my book anyway, to "circumvent procedure"!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Your suggestion

    So, he was honest. He asked for help. He had a problem:

    "They will print it provided the author shows up and signs a release in person".

    How did he propose to get round that ? Ask permission to pass it off so he could go and sign the document.

    Yes, it was quite a significant request; aside from telling him to get lost, can you think of how to resolve his issue?

    As others have said, he was quite complimentary and, above all, honest. If El Reg regard him as a Wally because of his honest then our society has reached a really sad state.

  24. KCM

    Well they asked...

    .. and if they go ahead without permission, sue the backside off them,...

  25. Tiny Iota
    Thumb Down

    Credit or Debit?

    I think he was well aware he had no rights to the work and that’s why he was contacting you. Seems like you could have just said “no”. What was the biggest problem, the fact he wanted to pass it off as someone else’s or the fact there was no money offered?

  26. Lexicon

    Here's the clue

    The clue is right here "Bellefontaine, Ohio - target of wind developers"

  27. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Sheesh, Why Not...

    ...accept a written OK? Surely the "appear in person" provision exceeds the due diligance required of a newspaper. On the other hand, perhaps they will pay your airfare and put you up at the local Best Western.

    Another option, have one of their editors produce an original opinion piece including a brief attributed quotation, and a link to El Reg. This might double your readership in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

  28. Hous0430
    WTF?

    I appologize

    For the "southern" denizens of my state, not everybody is crazy in Ohio (just those "southies"). It is true that at least he asked, but plagiarism is plagiarism.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Eh?

    "The official position of this website seems to be that music piracy should be punished by the most meager of legal sanctions. And that the jury awards against pirates such as Jammie Thomas et al verge on being crimes against humanity."

    The official policy seems to be to describe copyright violators as 'freetards'. I think that speaks volumes regarding the attitude towards them.

  30. StampedChipmunk
    Thumb Down

    Seems a weird request

    I'm a bit confused about what Tom wants here: Does he want to copy the piece, change it a bit and slap HIS name on it for submission, or someone else's name for submission to support his organisation's point of view? Weird submission procedure too, must be a very local paper.... for local people.

    Either way, as a professional writer myself I'd be wanting my name to be associated with my work and, if the piece had already been published (esp. if I'd been paid for it) that publication would have to agree to its republication (even if for free) before it could be released. At the very least I would I would expect to have my byline and the original publication's name at the bottom of the piece (see El Reg's re-pubbed articles as an example.

    I certainly wouldn't let someone take my work, re-write some bits, and then re-publish under their name unless I either didn't own the copy (if I'd written something for a company for example and they agreed to the re-distribution) or unless I got paid (or unless i really liked the dude and his ideals).

    Sadly, as many have pointed out, most people wouldn't ask and just plagarise the thing anyway, so props to Tom for at least getting in touch.

  31. RichyS
    Go

    Fancy visiting Ohio?

    Maybe Tom could pay your expenses for signing the release in person.

    OTOH, I suspect Ohio is a bit of a dump.

    Probably best to ignore the chap.

  32. tas
    WTF?

    Strange El Reg reader responses!

    Put yourself in Andrew Orlowski's shoes or as the editor of The Register...

    Why on earth would you dignify this request with any response other than puzzlement?

    Regardless of whether its a not-for-profit organisation or any other context, why on earth would a journalistic company offer any of its works without EITHER acknowledgement OR compensation?

    I mean seriously guys, what is wrong with you all? You all work or have worked in real life at some point, I assume. Or am I totally missing some hidden point since last time I looked there are very few non-religious people/organisations who work for absolutely NOTHING!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ripped off

    People have been re-publishing things I wrote for computer mags years ago on nostalgia websites for ages. They mostly don't ask permission because they have somehow got the idea that I am dead. But even so, I don't see how they can think I have been dead for the requisite 75 (or is it 50) years. If only they WOULD put someone else's name on it. They pinch my photos too.

  34. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Opinion page

    "He was asking permission, to get around an onerous requirement by a local publisher"

    Really it's not that onerous. The opinion page on papers here in the States is where locals write in, well, opinions on various topics. It's really not intended for reposting other's work -- not because of some copyright issue, that's just not what that section of the paper is really for.

