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The Copy-Paste Cleanup Thread

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Apparently some people find it easier to copy-paste text from other sources, including Wikipedia or the creator's original site, instead of coming up with their own text.

However, this could get the website in a ton of legal trouble for plagiarism and/or copyright violations. (Not to mention it's lazy writing to boot.) Since stopping that problem is a very high priority, and I've observed multiple cases of this problem as of late, let's give this its own dedicated clean-up thread. If you see any work, character, or recap descriptions that copy another source word-for-word, bring them up here if you're not sure how to immediately fix them.

Below is a list of currently known pages that suffer from this problem, and the source they copy from. (This list can be updated by mods or by me, Totemic Hero.) The ideal goal is to have these pages fixed within a week or two of finding out about the copy-paste. If we can't manage to come up with a fix in that time frame, then we'll probably have to outright Cut List said pages, because the site can't risk legal issues.

Currently known pages with copied text

Characters.Overwatch - Character descriptions partially copied from Blizzard's official site
Recap.American Horror Story - Recap descriptions mostly copied from the show's wiki
Recap.Charmed - A number of recap descriptions are copied from the show's wiki
Characters.Smite - Character descriptions transcribed from the character videos
Literature.Repairman Jack - Parts of work description copied from Wikipedia
Characters.Infinite Crisis - Parts copied from old version of official website (needs checking to see if still there)
WesternAnimation.Happy Ness The Secret Of The Loch - Description copied from VHS tape box
ComicBook.Alpha Gods - Part of work description copied from official website
Music.Among The Living - Part of description copied from Wikipedia
Creator.Kurt Sutter - Part of description copied from Wikipedia
Fanfic.Past Sins - Work description copied from host site
TabletopGame.Beyond The Supernatural - Work description copied from Wikipedia
Creator.Van Beuren Studios - Description apparently copied from a blog
Main.Footnote Fever - Text of a number of examples copied from Wikipedia
WesternAnimation.Camberwick Green - Part of description copied from Wikipedia
Literature.My Thomas Story Library - Part of description copied from Wikipedia
Series.Weinerville - Part of description copied from official website
Film.Yamashita The Tigers Treasure - Description copied from Wikipedia
Creator.David Lowery - Description copied from Wikipedia
Creator.Raphael Bob Waksberg - Description copied from Wikipedia
Creator.Kazuki Takahashi - Majority of description copied from Wikipedia

edited 15th Apr '18 1:11:56 PM by TotemicHero

TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Dec 3rd 2016 at 2:08:07 PM

Double posting to note that The Butter Battle Book is now on the list of ones that need work.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
SeptimusHeap Token Good Teammate from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Dec 3rd 2016 at 2:18:34 PM

Header post set per request. I'd be inclined to simpy remove any copied text without replacement. Apropos, what about the tropers responsible?

TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Dec 3rd 2016 at 2:33:22 PM

If you can catch them from the page histories and issue warnings, that's fine by me, but quite a few of the pages go too far back or are victims of namespace moves plus Main/ redirect cuts (The Coldest War being an example - apparently you're the one who moved it to Literature/ a few years back) that basically make it impossible to know whodunnit.

Once we get the situation under control (so that there are relatively few "examples" to copy), then I'd escalate the punishment for doing this a bit.

edited 3rd Dec '16 2:35:53 PM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Dec 6th 2016 at 10:26:25 AM

Literature.Moab Is My Washpot and Film.LOL are done and off the list.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
N1KF The Number1KirbyFan Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Dec 24th 2016 at 6:25:01 PM

Took care of that one. (It needed a description cleanup anyway - looks like whoever wrote it does not have English as their first language.)

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Dec 31st 2016 at 5:37:01 PM

The work page description for Why Him? is taken from the plot description on Wikipedia.

TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Dec 31st 2016 at 8:38:28 PM

Oh goodie, a recent case. I'll leave what to do with the troper who made that page to ~Septimus Heap, and take care of the description tomorrow, when it is well and firmly 2017.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
SeptimusHeap Token Good Teammate from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Jan 1st 2017 at 4:23:53 PM

Aaaaaannnnddddd done.

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Feb 7th 2017 at 6:27:06 AM

The first paragraph in the work page description for Alpha Gods is taken from the comic's official webpage.

