I've noticed what appears to be plagiarism (a lack of credit for an enormous copy and paste of factual information), and potentially mass plagiarism across a large number of FAQs (more than 20) posted in a short timespan by one user. I'm not sure whether (or how) I should report something of this nature.
I did read the metaFAQ stickied on this board, and tried PMing a regular for advice (as it recommends), but they said they were the wrong person to ask... so I figured I would just ask who the right person to ask is.
Details withheld from this post to avoid causing drama or trouble; happy to discuss via PM with whoever is knowledgeable about how this works on GameFAQs and can help sort out what (if anything) to do.
Fill that out. The admin himself reads all feedback, so as long as you provide enough info (the users name, the guides in question, what you suspect was copied) he'll look into it and take action, if necessary.
Remember when filing a complaint, only the exact way something is written can be called copyrighted.
Here is some common info used in guides that is not copyright protected: - anything that is factual information or statistical data (bestiaries, weapons stats, enemy stats, etc) - strategies (a strategy for bosses or enemies can not be copyrighted, only the exact way the strategy is written word for word) - anything that you can't prove is directly copy and pasted, such as table formatting that makes practical sense
Edit: If you're uncertain about whether a complaint will be valid, feel free to message me - I was an admin, responsible for approving and handling reports of this type in the past. In general, it's pretty simple - unless you can prove that non-statistical data was copy and pasted from another source (not visa versus), it's likely not going to be removed.
Thanks for the responses, all. I did check the difference between a copyright issue and a plagiarism issue (the Contributor help files do a good job with that) and so I was deliberate in using only "plagiarism" to describe this situation. As such, it's not so much an issue of "this needs to be taken down" as "credit should be given to the original sources." And, yes, there are specific things about the data in question that point to it being plagiarized. Anyway, I will PM Krystal to get a second take on things. Thanks again.
The information in question IS content that is pretty clearly being copy and pasted from another source. The issue here is that the data in question is statistical information, which makes it hard to determine if the information should be removed.
The speed in which these "guides" are being churned out makes it obvious that the author is not doing any original work, yet is also not sourcing where they are getting their content from. As I suggested to @slartifer I would suggest sending in a report on the one guide provided to me as an example and also sending in a feedback ticket to Allen to look over ALL contributions by this author.
Allen can decide if the content should be removed or if the author should be forced to credit their source.
If it was me, I would take to look at the individual files. If the information is purely stats and drops, which is included in the game, the author should provide a source of where the information was originally compiled. If they are making much larger files, where the data is not provided in the game easily (such as having to hit an enemy 1 HP at a time to find out it's max HP) then I would consider this plagiarism and the file should be removed.
These guides are really just someone picking low hanging fruit (i.e. factual information) and submitting a bunch of it. This isn't any more plagiarism than looking up a person in the industry's information and submitting it as game data, or finding cheat codes around the internet and submitting them. The information exists and is fixed information. If this author was copying another source's presentation and the information, that would be plagiarism. As-is, there isn't really any reason to remove it. It'd be a nice touch to list where the information is coming from, and we certainly wouldn't be rewarding these types of guides any kind of monetary prize, but there's no reason to be removing them.
WHAT INFORMATION CAN I USE FROM OTHER SOURCES WITHOUT PERMISSION?
Without permission, you are still free to use facts and other non-creative information. Of course, you still must provide credit to the source of information in your own guide; if you don't, you are plagiarizing... Copying the format of the table of hit points would also be a violation of their copyright.
I have no bones in the game re how GameFAQs defines plagiarism, but I thought I should at least alert you to the discrepancy. Maybe the help page is simply out of date? Reading it was actually what prompted me to call this "plagiarism" to begin with.
Correct, it is by every technical sense of the word plagiarism, but as I mentioned, it's really no more heinous than finding some other piece of data and submitting it. For something this small, I don't really see any reason to remove them. We allow things to skirt around our rules all of the time, whether it's guides or message board posts or what have you. The rules aren't intended to make it impossible to participate in the site, after all. They are more of a stopgate in the case that someone's doing something particularly offensive, which I don't think is the case here.
hese guides are really just someone picking low hanging fruit (i.e. factual information) and submitting a bunch of it. This isn't any more plagiarism than looking up a person in the industry's information and submitting it as game data, or finding cheat codes around the internet and submitting them.
It is if that information is not available in the game @SBAllen If someone took the time to find out that info by hitting enemies down 1 HP at a time, they are taking credit for someone else's hard work. Yes, it's factual info, but it's not info that anyone can just find without work being put in and SHOULD be at least credited. I agree that the stuff is basically insignificant and it's not really worth removing, but hopefully the contributor learns to credit those that put in the work to confirm that factual data that they just copy and pasted.
So let's say if I directly copy the information provided from a wiki page, like enemy list, equipment list, or similar like that, and make the layout guide completely the exact same as the one in the wiki page, including the images, and I don't give the credits to the website, it's called plagiarism? How about if I provided my own images, would it called plagiarism too?
First Black Star achieved 04/25/2017 First FOTM won 05/26/2017
Plagiarism is pretty tough to actually prove in a court of law for something that is factual and can be found by anyone through a little digging. Even using the same formatting if something that is hard to prove as plagiarism, since enemy tables often appear the same whether a person is copy and pasting them or not.
Does this mean it's okay to take work without credit? No. People need to be considerate of the work that others already put in and source the material they are taking - even if that material is NOT copyright protected.
1) It's polite 2) It makes you look like you're not a thieving prick 3) You avoid topics like this
In general, it's best to source ALL your material. The only times I don't source is when the game provides the information in a bestiary or enemy book or I sit there and confirm everything, so that I'm not just copy and pasting and HOPING that other people provided accurate info.
Note that while plagiarism isn't actually a criminal act, copyright infringement is (particularly in the U.S., where it is treated more seriously than in many other countries).
Plagiarism is when you copy something without attributing it to its source (thus, typically, giving the impression that it is your own work). This is the thing your high school English teacher got mad about.
Copyright infringement is (very basically) when you copy something you don't have permission to use. It has various exceptions. As GameFAQs notes, factual information itself does not fall under copyright, but the format or structure of its presentation or compilation can.
This means that you can have either one by itself, or both together. Or neither.
(Note: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.)
Post your whole ignore list. I want to see how thin skinned you are
I'll post the list, but every person on it except that one I mentioned before has said something explicitly bigoted to make the list in the first place. If you think that's thin-skinned, oh well.
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Oh, I see I have a few console trolls on there too. Too much effort to separate them, so okay, there's ~20 or so that are not bigots (or at least, not necessarily so)