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1UP, Plagiarizing, and Other Bits of Joy 106

Posted by Hemos
from the well-not-really dept.
Nathan writes "1up recently posted their Dead or Alive 4 strategy guide on their website. It didn't take long for users at the Dead or Alive Central forums to recognize their hard work analyzing the fighting game engine had been blatantly pasted into the strategy guide without any credit given whatsoever. While movelists are largely factual and can be argued to be public knowledge, the most incriminating evidence is the section on the evasion system, which had been pasted into the 1up guide with a few reworded sentences. Discussions are ongoing at Gaming Age Forums (with 1up members defending the writer of the guide) and DoA Central. Perhaps the most interesting bit about this is that just a month or two ago, Dan Hsu from EGM and 1up had famously written an editorial criticizing shady ongoings at other publications." I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited. Update: 01/23 22:20 GMT by Z : 1up has announced that they've pulled the guide to review the situation.
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1UP, Plagiarizing, and Other Bits of Joy

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  • Game "Journalists" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by macadamia_harold (947445) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:09AM (#14538283) Homepage
    I interviewed at 1up recently, and when I brought up the subject of game "journalism" the guys just laughed it off. They said, basically, that they're in the business to make money, and that the editorial wall of old-guard journalism doesn't apply.
    • I'm not surprised, given that it's a Ziff-Davis company.

      A few years ago, some of the key staff at e.g. Gamespot, Official US Playstation Magazine seemed to get it into their heads that they were edgy and awesome adults, and therefore obligated to act as "hardcore" as possible. The ZD gaming magazines and websites were never paragons of great writing, but suddenly it was like they'd been taken over by the main characters from Gummo trying to be Jay and Silent Bob.

      I hope Sony takes Microsoft's lead and gives
  • I had some problems with this article submission and kind of wondered why I was reading it exactly.

    1UP, Plagiarizing, and Other Bits of Joy

    Where are said "Other Bits of Joy"? All I found was a DoA guide which looked a lot like forum material at DoACentral and then I subsequently found two forums full of flame posts and colorful language. None of which was joyful in the least.

    I did enjoy Hsu's blog [1up.com] which was discussed but not linked in the article.

    I've reread the different pieces, and while I

    • Since when does it matter what your material is? If I performed the research, then it's documented periodical information and needs to be cited as such. Whether my research involves rats' responses to certain drugs or game strategies is irrelevant. Your assertion that just because it's a listing of game moves it doesn't matter is erroneous.

      Furthermore, who do you give credit to? The forum owners? The owners of the posts? If it's the owners of the posts, how do you acquire their real names?

      First of all, a
      • As to the last question, I would think that the obvious choice of contacting the user and asking for their name so that you could accurately cite them would be a logical course of action.

        Indeed, or if that's not feasible for some reason, at least cite the username and the website you got it from. If that's not feasible, then cite "an unknown author" or something. You definitely do not take the credit for yourself!

        People are amazing.


        • Am I missing something obvious here? If they've stolen heavily from the online forums and this pisses the posters off, the n the posters should hold of the guide and distribute it online themselves at their forum. If it was free for this company to steal, then it's free for them to take back. And if it's not free, then the company is going to have to start redistributing some cash based on the sales they've made.
    • Wouldn't "source: DoA Central Forums" be sufficient?
    • I believe the essential sarcasm of "Other Bits of Joy" has passed you by. =)

      As to your other points...

      "Ironically, I believe the inventors of those combos (the programmers and authors of DoA) would be the sole owners."

      No, the move lists are facts. It isn't violating copyright or plagiarism to tell the world that "down, down-forward, forward, punch" makes Ryu and Ken throw a fireball in Street Fighter 2, no matter how many billions of other people have written FAQs with that move listed there. It is a fac
  • by AdityaG (842691) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:12AM (#14538295) Homepage
    "Oh, oops, I forgot to cite my usage of these third party pieces of code. It's just poor citation. It's not stealing or anything right?"

