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  1. #1
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    Online Ski Sales Plagiarism

    As many of you probably know, in addition for fitting boots for a living I also write reviews and copy for a large ski retailer based in Seattle. It's simple to copy and paste content from someone else's site and call it your own, but the problem is getting out of hand, and I happen to be quite adept at recognizing my own work in print on someone else's website.

    I'll single out skis.com, as they're fairly big and should know better, not some mom-and-pop operation struggling to jump into the intimidating world of online retail (though they're not the only culprits, by a long shot). The competition in online retail is brutal, but there is such a thing as hiring your own copywriters.

    Here's a small sampling of my words copied verbatim from our site (there are many more):

    https://skis.com/product/equipment-m...st-98-ski-mens

    https://skis.com/product/47974/blizz...ustler-11-skis

    https://skis.com/product/47997/nordi...free-skis-mens

    *This should probably go in the "General" ski discussion, but I pretty much live here . . .

  2. #2
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    sharpening up the pitchfork now…



    fact.

  3. #3
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    Oh for God's sakes. I (and others) have referred your work for ski and boot reviews to other shops to use.

    I've had my reviews used by others for reference material.

    All I've asked for is reference back to the original article and publication as simple courtesy. A tad disappointing that courtesy couldn't be shown

  4. #4
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    I assume you reached out with a wtf? Did they respond?

    I do read a lot of the same language when I am researching I read a lot of the same copy and assume it’s the marketing department for the brand.

    Definitely not ok for skis.com or anyone to do and they should be ashamed. Bloggers skim things off tgr too.

  5. #5
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    ChatGPT has entered the chat

  6. #6
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    Just typed “Salomon QST 98 review” in my free Chat GPT app and it spit the below out.


    “The Salomon QST 98 is a highly praised ski known for its all-mountain versatility. With a 98mm waist width, it strikes a good balance between powder and on-piste performance. The ski's construction, including a poplar wood core and carbon/flax laminate, provides a blend of stability, responsiveness, and lightweight maneuverability. It excels in various conditions, making it suitable for skiers who enjoy exploring the entire mountain. Overall, the QST 98 is a reliable choice for those seeking a versatile, high-performance ski.”

  7. #7
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    Dang…I see it
    That’s shitty
    I presume you’ve alerted your employer. Isn’t it up to them to pursue any warnings?

  8. #8
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    I hear you Lee, but a direct competitor is a little different (and very unlikely to give credit where it’s due, especially in this case).

  9. #9
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    Emailed them and told my manager . . . if you buy anything from them, demand a 10% discount and Venmo me half of what you save.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat in january View Post
    I do read a lot of the same language when I am researching I read a lot of the same copy and assume it’s the marketing department for the brand. Definitely not ok for skis.com or anyone to do and they should be ashamed.
    They also copy directly from manufacturers' websites, which is fine, but the three examples above are my exact words. Not that much harder to "paraphrase" or do an AI re-write.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcski View Post
    ChatGPT has entered the chat
    That's what I thought, too. If someone asks a large language model like that to produce copy about a specific pair of skis, I wouldn't be surprised if it basically copy-pasted (with some slight variations) something Greg wrote

  12. #12
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    You should add a comment in your writeups about skis.com. Something along the lines of "this ski is too much performance to test for fairweather intermediate skiers like the skis.com review team, but for real skiers..."

  13. #13
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    Would there be benefit to you contacting the retailers directly and asking them to credit you as an author on each review? Assuming your current agreement with your employer allows for such a thing

    Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
    No matter where you go, there you are. - BB

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinipenem View Post
    Would there be benefit to you contacting the retailers directly and asking them to credit you as an author on each review? Assuming your current agreement with your employer allows for such a thing
    To be clear, it's not reviews or commentary (or anything from my personal website) that they are stealing, it's content I (and other writers in my group) have created for another company. They're not subtle about it, either - ChatGPT is far more creative - they just cut and paste whole paragraphs. I'd estimate that roughly 20-25% of their product descriptions for skis (the catchy paragraph or two where the ski or boot is described, hopefully making it attractive to the buyer) are copied directly from our website. The remainder they are probably stealing somewhere else.

