Stolen web pages

christian thompson cthompson at SEL.BARC.USDA.GOV
Mon Jan 26 08:46:36 CST 2004

Interesting subject.  And one should expand it to include stealing
information / data such as from posted databases.

There are two issues involved here: Copyright and Plagiarism

On the first, COPYRIGHT:
Given that one does and, in most cases, people do have copyright, then
stealing web pages is illegal. Unfortunately unless one can show
"economic" harm and has money to hire lawyers, etc., to sue, there isn't
much one can do about the stolen web pages. Also, remember anything on
the web falls under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act WHICH DOES NOT

On the second, Plagiarism.
First, plagiarism is defined under US Federal policy on research
misconduct as
Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, processes,
results, or words without giving appropriate credit. Other definitions
may exist.

So, given that one steals your web pages and does not given the
appropriate attribution / byline / etc., then one can make a case of
plagiarism.  Depending on where the offenders works, etc., plagiarism
may have great consequences, from loss of employment to loss of funds,

My Diptera site has been frequently ripped off. As a Federal employee I
can not make a copyright case as our work is without copyright. However,
the case of plagiarism can apply. So, my usual course when I discover
stolen web pages, etc., is to contact the employer of the offender or if
a student, then the professor or university, etc.
Usually the web pages disappear or are appropriately modified.

UNFORTUNATELY, the stealing of information / data is much more
difficult to document. And offenders frequently declare that they got
the information / data from other sources.  But I suspect you know that


F. Christian Thompson
Systematic Entomology Lab., USDA
c/o Smithsonian Institution
MRC-0169 NHB
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
(202) 382-1800 voice
(202) 786-9422 FAX
cthompso at e-mail  web site

>>> Joel Hallan <joelhallan at HOTMAIL.COM> 01/26/04 08:06AM >>>
I would like to bring up a very touchy subject.  What course can be
taken if
one finds that a web page he has published has been adopted into the
site of a supposedly professional person without even being asked to do
or being giiven credit for the original web page?

Joel Hallan
Austin, Texas

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