    Anyway, *shrug*. I don't really have further opinion on this, he asked and was told basically "no". He's not profiting so if he publishes it anyway I don't see it as deserving of a $150,000 fine for sure, although it wouldn't be cool.

  35. b166er
    Thumb Up

    @Warren 2

    The Jug & Jazz Bar!!!! in BenneFellatio, Ohio, when's the trip?

  36. Eddy Ito

    Never learn

    Ah the good old days, when you could buy an original paper to submit to the profs. Now it's all free papers downloaded from the intertubes and hope you don't get caught. Sad.

  37. Forget It
    Go

    . org

    if they are really a non-profit dot org then let them do it.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lazy tosspot

    I'm surprised the lazy tosspot managed to string together enough of his own words for two emails. Mind you, they could've originally been someone elses and he'd just changed a few words and popped his own name on?

  39. g e

    Troll?

    Everyone fell for it?

  40. Pete 2 Silver badge

    sauce for the goose

    So did you ask dude-boy's permission before publishing the email he sent you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      To be fair,

      Republishing a work while maintaining attribution is quite different to what "dude-boy" was requesting, which was to republish work as his own (or someone elses) after making minor alterations to the piece (presumably altering names and locations to suit tha target audience).

      He did ask, of course. But the fact remains he could have quite easily written his own piece, citing Orlowski as a source. However his response suggests that he's less not in putting in some effort and producing an original work and would much rather copy off someone elses work and alter details to suit his application - kind of like a ready-made CV.

      All quite sad, really.

  41. SleepyJohn
    Linux

    A bit out of proportion I'd say

    I don't think mocking someone for what appears to be a genuine misjudgement is much to be proud of. And after all we are talking about a short article that could gain publicity for the writer and the Register, not the wholesale plagiarising of War and Peace.

    There are plenty of ways to get your name attached to your work besides a conventional by-line. But having received such public humiliation over his polite request, the gentleman in question might be forgiven for simply rearranging a few commas and prepositions in order to safely pass it off as his own work (rather than note 'taken from the excellent article by ... writing in ...). Such deceit does, however, seem quite clearly not to be his intention.

  42. mego
    Thumb Up

    Rejected by moderator at Monday 21st June 2010 19:00 GMT

    And thus my point is proven.

  43. Alistair Wall

    fair use

    The copyright notice on the Wind-Watch website does say "This site contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ", followed by the EFF fair use policy.

    Tom Stacy's proposal would fit a careful reading of this policy.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    And what was your answer?

    Just for clarification....

  45. Anomalous Cowturd
    Joke

    Rejected by moderator at Monday 21st June 2010 21:30 GMT

    My point was pointier than yours!

    Probably! ^_^

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good enough for

    Raj Persaud, good enough for Tom...

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Yes No Maybe

    Just read your syndication page as linked in the article - love the yes, no, maybe policy and the line "Hmm. We are less than whelmed with our experience to date. We'll want paying and we'll want proof that you can pay."

    Go El Reg!

  48. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Does this mean the Reg is going to stop recycling stories from OutLaw and places like it?

    Would it have been so hard to write back to the guy and say something like "OK, you can re-publish the story provided the changes are approved ahead of publication, full accreditation is given and here's our fee"?

    Maybe it was a nice day in SF and the e-mail proved too tempting a seed for yet more phoned-in shite. I'll stay tuned for your next article, though. Rumour has it you have exclusive rights whenever someone in Google parks their Segway '...a bit funny...'

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      Sounds like you don't understand licensing either.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Set the lawyers on him

    Seeing as the fool in question has probably just ripped off your article anyway - "whatever, dude" I'd set a bunch of rabid lawyers from the RIAAss on the tuckfard and sue him so hard his spleen ruptures.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds familiar

    Plenty of freelance photographers will be familiar with this, although usually without asking first. I've lost count of the times some local rag has printed my work without permission, credited to someone else. Sometimes its down to the graphics people just picking up whatever is kicking around their HD to fill a hole and using their staffers name, sometimes it's a 3rd party press release using my image (accidently or deliberately) without permission, and the PR company/dept are often named on the photo credit as they've stripped the IPTC info. Getting money out of them is worse than getting a drink out of a Vogon, not least because editors are generally less pleasant.

