Bozzlife: The down-low on digital copyright

in Project HOPE3 months ago



As I was poking around the communities the other day (there are a ton of them!), I came across the @project.hope community and I was immediately drawn to some of their past posts. I will be honest, I am not quite sure how I didn't know about this community before, but they seem pretty cool.

The one post that really drew my attention was one they had written a while ago about plagiarism in the community and their efforts to fight it. Sadly, it isn't something that plagues just this community, we have seen it across various blockchain platforms over the past couple of years.

Before Covid took its toll on many of the communities I was a "referee" for the SPORTS community. Plagiarism was a constant battle over there and I know even today @cryptoandcoffee still fights to keep things clean. One of his biggest battles has been with properly allocated images.

Getty is one of the big dogs on the block and most people should know that unless they get proper licensing, they can't use the image. Getty spends a lot of money to have photographers get the best and most up to date images from whatever event is going on in the world. It only makes sense that they would expect you to pay them to reuse those images for your publications. Especially when (in the case of HIVE) you are getting paid for your publication. Sure, your rewards may not be great, but the fact still remains, you are getting paid for someone else's work or intellectual property.

As I said, Getty is pretty clear cut about what is acceptable and what is not. When you move along to things like Google, that is where things get a bit more interesting. As I mentioned before, I was one of the refs that fought abuse on the SPORTS platform. It was a constant battle trying to teach people the do's and don'ts of using Google images.

I was often accused of being unfair and even (incredulously) racist for flagging posts that had improperly used Google images. Many people think that as long as they indicate that they got the photo from Google images and link back to it, it is okay. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

Check out this topic from the Google Support site.

If you took the time to read it, you will see that a photo being in Google images doesn't automatically make it fair use. In fact, they have a little disclaimer under every image that says "this image may be subject to copyright". The onus is then on you as an end user to research that image or reach out to the owner to see if it is free to use. I think we all know what they say about making assumptions.

Referencing that document again, Google does make it very easy to see if many images are free to use. If you aren't familiar with the advanced search tools in Google, I really recommend you play with them sometime. They are very powerful and in this case, you can use the usage rights filter to find things that are okay to use.

Personally, I like to simply use my own photos as much as possible or in the case of this post, Pixabay has some amazing hi-quality photos available. Even if it says "Free for commerical use, no attribution required", I still create a source link back to the page where I found the image. I feel it is just common courtesy.

These guidelines are particularly hard with SPORTS posts as writers often want to use up to date images from the most recent contest. I will be honest, those instances suck. My best advice would be, if that is the kind of content you are focusing on it might be worth it for you to subscribe to one of the image services that lets you reuse their images.

Check out this post I wrote the other day about the recent Detroit Lions game. I used a photo I took from a preseason game that I attended years ago. As I said, the post I wrote was from the most recent game that wasn't even played at Ford Field. Did the fact that image was old detract from the quality of the post? Apparently not, because as you can see it was curated by the OCD incubation project.

I hope as readers you can take this post for what it is: educational, not accusatory. Even if you have been here two plus years, many of us are still new to this whole blogging thing. We are all kind of learning as we go and thank goodness for the people that taught me the things I needed to learn along the way.

Sports Talk Social - @bozz.sports


@eos.detroit Staff Writer/BOID Team Leader

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So. You just highlighted another item in my to do list. I promised the ladies at Terminal an updated copyright post which I haven't done yet.

It's a sticky wicket to be sure. I spent a lot of time in a community that will go unnamed battling plagiarism and theft. The good news there is I had a huge account behind me if I needed it for a soul crushing DV. Normal everyday plag and theft got smaller dvs.

I write quite a few 'historical' type posts for one reason or another. I use wiki commons a lot and like you, everything I post that isn't mine is source credited.

One other thing that I've given to but never used is Hive Stock Images. Doesn't do much good on the sports issue, but permission is already granted.

Yes, that is a good point about the Hive Stock images. I need to dig into that a bit more. I really think a lot of people aren't trying to be malicious, they just don't know any better. Hopefully this will help to educate people a little.

You are right, most aren't malicious. Some (a few) are just too lazy or time challenged to even find out what is the right thing.

Sometimes just a visit from cheetah is enough to make people realize. I used the old 'steemflags' service back in the day. Fortunately it's no where near as large a problem as before.

Yes, things have definitely gotten better. I mainly see it out in the tribes and communites.

Hi friend, @bozz

First of all, receive a warm greeting on behalf of the entire Project Hope team.
Thanks for choosing us.

Plagiarism is a kind of cancer that eats away at the integrity of the social media ecosystem, especially the blockchain communities where it can be monetized.

As you say, rights are disrespected on a daily basis. In the case of images, there must be many cases, especially in the sports area since updated images are required to give more dynamism to the articles.

But if we talk about plagiarism of content (text) the field is even greater.

At PH, we are aware of it, and that is why we have created our specialized team to detect and combat plagiarism. Performing these activities represents an investment of many hours. A lot of effort must be put into doing a good job of "scanning" as plagiarists have developed techniques to avoid detection.

