Sunday, December 9, 2007

Unethical ThothWeb

A while ago, I discovered my article Yabba Dabble Doo: How Aleister Crowley Introduced the Iconic Gray Alien, reprinted in entirety, at the ThothWeb site. Although that is unbelieveable in itself, there was absolutely no linkage to the original source (although why would anyone need to click on a source if the whole thing is right there?) or even my name attached anywhere.

An incorrect copyright notice is given to Associated Content at the bottom. In an email, I explained the copyright and fair use infringement, and kindly asked for he article to be removed. In a reply, 'Isis' writes:

As far as your article goes, I can either leave it where it is and simply amend the copyright notice, or I can update my original Crowley and the Gerys article, which is here with the main points from your article. That way I can replace your article with the updated version of my article and simply keep the title. Obviously you wouldn't get any credit then, but we wouldn't be carrying your article, if that's such a concern. I don't mind, either works for me, so let me know which you'd prefer.

She actually wants to update her own article using mine as a source, without crediting mine as the source.

I responded:

Wow. Well, you don't have permission to reprint my article, so it's really not your decision to simply change the copyright and keep the article as it is. Listing a correct copyright doesn't entitle one to reprint something. You also cannot use my article as a source to amend your own article, or 'take my main points' like you have suggested, without proper citation or credit to me in your sources. Feel free to take my main points, but you must list me as a source. If not, then simply remove the entirety of my article altogether, or post the first paragraph with a link to the original.

Obviously, Isis doesn't seem to understand the ethics or copyright issues at hand. She responds:

okay let me put it to you this way. You've not come up with anything original in that article so my understanding is that I don't need to quote you as a source. If you think you have come up with anything original, please don't hesitate to let me know, but honestly, from what I've read you've not said anything that hasn't been said before. That's not to say your aricle isn't nicely written, it is, but its not original in what its saying - as my article clearly demonstrates - mine was written two or three years ago. Now, that might sound a little harsh, but its true. It may be that when I review your article there's nothing of merit in it anyway, but if there's anything in it that I can use to expand mine, I will be doing so. Occult articles should be organic in nature, they grow and evolve, that's the nature of the occult. If theres nothing usable in your article, I'll just do a clean swap. Frankly though, I'm a little surprised and disappointed by your reaction, but never mind, it would be a dull world if we were all the same.

Thanks for the lesson in the nature of occult, Isis. Now, you are going to learn a lesson about the nature of copyright infringement and proper citation.


Siani said...

I stopped visiting ThothWeb for that very reason - I recognized numerous articles on their site from other sources - none of which were accredited. I found it to be a very dubious practise. Isis seems to have a very bizarre interpretation of what constitutes original work. Your work is original, simply because you originated that particular piece. The fact that certain things mentioned in your piece have been mentioned previously has nothing to do with it - they've been incorporated into a new (original) work - yours. Does Isis not understand that copyright theft is a crime? Good luck in getting it sorted out.

bigbrownhouse said...

My jaw is on the floor.

richelle said...

I know. She's an absolute toad.