    The ones that do ask are actually worse in many ways, since they always seem to be patronising female copywriters of about 38 years old who suggest the exposure you'd gain in "Bog Roll Industry monthly" will propel your future earnings to dizzy heights. The only thing that seems to actually upset them is when you laugh just after they've made their pitch (timing is everything), so I do.

  52. Craig 28

    re:over reaction

    Frankly the mention of the single issue groups at the bottom makes this smell like he might be trying to use the article to influence opinion rather than just spreading what he thought of as a good article, the complements we cannot confirm are his genuine opinions. Given his intentions are unclear I believe the author did the right thing, and I would also agree that if the local paper in question have a web site it should be checked to see if it appears anyway.

    As to comparison with music piracy, as many have said that isn't a accurate summation. Most sensible people agree that music authors should be rewarded for their work however most of the money goes to their label instead. This is not a direct issue to piracy except that their greed means they try slapping huge fines on 15 year olds and the like, something which is disproportionate to their financial means. As stated by others the issue is also that downloads of music and films are "loss of profits" not loss of attribution, the latter is much more virulent in a way. If you know who is responsible for something you like then you can choose to patronise their work again in the future. This in turn encourages their reputation, even if you got the item for free and talked to someone you know about it.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: re:over reaction

      "Given his intentions are unclear I believe the author did the right thing"

      Well, passing off is fraudulent behaviour, pure and simple, and then there's copyright infringement.

      Are you really unfamiliar with *all* these concepts? It seems so.

      There are lots of ways of bringing that article to his readership, but he didn't employ any of them.

      1. Steen Hive

        Overreaction

        "Well, passing off is fraudulent behaviour, pure and simple, and then there's copyright infringement."

        Not with your permission it isn't. Which is presumably why he asked.

        Implying he may be prepared to commit fraud or infringe your copyright on those grounds is thin, even for you.

        Perhaps, being naive to the point of ridiculousness, he believed you might be willing to donate your work to the cause - as something you wrote because you believed in it, rather than as a shill.

        1. PirateSlayer
          Thumb Down

          Do you ever...

          ...stop calling people 'shill' if you don't agree with their viewpoint?

          He didn't ask for permission to use the article, he asked for permission to plagerise the article ...a bit different. As pointed out above, there are many options (and free ones as the article says) which would allow this dude to have the article added to his cause...he happened to make a bizarre request that no content owner in their right mind would ever allow...I guess you have never worked in Academia Steen. Are you one of those middle aged people that didn't need a piece of paper to prove you are the most intelligent person on the planet?

          1. Steen Hive
            Thumb Down

            @Pirate Layer

            How can it be plagiarism if permission is given to reproduce as your own, dufus?

            Of course the request was ridiculous, Implying he might be prepared to flout the law as a response to it is just as ridiculous and pretty defamatory too.

            He asked Andrew essentially to assign all rights to the text to him, which in his naivety he wrongly assumed Andrew was in a position to do anyway. And of course Mr O. would be the last person in the history of the multiverses any regtard would ask to do that!

            Ever wonder why the local paper seemingly requires the ridiculous step of an author to appear *in person* to sign consent to reproduce?

            Here comes the clue-bat - it the mere beginnings of the chilling effect brought about by the culture of fear you and your twat ilk want imposed on the general populace, of course accompanied with the stripping of their rights outside of IP.

            "Shill" is an adjective reserved solely for the most egregious propagandists on the payroll, like your good self. "Worked in academia" indeed - well there's an oxymoron.

            1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

              Steen Hive's Tinfoil Hat

              "Here comes the clue-bat - it the mere beginnings of the chilling effect brought about by the culture of fear you and your twat ilk want imposed on the general populace"

              Ah, yes.. I've written many times about the peculiar psychological condition that you illustrate here so well.

              You desperately *need* to feel persecuted and victimised. You also *need* to feel you're acting altruistically, almost as if you're saving us from ourselves. In this narrative, you're the hero on the run... from The Man.

              http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/06/nesson_fail/

              So far you're merely conforming to the BoingBoing-reader stereotype.

              No technology has ever made creators poorer. All technologies have created new markets. Despite your self-interested special pleading, there's no reason to believe this one will.

              1. Steen Hive
                FAIL

                It's a Fez.

