Wikivoyage talk:Non-compliant redistribution

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Third-party infringements based on pre-Wikivoyage WT content[edit]

Various sites had copied content without attribution from WT before the en.Wikivoyage fork of 2012; these are part of the history of that project, archived at Wikivoyage talk:Non-compliant redistribution/Pre-2012 WT non-compliant redistribution.

Wikitravel[edit]

Uses Wikivoyage content without attributing properly. --Saqib (talk) 17:38, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm sure you're right, Saqib, especially as they have automated systems in place to prevent any mention of the word "wikivoyage" either in plain text or as part of an URL. However, if you are really determined to provide attribution, it can still be provided in edit summaries without these filters kicking in, so may we put some specific diffs here, please? Not because I don't believe you but because it would be good to have the evidence readily available... --W. Frankemailtalk 21:39, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
For instance, see Karachi article on WT. --Saqib (talk) 06:33, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
In that article it is pretty clear that the content of the Eat section is just reworked Wikivoyage content. Compare:
Karachi has a large number of restaurants from fast food, fast casual, casual dining to fine dining as well several fantastic upmarket restaurants, which serve a huge and wide variety of both local and international cuisines such as (Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Arab, Korean, South Indian, etc.). The beauty of the food in Karachi is that you will probably find a cuisine for every taste. On the other hand, one can easily find a franchise of an international fast food outlets such as KFC ☎ +92 21 111 532532, McDonalds ☎ +92 21 111 244622, Subway ☎ +92 21 586-8907, Papa Johns ☎ +92 21 585-3374, Mr Cod ☎ +92 21 535-0746, Henny's ☎ +92 21 5867151, +92 21 5864023 (09:00-23:00), Pizza Hut ☎ +92 21 111 241-241, Domino's ☎ +92 21 111 366-466, Penny Pizza ☎ +92 21 34991029. Wikivoyage
with
Karachi has several fantastic upscale restaurants, which serve a huge variety of cuisines. Most of the upper-end restaurants are either located within one of the major hotels in the city (the Sheraton, the Pearl Continental and Avari Towers), or in malls such as Dolmen, Ocean and Atrium or in the trendy shopping district of Zamzama in Defence. One can also easily find a franchise of KFC ☎ +92 21 111 -532-532, McDonalds ☎ +92 21 111 244-622, Subway ☎ +92 21 586-8907, Papa Johns (Clifton) ☎ +92 21 585-3374, Mr Cod ☎ +92 21 535-0746, Henny's ☎ +92 21 5867151, +92 21 5864023 9a-11p), Pizza Hut ☎ +92 21 111 241-241, Domino's ☎ +92 21 111 366-466 and Dunkin Donuts ☎ +92 21 111 366-887. The beauty of the food in Karachi is that you will probably find cuisine for every taste. You can order food and reserve tables at the famous restaurants through EatOye [92]. Wikitravel
I've bolded the sections that are identical. It turns out that the text I highlighted here actually originated on Wikitravel. See this revision and this revision. Moral of the story, I agree with W. Frank, definitely needs concrete proof before doing anything. Zellfaze (talk) 17:46, 17 March 2014 (UTC)
WT is problematic; they copied the pagebanner from us. This issue was raised in the pub a few months ago. No idea if anything was done. K7L (talk) 13:17, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

livingintravel.ru[edit]

(swept from Wikivoyage:Travellers' pub#Da russkies stole Crimea):

http://wiki.livingintravel.ru/wiki/Crimea is a direct rip-off of our Crimea article.

There is one revision (12:06, 21 мая 2014‎) in ?action=history and no proper attribution. (The corresponding edit here is 09:06 UTC, 21 May 2014‎.) They've basically posted an entire database dump, without the revision history. No mention of CC-BY-SA, no edit history other than the one last revision as of whenever they plagiarised this.

Their "privacy" link points to Wikimedia's privacy policy and the "disclaimer" points to en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Disclaimer (a redlink, they treat the Wikivoyage: prefix as an interwiki link instead of project space?).

Are we keeping track of these or protesting to the United Nations or something? Russia shouldn't be able to just march in and steal Crimea from us.

