Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

Someone took credit for two of my articles – THE DRAMA!

I’m now going to tell you a story of strange chance, miraculous timing and great drama that almost had me sleepless in bed hissing at the ceiling.

Even though I am in the middle of a spree of Elford the (former) Executive updates, my Ironman Challenge character, I find the recent stream of events quite hilarious, although I was furious at the time. If you’re a blogger yourself, you might find this relevant. Prepare for a long but epic story and excuse the caps, it was necessary for an accurate portrayal of what really happened.

Yesterday, late at night before going to bed, I was researching yet again what syndicated views are and how they measure up in your total views. There’s some blogging slang I’m still learning about, so I was reading a WordPress forum thread to understand how it works. A commenter used the expression “sploggers and blog scraping” and I googled it to figure out what this new weird blog terminology meant. I didn’t spend too long reading about it as a link was provided where you could check if an article of yours had been duplicated on the internet aka stolen:

http://www.copyscape.com/

I remembered Zelmaru mentioning a blogger who’d simply copied large chunks of someone elses writing, but I never found out who and what. This was probably the main reason I even bothered to put an url in there.

So before I knew it, I was fiddling with something random I found on the internet, you know how it is, suddenly you’ve spent an hour which you can hardly account for other than “stuff on the internet”. This was definitely “stuff” until I got a result.

First I just copied in the address to this blog, no result. Then I figured it might need a specific post, so I took my article on Cataclysm Secrets and Hidden Locations, a post I’d written in December 2010. Cataclysm was brand new then and I had begun looking for easter eggs. I posted what I had found so far and people started commenting about stuff they had found. It evolved into a small community project almost, and about half the content in that post wasn’t even my initial discovery. When I started writing it, I had tried searching myself to see if there were other such compilations out there and I couldn’t find any. I think part of the posts success was because I was quick and others benevolent enough to contribute.

Putting the address in there gave one result, the link leading into MMOwned.com. I didn’t think much of it, I’ve had that article linked before so I expected to see a link that hadn’t made it as a ping or something. Opening the link (the tread has been deleted since and does not work any longer), I could see ALL my pictures posted and the accompanying text copied as well, someone called “Talkycoder” had basically replicated the whole article into this thread.

I looked for a link to my blog, still not suspecting anything devious. I thought it was a little cheeky to repost everything, as a link would have been the correct thing to do.

No link was to be found…

Okay, it started looking wrong now. I read the comments and a lot of people had complimented the article saying it was well written, nice pictures and then a comment by Talkycoder saying “thanks”. Thanks for what? Hey… You didn’t write this!

Then someone bringing attention to a spot they found and Talkycoder, this time blatantly lying, said:

Thanks, I will add to it as I go on. I got them from this private server I’m a gamemaster on. Once I have the images I will write abit about it and post you in the credits.

Private server? What are you on about? I now notice how all of my pictures had been rehosted to Imageshack, this guy really tried to sever all ties to me.

Then someone compliments again saying they enjoyed reading it. Talkycoder answers:


Thanks people.

I hope it gets stickied or added to the other one by xel seeing as it’s not there. Plus I couldn’t find these on the internet anywheres.

You can stick that little proud grinning smiley up your %¤&*.

Another compliment and more reputation ticks in to Talkycoder – a reward system where people can give rep to contributers who will then rise in rank on the site. Thiefycoder then continues:

No worries, It took me a while to put together. I just looked at his topic a few weeks ago while serching for places and I was like “No new areas” I couldn’t find any list on the internet either. So I serched youtube and other areas of the internet and put this together.

Keep saying you couldn’t find anything on the internet dude, however you broke Grice’s second maxim of quantity. A mistake often done by liars, overthinking the suspicion and trying to preempt it by giving long and detailed information to prove how NOT lying they are. Nope, “nowhere” to be found on the internet….

It was now clear to me that this guy had taken my work and completely claimed it for his own credit, no link, no thanks, no qualms. I, however, was fuming at the mouth “THE INSOLENCE”. I tweeted about it a frustrating moment of needing to share this horrible discovery. It was late at night, I was tired (now also furious) and trouble was building up. Cynwise quickly reminded me to report to an admin, so I spend some confusing moments trying to activate an account on the site to be able to stop this madness. My boyfriend, equally offended at this point, has already made an account and exposed the thief. Another commenter chimes in confirming our claims and then it turns out he also copied my other article The 10 most creepy things in WoW which he again posted under his name here (this link does not work either, the thread has since been deleted). Dude, you’re just rubbing it in now.

