Plagiarism: A word from THTFHQ’s founder

Hello everyone.

I’ve decided to write this long post on our website in hopes that even those that have been leeching on us will read this and come to their senses.

Disclaimer: This is a raw post.

It has come to our attention that several websites and facebook fanpages have been translating all or several of our posts in their entirety without credits and authorization from us. One specific page – that we’ll name because of just how despicable and disrespectful they have been acting towards our website and our team – https://seiyuu-world.blogspot.pt/ – has done the impossible and didn’t even try to mask the fact that they are flat out plagiarizing our website. Little to no credits to the original source of those news articles, no authorization asked from us. Just a few examples below.

 

THTFHQ original news article

 

The exact same article on their website. No credits.

 

Our original article posted 10 hours ago

 

Their copy a couple of hours ago.

Like these there are over 100 articles that they have plagiarized from us on their page.

This kind of people tend to forget that back in 2011 we were the only website to show total interest in Japanese male seiyuu and their music projects. Of course, there were tumblr pages and some facebook pages rising at that time, we don’t discard their efforts to talk about and promote their favorite seiyuu, but we were the first to feature almost every male seiyuu music project on it, regardless of who we’re fans of.

People ignored our website back in 2011, others even got angry and said they “lost all faith in us” saying that they would unfollow and not recommend our website to anyone when we got a simple release date for Mamoru Miyano’s “Passage” (We still remember this) mistaken. We dealt with harassment on tumblr by some seiyuu fans over the most ridiculous things that they found wrong on our website. If you follow us on Tumblr you might have noticed that we closed our “ask”. Well, here’s the reason.

We knew that we had to deal with these kinds of people so we tried to ignore it with a smile on our faces. We only thought that we would still be working on our website, writing news articles, reviewing music and try to be as up-to-date as possible to have those extra 3 or 4 people visiting our website. That alone made us happy. To spread the word about seiyuu, especially to fellow overseas fans. We did all of this in English because we felt that we could reach a wider audience rather than by writing in Portuguese (our native language).

To wake up every day and look for news and make an effort to write news articles with no click bait, well translated information, clean and complete information, everything that might interest a seiyuu fan, was and still is, our motto.

We have never been paid for our work but people keep asking for more from us. We are constantly criticized for inaccuracies in language or contents – that are normal to happen, we’re human and sometimes we are writing news articles at 3 a.m. just to please everyone.

The plagiarism cases over the years

It started in 2013 with a popular illegal download website (that wasn’t this famous back in the day) that most of you might know – it provides downloads to basically almost every seiyuu music release out there as well as OST’s and the sort. They copied parts of our reviews to publicize their illegal downloads and claimed it as theirs. At the same time their posts were getting 100 clicks whereas our original reviews only had 2 or 3 reads. You can imagine how frustrating it is to see someone profiting on your hardwork. Thankfully, the issue was sorted out without too much noise in the middle.

After that was 2014/2015’s Russian website/fanpage that was plagiarizing our articles: seiyuu digests, news, op-ed, everything. They only came to ask for permission when they were caught by our DMCA tool (that was active at that time).

Then last year we found a facebook fanpage doing the exact same thing. We called out to them and they decided to stop it.

Today, I found a Brazilian blog copying everything and more from our website from this current year. Our mistaken articles that were posted before their official release due to an internal error (Soma Saito’s review), our reposts (ELEKITER ROUND 0’s reviews from 2014), our updates, our live reports. Everything but our specific editorial posts and Seiyuu Digests – I guess they are too lazy to just google translate everything.

It’s at times like these that I wonder if I should just close this website. We’re doing a pro-buono service for all the seiyuu fans out there and we’re being treated like trash in the process. No one is willing to help us out monetarily when the same people are asking for more content, at the same time we’re criticized for not changing a thing on our website as well as criticized for wanting to change things. We’re criticized because we’re not native English speakers and have typos on our articles (try to write over 9 different pieces of news on the same day and check all the information plus translate everything from JP to ENG correctly enough and then tell us if it’s possible not to have a typo in there). We’re criticized for being too sensitive about plagiarism on our website. We’re criticized because we don’t review female seiyuu music releases. We watch sites/pages use our hardwork for their own benefit time and time again. There was even one person that once sent us an email asking “when are you going to be banned? Why are you still around?” between many other disturbing things.

