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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

Piracy Counter Measure

awnlee jawking

(I'm posting this here initially for discussion purposes.)

My thought was a facility, activated by a tickbox in the Submission Wizard. At the end of each page of a story, it would insert a message along the following lines:

'This story is hosted at StoriesOnline.Net. If you are reading the story from another source and you see this message, the story is likely to have been pirated. Please report it.'

Pirates could download the story and delete the text, but having seen "Title" by "Author" at the top of some of the stories stolen by Veronica West, the average pirate may be too lazy.

Who should the theft be reported to? Amazon only seems to respond to the real authors, but some SOL authors don't want to be contacted.

AJ

Not_a_ID
Updated:

Correction, Amazon will only respond to the the author or something to the effect of "persons authorized to speak on behalf of the author/copyright holder" such as a lawyer operating on a retainer from said author.

So in that respect Laz(or a third party with his blessing) could become an "authorized agent" of the author legally empowered to respond to certain scenarios should they become aware of it.

I don't think it should be part of the standard agreement though, and anyone who did authorize such a 3rd party agent would need to be careful of what that agent can or cannot do.. And communicate with them so they don't try to DMCA something the author is doing.

MrWolf_UK

Surely an entry in the Author Agreement which says something like
"Unless expressly requested otherwise, the author permits World Literature Online Co. to act on their behalf when dealing with other entities for the sole purpose of following up copyright theft"
Would something like that work, as it allows Lazeez to act on their behalf but only for the likes of DMCA takedown requests, however it gives the Author control to take matters into their own hands??
Not sure if multiple requests or one single request from Lazeez would get more attention?

Replies:   REP
REP

@MrWolf_UK

Would something like that work


Possibly, but Lazeez has better things to do with his time. The time and cost of doing so would probably be prohibitive. Veronica West stole over 70 stories from SOL. That would be a lot for him to address.

Ernest Bywater

The style of the listing, the quantity of the stories, the artwork used with the title style by Veronica West (June 2017), K Sanche (July 2017), Hooriya Ahmed (March 2017), and Martin Ycaza (Nov 2016) are all so much similar it makes me think they're all either the same person or working in the same plagiarism factory as a mutual scam group.

I sincerely doubt Lazeez would have the time to take direct action against these people, even if we gave him the authority to do so.

When the Veronica West issue started I lodge complaints with Amazon through my son, and a few days later I started doing searches on Amazon for book with my titles, and found the entries by K Sanche about ten days after the Veronica West entries, and posted a link in the same thread while also lodging complaints with Amazon. Most of the new lot are stories by authors with names starting with the letter C, as if they're working their way through the author alphabetical list.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

makes me think they're all either the same person


I'm sure it's the same person. He gets shut down and immediately opens a new account and uploads the stories.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

Lazeez,

You can't copy (ctl/c) from Amazon's "Look Inside." I once wanted to use something from a published novel to make a point about punctuation and tried to do a copy (ctl/c) with the intention of pasting it into my post. I couldn't copy it.

Is there a way you can prevent someone from copying the stories from SOL?

P.S. I guess as a Mac user now, I should have said command/c. Nah, I'll stick with the ctl/c.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Switch Blayde

You can't copy (ctl/c) from Amazon's "Look Inside." I once wanted to use something from a published novel to make a point about punctuation and tried to do a copy (ctl/c) with the intention of pasting it into my post. I couldn't copy it.

Is there a way you can prevent someone from copying the stories from SOL?


you can disable the ctl-c cmd-c via javascript. But it's not really very effective. If the user disables javascript, then they can copy text. Also, you can't disable the 'Save' command in the file menu. Also, if they get a premier account, then they can download the whole story in one click.

As for inserting a hint text at the end/start/middle of the text, that might work if the system that the plagiarizer is using is fully automated. But if a human looks over the text before they upload it, then this idea won't be of much help.

REP

@Switch Blayde

Is there a way you can prevent someone from copying the stories from SOL?


I suspect this person has a paid membership. One of the advantages of a paid membership is the download links that allow you to download the entire story with one click.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@REP

I suspect this person has a paid membership. One of the advantages of a paid membership is the download links that allow you to download the entire story with one click.


I wonder if Lazeez can determine if any one paid members downloaded all of the pirated stories recently?

