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From CILISOS to TheRakyatPost – 6 ways to share an article fairly. (UPDATED FRI, 25 JULY)

Ok… three times… cukup. TheRakyatPost has reposted our content as their own THREE TIMES running now and we feel it needs to be addressed. First off, we want to apologise for what is probably going to be quite a b*tchy post. Yes, it does indulge in public shaming, and yes it will be in stark contrast to the positivity we’ve expressed over the last couple of days. For that…

We are sorry 🙁

If you don’t feel like reading something negative, please please please… close your browser NOW.

Still here? Ok then here we go.

May 11 2014 – This is the first article of ours that went viral – 21 Types of Malaysian Facebook Commenters – Which One Are You?4.4kshares on Facebook, and over 100,000pageviews in our first week of launching. And this is the RakyatPost coverage.

Facebook comments — Malaysian style    The Rakyat Post   The Rakyat Post (preview)

To be honest, we were flattered at the time. But then…

June 24 – When we published this article it happened again…

Top excuses to bunk off work during World Cup — the celebrities way   The Rakyat Post   The Rakyat Post (preview)

July 22 – And most recently here

The Rakyat Post 1

and here (on the same day)…

4 things Malaysians learnt from 2014

And here.

Cilisos   OMG WE GOT REPUBLISHED IN THE STAR  Oh.. wait... no we...

Oh oops. The last one was The Star’s totally independent article. Anyways, we thought we’d get old-school and MARK how they ‘covered’ our most recent viral hit, 5 Malaysians who restored our faith in humanity, written by resident viral princess, Lydia Kwan. And hey… why not present them as numbered tips for easy reference.

1. Come up with your own title.

rp10001 owntitle

And preferably your summary should mention the WEBSITE that you took the article from? They used to do both – Come up with their own title, and credit us in the standfirst. PS: Sorry for the horrible handwriting. It’s mine.

2. Credit the original writer

rp10001 credit original author

To be fair, they did do this the first time they published our work in May….

Facebook comments — Malaysian style    The Rakyat Post   The Rakyat Post lydia

So maybe someone forgot this time. Fair enough.

UPDATE (24/7 12:22pm): Hanis Zainal has contacted us and we would like to be clear that the reason we said THREE CUKUP, was because we had nothing against her original article above about the Facebook Commenters since it did mention our website, and our author quite nicely. Incidentally, Hanis has since left TheRakyatPost. Check the comments below for more details.

3. Hyperlink generously.

rp10001 hyperlink

If you’re gonna refer to a website, the least you can do is hyperlink it – as much as you can. Notice we do it EXTENSIVELY in our articles, so that if the reader does want to know the source of all this goodness and insight, they can.

You guys on the other hand, we had to message and ASK you the first TWO times, and recently, you did put one hyperlink, but at the end of the article. Why? If you’re worried about it leading traffic out of your side, a small bit of code can open it in a new window like this. OMG!

4. If you’re gonna quote everything, you might as well not quote anything.

rp10004 quotes

OK, we’ll admit… the second comment is a bit of a joke la 🙂 BUT OMAIGERD, sometimes they put quotes, sometimes they don’t… and sometimes, they even forget to remove our self-references.

4 things Malaysians have learnt from a tragic 2014   The Rakyat Post   The Rakyat Post oops

Aiyo…

5. Add value la

rp10002 add value

Here’s the thing that probably annoys us the most. Here at CILISOS, one of our strongest beliefs is this.

“THERE IS ALREADY TOO MUCH CONTENT”

Why we think this is because people almost have too much to consume now, with news outlets all reporting the same thing. So why add to it unless you’re making something new and good? To this end, we pay our writers very decently, and give them the space, time and resources to craft what we think is pretty darn good and unique content. And especially when quoting other sources, we are respectful, and give them as much linklove as possible.

What we feel is that The Rakyat Post’s goal is  simply to get more traffic – with as little effort as possible. And that makes us angry on one hand, and sad on another. We really looked up to you guys… we launched only about 6 months after you and you’re already one of the most popular sites in Malaysia. But why would you want to stoop to this kind of lazy journalism? This brings us to our last point.

6. Be sincere

rp10005

So here’s a surprise – this isn’t the first time someone has copied our work. In fact, it happens all the time to everyone. Sometimes it gets legally messy – most famously to the nice people at The Oatmeal before in The States. And other times, at least with us, when contacted, people learned how to attribute correctly, and only took an excerpt from our site the next time they did it. The last time around, when you posted our article on Facebook as your own, and without links, we expressed our displeasure at you guys very politely.

NAH, BACA:
Why is Port Klang about to lose 1/3 of its business to Singapore?

