Showing posts with label plagiarism. creative commons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label plagiarism. creative commons. Show all posts

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Free Digital Photo Watermarking Tool

I have recently become very interested in copyright and content protection. On the same day that I was busy trying to prevent the re-use of Free Technology for Teachers for commercial gain, Problogger.net ran an article about watermarking images. The article included the reference to a free watermarking tool at Watermarktool.com. I tried it out on some of the pictures I took while hiking last weekend. The service is easy to use, customizable, and fast. The only drawback to it is that the maximum file size it accepts is 100k and it does not accept PNG files. You can see one of the images I watermarked below.









Applications for Education
Watermarktool.com is a good resource for art and photography teachers to introduce to their students. If your students have work that they are particularly proud of and want to put on the Internet, they may want to make sure that they are
properly credited . Creating a small custom watermark, it doesn't have to be as large as the one I made, is a good way for students to make sure their work is protected.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fighting Plagiarism, A New URL, and Lessons Learned

Special Note for Subscribers
The transition of domains may cause a need to renew to your RSS or email subscription. I'm not sure yet, but I will know in a couple of hours. When I know, I will post an update. Either way if by Sunday or Monday you haven't received any updates from me, please re-subscribe.
I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause for you.


The Reason for the new domain
As those of you that follow me on Twitter already know, last night I discovered that there someone copying all the content of Free Technology for Teachers verbatim and passing it off as his own on his splog (see definition here). Obviously, I was more than a little annoyed by this. I have no problem with people re-using my RSS feed through an RSS widget, in fact I'm happy when people do that. The difference between re-using an RSS feed through a widget and what this person was doing lies in linking and attribution. Displaying an RSS feed provides a direct link back to the original source. Copying and pasting someone's content without giving any links or attribution is stealing.

What I've done to prevent future theft of content.
1. The first thing I did was send out a message on Twitter asking for help finding out who owned the domain that was copying my content. Thank you Michael and Karen for your help with that. After finding the owner of the domain I sent him a strongly worded message asking him to stop. As of this morning some of the content he stole from me has been removed.

2. I did something that I should have done a year ago, I registered my content with a Creative Commons license. Then I posted the license on the blog.

3. I purchased the domain freetech4teachers.com. I looked at a few different options for doing this, got advice through some people on Twitter, and read many articles comparing the options. Some people suggested that I change to WordPress or Moveable Type and host on my own, but in the end I purchased the domain through Google/ Blogger. Purchasing the domain through Blogger was fast, easy, and will automatically point visitors to the new domain. It also didn't hurt that one of the popular Silicon Valley bloggers that I read and respect is Louis Gray. Louis Gray has 3600+ subscribers and uses the Blogger system.

Why I purchased the domain Freetech4teachers.com
The incident of seeing all the content that I've worked hard to write blatantly stolen made me aware of two things. First, there are a lot of people looking at this blog. Second, there is a chance that someone might try to buy the domain and copy all of my content which would really leave me high and dry. Someone suggested that I could take legal action, but I'm a poor school teacher and couldn't afford one hour with an attorney let alone the time for copyright dispute.

What does this mean for readers and visitors?
The migration from freetech4teachers.blogspot.com to freetech4teachers.com should be seamless and invisible to most visitors. The transition should be complete by Sunday. Entering either url into your browser will lead you to the same content.

Special Note for Subscribers
The transition of domains may cause a need to renew to your RSS or email subscription. I'm not sure yet, but I will know in a couple of hours. When I know, I will post an update. Either way, if by Sunday or Monday you haven't received any updates from me, please re-subscribe. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause for you.

A big thank you to everyone who offered advice, encouragement, and support through this process. Particularly Michael, Karen who helped me with ISP location and Karen who gave me great advice regarding copyright infringements.