Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

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Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 3:57 pm

I have sent the following email to WildEarth a couple of times since 12/Feb, and they have acknowledged reciept each time.
But despite their promise of a reply with 24 hours, I have yet to get any reply at all.
--------------------------------------
Looking at your page on sleeping bag fabrics, at
https://www.wildearth.com.au/choice/sle ... s-fill/615
I see that you have pirated my copyright page on the FAQ website at
https://bushwalkingnsw.org.au/clubsites ... tm#Fabrics

This is a serious breach of copyright, and I am not happy.
Yours
Roger Caffin
-----------------------------------
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 4:02 pm

Time to lawyer up?
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby peregrinator » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 4:39 pm

Moondog55 wrote:Time to lawyer up?


Maybe that depends on whether you think a breach of copyright is more damaging than a breach between you and your wallet?

Roger, that Wild Earth link is not working for me. 404.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 4:40 pm

Well either the link is incorrect or they saw it mentioned on here and it's already been removed. (Though u only posted it an hour ago so that seems unlikely)

Also 5 working days is not a great deal of time to give a (non media) company to respond to something like this. It needs to go up through the channels, from customer service to management etc then they need to check with the person who wrote the webpage (who may or may not be still working for the company)

I've got no affiliation but I think it's a bit premature to name and shame without giving them a bit longer to respond.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 5:00 pm

Well either the link is incorrect or they saw it mentioned on here and it's already been removed.

Hum ... very likely!
But maybe they removed it after my first email?

Also 5 working days is not a great deal of time to give a (non media) company to respond to something like this.

Their automatic reply email promised a 24 hour response. Did silly me believe that? Apparently.

Another company did the same thing some years ago, but they took a different approach: they added a full acknowledgement and sent me a 'gift' in compensation. Seemed fair enough.

Cheers
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby stry » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 5:26 pm

Five working days is plenty for a response. Finalisation of the issue within that time is unlikely, but a sensible response is an entirely reasonable expectation.

If they don't reply after five days, they are unlikely to respond after 10 days, or 15, or..........

OTH, you have made only statements, and haven't pointed the way ahead for them, or laid out your requirements for rectification. They seem to have pulled it down smartly, but a reply would be good business practice, and courteous
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 5:29 pm

> good business practice, and courteous
I would have thought so too.
Cheers
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby JohnnoMcJohnno » Sat 20 Feb, 2021 7:56 pm

Roger's writing has been on Wildearth for some time. I assumed they had his permission. Disappointed to hear this.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby wildwalks » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 3:28 pm

Hi all
I have received a report asking to close this thread as they felt it was harsh towards the company, I appreciated the report - it is always good to have these kinds of conversations.
I decided to leave the thread up. Normally I don't comment on a decision like this, but I thought I would share my thinking - given that I am a fan of community moderation - it helps if some stuff is discussed.

Although I tend to agree that we could give people longer timeframes to respond (generally 7 to 14 days is considered good practice) -- in this case the company says they normally respond within 24hrs and Roger waited 5 times that.

They have since removed the page (and it seems without responding to Roger??).

Theft of content is far too common on the net. We may be used to it but it is a serious issue. In this case there were about 3000 words used with very little modification (other than to create a few typos). To commission someone to write such a technical document could cost several thousands, at least hundreds. We do not know Wildearth's thinking, it is possible they purchased the content from someone who was claiming to be the author, they may have thought they had permission -- there are good faith arguments that can be made. So I do think we should shy away from throwing stones as people have.

As people have pointed out the reported page has been removed (good). But the internet being as it is - stuff hangs around. Here is an archive of the page if you want to have a look at the issue Roger has raised.
https://web.archive.org/web/20201125143 ... s-fill/615
This article is not just similar -- about 3000 words of this technical text is identical to Rogers article.
I would also point out that this article refers to "I" -- and no credit is given to the author -- so not only the information copied so was the author's persona.

So - yes, I hope they have a good reason and have an open chat with Roger about it. I think we keep this post up whilst we are having a helpful conversation about it, not passing judgement or putting down others - but learning about this common issue that affects members of our community. The bushwalking community is a small place and I do hope that Roger is able to keep us up to date if there is any more news.

Thanks for keeping it civil.

Matt :)
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 3:43 pm

I too have had intellectual property ripped off by unethical people. All that was promised was a bottle of good Scotch and it was never paid
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby peregrinator » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 4:57 pm

Matt, I am sure it makes it easier for us to "keep it civil" when we've read your well considered comments. You have given regard to points on both sides, and I commend the even-handed way you've approached this. Well done.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 5:12 pm

IF WildEarth do reply, I will report.
Cheers
Roger
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby Nuts » Sun 21 Feb, 2021 7:23 pm

2002? they probably though you were long gone :lol:
Wet and Wild! not 'Wet 'n' Wild'
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby wayno » Mon 22 Feb, 2021 4:01 am

one person was probably given the job of writing something up... the senior staff may not be aware that the end result is plagerised,. i've seen it happen before... i doubt senior staff would have known, its a pretty dumb thing to plagerise from a website in the same country. where not only the author may find out but anyone else in aus who has seen oth sites will find out.
But they should come clean with a response, but if they admit it , then they are liable as a company for plagerising... safest option for them is admit nothing or say nothing.
from the land of the long white clouds...
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby ribuck » Mon 22 Feb, 2021 5:11 am

Roger, in your original letter you didn't ask for any particular response. If an apology would help, you could write to them again, requesting an apology.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Mon 22 Feb, 2021 7:38 am

2002? they probably though you were long gone
I ain't dead yet!
(With apologies to Terry Pratchett)

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 22 Feb, 2021 9:33 am

Roger, great work challenging this kind of unethical practice. And Matt, I think your call was spot on regarding the moderation of this post.