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Crumbly Writer  REP
Not_a_ID

@Dominions Son

I wonder if Lazeez can determine if any one paid members downloaded all of the pirated stories recently?

Wouldn't matter, some of the stories posted were only Available during 2012/2013, so the download wasn't recent.

Replies:   REP
Switch Blayde

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Also, if they get a premier account, then they can download the whole story in one click.


At least something good would come out of it. :)

awnlee jawking

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

As for inserting a hint text at the end/start/middle of the text, that might work if the system that the plagiarizer is using is fully automated.


Would you object if authors inserted such text themselves?

I have a science fiction work in progress which might be suitable for SOL and will (hopefully?) be good enough to attract pirates.

AJ

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@awnlee jawking

Would you object if authors inserted such text themselves?


Not particularly.

It might be annoying to readers if it's in the middle of the text, and I don't think it would make any difference protection-wise. But I don't really have a problem with it.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

I wonder if Lazeez can determine if any one paid members downloaded all of the pirated stories recently?

No. He's discussed this. He doesn't keep personal details on the site's members (unlike Google, Amazon and Apple), so there's no way to monitor their actions. If he did, it would be a LOT more work and the site would be much more invasive than it is now—and he probably still wouldn't get much data, as it's not that difficult to disable if you know how.

Replies:   REP
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Would you object if authors inserted such text themselves?

Rather than inserting text, if you post using html, you could insert an abr command, where text pops up when you pause over it. There would be other ways you could document that something is pirated, but whether that would be sufficient for a court is open to question. What's more, if you later decide to publish, you'll have readers wondering whether you stole your own story.

REP

@Not_a_ID

only Available during 2012/2013


The 67 stories I checked on were still on the site and available for download.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
REP
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


He's discussed this. He doesn't keep personal details on the site's members


Lazeez doesn't keep personal information on FREE members. Paid members may be a different thing. If I recall, my credit card information was filled out on the form when I renewed my membership. I also think I provided my name when I first signed up for a paid membership. But my memory isn't what it used to be.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
REP
Updated:

@Dominions Son


I wonder if Lazeez can determine if any one paid members downloaded all of the pirated stories recently?


The thought crossed my mind also. As I said earlier, I think this has been going on for a long time, since West supposedly published Revenge as her story in 2004.

Bluedragon's posting date was 2008, so he either rereleased the story in 2008 or West added a phony publication date. From what I have seen, I doubt she could write a story to save her life.

I would go with the theory that she isn't a real person, just a cog in a Plagiarism Ring.

The only way to track the person down assuming Lazeez retains personal information on Paid Members would to create a matrix of the stolen stories and the people who downloaded them.

Not_a_ID

@REP

The 67 stories I checked on were still on the site and available for download.


CWatson, IIRC, blogged that once alerted he checked for stories he had posted himself on SOL.

One of the stories available on Amazon was one he posted on SOL in 2012, and had taken down in 2013 because he was unhappy with it. Thus there is a general time frame of when the copies were made.

Ernest Bywater

I'm not paying to get copies of my stories, but if I had access to the text of what they posted of mine I could give you a very close date range due to identifying which edition they posted because I've made some many typo corrections and revisions and I keep all the back copies.

However, Amazon have just emailed me to say they're pulling the stories I complained about. If they have enough complaints they may close the account, the way they did with the last one.

Replies:   Not_a_ID  Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Ernest Bywater

However, Amazon have just emailed me to say they're pulling the stories I complained about. If they have enough complaints they may close the account, the way they did with the last one.


Her account seems to still exist for the moment, but she's down to 4 titles as of this posting.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

Lazeez doesn't keep personal information on FREE members. Paid members may be a different thing. If I recall, my credit card information was filled out on the form when I renewed my membership. I also think I provided my name when I first signed up for a paid membership. But my memory isn't what it used to be.

No, he doesn't track cookie information or tie clicks to specific users. That's entirely different than credit care or personal information.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

However, Amazon have just emailed me to say they're pulling the stories I complained about. If they have enough complaints they may close the account, the way they did with the last one.

Amazon alerted me that they were removing the story of mine they posted (the normal time to process the request). That was fairly fast turnaround, though the fact I published the story via Amazon five years before the copyrighted version was published is kinda easy to verify

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