» 22 April 2009 » In Opinion, PHP, Talks »

Yes, it’s true.

A recent post on Twitter from @atourino pointed to my VIM for (PHP) Programmers slidedeck on scribd.com. The slidedeck has been really popular, gathering close to 50,000 views, 2,500 downloads, a few dozen favorites ratings, and a “Hot” award. Good deal, eh? Except that I didn’t upload this slidedeck—someone else did.

Scribd’s about page describes it as the place “where you publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents”. I’ve used it in the past to find all kinds of documents and there’s a lot to like about the site, but the keyword here is “original”. I really don’t mind sharing the slides—heck, I tell everyone at conferences to download them from my site—but on my Talks page I specifically ask people to obtain permission before re-publishing the slides elsewhere. It’s not a difficult thing to do. So far I’ve resisted putting a copyright notice on every slide, because I was hoping the common sense would apply, but apparently not for everyone.

I contacted Scribd’s customer support to see how I could take the ownership of the document in question. They replied that I would have to submit a DMCA copyright infringement notice and ask for the document to be taken down. I understand that this is their policy, but I think this is going overboard, especially for a case like mine. I really wanted to handle this in a polite manner and in such a way that people’s links to the document wouldn’t break instead of doing the dickish move of demanding it be removed completely. At the same time, I feel that the person who uploaded my slides without permission was wrong. Thus, I had no choice but to send the DMCA notice along with a request for the document to be re-assigned to me.

I would encourage everyone to be more careful in handling publicly available content. Please check for any restrictions on usage and publishing, and if in doubt—ask. This will help avoid resorting to heavy-handed stuff like DMCA notices.

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26 Comments on "I Used DMCA"

  1. andrei
    Brian Moon
    22/04/2009 at 2:58 pm Permalink

    I have had this same problem. Someone posted two sets of my slides from last years MySQL Conference on slideshare. I also did not mind sharing, they were on my site. But, if someone is going to post them on slideshare, I want it to be me. Not some poacher.

  2. andrei
    Martin F
    22/04/2009 at 6:54 pm Permalink

    It makes a lot of sense actually, when you send in a DMCA notice you’re legally accountable for the truthfulness of your claims. Anyone can say that some slides are theirs, if they then later go “haha, I got you!” then there’s nothing you can do about that – with a DMCA notice, though, you can sue the bastards who’s trying to pull your legs. 🙂

    In reality it’s probably just a way to weed out fake requests.

  3. andrei
    22/04/2009 at 8:02 pm Permalink

    My comment: Invoking the DMCA, via the channels setup to do so, is not being a dick nor isheavy handed. It would have been slightly better to contact the poster and ask them to handle taking it down, but sometimes that’s impossible. Having a lawyer invoke the DMCA for you under the assumption that it’s going to take a lawyer to get it resolved _is_ being a dick, however. Providing written documentation by sending in a DMCA notice protects everyone and ensures that things are handled in a timely manner (it also tests that service providers are handling DMCA notices as they should).

  4. andrei
    Disappointed Reader
    22/04/2009 at 11:11 pm Permalink

    You have a ways to go before you win your war with the internet. Just search for your name on Scribd, then go check SlideShare and then try Google. This is a war you’ll never win. I understand what you’re saying but this just seems so unnecessary over what boils down to a deck on a text editor.

    So someone wants to share your distinct knowledge with the world and they upload a presentation they saw to a popular presentation sharing site. Someone runs across it and LEARNS something new… maybe they’ve never heard of you or what you do but they learn something.. isn’t that the goal? It’s not like there’s a mass conspiracy here to discredit you by editing your name off the slides… it’s just amazing that you’d act like this.. all the work you do for open source projects and then act like over a copy of some slides… it’s kinda disappointing.

    [ 1 ] http://www.scribd.com/doc/14125190/Vim-for-PHP-Programmers-PHP-Quebec-2009

    [ 2 ] http://www.scribd.com/doc/14125688/Andreis-Regex-Clinic-PHP-Quebec-2009

    [ 3 ] http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?q=andrei+zmievski

  5. andrei
    23/04/2009 at 10:50 am Permalink

    @Disappointed Reader, I am not trying to win a battle with Internet. I am simply trying to have some semblance of control over content that I poured a lot of work into. Please note that I am not against people re-publishing my slides—but I am against them doing it without permission. Is it so hard to send me an email and say, “Hey, do you mind if I publish this on scribd.com or translate it into Bulgarian and publish on my blog?”

  6. andrei
    23/04/2009 at 12:00 pm Permalink

    must be hard having no actual worries to occupy your time

  7. andrei
    12/10/2014 at 3:00 pm Permalink

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  8. andrei
    14/10/2014 at 9:36 am Permalink

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  20. andrei
    22/04/2009 at 2:29 pm Permalink

    New blog post: I Used DMCA http://tinyurl.com/c2duvb

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  21. andrei
    22/04/2009 at 2:38 pm Permalink

    Reading about @a’s use of the DMCA: http://tr.im/andreidmca

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  22. andrei
    22/04/2009 at 4:01 pm Permalink

    I Used DMCA – Andrei Zmievski: Yes, it’s true.
    A recent post on Twitter from @atourino pointed to my VIM for (PH.. http://tinyurl.com/c2duvb

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  23. andrei
    22/04/2009 at 4:45 pm Permalink

    Planet PHP – I Used DMCA: Yes, it’s true.
    A recent post on Twitter from @atourino pointed to my VIM .. http://tinyurl.com/c2duvb

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  24. andrei
    Andy Bakun
    22/04/2009 at 8:03 pm Permalink

    My comment: Invoking the DMCA, via the channels setup to do so, is not being a dick nor isheavy handed. It would have been slightly better to contact the poster and ask them to handle taking it down, but sometimes that’s impossible. Having a lawyer invoke the DMCA for you under the assumption that it’s going to take a lawyer to get it resolved _is_ being a dick, however. Providing written documentation by sending in a DMCA notice protects everyone and ensures that things are handled in a timely manner (it also tests that service providers are handling DMCA notices as they should).

    This comment was originally posted on FriendFeed

  25. andrei
    Andy Bakun
    22/04/2009 at 8:04 pm Permalink

    I don’t know off hand if the DMCA provides a resolution of reassigning ownership of the document, rather than just taking it down, but asking for that wouldn’t be a dick move either.

    This comment was originally posted on FriendFeed

  26. andrei
    24/04/2009 at 12:47 am Permalink

    I Used DMCA http://bit.ly/2UMpd #postrank #php

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

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