THE DREADED P WORD

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PLAGIARISM!

I've had an experience with this before, and I think it's a pretty important topic to discuss. If you like, you can skip ahead to where I get to the point, which I've boldfaced.

Sometime last year I came across a very familiar looking image during a Google image search.
Turned out that someone had submitted my character set to Charas, with the comment, "A couple of future items. Edited by the one and only, █████ (For the sake of not turning this into some sort of ongoing personal vendetta, I'll change the names to protect the guilty). Although it did say edited and not created, there was no editing done to the image at all.

Adding insult to injury, after scouring the site for any other stolen work (found none), it appeared that it was one of the top if not most downloaded character sets on the site! Also, it wasn't even finished. I had posted it on GFAQs sometime early in 2002 for critique.

So I tracked down the guy responsible for submissions and explained the situation. I included the unfinished file as it appeared on the site, as well as the real, completed version. I also disclosed a secret about how one of the characters was created. I was calm about this, and at no point did I make any demands. I knew the onus was on me to prove my case, and if my evidence wasn't enough, then that would be my fault.

So the submission disappeared, and pretty quickly, I might add. I know that it was submitted to another site in Thailand, but I never could get a hold of anyone there. And there's the games. I've found a few games using it, but I don't know if they credited the guy or not. I didn't take it any further; there's no profit made on these games anyways.

I did learn a valuable lesson, and any future work of mine will have plenty of info embedded in the file. I've set up all the metadata in a template, using Photoshop CS4's "save for web & devices" command, and can apply it any time. I've also read up on copyright as well as copyleft and ShareAlike. I also plan to limit where I post images, and who I make them available to.

So, have any of you had work of yours plagiarized, and what did you do about it? What steps do you take in order to minimize the chances of it happening again? This topic also applies to other elements, such as audio, stories, or characters.

PS: Here's the real deal:

As of now, there is no standard for saving metadata in the .png format. You can enter it, but you won't see it if you open the file again, prompting you to believe that it was lost. However, you can open the image in any document reading program like Word or Notepad and see the embedded info.
TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
440
i am glad you went on a quest to find out who was taking credit for your terribad edits. you sound like a whiner, and it usually comes from rpgmaker people too.

i use custom content for my projects. if people want to use them, i don't care it's not effecting me and it's the internet, don't post stuff on the internet then. if it's 100% custom i can understand you getting raged about it to some extent, but if it's those images you posted then lol. O NO A GUY STOLE MY EDITED TREASURE CHEST!

even if i used a bunch of other peoples junk, i would not add them to the credits. because it isn't even a big deal, and if you think it is, you really need to go outside.

people copy other people, people steal from other people just deal with it because that's how most things work.



I think the problem stems from the "gimme" mindset that plagued 2k(3). Graphics were ripped from commercial games all over the place and there are plenty of unknown games that graphics could've been ripped from. Hell that's what I thought when I first saw your characterset years ago. Graphics are ripped and stolen without second thought to the creator so others can show off their amazing mapping skills with graphics nobody else has seen.


I think the best way to defend yourself from plagiarism is to release the finished product. People who have no interest ripping graphics for their own projects will recognize your graphics/music and let them defend you from plagiarists because nobody likes them and they're pretty much reviled in any decent place on the Internet.

iirc Something like that happened here a year ago. Somebody used music from somebody else's game not knowing it was an original work, not claiming he made it, and generally got ripped apart (double standards ahoy!)

For in-production work, I think the best defence is showing it to people who won't steal it (aka not gamefaqs) and don't leave it up long to avoid random people passing by to snatch it up. Meta data could work but I'm not sure how persistent it would be, especially if they clip parts or edit it.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
15323
One time this moron at charas-project tried to steal my and Ocean's games, claiming he made them himself. Someone on GW tipped me off, but it all backfired anyway because my games do NOT impress people (at least not at first glance).

Anyway, what TFT said is true, though he could have put it more nicely. This is the INTERNET. People steal commercial stuff out here! Think you can really protect your homebrew stuff?
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
367
you should have put your internet name on those chipsets my friend, you could have been the next 'felix trapper'. instead your free labor is serving the efforts of guileless thai rm lords with zero personal e-recognition for yourself.

those of us who grew up in the 95-05 rm scene could have taught you a few things before you went posting your pixels across the face of digital existence, but now there is little we can do for you. try to be more careful next time kiddo...
If I ever found someone claiming* my RTP edits (or God forbid, my actual crappy original graphics) as their own I may have to go lung hunting. Unreasonable? Yeah, especially in the case of the edits. Do I care? Not particularly. I'm not exactly graphically inclined so even my edits are pwecious to me. Yes you are, awen't you my pweciouses, awen't yooo~

*AHEM* ^.^

*I don't mind people using them even if they don't give credit, but claiming them is another matter altogether. Rawr!