The Rakyat Post FB post Celebrities ponteng

That you did it again after that? Well… let’s face it. You did give us that ONE hyperlink this time, so some people have even said that due diligence was done. Of course, you could say BIG BOY giving SMALL BOY SEO goodness, but if you TRULY wanted to do that, why not give us a few more links? Why be so stingy about them? We actually have one big content partnership to announce soon, and another one on the way. We might even be giving away the content for free to our partners to get some nice backlinks. But the difference is, THEY ASKED. Like, there’s official contracts and everything.

So legally speaking we actually could SUE, based on this article that states the following.

You may quote only limited portions of work. You may publish excerpts, not whole articles. – Vitaly Friedman, ‘May I Copy It’, SmashingMagazine.

But y’know what? It’s more about the spirit of it. Maybe one writer didn’t know better, maybe sales needed traffic to go up. But here’s the question we want you to ask yourselves – What is your intention by publishing this? This is something we ourselves ask with EVERY article that goes out. Our freelancers can attest to it. So what’s our intention here?

Well, it’s partly to discourage this sort of journalism in this country…

And of course, partly cos we wanted people to know that your editorial policies suck, and we sincerely hope that you change them 🙂

In fact, all you need to do is to issue a written apology on your site to us and promise to change your editorial policies to not generate this kind of work again…

…And in exchange, we will take this entire article down. For reals. Oh… and don’t forget your hyperlinks ya? Oh and FB share it like you share all our articles too, to show your sincerity 🙂

Read the unoriginal articles here http://therakyatpost.com

Oops.

UPDATE (24/7 3:31pm): TheRakyatPost has removed all the articles from their site, which includes the marginal linklove we got. Oh well.

Search for  cilisos    The Rakyat Post 24.7.14

 UPDATE (25/7 12:20am): We can reveal now that we received a call from Winston Robertson, COO of TheRakyatPost at about 10:30am yesterday. They offered to fix the content to link properly, and to hold an internal meeting to change their policies. He also said they too get plagiarised by other portals. 

We told them that nothing short of a public apology would do, but indicated that we would love to do a STORY with them to blow the whole thing wide open, and fix the industry once and for all. Winston then said that they were calling a meeting on the issue and would let me know the outcome. Out of respect, I did not mention this phone call the whole day. Since then, I’ve called Winston and messaged him twice to no reply. Below are the SMSes.

Screenshot_2014-07-24-23-26-17 Winston TRP

 

I’m actually afraid that the trail might end here. So far, no major media outlet has covered this story probably due to fear of themselves being put into the limelight for plagiarism. We’ve had reporters tell us about other instances of blatant plagiarism, but no one seems to want to go on record. That truly saddens me about the state of media in our country. That these giants do not fear the might of the government itself, and yet shy away from a little website like ours?

Aiyo.

PS: To all those who shared, commented and even posted about this on their own blogs and pages. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Regardless of the outcome, we really feel the true Rakyat have spoken, and for that we are grateful. Let us say now, and forevermore that we will always strive to produce the best content we can for you. Special thanks to Henry Long (for your legal advice), Michael Kwan (for your epic blogpost) and Emila Yusof (for your crusading!)!

 

36 Comments

  1. Sher Ren

    30/12/2015 at 12:49 pm

    I wanna laugh when I saw the COO of TheRakyatPost expressed their own predicament that “they too get plagiarised by other portals” Seriously, is he expecting you to pity their situation as well? Can’t he as the COO understand the basic human conscience that even when one do wrong to us, we are not suppose to commit the same crime/wrong as well?
    This type of irresponsible explanation happens everyday and I just didn’t expect it came from a COO!!!
    I support CILISOS, love all your articles, is so funny and informative with all the manglish!
    PLEASE KEEP UP THE AWESOME WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    P/S: I didn’t know there’s a newspaper call TheRakyatPost until I stumble upon this article. Is it sold in hardcopy or just purely online?

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  4. Deric Ect

    24/06/2015 at 12:52 pm

    Wow, got here from reading the kepedasan article, and can’t believe this happened. I wonder if they still do such things and how many other outlets they’ve stolen from, but was this issue ever resolved? Did they ever issue an apology? Is it a matter still worth pursuing?

    • Nikki Khoo

      27/06/2015 at 6:35 pm

      Me too (got here from the hotness / kepedasan)… So what happened? Did Winston ever respond since? I take it there was no apology since this article is still up.

    • Chak Onn Lau

      30/12/2015 at 2:35 am

      Nope. but we’re working on something to kerb plagiarism once n for all in Malaysia 🙂 Stay tuned.

  5. Nadia

    19/06/2015 at 11:39 am

    Just got my Facebook post printed on their site without them asking for my permission and with them divulging a child’s details. But then again, why am I surprised? However, I am disappointed because the child may get into trouble in school.

