Copyright and Plagiarism

Not open for further replies.
I own and share a few websites which provide historical information to our visitors, all our material comes from primary sources, research is time consuming sometimes expensive, myself and my colleagues make regular trips to Archives and Library's in Ireland and the UK gathering and transcribing material (with permission) and making it available online.

More and more I see similar web sites using our material word for word and underneath "ref. used: "Ghost" this is not a link back to my site just a reference to our work.

The biggest offender is a community web site of which I am a PAID UP member and regular contributor, I knew their was a few bits of mine on the site but on checking to day I find 293 entry's submitted by other members are referenced back to me this does not include the articles I wrote for the site myself (I wont be writing any more). I know while writing you can use some one else's work so long as its properly referenced, but this is taking the Michael, I feel its unfair its certainly not Fair Usage but is it legal ? .

How do others feel or what do you do to combat this



Staff member
There's no simple answer

If they are republishing your original work without permission then I'd see it as a clear infringement

If they are just quoting small bits from it then I wouldn't ..
Does your original work include a clear copyright claim? Also, if you expect your work to be republished, then it may also be useful to provide a prominent link with the original work which points to guidelines or instructions to republishers about what you expect them to show alongside the republished content. Give some examples or a template. If you require them to seek permission before republishing, then state that too. As you haven't provided any link to the original work in your posting here it is hard to give any more concrete feedback, however, it is always good to make your expectations clear and then hopefully problem will get smaller.
In nearly all cases they take the whole lot word for word, then place a citation "Ref:Used Ghosts Web Site" the citation is a link to a page which has a link to my site.

The one site which I am most annoyed at has a forum, but if you speak ill of the owners or the site you will get censored and probably banned.

The major culprit uses material from about a dozen other web sites, may be its time to contact the other webmasters and form a posse.

On every page I have this in the footer.
"No part of this website may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner."

On a page related to linking to my site I have the following
"If you wish to make any use of material on my site other than that set out above, please address your request to email"
Well then maybe a polite, but firm, e-mail to the publisher/website owner stating that you have noticed that they have reproduced your content and that they should have sought your permission first (point to your conditions page) and should also be linking back to the source in the way you expect.

I'd say a lot of the time people may think that you'll never notice. So it would be good for them to sit up and see that you do notice and care.
I sent a clear and polite message and in return received a message which basically states the terms and conditions for use on there site, which at the end of the day they don't police.
It goes like this

1. It is the contributor's obligation to make sure that he/she has permission from the copyright's owner to publish the information on our Web Site and to fill in the fields provided by the us to credit the owner. We provide facility's to include a link to the copyright's owner web site or to simply mention the Copyright owner or to reference a book or any other media.

2. In the event of xxx web site being sued for Copyright infringement, it will pass responsibility to the contributor and eventually start a procedure against the contributor in order to recover the costs involved in the Copyright's claim.

What we are dealing with here are old records not music I mean historical records so I don't hold a copyright on the original material, but I have gone to a lot of trouble and expense to Research, Transcribe and make the information available on the net.

Thanks for your thoughts on this I feel as if I have won a little battle already.


Staff member
Couple of things

Under Irish law (and that of a lot of other jurisdictions) you do not need to explicitly assert copyright in your works. You have it automatically.

Also, under Irish law, if they are the publisher of the website they are liable for the contents of the website. While they may wish to pursue legal actions against 3rd parties who caused an infringement they are still liable for it if they do not take action to remedy the harm ie. remove the offending content once they are put on notice
I think this will be a never-ending problem. However, there will be little wins, one-by-one. Even discussing it on fora such as this one does help raise the awareness and perhaps assist with educating people who republish content.
Not open for further replies.
Award-winning Mac antivirus and Internet security software