We try to ignore it and keep a smile on our faces because we love seiyuu. And we love delivering all the content we can about them to our readers. I feel like we’re like masochists enduring the hurt and frustration of the same old just because we love what we do.

Hitting that “delete” button on our website seems tempting every time we see our content plagiarized. It’s tempting but because of one asshole or two we won’t ruin the experience for all the other readers that actually rely on our website and respect it. We thank you for that.

There was once a person that mentioned me on my personal twitter account after ranting about the plagiarism cases that we have found time and time again, “it’s sad but when you’re famous, people start to plagiarize you.”

I don’t consider our website famous or anything of the sort. From the views we get on this website to the extremely low number of followers on both our facebook (below 400) and twitter (below 200) pages in comparison with most seiyuu fanpages (average 3000 followers), I can clearly say that we aren’t famous at all. Funny how those big pages are the ones that decide to plagiarize our content.

We’re not popular, at best we have a really small and loyal niche that we hold dear. On our side, we’re just a small team (2 people) working on this small website trying to share our love for seiyuu with as many people as possible. Everything on our website is product of our hardwork.

Specific policies:

Our Seiyuu Digests include some information that you might, casually, find on Wikipedia (we use it mostly to have all roles chronologically organized), but there’s a whole lot that comes from reading magazines, magazines we’ve purchased. Other info comes from events we might have watched or radio shows we might have listened to, even drama CD cast talks or games we played. This content we share with you monthly doesn’t come by cheaply for us. We spend over 1 month before its release working on collecting as much information as possible. For 1 month we are the number one fans of that seiyuu or group we’ll be writing a Seiyuu Digest about. For that month we write the Seiyuu Digest, an article that, despite being essentially a biography, it still has our personal opinions on it. So, it’s NOT OK TO TRANSLATE OUR SEIYUU DIGESTS IN THEIR ENTERITY.

We thank everyone that has come to us asking for permission to translate those to their native languages but we can’t allow a full translation to anyone. Our website survives on the low views we get every day (views that translate into the money we need to purchase music releases to review), and with everyone translating our contents we might as well close shop. No one will pay attention to the source if the content is made available in their native language. Some people are this lazy.

However, we allow you to translate some parts of our Seiyuu Digests, provided that ask us first for authorization and you give credit to our website.

This is all about being civil. If you can’t be civil on the internet, we can only feel sorry for those that know you in real life.

Regarding our news articles. Everyone has their style of writing. We believe that our style of writing is, at best, unique among all the websites dedicated to cover seiyuu news. For example, the way in which I write all these news articles has been polished over these past 6 years, it is unique and has my print on it. I can tell by the style of writing if someone has plagiarized our news articles or not – even if it is in other languages (mind you, our team speaks and writes in a total of 5 languages including English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Japanese so we catch on those sad attempts to mask plagiarism quite easily). One thing is to read our news articles and write articles based on them (crediting us as the source) or take our way of writing as an inspiration – which we don’t recommend -, the other is to copy them in the exact way in which we wrote, without changing a word.

That, my friends, is copyright violation.

I’ll put this simply: anything you create and publish has copyright, even if you haven’t formally licensed anything. The fact that it was you the one to create that something (regardless of what it is) makes it yours and no one can ever copy it.

Everything on THTF HQ is copyrighted. Those guys from https://seiyuu-world.blogspot.pt/ have managed to violate it more than 100 times (just looking at their timeline we can see all our articles plastered there). They went all out with copy-pasting our articles on their website – after a google translate treatment – in 2017 and so far it’s crazy. We update something, a couple of hours later they have it uploaded on their website with the exact same photos, structure and with no credits to the source.

With that being said I’ll cut to the chase.

