/ Who owns route descriptions and other guidebook data?
My guess is that the route descriptions would come from either the original log of the routes (so legally at least, copyright would belong to the FA), or the guidebook author/editor would write his own description (so would own copyright).
Presumably topos are owned or licensed by the guidebook published; what about route names and grades?
Cold hard facts, like the grade and the fact that a certain route follows a certain line, can not be owned. I believe descriptions are generally taken to be artistic works and are thus copyrightable in the same way any book is copyrightable.
The same is true for topos. The information contained within is not owned, but the artistic element in designing and creating a topo means a particular topo is protected from plagiarism.
Pretty much. There are rights to particular compilations and the typographical arrangement too.
I can't recall the conclusion TBH I'm not sure one was ever reached.
The particular text is probably owned or at least (c) by the book publishers but as remus says the information is probably in the public domain.
I'm not sure I could imagine submitting a new route and then trying to get iffy if someone else used it in a guidebook but maybe it happens?
Blimey you are paranoid.
For everyone else who doesn't live in the same Cuckoo Conspiracy Theory world as this guy,...
.... no we didn't delete any thread about who owns the information in the UKC Logbook. We have always been completely open about it and have been happy to discuss the fact that we don't claim any ownership of route descriptions uploaded to UKC Logbooks.
Maybe the adjectives are copyrighted?! "Boldly climb the obvious corner" etc
As I say though, it doesn't matter. Rockfax shook up guidebook production in a very positive way and their selective guides definitely hit the mark for the people who buy them. Conversely, the BMC have also upped their game and it is reasonable to suggest that their definitive guides of the Peak are probably some of the best in the world.
> As I say though, it doesn't matter. Rockfax shook up guidebook production in a very positive way and their selective guides definitely hit the mark for the people who buy them. Conversely, the BMC have also upped their game and it is reasonable to suggest that their definitive guides of the Peak are probably some of the best in the world.
In fairness to Chris, I really need to strongly dispute your initial statements above. You seem to be confusing different discussions here. There was never any dispute about who wrote the descriptions - Chris did.
My account of this same incident - http://www.rockfax.com/news/2007/11/08/reflections-on-the-guidebook-debate-of-2001/
Only i am allowed to describe and do photo diagrams of my routes.
> Only i am allowed to describe and do photo diagrams of my routes.
Dear Mr Pylon King
Well, no argument there, but if you could delve in the PKLF archives and share some with me it'd be great! ;¬)
A (Currently Deprived) Guide Book Author
Thanks, look like very informative threads and should answer the question.
I'd have to disagree with your disagreement. Some BMC guidebook workers have accused Chris of plagiarising route descriptions, especially in Lancs and the Peak District Moorland areas. Their accusations are unproved, and in your view unfair but they certainly made them.
Now if a student of mine produces text based work I use a software package called Turnitin where if the text is broadly copied with word changes it will still detect problems and produce a 'similarity score' that if exceeding a set limit we would use to run an investigation meeting with the student; and if good reasons for what happened were not produced a punishment would be determined based on the level of the problem (eg worse for a repeat offence). If we do something similar on climbing guidebooks based on short route descritions this could lead to unfairness in my opinion as much of the description form would likely be the same and they could both be based on a seperate independant FA description (you would need to set the trigger point on the similarity index much higher and beware of hidden permissions). You can as an experiment type route descriptions from guideboks through Turnitin and some do clearly showing worryingly high similarity scores (without obvious permissions but there could be reasons for this we dont know). In my student example we have the accusations but we are missing the investigation meeting and making the punishment fit the level of guilt.
Well I assumed he was referring to the PGE/BMC debate of 2001 when any accusations of plagiarism would be untrue since Chris was the original author of the text in both the books on either side of the debate - a frankly bizarre situation which shows how ridiculous that whole episode was.
As for other other accusations, you won't find it surprising that I disagree, but I really don't want too open that can of worms.
Disagree all you like, I'm telling you here and now that I didn't plagiarise the descriptions in the Lancashire, Kinder and Bleaklow and the Chew Valley guidebooks. Is that clear enough for you?