    Yeah, people need to stop making up euphemisms for things.
  • Not plagiarism? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GizmoToy (450886) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:19AM (#14538336) Homepage
    I've reread the different pieces, and while I think the DoA Forums are a large basis of work, people need to read Kate Turabian's on how to cite research because I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited.

    Which is exactly the opposite of everything they teach you in school. If you don't cite your sources, you are plagiarizing. Claiming incompetance by poorly citing your work is no excuse...
    • Also, there's a limit to what's considered "citing." When you're doing more citing than actual writing, that's still not kosher
    • I'm not surprised to see a comment like that by a ./ editor. It's kind of like reading an article written by a former Tyco executive where he says, "I don't see it as embezzlement in the whole, just poor accounting practices."
  • Not Plagiarism? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aryanproletarian (945185) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:21AM (#14538344)
    "...I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited." It's widely accepted that poor citing == plagiarism.
  • Plagiarism (Score:3, Informative)

    by gonerill (139660) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:24AM (#14538357) Homepage
    I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited. Copying something without properly citing or crediting its course is the definition of plagiarism.
    • >> I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited. >Copying something without properly citing or crediting its course is the definition of plagiarism. Gaah. Should have used the preview button. I meant to say, copying something without properly citing or crediting its source is the definition of plagiarism.
    • See SCO for further details.
  • Lesson Learned (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mslinux (570958) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:25AM (#14538364)
    I once showed a script I wrote to a guy who heads IT security in our company. A few months later in a company newsletter he mentioned the script, how it had helped find and resolve a serious security falw and how he had submitted it to a 3rd party security organization for review. He took full credit for everything and ended up getting an interview with SANS. Granted, the guy is higher up the corporate ladder than me, but he's not my boss and my name was never mentioned as being the autor of the script. For me, this was a lesson learned.
     
    I'll never show this dude a script again! Now, I understand how he got to where he is... making friends with smart people and using their work to gain a reputation that he does not deserve.
    • So beat the shit out of him. What's the problem? If you cannot do it find someone who will...

      Sorry, that's the Sicilian coming out of me... I'm in "construction"!!! Lol, ...
    • Re:Lesson Learned (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pikine (771084)
      When you work, that's a different story. All your work and ideas belong to the company, so if he receives the credit on that external revenue---some third party organization and with SANS---for the company as a whole, then it is okay. But if he didn't acknowledge your work inside the company, say didn't mention your name in the company newsletter, then there is a problem.

      What I'd do is whenever people talk about the script, you ask (assuming his name is John), "Oh, is that the script that John and I worked
  • by gadlaw (562280) <gilbert@gadl[ ]com ['aw.' in gap]> on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:25AM (#14538365) Homepage Journal
    Anywhere I go on the web to find information I see the same thing. Whether it's a Doom walkthrough or a guitar tab/chord guide for the latest song it's the same thing. One person did some work and everybody else with a site is there to copy and paste that work to their own site. Melissa Etheridge's 'Closer to Fine' guitar tab for instance. I've found that one tab at a ton of sites, not one site bothering to change one word of the introduction from the one person who tabbed out the song. Go look at Google News and find all the related stories under one header and you'll find 1000 stories, all the same. Same words and sometimes attributed to a wireservice report. Now just let me copy and paste this comment into my Digg comment on the same story. No use fighting against the tide here.
    • Go look at Google News and find all the related stories under one header and you'll find 1000 stories, all the same. Same words and sometimes attributed to a wireservice report.