The Hand That Feeds HQ will take action against everyone who has the nerve to plagiarize our articles, our website and steal our content. Tumblr page, facebook fanpage, twitter account, it doesn’t matter. We only ask you to respect our content. If you feel like there’s no one writing seiyuu news in your native language create your website/blog like we did in 2011 and try to write those news in a totally original way and then tell us if it’s easy or if it’s rewarding to have someone plagiarize your content. It isn’t. Never was, never will be.

Our website has share buttons. Use them. If you have a seiyuu fanpage and want our content to be made available for all your followers in your native language, talk to us first. Or simply read the contents on those news and sum them all up in your native language while sharing the original post from us. That isn’t plagiarism, that is showing respect and it also shows that you took some time to actually read what was written.

Unlike most pages out there, we have a legal specialist on our team, and we aren’t bothered with the idea of taking someone to court if we have to. We know we’re not in the wrong so the ones to lose something are clearly the plagiarists. Currently we are actively working together with Google, Facebook and Blogger to prevent more copyright violation.

If you ever see our content plastered on some website/fanpage uncredited, please let us know and report them for copyright infringement.

We know that writing this post might not lead us anywhere, but we want everyone to avoid falling in the exact same mistake as those 4 leeches that are loved for content they steal.

Pardon us for this overly emotional (and raw) post but we’re at a boiling point right now. We hope this is the first and last time we will write/talk about this.

And don’t worry, work on our website won’t stop. We love this way too much to just call it quits right now.

Thank you for reading this,

Midorin

THTF HQ founder/reviewer/editor-in-chief

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m Brazilian and I’m ashamed of that Brazilian blog.
    It’s very sad to have your work plagiarized.
    I complained on seyuu-world facebook !!

  2. I never realized that English was not your written language, so I honestly think you all have done a wonderful job with this site. Not just in writing the articles, but the whole format and atmosphere is very pleasant, and it’s always been clear how much work and love you put into it. I’m sure I’m not the only who’s appreciative of everything you all do!

    • Thank you for these words Amaryliss 🙂 It puts a smile on our faces when we know our work is appreciated 🙂 We know there are people who appreciate what we do but there’s always two or three rotten eggs that almost ruin the experience for us.

  3. Hey guys. I’m sorry about it. The Seiyuu World blog belongs to my girlfriend and she got a new admin to help her, since she spends most of her time at college and work recently. This new admin started copying and pasting your posts without shame and we got to know this very recently. We are truly sorry about this. We kicked the admin out of the team, will delete the posts and write a bilingual note of apology and disapproval note.

    Once again, we are truly sorry about this and if you nees to speak to us, leave us a message and we will answer in no time.

    • Marcus, thank you so much for getting in touch with us.

      We understand really well how it is to juggle managing a website alongside college and work. That is basically how we work right here.

      Thanks for coming clean before things would get ugly. As far as I could notice from browsing your blog, all the plagiarism is from this year only. We hope all plagiarized articles will be erased. Next time please avoid this kind of situation and instruct your admins to ask for permission from the original creators, regardless of being content from small websites like ours or tumblr blogs, before plastering all content on your blog uncredited.

      We noticed that the Seiyuu World blog is celebrating 5 years and to have this kind of behavior from one of the admins taint your reputation and hardwork is something that doesn’t make you look good. Anyways, I won’t delve too much on this since I’ve already wrote everything about it in the post above.

      We’ll accept your apology and hope nothing like this ever happens. Copyright violation is a serious thing and we won’t be this “nice” if there’s a next time.

      De qualquer das formas, parabéns pelos 5 anos e boa sorte com o vosso blog! Este site que vocês estão a ver, ainda há 7 anos era um blog tal e qual como o vosso, se calhar até bem mais pequeno que o vosso. Trabalho árduo e dedicação levaram-nos ao que temos hoje. Arranjem pessoal verdadeiramente dedicado para trabalhar com vocês e conseguem rapidamente ser um blog de referência para todos os Brasileiros que adoram seiyuu, especialmente quando vocês têm uma das maiores comunidades de fãs de seiyuu no mundo.
      Evitem confusões como esta. Colaborem com outros criadores de conteúdo (notícias, reviews/avaliações e outras coisas) no Brasil ou arredores, o que não falta é pessoal com vontade de ajudar-vos e com boas intenções na bagagem. Os melhores desejos para vocês.

