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Old 10-02-2011, 09:03 PM   #1
Loosheesh
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Reposting of reviews by someone other than the reviewer

I came across something tonight that has me more than a little disturbed and I have a question: if I post a review on Goodreads, is it fair game for anyone (ok, probably an author) to open an account at an online bookstore (under the same username I use at Goodreads) and post this same review? This is wrong, right?
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #2
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It's certainly wrong. Whether or not it's legally wrong depends on the specific circumstances.

Unfortunately this happens a lot on the internet. I've put out a lot of content at various points, and invariably it winds up reposted somewhere, often without credit or under the credit of someone else, sometimes even by bots who just index keywords and posts. I'm not sure if it's avoidable.

However, having a basic license can give you a little bit of leverage for more serious instances of this. I never bothered to battle the bots, but I always use a Creative Commons license, the limitations of which are usually that there must be an attribution, and that I don't allow commercial use. It's not necessarily going to stop someone from doing it, but if it's worth your time to fight, you have some ground to stand on.

I'm not sure, however, if this applies to things like reviews posted on someone else's site. You probably would have to follow a different course of action in this circumstance. You could contact the webmaster and find out.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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I'm not concerned about bots etc and I'm not really thinking of copyright or anything like that for reviews I write, but it was shocking to see this review at 2 major bookstores under accounts with the very same username I use, accounts I certainly did not create. And a few bits were cut out of the review also

I intend to send a message to the author but I wanted to know if this is a usual, or even accepted, practice.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
I'm not concerned about bots etc and I'm not really thinking of copyright or anything like that for reviews I write, but it was shocking to see this review at 2 major bookstores under accounts with the very same username I use, accounts I certainly did not create. And a few bits were cut out of the review also

I intend to send a message to the author but I wanted to know if this is a usual, or even accepted, practice.
Usual? Yes. Accepted? In a resigned sort of way, yes, but not in the sense that it's acceptable to do if one is a decent human being.

I would go straight to contacting the site - don't bother with the plagiarizer. They're probably a rep for someone and they really don't care. Maybe as a last resort, but not as a first plan of action.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:12 PM   #5
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I would go straight to contacting the site - don't bother with the plagiarizer. They're probably a rep for someone and they really don't care. Maybe as a last resort, but not as a first plan of action.
By contacting the site, do you mean the bookstores where the review is posted? How would I prove that the review is mine? I don't suppose they'll take it down just because I say it's mine

I've had some contact with the author, and I wanted to give this person an opportunity to fix the 'problem' without me having to do anything further. I read the author's book, rated it 5 stars and commented on how much I liked it. The author sent me a friend request (which I accepted), then a few days later very nicely asked me if I would care to write a review. I wrote the review, trying my best to convey what the book is about, what I liked so much about it, and what few concerns I had. After I posted the review, the author sent me another message, to thank me for the review and express pleasure with what I wrote. I got another message a little later, asking me to switch the review to the ebook edition as the paperback was out of print. That was sum of our interaction.

I don't want it to look like I'm making a fuss over a review that's probably substandard compared to the really good reviewers out there, but I've only reviewed 3 books on Goodreads, and this one was my first. I have a hard time expressing myself so I struggled to put my thoughts into words; this review was kinda special to me and it really irks me to see it places where I did not put it
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
By contacting the site, do you mean the bookstores where the review is posted? How would I prove that the review is mine? I don't suppose they'll take it down just because I say it's mine
Well, if it really was stolen from your Goodreads account, perhaps you could add a note on your Goodreads profile that your reviews from there are being plagiarized without your permission and that anything that people see apparently posted by "L00sh33sh" on sites X and Y is not you, but someone using your name and your words without your permission.

Then you could point the bookstore support people towards your Goodreads profile with the new info on it, and hopefully they'll respond appropriately.
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Old 10-03-2011, 02:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosheesh View Post
By contacting the site, do you mean the bookstores where the review is posted? How would I prove that the review is mine? I don't suppose they'll take it down just because I say it's mine

I've had some contact with the author, and I wanted to give this person an opportunity to fix the 'problem' without me having to do anything further. I read the author's book, rated it 5 stars and commented on how much I liked it. The author sent me a friend request (which I accepted), then a few days later very nicely asked me if I would care to write a review. I wrote the review, trying my best to convey what the book is about, what I liked so much about it, and what few concerns I had. After I posted the review, the author sent me another message, to thank me for the review and express pleasure with what I wrote. I got another message a little later, asking me to switch the review to the ebook edition as the paperback was out of print. That was sum of our interaction.

I don't want it to look like I'm making a fuss over a review that's probably substandard compared to the really good reviewers out there, but I've only reviewed 3 books on Goodreads, and this one was my first. I have a hard time expressing myself so I struggled to put my thoughts into words; this review was kinda special to me and it really irks me to see it places where I did not put it
Ahh, that is substantially more complicated than the initial impression I got from your OP. Rather shocking that a writer, of all people, would do that. But humanity is frequently shocking and not always for the better.

In that case, yes, contact the author.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:52 AM   #8
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It's wrong, and you should go through the proper channels to get it rectified.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:24 AM   #9
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This is s flagrant copyright violation. You have every right to contact the sites concerned and request its removal.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:50 AM   #10
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It's more than a copyright issue. It could also be seen as identity theft.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:32 AM   #11
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I would agree that that's very wrong.

I could understand if the author quoted you on his/her website/blog, or put a link to your review, but to post under your name, and especially with a few bits missing, is not acceptable at all.
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:38 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've taken some of the advice given here; I've contacted the author and I've updated my Goodreads profile (along with a status update) in case I have to contact the stores myself to have the review taken down. I won't hold my breath on having the accounts shutdown also.

Quote:
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It's more than a copyright issue. It could also be seen as identity theft.
^This too. I know I don't have the market cornered on the username "Loosheesh" but I'd feel less angry if someone had just stumbled across the username and appropriated it rather than this deliberate action. (Plus, my username is a private joke between my husband and I, so I'm doubly upset )

Also, any cr@p, not representative of me at all, can be posted under these accounts and anyone linking it to me through the review at Goodreads will naturally assume they're my views, thoughts etc Not cool
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #13
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That's creepy and highly unprofessional of the author. I'd be really pissed off if that happened to me. Quotes and links are fine (and are even flattering), but re-posting an entire review is not cool. If the author doesn't resolve this, please do PM me the name. I'll make sure to never review a book by him/her, and I'll let other book bloggers know about this extremely crude behaviour.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:53 PM   #14
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I just wanted to point out that there are two different ways that Goodreads reviews can end up on other sites. Blatant copying of reviews without permission is obviously NOT okay, but there is also a GR setting that allows GR partners (online bookstores, WorldCat and others) to retrieve and publish book reviews via the GR API.

I don't think this option is selected by default, I'm pretty sure that you have to check the box to approve the publication elsewhere, but I don't recall for sure, so those who are worried should check their GR "settings" tab in the profile edit page. (That particular option is under "Privacy" just below "who can view my profile?")
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #15
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I just wanted to point out that there are two different ways that Goodreads reviews can end up on other sites. Blatant copying of reviews without permission is obviously NOT okay, but there is also a GR setting that allows GR partners (online bookstores, WorldCat and others) to retrieve and publish book reviews via the GR API.

I don't think this option is selected by default, I'm pretty sure that you have to check the box to approve the publication elsewhere, but I don't recall for sure, so those who are worried should check their GR "settings" tab in the profile edit page. (That particular option is under "Privacy" just below "who can view my profile?")
That's totally true...but the GR push feature doesn't allow for removal of some parts of the review and it always says something about being via Goodreads.
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