People seemed to like this one as well so Thiefyshit poops this out:

Thanks well again . Just need more idea’s now. This took a while seeing to find the right pictures and youtube video’s. While creeping me out along the way!

“Just need more ideas now”… want me to feed you some? Sheesh! Also claiming how long it took just puts fuel on the fire, ’cause yeah, it did damn right take a long time to write as it’s speckled with pictures and videos. While I was spending more time shaking my fist, my boyfriend posted again ripping the rip off from his rip offs.

I then notice that Talkypooper posted this only 12 hours ago. I should add, both of the articles he stole are 6 and 10 months old. The 10 creepy things article is even from before the Shattering documenting from the pre Cataclysm world. I was even considering this article outdated myself and was considering writing a new Cataclysm focused one (putting the Auschwitz of Azeroth in there fx). How lucky is it that I am, by crazy spooky timing, able to intersept this shortly after it happened, when the articles had been available on the internet for a really long time. All of this could have been happening for ages during which I would have been ignorant, but instead I bust this kid while his hands are glowing red. Goddamn I’m lucky!

Refreshing the page to see if it was getting locked brought up a sort of news-feature-type user saying:

Great thread. I promoted it to the front page.

YOU DID WHAT? What kind of a news guy are you? Do your research for christ sake! But news guy hadn’t even read the (only) two paged thread through, where right above his comment we are talking about reporting the two threads for plagiarism. So now the 10-creepy-things-FAKE-article had been duplicated on to the front page and we had to go over there and post yet again, that it was stolen.

A little research into this thiefy bugger reveals him having an age issue. Sometimes he’s 22, other times 25. He’s English but spells quite poorly, even worse than me, as should be demonstrated by his quotes. More digging shows him as being “special needs” and “liking cookies” and probably more likely between 14 and 18 years old. We also found him claiming to have created these pictures, which I strongly doubt. Basically a real internet kiddo with a compulsive lying issue.

Soon I became less angry and it all suddenly seemed so funny and pathetic.

I didn’t get to bed until 6 in the morning, still adrenaline pumped and with a feeling nothing had been resolved yet.

The next day (thank god for vacations to do whatever) the thread had been locked and an admin was awaiting my response. He had sent me a mail within their forum system offering me the opportunity to claim these posts as mine and be awarded with all the rep the thief grabbed on my behalf.

The dilemma now is, do I even want to be a part of MMOwned.com – “The world’s most notorious World of Warcraft exploit site!“? It’s people who are very technically skilled and like to tamper with the game system. I’m not really into that myself and I don’t really see why I would post my stuff there when I have this blog.

I wrote the guy back that I just wanted the two articles to be disassociated from Talkycoder, that I was grateful for his quick response and flattered by the positive reception my work had had from their audience.

This evening he then returns, urging me to reconsider. With more posts like the ones I had already done, he said, I would quickly rise to the status of “contributor” with the opportunity for access to the exclusive parts of the forum. I can’t say that curiosity didn’t tickle a little, but I’m not interested in hacking, botting or similar. I’m pretty casual and not very techy, what would they even be able to offer me that I would be likely to want anyways? It also sounded like a lot of work.

I havn’t responded yet, I don’t know… what do you think I should do?

Ps. If you have a popular post that is within the realm of the general WoW populace’s interests, run it through Copyscape, just in case ;)

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11 comments on “Someone took credit for two of my articles – THE DRAMA!

  1. Syl
    July 27, 2011

    What a jackass…..!
    I’m still waiting on a moment like this, although a part of me accepts that publishing posts on the internet will always lead to copying by someone somewhere someday. still, not giving credit or worse, claiming the entire work of someone else as your own, is plain low and disgusting. Good for you and your partner for having confronted the guy in flagranti. halfway through reading in that forum thread I was worrying that the people there might actually oppose you but at least they had the good sense to react approprietly.

    As for your question, it’s all up to whether you really feel that page is a good platform for you… and whether you want another place besides your blog to put up your articles. personally, already due to your experience and my overall ‘hunch’ when browsing that site, i’d stay well away. it’s obvious why they’d love to have someone like you as a contributor, but well – what’s in it for you? and if they’re so eager to read your great posts regularly, why can’t they just do it here?

    Anyway, my 2 cents. :) and I am really afraid to try that link now for my own URLs, lol..