                Why does the paper want you to appear in person, Andrew? Are they afraid there might be counterfeit copies of you going around?

                The counter-argument against your shenanigans has little to do with creators as you well know, and as has been pointed out to you repeatedly, is that the case has not been made for chucking centuries of tort law in the bin to satisfy the cravings of "creators" in the persona of rights holders.

                "No technology has ever made creators poorer."

                Well, you are quite right , You should ruminate on that a little, since asserting that as true destroys any rational argument for a change in the legal status-quo.

                1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

                  Calm down lad

                  ao: "No technology has ever made creators poorer."

                  sh: "asserting that as true destroys any rational argument for a change in the legal status-quo."

                  Only if you view historical extrapolations as some kind of immutable physical law, but you strike me as too intelligent to be confused in such an obvious way.

                  I'll address your wider point.

                  The people arguing for a significant change in "the legal status-quo" are the groups who (either explicitly or implicitly) argue that creators' rights are unenforceable online, and therefore must be formally repealed. By contrast, copyright term extensions merely reflect the longer life expectancy of creators. They're more of the same, not a new social settlement, which is how the 'tards want to see them. (I am not convinced of the case on term extensions - but that's another story).

                  This is just one of several mistakes you make in your reasoning.

                  Another is to view attempts to actually, y'know, enforce creators rights online as some kind of extension of legal power. I can see how, if you think of the internet as a TAZ, free from The Man, you might arrive at such a view. But grown-ups don't think like this - they grow out of such views when they abandon playing with conkers and Action Man.

                  Now see my earlier comment, which you've chosen to ignore. Freetards *need* to feel *victimised* and *persecuted*. Whether they start out like this and then discover "The Copyright Wars", or whether they become gibbering wrecks from reading BoingBoing every day, I don't know, and it doesn't really matter.

                  But these two positions are essential to feeling victimised, and they don't reflect a coherent view of technology and markets.

  53. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Stop

    Calm down

    First of all, I can see the humour in this because it looks like an escalation.

    This guy must have thought of submitting the article from El Reg, then found a barrier and never quite retraced his steps to see how he got to that position - he only went forward by addressing the problem in front of him, in isolation. I doubt he even fully realised how daft it was what he was proposing so the answer must have unnerved him.

    I'd take one step back and ask first of all what magazine makes it impossible to take external contributions. I would have contacted the editor instead and suggested the contact El Reg about reprinting. Simpler, neater, but not as hilarious, of course..

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Who's talking?

    It's about time journalists see it. In other fields it's really nothing new.

    "This is a good project proposal, young man, but it doesn't stand a chance unless it has my name first."

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Don't be such a princess, Reg!

    Ok. I love El Reg dearly, but in this case it's just being a bit too precious.

    Advice from a friend: Get over yourself, and don't be such a prima dona.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The obvious solution

    would be to quote him a suitably high fee for such permission.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheeky sod

    OK, it was a bit of a cheeky request. But at least he asked and all you had to say was no.

    Don't you have cheeky sods at Reg Towers or something? The rest of us have to deal with them all the time.

  58. duckbiter
    Happy

    Fuss Over Nothing.

    "You're proposing taking work to which you have no rights, and without compensation, passing it off as some one else's?"

    No, he's not "taking", he's asking your permission.

    He didn't say "without compensation".

    "passing it off...", again with your permission.

    Surely Reg can find a more substantial windmill to tilt at.

    I realise "Whatever Dude" is very annoying.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Fuss Over Nothing.

      On what planet do you think you could find a publisher would agree to his request?

  59. duckbiter
    Thumb Up

    Lady GaGa Teaches Us A Lesson.

    12 year old plagiarises GaGa's hit Paparazzi, sticks it on YouTube.

    His version gets 25 million hits (more than GaGa's acoustic version) and lands him a recording contract. Boy gains $??million, loss to GaGa -- nothing she can't afford.

    Rather than sue his arse off, she phones to compliment him on his copy, and wish him well!

    A positive/positive outcome?

    (He's called Greyson Chance).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lady GaGa Teaches Us A Lesson.

      Greyson Chance is singing a cover version - he is not passing the song off as his own.

      Lady Gaga would earn song writing royalties, if Greyson Chance recorded and released his version of Paparazzi.

      How is this plagiarism?

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