      The difference here is that this is the entire purpose of the wireservice reports. By signing up and licensing the wireservice feed, the smaller papers are given the right to print those reports, so long as they are properly attributed. You really don't think the Boise Daily Spud is going to have a reporter sitting in the UN, do y
      • Course not. I'm talking about the 'culture of cut and paste' in general. Mostly the wire reports are labeled as such. But sometimes they aren't. And sometimes the cut and paste boys aren't too bright. Witness the occasionaly Onion article making it into the main stream media. Well, if you call Iran news part of the media. Of course the Boise Daily Spud should have it's own take on the Potato festival and other spudly news. I would hope.
    • Melissa Etheridge's 'Closer to Fine' guitar tab for instance.
      I'll take "Song By The Indigo Girls" for $200 please, Alex.
    • You can fight the tide. I write on Everything2 (same username there) and I am careful to cite when I use information from someone else's article/document/etc. Granted, I am only one tiny schlogg of foam on the waves of the 'net but like they say, "let peace begin with me".
  • Internut (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Konster (252488)
    Why, O WHY should one, on the web, use olden schoole style of reference? Use a link! It's the new standard!
    • I didn't see the links.
    • Re:Internut (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      two words: broken links. couldn't we then make up anything and just attibute it to some website that isn't there. I suppose this could be the case with any website, but at least there is some information about the source if it has the title, date, etc, granted not all that much though. I suppose such transient sites aren't very trustworthy anyway.
      • If the internet archive is doing its job, you can sometimes find old articles. Especially if you link to 'em enough. Google can sometimes help here as well, but it's not nearly as helpful.
  • Copyright (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ezratrumpet (937206)
    If the TOS for the boards says, "Anything you post becomes our property to be done with as we wish," there's not a lot of recourse for anyone. The writers all agreed to the TOS in order to post, and the board managers turned it all into a manual. Odious, but within the letter of the law - provided that the TOS was bulletproof. Another reason to read those things closely......
    • >Anything you post becomes our property to be done with as we wish

      Considering we talk about copyright here, I fail to see what this statement would do, basically nothing. It seems to talk about something about proprties, which doesn't have anything to do with copyright.

      Even if such a thing would work out though, it would still fail in many ways, for exmaple, there is really no way to tell that the person who posted it to the forum is the creator and hence holds the copyright. If you don't hold the copyri
    • The work may belong to the website, but that doesn't magically make the website the creators of the post. That's what people are fighting, that they are not getting credit, and that's what most of the internet is about. That's what Slashdot karma is about. etc..
    • Wait, the people in charge of the forums did this? What the hell is everyone complaining about?

      Every game forum I've ever been on (especially gamefaqs) has helpful topics that can't/won't get stickied and eventually drop off into obscurity. So the admin did the work of collating a bunch of tips into a guide and their users are bitching and moaning about it? Seems to me they were done a favor.
    • I was under the impression that posts from one forum were used to create an article from a completely unrelated site.
      The TOS has nothing to do with it,
      other than perhaps the complaint should be for the board to get the credit instead of a single author.
    • Re:Copyright (Score:2, Interesting)

      by faceless (91137)
      You seem to have missed a few of the details along the way. The posts on the DOA Central forums were sourced into a guide on 1up.com. It wasn't the DOA Central admins who did it, it was a 1up.com staffer/freelancer named Richard Li.

      This isn't about an admin stickying posts or compiling them on the same site for better clarity/reading/etc, it's about someone else on another site jacking the strategy for their job...
  • Plagarism (Score:2, Funny)

    by CaptainFork (865941)
    Nathan writes "1up recently posted their Dead or Alive 4 strategy guide on their website. It didn't take long for users at the Dead or Alive Central forums to recognize their hard work analyzing the fighting game engine had been blatantly pasted into the strategy guide without any credit given whatsoever. While movelists are largely factual and can be argued to be public knowledge, the most incriminating evidence is the section on the evasion system, which had been pasted into the 1up guide with a few rewor
  • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Monday January 23, 2006 @09:41AM (#14538453) Homepage

    Speaking of plagiarism, this slashdot user [slashdot.org] has ripped all the content right out of here [4q.cc], without attribution, and is taking credit, getting mainstream press and making money off selling t-shirts as a result. I think that is so shitty; like a link to the original source would kill him or something.