  2. Rades
    July 27, 2011

    Ugh, how annoying! I’m glad you contacted them and that they are somewhat taking action…as dubious as the action(s) seem to be…

    If I were in that position, I think I’d politely decline, for now. Just ask that you be properly credited and kind of watch them now and see if they’re a site you wouldn’t mind being a part of. You don’t want to join them only to be associated with a group of dirtbags! Of course, on the other hand, maybe this is just one idiot being a plagiarist and maybe they actually are a site you wouldn’t mind contribute to. In any case, I say distance yourself for now and check them out for a while to see how they behave. :D

  3. Thundathighs
    July 27, 2011

    As someone who saw this e-drama unfold on mmowned, I’d suggest joining the site. While it would be a ‘lot of work’ for most people to get to the position where they can view some of the hidden parts of the site, I feel that you are in the unique position where you could upload parts of your blog and have it count as +rep (credit).

    I think your worry of associating yourself with the site is unnecessary, as the site isn’t purposefully finding exploits / creating bots: it simply allows users to upload information and organizes that info in a specific way.

    Its your choice on what you want to do, but nice blog and posts either way =P

  4. tomeoftheancient
    July 27, 2011

    The timing was amazing, I’m so glad you caught that. I’m also glad that MMOwned.com took action fairly quickly, aside from the news guy. My posts are just stream of conscious, run on sentences so they are safe but I can’t even begin to imagine how angry I’d be if I had worked on something the amount of time you must have on those and it was plagiarized.

    As to being a contributor on MMOwned.com I doubt I’d do it. There doesn’t seem to be any upside for you in it,

  5. Döra
    July 27, 2011

    Great timing and very interesting story. Having heard bits and bobs about this, I had been wondering what went on. What an idiot! Bet he’s regretting it now.

    MMOwned – nah don’t bother. The Moderators should have banned the guy and made a post about how it is unacceptable to plagiarise another’s work, and fully give you credit for your work by linking to your original topics, rather than simply inviting you to contribute, which simply benefits them not you.

  6. Zinn
    July 27, 2011

    I’d be just as furious as you! I can only say what I’d do in your situations, seeing as I am also quite uninterested in mmowned. I’d just say what you did “please make sure that THAT guy doesn’t get the credit for my work” and then say I wouldn’t want to have anything special to do with them. I wouldn’t mind keeping my posts on their sites, under my name of course, and with a link to my blog perhaps, but I personally wouldn’t be interested in getting involved in their site more than that. But only you know if you want that of couse ;) I’m kinda with Döra on that one.

  7. Ryiana Angharan
    July 28, 2011

    I would suggest joining MMOwned. I use it as a reference as I’m sure many others do. Adding yourself as a known and knowledge source of information might, at the worst, draw more readers your way. It’s not a bot/hacking site strictly, for some of us it’s a source of “how to” and “what’s up with…”
    Get your credit where it is due, just don’t post there again.
    BTW, the controversy there is what brought me here :)

  8. ironyca
    July 28, 2011

    I wrote the admin back saying I’d take the offer to adopt the two articles Talkycoder put up. Depending on whether he gives me a new thread or hands me the old one, I’d have to write a short explanation, so it doesn’t look like I’m stealing my own stuff.

    I’m not sure I’ll be reposting stuff there, I can’t help but care about formats, and the reposted versions of my own articles looked horrid, with pictures of all sizes and long strings of text. Knowing myself, I’d be sat for hours trying to make it look neater.

    As some of you said, this way I’d get the credit and I will definitely say, the posters on MMOwned were very positive and appreciative, as much as I got riled up when I read it, I was also very flattered.

    Thanks for all the advice everyone :)

  9. rtyecript
    August 23, 2011

    I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

  10. wolfgangcat
    August 25, 2011

    I feel your pain…I have another “popular” blog (not WoW related) where the articles get ripped off and posted (without credit to me, of course) on corporate-run blogs/websites.
    So far I’ve been lucky in that a simple email to the server owner proving my ownership has been enough to have the rip offs removed or properly credited to me.
    Unfortunately, unless one stops writing completely or retains a lawyer it’s almost impossible to stop the copyright violators since even professional journalists have become so lazy they rarely bother to confirm their sources.

    • ironyca
      August 26, 2011

      My blog isn’t really that popular, and compared to what you have experienced with an actual commercial website stealing to drive up hits, what I had was not a big deal. I guess when it happens the first time, you get so insulted, but after a while I found it kind of funny instead. The only repurcussion I’ve had with the experience is paranoia. How much more has been copied out there without my knowledge? But as you say, it’s common now on the internet, so at least my trial was kind of silly compared to proper blog scraping etc.

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