In the case of PGE Chris wrote sections in that and the equivalent BMC guides and arguably the BMC may have inadvertantly plagiarised him subsequently.
I was involved on an investigation panel once which dealt with a ludicrous case where a student had been accused by some academics of plagiarising himself (impossible) when in fact he was almost certainly guilty of misrepresentation (saying the work he did was new work). We had to throw the case out and a cheat got away with it because some intelligent people are too willing to knee jerk accuse without thinking. I also met a senior manager who lost a case becasue he thought plagiarism meant the same thing as cheating in general and made a false accusation in a letter to the student (luckily so in that case, as that student was almost certainly innocent).
My disagreement was to do with the fact that such accusations were made, not that you did or didn't do anything. Your view in the matter was always clear to me.
You should have a play with Turnitin: it can prove broad innocence in such straight examples real easily (as well as provide indications of possible guilt that require investigation).
> Disagree all you like, I'm telling you here and now that I didn't plagiarise the descriptions in the Lancashire, Kinder and Bleaklow and the Chew Valley guidebooks. Is that clear enough for you?
Forgive my ignorance, in general, are these from the FA or does the guidebook writer/assistants write all of the descriptions?
Depends. FA descriptions are increasingly unlikely to be used in modern guidebooks (unless they come with a topo) as they need to say clearly where the routes go (the guidebook uses the topo for most of that) and often the crag author/editor wants to add fair character with the description (which might look wrong from someone too enthusiatic with their own route).
I for one appreciate Chris improving the character of the writing in the peak district Rockfax guide route descriptions.
> Forgive my ignorance, in general, are these from the FA or does the guidebook writer/assistants write all of the descriptions?
I write all the descriptions in my books - and draw all the lines on the topos. The starting point is almost always a cragshot with a line marked on it, as that is what the climber will be using. The old textural descriptions of the sort "Start 10m left of the rock that looks like a beaver in the right light" are often largely irrelevant in modern guidebooks.
PS "an assistant" - that's an interesting idea!
> Depends. FA descriptions are increasingly unlikely to be used in modern guidebooks (unless they come with a topo) as they need to say clearly where the routes go (the guidebook uses the topo for most of that) and often the crag author/editor wants to add fair character with the description (which might look wrong from someone too enthusiatic with their own route).
> I for one appreciate Chris improving the character of the writing in the peak district Rockfax guide route descriptions.
Fair enough. Just wondering.
Just a general point that plagiarism is an academic offence of presenting someone else's work as your own. There may be literal copying but I think the crucial issue is misattribution. It's not usually a matter for the civil law of copyright infringement, which is basically about property and financial rights being infringed.
"PS "an assistant" - that's an interesting idea!"
You really don't mean that, how on earth could anyone write it all without assistants to climb stuff that is too easy or too hard (to get the feel right) or even belay you?
Anyhow, you can't seriously expect much sympathy for the genuinely hard work attached to your full time job when most of us do it for free :-O
Speaking purely for myself, I always try to rewrite the descriptions from scratch, ideally after climbing the route or (if too hard) speaking to someone else who has. The exception is where new routes are reported to close to publication to check them properly, in which case I use the FA description.
Plagiarism is much wider than that (Wikipedia has it about right). It is NOT a crime but is punished in academia as a rule breach.
Is that me or you Chris?
Joint guidebook assistants?
> Is that me or you Chris?
> Joint guidebook assistants?
Well maybe you are my assistant and I'm yours?
Can you just nip up to Kinder and get me a new set of shots of the Downfall?
Ok, but in exchange can you use your delicate touch to deal with all the flak on the forums ;)
> Ok, but in exchange can you use your delicate touch to deal with all the flak on the forums ;)
Let me at it!!!!
PS Might not be many users left when you get back ;-)
> PS Might not be many users left when you get back ;-)
I might use that on Monday...
... look you lot, behave otherwise I'll let Craggsy do the moderating!
Who owns the historical facts? 'so and so did this on this date'...
No one but sometimes they are not facts (disputed style or say in the case of easier grit claims over the last few decades, FA should really be FRA). Even when we are close someone will pop us and tell us his name should be first on something.
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