I should add that I grabbed some DQ monster rips from spriters'-resource and put them in RM2K/3 usable format, but remembered to add the rippers' name in the sets. It's just something small, but it's a way of saying thanks to him/her for actually going to the trouble of ripping them.
Unless it's something that's worth a lot I wouldn't worry about being plagiarized. The fight simply is not worth it in most cases, especially in my experience where my work ends up in some foreign site being stripped and re posted with different credits.

Also while proving that something was my work with clear proof, they still made it look like I stole from the guy who stole it from me.

As for preventing plagiarism of my work which is mostly scripts. I use aliasing with parts of my name which most people ripping scripts don't understand enough to change, for now...
I understand where you're coming from, but honestly, even when people do credit the work of others, no one actually reads who made or edited the stuff. I cite people in my games, but I couldn't tell you the name of even one of those people, it just isn't important. Call me unthankful, but I'm sure I'm not alone.
I also did parts of that set back when I used rm2k.


Since those are RTP sets I don't actually think there's too much ownership to claim for any edits.
I would be extremely worried if someone took my character designs and made them their own and give them Japanese names out of pure randomness. Other than that, if it's a small edit with not much "I made it" or "Oooh x made it." I don't think I'll make a big fuss out of it. But nice discovery you had there with photoshop :)

P.s. I read the graphics section of the credits most of the time or music '3')b
This thread has made me suddenly aware of how many graphic sets I am using that I don't know the source of.

I'm just going to credit everyone who ever submitted anything to charas-project in my readme.txt file. That way no one can complain, right?
This reminds me of that time when that... guy had that giant hissy fit because someone stole a tree he had made and said person didn't ask, only much more stupid.
post=141941
This reminds me of that time when that... guy had that giant hissy fit because someone stole a tree he had made and didn't ask, only much more stupid.


That was on gw right. I totally remember because of what a cunt he was being.
My philosophy is that you can go ahead and steal, but you are putting your game and your respect on the line. There can be long term effects to this. It is a dangerous path...
I'm just going to credit everyone who ever submitted anything to charas-project in my readme.txt file. That way no one can complain, right?

That's what I did (with Sore Losers), I just credited the whole site. Hell if I know where the original graphics came from. The only time I credit people directly is if I specifically know who made a resource and I know that it isn't an edit or a rip. Or if it is music: I am very particular about crediting original music pieces that I use.

As for my own stuff: If someone wants to steal graphics from Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl then they can go ahead. They'll just end up with a terrible looking game when they could've quite easily ripped graphics from Streets of Rage instead! Same goes for any of the edits I made when I was making my other two games.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
14360
post=141913
iirc Something like that happened here a year ago. Somebody used music from somebody else's game not knowing it was an original work, not claiming he made it, and generally got ripped apart (double standards ahoy!)

Hello, I was the discoverer.

What happened was that a dude used a track written for Legacies of Dondoran by harmonic. The track name is something like "LoD - Opening by harmonic" and wasn't even changed to be used in the game. No credit, no acknowledgement, just pure "hey I want to use completely custom music."

Or maybe you're just thinking of when I slapped Max McGee for using freely-licensed music but just picking it out of Visions & Voice's audio folder. Expected, since Max is from that 2k3 time (I guess I am too but I grew out of rips*/scavenging), and technically fine, but it just feels gross since karsu and I picked that exact track for a specific moment in V&V (which Max didn't even see) and yeah. Technically legal, but gross/nasty/vulture-esque (yes I think the entire 2k3 community is a bunch of vultures except for YDS (why the fuck do you use 2k3 YDS)).

*Actually Diablocide and IPoP's iconsets are edits of FFTA weapons/armors

EDIT: And on the topic of vultures gone wild, here's something related! It's from my Dark Gaia shitpile.
http://www.rpgrevolution.com/forums/index.php?&showtopic=29313

or

http://www.rpgrevolution.com/forums/index.php?s=c29ff628b8fe49c0c63ae9f1c51bcbbd&showtopic=29313&st=0&p=300231&#entry300231

...the fuck, neither work.
Hey! I'm trying to make my own graphics this time around!

Also, your link doesn't work. RRR is fucked (or Firefox is fucked, but I don't want to believe it is Firefox).
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
14360
safdknaklsdnfklasndkln RRR links screw up all the time
Correction: It works if you copy/paste it, it just doesn't work as a link should.

EDIT: I see what you mean. I used to be like that with projects I made prior to SL (although I wouldn't take things directly from someone else's game unless I asked them about it first!) CharasProject (and other such sites), though, I'd always quite happily use.

Hopefully I will get good enough at spriting that I won't have to use other people's resources anymore. By the time I am done with SL:RG I shouldn't be completely terrible at making sprites from scratch anymore.

Music is easier: There is a lot of freesource music on the internet!
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
14360
That is utterly ridiculous.
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