I loved your article. I hope to read from you again soon.

Juan Molina
Project Hope's co-founder

Thank you, I appreciate the great comment. If we can educate people about what is acceptable and what is not it will make this place better for everyone. Some are intentional about what they do but many others simply don't know any better.

...but many others simply don't know any better.

There are even users who have not been educated about it and act out of ignorance.
In those cases it is worth making an effort and correcting them so that they have a better stay and development, that is, to help them grow.
On the other hand, there are those unrepairable users that do a lot of damage to the image of blockchain social networks.

Thank you for your kind reply.

Hello @bozz
First, welcome to the Project Hope community, second, great topic you brought for discussion.
The reality is that with the use of the internet the amount of plagiarism increased in an impressive way. Not just images, but text, ideas, and anything else you can copy.
In PH we have a permanent fight against plagiarism, however, there are those who abuse the system and it takes us a while to realize it, but sooner or later the truth comes out.
I particularly use images from PIXABAY, there are so many free image banks, I don't understand why people use copyrighted images, it's absurd, but it often happens.
Some time ago I did some publications on the use of images, besides how to cite sources, I found out other things.
Always when I get some fault of this kind in some author, I leave them the links, especially if they are new to the platform. Unless it's a blatant plagiarism, then it's immediately silenced. Because it can't be allowed, it shouldn't be allowed.
Every community, the platform in general must fight this problem, and the worst thing is that we know it will never end.

Thank you again for publishing in PH.

It sounds like you have a pretty great community here and have some awesome stuff in place to help combat the abuse.

Plagiarism is a big problem as can be hard to track down. People will manipulate images and text can be translated or put through special tools to hide the source. Automated checks can only do so much. I think we need to stay vigilant and call out offenders.


I agree. It is just interesting how many people just don't know any better and many of the front ends don't address it properly, so they go unchecked for quite some time. It makes it harder to call them out on it if they have been doing it for years without comment.

It actually amazes me that people do manage to track down some cases of copying. People who get caught out should be watched more.

There are cases where artists make their own version of work by others. That can be valid, but they have to give credit to the original artist. That can apply to music covers too. Ideally the original artists would be on Hive and we could give them a cut of the rewards.

I was just talking about that with a colleague in EOS Detroit the other day. I think stuff like you are talking about falls under the parody realm and there is a little more leniency there. I agree with you about the catching it thing. There is so much content out there and so much published here daily that it takes a real bloodhound to track down the plagiarized content.

Hi @bozz

Welcome to PH (project.hope) community :) Hope to hear more from you in the future.

ps. check out comment from project.hope and cyu on our discord.
Cheers, Piotr (@project.hope founder)

Thanks! I will do that!

I agree if we educate then people will learn what is right and wrong. I think we will get there eventually as we or most of us have been guilty of the image thing even though we didn't know it. The hours i have spent recently just trying to show the obvious about Getty even though I know the image is most likely invalid anyway. getty are not just doing that as they have now taken over sites like istock and unsplash. With the back catalogues they are now purchasing it will be Getty dominating the internet

That is why places like Pixabay are great. The images are high quality even if they are not recent. It might be a good idea for people to just create their own header. Sort of a brand for their blog. That goes at the top and then you know what you are getting. I'd be interested to see statistics on how many people simply vote based on the cover image and don't actually read the content.

Great topic, and one that will be talked about time and time again. I tend to use my own photos for this very reason. On occasion I head over to Pixabay and do the same as you with the links. I am sure we are all guilty of this at one time or another. It's easy to do if you don't really think about it. The information is so easy to obtain anymore. It is those people who know they are doing wrong and do it anyhow for the few cents they make here, that piss me off. It really gets me heated when they pretend to have created the Art as their own.

It was funny, but I thought about this yesterday when I was taking photos of that album cover, in order to create my Vinyl Record post. I felt that that may even push the envelope a little..

Yeah, good points. I always feel a little guilty when I am doing screenshots of different things. It is kind of the same deal. You are taking a picture of someone else's work, so how kosher is that really. If I could go back and share some of the conversations I had when I was a ref for SPORTS, you would just shake your head. How dare I call someone out for violating the law! :)

Hello @bozz

Thank you for posting within our community.

Please spare few minutes and read how project.hope is organized and learn about our economy.

That would help you understand more our goals and how are we trying to achieve them. Hopefully you will join our community and become strong part of it :)

Do you use telegram or discord? If you do then join our server and give me a shout. I would gladly share with you goals of our community and introduce to others from our team.

Consider joining our discord server:

@project.hope team,

Hello friend, first of all welcome to the community, it is a pleasure for us to have you here. I hope you feel comfortable and enjoy reading our contents. The issue of plagiarism is a very popular topic these days, people do not learn that is an activity that no community supports, fortunately we have an excellent team in charge of that and try to guide what unwittingly fall into that error!

Thank you for publishing in our community and once again welcome! :)