As others have pointed out, this kind of theft of intellectual property is increasingly common. The only way to stop it is by calling out the companies that do it. Whether it was deliberate (i.e. someone at Wild Earth made the conscious decision to steal your work) or inadvertent (they paid someone for content, and that person decided to steal your work) doesn't change the copyright breach. Even if they weren't aware, they should have taken the page down as soon as they were alerted to it, and apologised to the author. The fact that it required Roger "naming and shaming" to get the page taken down, and they still haven't responded to him, only amplifies their poor behaviour.

Roger's work would have taken many hours to write, and was only possible due to many years of experience. It would be very difficult and time consuming for most people to write something comparable. That would have also been costly. All of which is why great content like that gets stolen.

If Wild Earth want to rectify the harm done, they should publicly apologise to Roger and commit to ensuring none of the content on their website copy was similarly sourced in an unethical and illegal manner. In my view, trying to have this post removed, rather than replying to the person they stole the content from, demonstrates a complete lack of contrition on their part.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Mon 14 Jun, 2021 9:54 pm

Any updates?
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 9:22 am

No update, except that they never replied. Poor.

Cheers
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby FatCanyoner » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 9:36 am

Did you try to approach the boss directly, or just use the general enquiries email? I believe the general manager of Wild Earth Australia is still Chris Sommerville. I think his email is chris@wildearth.com.au. You could also call them and ask for him. Alternatively, it could be worth getting a lawyer to write a letter to them, which would escalate the matter.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby rcaffin » Tue 15 Jun, 2021 9:53 am

I was very annoyed at the time, but they did remove the stuff from their web site.
Was it done with malice or just with ignorance (of ethics)? Probably the latter.
For the present, pass.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby Gusto » Wed 16 Jun, 2021 10:43 pm

Wow!

Firstly, I just read the archive and it was unmistakably Roger's style. Back in 2004 & 2005 I studied OE in high-school. Then up until 2013 worked in industry.

I can recall reading many of Roger's pages on the NSW bushwalking page and being impressed by his range of hand made tents. And also reading his posts on vol forums.

I've barely read this forum or vol etc in 8 years. But I'd still remember Roger's writing as it was so prolific and personal.

I. Actually amazed that it would get posted like that on a shops page. The language used doesn't suit a commercial purpose. There were sections referring to personal opinions or recollections.

Also a section on Dryloft. They wouldn't even sell a sleeping bag with dry loft.

I recall it was Roger's writing that caused me to find Stevenson Warmlite. To this day it's still the strangest outdoors company I've come across. Both there products and photography were unusual
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby ribuck » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 7:26 am

Gusto wrote:Actually amazed that it would get posted like that on a shops page. The language used doesn't suit a commercial purpose.

I'm guessing it was added to the website by a Search Engine Optimisation company without the site owner's knowledge, to stuff the site with keywords.

But some things are not worth losing sleep over. If you've sung "Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree" you've breached copyright, but not in a way that matters unless you are Men At Work.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 17 Jun, 2021 9:18 am

ribuck wrote:If you've sung "Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree" you've breached copyright, but not in a way that matters unless you are Men At Work.


You or I are are not breaching copyright when we sing a song at home. Men At Work didn't get in trouble for singing a song. What they did was release a song, which they claimed was their own work (and made them a lot of money), which in fact contained someone else's work.

If you or I emailed part of Roger's article to a friend, or posted some of it to a forum like this one in response to a question, Roger would have had no issue.

Those actions are hugely different to a company using Roger's original work in an attempt to make money. Wild Earth could have spent money paying someone to research and write their own article, but they made a choice to steal Roger's work instead. The objective of that decision was not only to save themselves money, but to drive search traffic to their website, with the aim of converting that into sales, and therefore further profit.

It's a false equivalency to say the damage of someone singing a tune at home is the same as a business deliberately stealing content with the aim of profiting off it.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby clarence » Sun 27 Jun, 2021 7:22 pm

It would be pretty easy for Wildearth to apologise to RC, even if it the act was not directly made by management.

Having IP ripped off is technically theft - I've had it happen to me. Totally understand how original author would be very annoyed.

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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby South_Aussie_Hiker » Mon 28 Jun, 2021 6:26 pm

I will never purchase from or recommend WildEarth to anyone.

They’ve now had 4 months to reply to Roger, to apologise, and offer compensation for plagiarising his work.

To make such a terrible error but take responsibility is bad enough.

To do this, and then attempt to get away with it - disgusting.
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Re: Unethical wildearth breach of copyright

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 28 Jun, 2021 7:07 pm

Yes, it looks extremely bad. A quick apology would have put it to bed but ignoring is a PR disaster.
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