I know WP had a "Wikipedia:Forks and mirrors" that was tracking this sort of stuff, do we? K7L (talk) 14:06, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

Wikivoyage:List of content re-users and info at Wikivoyage:Non-compliant redistribution. Nurg (talk) 09:46, 10 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. It looks like the list is buried on the talk page, Wikivoyage talk:Non-compliant redistribution, for some reason? K7L (talk) 13:47, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Looking at stuff like this they seem to have just copied WV content at some past point in time and not followed our updates since. There seems to be no attribution in any place and as I don't speak Russian I cannot communicate with whoever is behind this site... If they did point back to us, they'd do no harm, right? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:16, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

As long as the pointers were systematic -- that is, on every article, pointing directly to our article or article history. Powers (talk) 01:14, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Solarnavigator.net[edit]

The site solarnavigator.net seems to be copying (at least one) WV article(s), e.g. compare this page about Eastbourne, and our article about Eastbourne. Also see this comparison of the pages. The page says at the bottom "This website is Copyright © 1999 & 2015." with no attribution or anything.  Seagull123  Φ  18:10, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Tourist Inspiration[edit]

There seems to be large scale copying from Wikivoyage over to this site, with no attribution (which is required by our CC Licence). In fact, pages are marked as © Tourist Inspiration, which is outrageous.

This was originally brought to light by Traveler100, who posted on the pub. The example link Traveler provided has content copied from Hamamatsu. My own searches have, within a few minutes, found content copied from articles as diverse as Boston/Downtown ([1]), various district articles of Paris (e.g. Paris/5th arrondissement) ([2]) and Sheffield ([3]).

Note that I am not referring to the main attraction at the top of each page; they seem to be Tourist Inspiration original content. The copied content is further down the page, under "Local Knowledge".

Reading the project page, we now have two options: write to Tourist Inspiration ourselves, or email legal@wikimedia.org for help from the Wikimedia legal team. Given the apparent extent of the copyright violation, it will be extremely difficult for us to find every single example on the Tourist Inspiration website, so I think we should involve the Wikimedia legal team even if we decide to write to TI ourselves. What are others' thoughts on this? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:33, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

If they are willing to help, that is certainly useful. I think we need a couple of articles where somebody still active here has contributed clearly above the threshold of originality and is prepared to go forward, so that there is no doubt about the copyright ownership. If Touristinspiration is willing to negotiate, I suppose we'll have a solution where they agree to conform to the licence, withdraw the content or pay money. The latter means they have to pay to everyone stepping forward with copyright claims also in the future, which hardly is an attractive solution for them. --LPfi (talk) 14:22, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. I have been the most prolific contributor for Sheffield for a couple of years, but whether the copied content is mostly my work, I couldn't say. I have left messages on the talk pages of the articles we know have been affected, plus on Talk:Boston and Talk:Paris, so hopefully the authors will come forward.
By far the easiest thing for Touristinspiration to do would be simply to credit Wikivoyage and make their content available under a similar CC Licence to our own. Whether they will do so willingly is another matter entirely... --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 15:13, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't just telling them that we'll be forced to inform our legal team if they don't get to us be enough for the beginning? Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:53, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps, but assuming I've understood your meaning, opening negotiations with a threat (that we may not be able to follow through with) is not a great way to start and could backfire on us. If they respond negatively to our first communication, or ignore it altogether, then we can consider letting them know we'll be contacting WM legal. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:52, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
The so called Eat and Drink sections they have seem like odd mashups including Buy listings. Overall, the page looks just like some kind of machine-generated directory of random businesses and every entry seems to have a section of "Local knowledge" with unattributed Wikivoyage content brought over by some bot. I have a feeling the people behind the site might not even know (and don't care) what exactly their articles/entries contain. Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if they wouldn't react in any way to what we write to them. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:43, 1 November 2017 (UTC)
Contact address is a rental post box in LA and domain registered via WHOISGUARD Panama so they are not wanting to publicise who they are. --Traveler100 (talk) 19:56, 1 November 2017 (UTC)

Still waiting for at least one prolific contributor to the Boston and Paris articles to show up. The other option would be if anyone already taking part in this discussion would be willing to check Tourist Inspiration for their own content and work on an email with me to send to TI. Any volunteers to find out if your contributions have been stolen? :-) I guess anyone involved in sending an email will also have to be willing to use their real name, so it's understandable if some of you may be reluctant. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:21, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

