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Old 11 January 2008, 16:34   #24
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CodyJarrett's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Age: 41
Posts: 5,800
Nearly all the screenshots wer created by the HOL team. On the other hand box, disk and misc scans were mostly contributed.

As Codetapper says, the watermarking has been added in response to plagiarism by other sites. Although this sort of thing has happened since the HOL started there are reasons why we've had to add watermarking now.

Firstly, we've recently had two large sites use HOL material including screenshots, scans and data. Some of this material has been added by users of the other websites in question and so has indirectly found its way there from the HOL. Other times it has been more direct.

Secondly, there is an increasing trend for "commercial" Amiga websites these days. By this I mean sites which want to compete with others in a cutthroat manner which is more akin to commercial industries where money is involved than the relatively small scene that the Amiga has. Webmasters need people to come to their site and so descend into a vicious circle of obsession with high Google ranking, Google advert revenues and hype. In this way the temptation to lift the data and material from other sites overrides more purely academic aims.

Thirdly, we're up against the large multi-platform game sites which plaster their pages with adverts and are generally faceless. When HOL screenshots and scans are used in these sites we've got close to zero chance in having them removed.

Fourthly, the HOL is a database site. The majority of the work by contributors and team members has gone into the database part of it. It's quite natural to want to protect it from being used elsewhere with a different name slapped on top of it.

Adding watermarks helps us to pinpoint if the scans have been taken directly from the HOL as opposed to some innocent inclusion such as a contributor sending scans to multiple sites. Even if there is an attempt to remove the watermarks it does at least slow the progress of plagiarists.

The HOL team has a good record of contributing our own work to other projects. This usually happens after the team receives polite requests and through good site relations. For example, I've sent screenshots to Lemon Amiga in the past and Kim and I regularly swap data fixes. Another example are the endings that are sent through NPI for inclusion in the VG Museum. The way not to do it is to go ahead and rip data and screens without so much as the courtesy of an email. We also like to see what use is going to be made of material since most projects don't survive the initial period of enthusiasm. It's also worth mentioning that a request for the whole database and all the material won't have much chance!

I do understand that it's irritating when browsing the site and I would like to see more website collaboration and some sort of creative commons approach but it's unlikely to happen in the current climate of the scene.
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