    • Chak Onn Lau

      30/12/2015 at 2:36 am

      you have every right to ask them to take it down, @grungeee:disqus. Sorry for the late reply

  6. Shoo Wei Khoon

    23/03/2015 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Chak Onn Lau, the copycats are everywhere in internet as it simple ctrl+c and ctrl+v jobs. To protect your work, you may consider subscribe to either http://www.dmca.com or http://www.copyscape.com/about.php. These services help you auto monitor your content and give your notification while others copy your content. You can then send them a notification to credit your post, or send them a DMCA take down notice if they never bother you. I will highly recommended DMCA.com to you since your site is built on WordPress and DMCA.com has wordpress plugin. On top of that, Google like DMCA accredited website too. Hope it help ;P

    • Chak Onn Lau

      08/06/2015 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion! Sorry we didn’t notice this comment earlier. Will check it out for sure 🙂

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  13. Ken Wooi

    28/07/2014 at 2:29 pm

    Good one with this post. I think all credits should be given to the originators, plagiarism is just a damn lazy way to get real work done.

    • Chak Onn Lau

      30/07/2014 at 10:26 am

      Thanks Ken. to be honest, it’s not just TheRakyatPost, it’s everyone to varying degrees. TheRakyatPost just did us one too many times 🙂

  14. GiLL

    26/07/2014 at 6:17 am

    I think winston’s got his team goin through every single article cilisos have ever published, to see if they can find any plagiarism.. doubt they gonna find any

  15. GiLL

    26/07/2014 at 6:15 am

    I think winston’s got his team goin through every article cilisos have ever published, to see if they can find any plagiarism.. doubt they gonna find any

  16. Wilson Ng

    25/07/2014 at 5:51 pm

    Hope to see this resolved soon?

    • Chak Onn Lau

      26/07/2014 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Wilson. Looking very unlikely at the moment. No reply from them as yet and I doubt there will be.

      We will, however, be continuing to pursue this from an industry wide angle and hope at the least this article can curb plagiarism in Malaysian media to some degree.

  17. Danny Liew

    25/07/2014 at 12:45 am

    Hi there,

    Just found out about your blog from facebook. Interesting to know about these plagiarism thing. Throwing my support on you. Found out was plagiarized at least once. But choose to let that go. But no longer. You guys hang in there.

    • Chak Onn Lau

      25/07/2014 at 10:43 am

      Heya Danny! Thanks for throwing in. We actually have alot of people who have come to us with examples, but for some strange reason, precious few willing to go on record. If we get enough stories, we will publish them as a compilation soon to get the topic more attention. Interested? Email me at [email protected]

  18. William Chin

    25/07/2014 at 12:43 am

    If I’m not wrong, I think I know that person from a previous office. I hope he gets this right.

    • William Chin

      25/07/2014 at 12:45 am

      “The Rakyat Post’s goal is simply to get more traffic – with as little effort as possible”

      I’m not too surprised to know this.

    • Chak Onn Lau

      25/07/2014 at 10:44 am

      Hi William,

      Do email me if you have any more info. [email protected]. thanks for your support regardless 🙂

  19. Matt Ho

    24/07/2014 at 10:33 pm

    Would be hilarious if The Rakyat Post were to copy this too hahaha

  20. Hanis

    24/07/2014 at 10:53 am

    Hey there! I am the writer who summarized the ‘ 21 Types of Malaysian Facebook Commenters – Which One Are You?’ for The Rakyat Post.
    I am sorry for not hyperlinking Cilisos early on in the article – that was truly an oversight of mine.
    However, I did mention the author’s name & the publication within the first sentence of my summarization:
    “Malaysians are no strangers to sharing their opinions on Facebook, and writer Lydia Kwan of Cilisos.my has documented the typical Malaysian commentators on Facebook.”
    I view plagiarism as a very serious offence and I would never do it knowingly, so I truly apologise for my oversight on the hyperlink.
    I did not write the two other articles though as I left The Rakyat Post at the end of May.

    • Hanis

      24/07/2014 at 11:12 am

      Sorry – the three other articles.

    • Chak Onn Lau

      24/07/2014 at 11:25 am

      Thanks for the reply Hanis! We actually don’t have much against your article – we were actually really flattered at the time, and although the hyperlink wasn’t there initially, you did mention and tag our writer, for which we are appreciative 🙂

      That’s why this article says THREE cukup, not four. Thanks for writing in!

  21. Reta

    24/07/2014 at 9:49 am

    I normally call up the editor and let them know it’s serious infringement and if they don’t do the right credit, I will call up the lawyers. Plus, if the other site is copying an article word for word without your permission, and running it on THEIR website, which has advertisements on the side to rake in ad money – it’s not legal and it’s not their right to do so!

  22. crazeemunky

    24/07/2014 at 1:52 am

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