LB7979 from the Netherlands Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Feb 27th 2017 at 5:15:24 PM

The Familiar contained a summary of the book copy-pasted from Amazon.com (after I complained about this on Ask The Tropers, another Troper has already removed this). A replacement, originally-written recap of the book is probably in order. I'd like to do this, but have only just started reading the book, so of course if somebody else would like to, that'd be great too.

bwburke94 My Ice Cream Waifu from Remnant Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
My Ice Cream Waifu
Mar 4th 2017 at 3:37:53 PM

The header of the Evil Overlord List page is still troubling.

The work itself can be reproduced on the page because it is for all intents and purposes in the public domain.

Misspelled trope names dealt with... for now. Moving back to the Understatement project soon?
Theatre_Maven_3695 from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Charming Titania with a donkey face
Mar 4th 2017 at 5:18:53 PM

[up]Pretty sure that by US copyright standards, anything written is automatically copyrighted by its author unless other CC licences are involved. Hence the permalock on our copy if it. As for the "header", do you mean the description, or...? I'm confused.

edited 4th Mar '17 5:26:17 PM by Theatre_Maven_3695

SeptimusHeap Token Good Teammate from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Mar 5th 2017 at 12:58:42 AM

Indeed. The permission to host that text is conditional upon us not changing it. Potholes are fine but everything else ain't.

TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Mar 5th 2017 at 7:10:50 AM

FYI I think he got "header" and "footer" confused.

But yeah, that page is staying the way it is, barring major developments.

Also, added Alpha Gods to the list.

edited 5th Mar '17 7:12:38 AM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
supergod Walking the Earth from the big city
Walking the Earth
Mar 6th 2017 at 6:24:07 AM

Jaredwarrensince1991 directly copied large amounts of text from Wikipedia to write the description for Music.Among The Living. Checking a random page from his history, I found that he did the same thing with Music.Lita Ford. I didn't check for more, but there are probably more plagiarism cases in there.

edited 6th Mar '17 6:24:21 AM by supergod

For we shall slay evil with logic...
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Mar 6th 2017 at 7:17:07 AM

Yeah, that's his MO. I found additional evidence of Wikipedia copy-paste on Creator.Kurt Sutter, Music.Angel Witch, Music.Girlschool...we're going to have to fine-tooth comb his history just to clean up all of it.

~Septimus Heap, mind sending this guy to wiki timeout?

edited 6th Mar '17 7:17:33 AM by TotemicHero

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
SeptimusHeap Token Good Teammate from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Mar 6th 2017 at 7:35:30 AM

Dude's been banned, not by me though (got too late).

Madrugada Zzzzzzzzzz Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
Mar 6th 2017 at 7:35:38 AM

I'm not Septimus,idea but I just did that. Thank you.

<looks up, waves "hi">

edited 6th Mar '17 7:36:17 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
Theatre_Maven_3695 from Ontario, Canada Relationship Status: Charming Titania with a donkey face
Mar 11th 2017 at 4:20:25 PM

Grease has the non film exclusive characters' descriptions copypasted from the official character descriptions. Pretty sure this isn't kosher.

Mar 15th 2017 at 6:28:33 AM

Okay... Well, I might be massively guilty of this?

'Cause I take the descriptions of RPG Maker Games from their http://rpgmaker.net/ pages?

And this isn't mine, but Fanfic.Past Sins copies its description from Here.

... Or is that okay, using the author's description / summary for their own work, if it's a fanfic??

Help with possible disambig and redirect issues!
TotemicHero Not a bug! from the next level
Not a bug!
Mar 15th 2017 at 7:11:09 AM

Barring the fic being from Kindle Worlds (which so far, I'm not aware of us having a page on a fic from that specific channel), it wouldn't get the site in legal trouble (since we are talking fanfic here). However, pretty sure it's still against site policy; plagiarism is still plagiarism.

Thanks for admitting you did this, though. If you could rewrite that description you copied yourself, that would be nice - I've really got to stop putting off cleaning up after the guy who copy-pasted everything and anything he ever did (see above).

Expergiscēre cras, medior quam hodie. (Awaken tomorrow, better than today.)
Xtifr World's Toughest Milkman Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
Mar 15th 2017 at 1:20:37 PM

[up] Copyright is implicit under the Berne Convention—fanfic is not an exception. (Even if a fanfic is itself a copyright-violating work, the author still retains a copyright to any original parts.) If you mean that a fic's author is unlikely to sue—that's probably true. But it's still not legal to copy their exact words without permission, even if the legal risk is minimal.

Speaking words of fandom: let it squee, let it squee.
SeptimusHeap Token Good Teammate from Bern, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Mar 15th 2017 at 2:38:09 PM

It's also unethical to take someone else's work like that.


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