The other is companies exploiting individuals for profit. If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen a few of my tweets referencing Koofers, which purports to be a "social learning" company, yet straight up offers a test bank and past exams. Living up to this claim, they took a paper I wrote for a course in the School of Information Resources and Library Science Program at the University of Arizona -- just took it right off my website without permission -- and posted it on their site, and then also added their copyright.
I contacted them immediately and had to work at it to get the paper taken down. On a positive note, I got to try out Storify in documenting this situation (see below). But some tips I'd offer if this happens to you:
- Do periodic searches for your name in Google (or whichever search engine you prefer) -- this is how I found my paper on their website
- Take screenshots of your work posted on their site with their copyright symbol
- If you have website analytics, see if you can find them scrounging through your work (I did find a Reston, VA IP address -- where the company is located -- in my stats and saved that information)
- Contact your former instructor and/or your university program to alert them; my professor contacted the company telling them to take my paper down and reminded them that I own the copyright
- Make it public: I posted on Twitter and got some very helpful RTs from other librarians that put some extra pressure on the company
- An interesting point someone brought up on Twitter was to see if the company profited off my paper at all -- this would be a good thing to find out
Update: Koofers is now rifling through all my information online. Hopefully they won't swipe something else!