Email[edit]

Okay, so I've drafted an email to send to Tourist Inspiration. Please take a look, comment above the line, and make any amendments you wish to the email itself. I am no expert in these matters, and am not really au fait with copyright law, legal language, etc, so any input and advice would be much appreciated. At some point, I will also be contacting WMF:Legal. Thanks, ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:21, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

23 November 2017: The draft mentioned above can now be found in the edit history of this page. I have now sent the following email to Tourist Inspiration:


Dear Sir / Madam,

I am writing to inform you that some of your content is in breach of copyright. There is content on pages of Tourist Inspiration which has been copied from Wikivoyage (https://en.wikivoyage.org/) without crediting the original authors. Wikivoyage is a free wiki-style travel guide that is run by the Wikimedia Foundation (https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home), but its content is owned by the authors of Wikivoyage, of which I am one.

Under Wikivoyage's Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Licence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License), anyone is free to copy, use or modify content from Wikivoyage; however the copied / used / modified content must be attributed to its original authors. In this case, the URL of the relevant Wikivoyage article is sufficient, because Wikivoyage credits its own authors. The content must also be freely available under a licence which is compatible with the original CC-Licence.

Tourist Inspiration is currently in breach of both of these terms:

1. There is no indication on pages with copied content that said content originates on Wikivoyage. Written credit must be present on every page which has content taken from Wikivoyage, reading something like: "This text is taken from Wikivoyage"; the word 'Wikivoyage' should be a link to the page the content originates from.

2. Pages with copied content are marked © Tourist Inspiration, where there should be a notice along the lines of "Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License" with a link to a page showing the licence in full, for example: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ This is to inform other people of their lawful right to copy, use or modify the CC-Licensed content. Furthermore, use of the copyright symbol implies that Tourist Inspiration is the sole author of all content on a given page, which is simply not true.

Below, I provide a few examples of Wikivoyage content copied onto Tourist Inspiration. The copied content can be found under the heading "Local Knowledge" on each of the referenced pages:

The Elsecar Heritage Railway page (https://www.touristinspiration.com/united-kingdom/england/south-yorkshire/elsecar-heritage-railway-600.html) has unattributed content copied from Wikivoyage's Sheffield article (https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Sheffield), as do many other of the pages linked from your South Yorkshire portal (https://www.touristinspiration.com/united-kingdom/england/south-yorkshire/).

The Village Hotel Farnborough page (https://www.touristinspiration.com/united-kingdom/village-hotel-farnborough-549833.html) has content from Wikivoyage's Farnborough article (https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/farnborough), as do other pages on Tourist Inspiration (e.g. https://www.touristinspiration.com/united-kingdom/flexiletswallis-square-farnborough-665543.html, https://www.touristinspiration.com/united-kingdom/falcon-hotel-542797.html, https://www.touristinspiration.com/united-kingdom/saco-farnborough-825100.html).

At the time of writing, I have made several random searches on your website for destinations as wide-ranging as Slovenia (https://www.touristinspiration.com/blog/sloveniaguides-si-2/), Boston (https://www.touristinspiration.com/north-america/united-states/massachusetts/kings-chapel-historic-site-2018360.html), Hamamatsu (https://www.touristinspiration.com/knowledge/things-to-see-and-do/kitaouji-collection-47730.html), Paris (https://www.touristinspiration.com/939/odette-paris-2009298.html) and Los Angeles (https://www.touristinspiration.com/north-america/united-states/california/kawada-hotel-1456522.html); all have resulted in my finding of copied content under 'Local Knowledge' within a couple of minutes' browsing. This is unacceptable, and must be addressed.

In my capacity as one of the main authors (ThunderingTyphoons! - user page at https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/User:ThunderingTyphoons!), and thus one of the copyright holders of content on both the Sheffield and Farnborough Wikivoyage articles, I request that you comply immediately with the terms of the CC-Licence as outlined above and as fully stipulated here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License

You can do this either by correctly attributing the content to the Wikivoyage articles in question, and by making your content available under a similar licence, or by deleting all copied content from Tourist Inspiration. I further ask that you review the rest of Tourist Inspiration to make sure that all content copied from Wikivoyage is either appropriately attributed or deleted.