    ~jeff
  • Sigh ..Big Suprise (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mycroft9x (858322) on Monday January 23, 2006 @10:12AM (#14538706)
    Actually these guys have been ripping off video game FAQ authors for years. Even as far back as 1993. A well known faq author for some of the Mortal Kombat games would actually poison his FAQ with false moves just to see if they appeared in other peoples FAQs or magazines. Any MK fans from that era will prolly recall seeing the "Tiger Run" move from MK2 posted in an EGM "strategy guide" in one of their issues. Sure enough, EGM was there to rip of his every word, even the fake ones. A few years later they ripped of a FAQ author of a Tekken 3 Moves list. So to most of the people in the fighting game community this isn't really nothing new. Really sad, but it has been happening for over 10 years now.
    • That's entirely because a moves cannot be copyrighted: they are only facts. Facts are legally free for the taking and there is nothing illegal in failing to cite a source for facts.
      • Moveslist and moves are discovered by the gamers who put the time and money into the games. They in turn submit these moves, combos, and strategies to FAQ authors in the community who compose a "moveslist" or FAQ about the game. When I say 1UP or EGM ripped these guys off, I literally mean they ripped these guys off. Word for Word of their FAQs or Moveslist. Yes the moves in a game are a fact and can be used by anyone in their own rightful publications. However when you copy false moves from another authors
    • Oh, FAQ authors think they're so smart? One word: Nihilartikel [wikipedia.org]. Serving dictionaries finely since 1887.


  • Put the files on a bit torrent box and poof-- it won't matter who copies it where. The magical, rose-colored, I-don't-care-who-really-owns-it glasses make all problems go away. :-)
  • Movelists? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by eric2hill (33085)
    Can someone tell me what a "movelist" is?

    Pause...

    Oh, right... novelists.

    F7 baby, F7.
  • by TimeZone (658837) on Monday January 23, 2006 @11:56AM (#14539510)
    Stealing from one person is called plagiarism, stealing from many is research.

    I'm sure there's someone I should cite for that quote, but I can't remember who. ;)

    TZ

  • I guess they take Mondays off.
  • I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited.
  • by DanTheLewis (742271) on Monday January 23, 2006 @01:45PM (#14540806) Homepage Journal
    "I don't see this as plagiarism in the whole - just poorly cited."

    "I don't see this as torture in the whole - just cruel and unusual interrogation."
    "I don't see this as lying in the whole - just truthiness deficient."
    "I don't see this as adultery in the whole - just extramarital polyamory."
    "I don't see this as murder in the whole - just intentional killing without extenuating circumstances."
  • 1UP is my top source for spam. I don't remeber signing up for any of their junk and I've never managed to sucessfully unsubscribe. The unsubscribe link in the email points straight to their page where you're told you have to log in to edit mailing preferences. Having never created an account this can be somewhat difficult...

  • As is often the case with guides like this, the strategy guide itself displays the authors' phenomenal understanding of the game and fighting games in general.

    Quoth the guide:

    The system allows you to hit your opponent out of their combo string by executing a well-timed attack that goes under or over their blows.

    This statement (and some other statements about "combo strings") is unclear and stupid. A "combo" in fighting games is, by definition, a series of attacks which cannot be interrupted or es

  • I know an artist who's had a work stolen by 1up, and know of another group who've had at least two of their works appear on 1up's site. It takes several emails, and sometimes a bombardment of emails, before they'll take the work down (they refuse to offer credit, they'd rather remove it).

    I'm not at all surprised to see they lift text as well as images.
  • During the early 1990s, writers had a decent chance of getting away with misappropriating information from Internet-distributed strategy guides.

    I myself had at least two Internet strategy guides plagarized or used without attribution during that time.

    In the first case, an almost word-for-word copy of my Command & Conquer strategy guide -- which itself was a distillation of comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategy posts used by permission-- got printed as a booklet, and featured as an "extra" that month for a tier
  • Ziff Davis has a legal department that routinely checks certain websites for scans from their magazine. The reasoning is that once an individual has viewed the scan of a featured article, they have lost any need/interest in purchasing the magazine for that article. The scans therefore ruin the potential marketability of the magazine and in turn incur an estimated number of losses in proportion to the number of people that have viewed the image. Ironically, I find this analogous to the position that DoAC is

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