Copyright infringement is almost always a fraught area but when it comes to blatant content theft then the solution should be simple. Not, it seems, in LinkedIn’s case.
Two days ago, I was alerted to the fact that one of our stories had been republished under the name of this content thief on LinkedIn. As you might expect, I socialized the issue on Twitter and friends started piling in on LinkedIn. See image to the right. It’s a tad fuzzy but this comment is typical of those posted:
Content theft is a very unattractive and unimaginative thing to do. Take this down.
I posted up the following comment to the stolen article
This is a direct copy of our content which is subject to our copyright. Please remove it IMMEDIATELY.
That got no reply. Neither have any of the other comments. Is this guy even real?
Colleagues suggested that I report the profile and notify LinkedIn about the copyright infringement which I, along with others, duly did. Apart from the boilerplate response, @LinkedInHelp posted this – a day later.
Thanks for letting us know. Typical response time is between 2-3 business days if you sent it via the steps provided. Our team will be reaching out as soon as they can with an update. -jlk
— LinkedIn Help (@LinkedInHelp) August 1, 2018
And today? Another person on the LinkedIn Help Twitter account posts this:
We definitely have a formal claim process in place for this. Here’s some info on how you can file a claim to report this https://t.co/22PJmIB12d . -KE
— LinkedIn Help (@LinkedInHelp) August 2, 2018
We’re long past that point.
What is even more astonishing though is that eight people claim to have liked the stolen story – including someone from SAP and another person from IBM. (See the image on the right) Did they actually read the story? Did they not realize the entire thing was a lift from our site? Could they not see this is clearly fake content?
Oh yes – and one other person’s like comes from an account that also steals content!
As an additional check at my end, I clicked through on other stories the thief claimed to have written. They’re ALL stolen. I questioned whether this account is real but then this stolen story has been edited to remove the following text:
This article was created in partnership with Alibaba Cloud. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.
This thief definitely knows what they’re doing.
Not only is ours and other people’s copyright infringed, but that LinkedIn’s performance so far in attending to this issue is abysmal.
It cannot be beyond the wit of LinkedIn to coordinate among its own people on issues like this but apparently not. And as for 2-3 business days to respond? I’d give any organization 24 hours but this?
Like it or not, LinkedIn is a media organization and as such has important responsibilities when it comes to topics such as copyright infringement. The fact this is occurring should not be a surprise but the difficulties involved in getting a company to act are all too often frustrating. As one person pointed out to me – this is the penalty you pay for a free service where there is no-one to call.
Endnote – as at the time of publishing this story, LinkedIn has not sent an update and the stolen content is still live. If you’d prefer to read the original then it is here.
Postscript: Finally (3rd Aug, 2018) – LinkedIn acted – result?
Image credit - via the author