      Midorin

    • Hello!
      I am the owner of Seiyuu World.
      Acho que posso falar em português, não é?
      Eu realmente peço desculpas pelo que aconteceu, eu estou me sentindo envergonhada por esta acusação, totalmente correta e pertinente de plágio. Foi cometido por um dos membro novos, que entrou para a equipe nesses últimos meses. Então, me sinto responsável por isto.
      Estive, e ainda estou, ocupada na faculdade. E, como meu curso é jornalismo, eu sinto mais vergonha ainda. Porque uma das coisas que a gente aprende é sempre a creditar a fonte.
      O membro já foi retirado da equipe.
      Apagarei todos os posts que ela plagiou e também haverá um post explicando tudo e também pedindo desculpas.
      Qualquer coisa, só falar comigo.
      Agradeço pela atenção e compreensão.

      • Olá.
        Obrigada pelo pedido de desculpas. Como deves imaginar foi um choque para a nossa equipa ver páginas e páginas de artigos nossos no vosso blog.
        Já disse imenso ao Marcus mas passo a repetir o ponto essencial: compreendo que estejas ocupada com a faculdade (já agora, boa sorte para o curso) e que a necessidade de expandires a equipa se tenha manifestado, mas tenham cuidado quando seleccionam alguém para trabalhar com vocês. Se vocês têm paixão pelo que fazem não deixem alguém estranho ao vosso trabalho quase que arruine anos de trabalho. Mais vale um site parado ou com poucos posts do que o que aconteceu por aí.

        O facto de terem resolvido esta questão publicamente (quando o podiam ter feito em privado) já demonstra que existe honra em vocês e não havia intenção de fazer plágio.

        Como devem imaginar, apenas ficaremos descansados quando todos os posts forem apagados.

        Com os melhores cumprimentos,
        Midorin

  4. I see that you have problems regarding proofreading what with some people commenting on it. If you’re okay with it, I’m offering my services to proofread your articles before you post it. Do know that my experiences in proofreading come from the studying that I have done as an English major student. And I’m not asking for payment or anything because I love your blog and I would love to contribute as thanks for all of your hard work. If you require more information about my qualifications, I can give you my contact information.

    • As much as I’d like to accept your offer at the moment – and it seems that it’ll be like this during 2018 -, our team doesn’t have enough free time to add another member to the team, coordinate everything with that said member, teach them the ropes (working with WordPress and our database on MS Access, among other things) and organize whatever needs to be organized in order to work well as a team.
      Between work outside of this website, grad school and other stuff, we find ourselves more time away from the web (we’re even delaying some reviews since December due to lack of time on our end + having some delays when posting news articles because we miss most of those + are only now replying to comments from last year or early January).

      Working with a proofreader involves communication with the one in charge of it and we don’t have the free time to: write articles + send them for proofreading + discuss eventual corrections with the proofreader + then publish those articles. Our free time to work on the website varies a lot depending on a multitude of factors (as of late it’s been insanely irregular) and we’d only be inconveniencing you when asking you to proofread articles that need to be published within a certain timeline, for example, at 1 a.m or 3 a.m like we have done in the past.

      As much as your offer is appealing to us, we’ll have to decline it, however we’ll keep you in mind if the opportunity arises and we need someone to join our team. If that time arises, we’ll publicize that job opening (and other job openings) and if you’re still interested in being part of the team we’ll then welcome you with open arms. However, at the moment, things aren’t working well within our 2 man team, so it would be a disaster if we added a new member/collaborator to it.
      I hope you understand this and don’t take it the wrong way.
      Once again, thank you so much for your generous offer and sorry for the late reply.

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