Please note that I have also informed the Legal Team of the Wikimedia Foundation (https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal) of the presence of copied content on your website, and will pass on evidence of all such material I am aware of, regardless of whether I am the original author or not.

Yours faithfully,

James Dawkins


Now to wait for a reply and action from TI (unlikely), or word from Wikimedia Legal, who are investigating. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 14:26, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

Well done. This letter is well-written, covers all the important points &, as far as I can tell, is legally correct.
In addition to any contact address(es) given on their site, it might also be sent to webmaster@ and www@ (required by RFC 2142 but non-existent on many sites) or, if the company is US-based, to the address the DMCA legally requires them to maintain for copyright complaints, or to some similar address in other countries.
It seems to me this letter would, with review from WMF legal, be a fine starting point for a boilerplate form letter that could be used for future infringers. Getting the right balance between simple explanation & extremely precise legal wording, and between polite request & blustering threats, is quite difficult. I'd say this letter is admirably close (better than I could have done) on both, a good basis for future notes. Pashley (talk) 04:57, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, that's really well done. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:25, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi, both. Thanks for your kind words about my letter, and particularly for Pashley's ideas.
However, the issue with Tourist Inspiration has been resolved. The website's owner responded to me directly in a very apologetic manner and has enacted the desired changes. A lot of WV content has been removed, and the stuff that was reinserted is now credited very thoroughly. I am personally satisfied by the steps taken, but if anyone else wishes to review the website, be my guest. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:40, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
Holy smokes this is great, thank you for doing it, and sorry for the extended hibernation. I'm also flattered that anything I wrote would be copied, even by a bot! Thanks again for the legal wrangling! --ButteBag (talk) 00:32, 9 March 2018 (UTC)
Welcome back, ButteBag! And thank you. A lot of the copying was done by the website's owner himself, but whether he was using a bot to do that or not I couldn't say. What I do know is he spent several days and nights personally removing copyrighted content. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:00, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Hangzhou, Rio de Janeiro and Shenzhen[edit]

@MartinJacobson: in response to your request for comment.

You would be more than welcome to copy the above email written by me and reword it as necessary. That email was successful in conveying the seriousness of the issue to Tourist Inspiration, and it got me into direct contact with the website's owner. We were then able to discuss an appropriate solution without needing to involve the Wikimedia lawyers.

Of course, every site is different, and the ones you're looking into may not be as easy to pin down. I would therefore recommend also getting in touch with WMF Legal anyway, just to tell them what you've found and what you're doing about it. They will almost certainly launch an investigation, though they tend to take a few days to reply to emails. I used the general email address, legal@wikimedia.org.

You could also take a look at Pashley's suggestions (also above) of alternative ways to contact the sites' owners if their public emails are unresponsive.

By the way, any email you send to the copyvio websites would be better if it were signed by at least one of the authors of the affected Wikivoyage articles; as I understand it, we collectively hold copyright over the content of each article we contribute to.

Let me know if any of this is unclear. I'd also be happy to lend a hand if you need it. Best of luck, Martin. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:14, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your very informative reply, ThunderingTyphoons! I want to make clear that I don't want to make any measures myself, partly since I don't feel comfortable with the legal issues, and partly since I don't feel comfortable representing WV or the authors in outward communication. I realize that I didn't make this clear in my original request for comments. My hope was to bring these cases to the attention of someone who is more confident and competent in these areas than I am myself. So, if you TT (or anyone else) are willing to look into this matter I would be more than happy to leave it in your hands. Best, MartinJacobson (talk) 19:39, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
[edit conflict] Thanks for doing this! Just to confirm: As individual users, we do indeed retain copyright over all of the original content we contribute to Wiki sites. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:44, 18 March 2018 (UTC)
The person who looks into the matter should be someone who has a credible copyright claim to the material that has been reused. So I think posting on the articles' talk pages and in requests for comment was the right thing to do. Ultimately, if the authors of the articles in question are able or willing to defend their work against theft, then they should do so. I won't be taking this on myself, but will repeat my offer of help to anyone who fits the above criteria deciding to take the lead. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:53, 18 March 2018 (UTC)