    The funny part is when they don't read carefully enough to omit mention to the company they're stealing from: "Atomic's Bent Chetler line of skis has been ideal for the trend of taking tricks out of the park and into the powder, yet there was a longtime divide between the powder-centric 120 and the low-tide oriented 100. However, that gap has been filled with the Bent 110 Skis. These skis have sold out faster than anything at evo in years due to their all-purpose twin shape, Powder Rocker with HRZN tips and tails for improved buoyancy, and a light frame that encourages aerial acrobatics. The Bent 110 offers it all and looks good while doing it." (not my writing, but it's obvious where they found the words)

  15. #15
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    Another telling thing is that when they've copied Völkl descriptions, the umlaut appears, but their website's back end doesn't have the ability to create the "ö" character in their pulldown menu . . . good luck figuring that out, I went back and forth for half a day with our IT guys to make it happen.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    To be clear, it's not reviews or commentary (or anything from my personal website) that they are stealing, it's content I (and other writers in my group) have created for another company. They're not subtle about it, either - ChatGPT is far more creative - they just cut and paste whole paragraphs. I'd estimate that roughly 20-25% of their product descriptions for skis (the catchy paragraph or two where the ski or boot is described, hopefully making it attractive to the buyer) are copied directly from our website. The remainder they are probably stealing somewhere else.

    The funny part is when they don't read carefully enough to omit mention to the company they're stealing from: "Atomic's Bent Chetler line of skis has been ideal for the trend of taking tricks out of the park and into the powder, yet there was a longtime divide between the powder-centric 120 and the low-tide oriented 100. However, that gap has been filled with the Bent 110 Skis. These skis have sold out faster than anything at evo in years due to their all-purpose twin shape, Powder Rocker with HRZN tips and tails for improved buoyancy, and a light frame that encourages aerial acrobatics. The Bent 110 offers it all and looks good while doing it." (not my writing, but it's obvious where they found the words)
    The inclusion of evo in the copied content is hilarious

    Sent from my SM-S908U1 using Tapatalk
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  17. #17
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    C&D time.

    Large water marks over every thing.

    Out them on Letterman with Norm as co guest.


    I guess you could consider it an honor.


    For what its worth I value your input greatly.
    Last edited by SB; 11-15-2023 at 05:26 AM.
    watch out for snakes

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Pretty shameful. More often than not evo descriptions I read are fun and show some personality. Shows a lack of passion/stoke that these other folks can't even give a half-assed attempt at being creative.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoeSnow View Post
    Pretty shameful. More often than not evo descriptions I read are fun and show some personality.
    Thanks. Half of the copywriters at evo were trained as bootfitters by me before they went "corporate."

  21. #21
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    AI is nothing less than the largest copyright infringement scam in history.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeahman View Post
    AI is nothing less than the largest copyright infringement scam in history.
    Also hilarious is when the writers plant an "Easter Egg" in the copy (Sammi Bushman is an evo copywriter, not a pro skier for Elan):

    https://www.christysports.com/produc...s/8101493.html

  23. #23
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    Maybe you could suggest that ski.com plagiarize their reviews from tech talk instead. They'd get some honest content about which skis are for gapers that need to man the fuck up.

  24. #24
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    Hey gregL - sorry to hear this ; it sucks, I'm sorry man. More that the theft, it's your intellectual property. I've had this most recently with Ikon using my pic w/o permission. Bastards even vinyl wrapped my pic on garbage cans.


  25. #25
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    That sucks, but unfortunately this also is true for images, product & other designs. It gets real aggravating when design ideas get taken by others where they can make substantial profits without permission or compensation, ie, plagiarize house plans and build a whole house. Take a product idea, tweak it and claim it or even patent it.

    For drawings, which I imagine there are similar copyright claims for written work could include something like (which really doesn't stop anyone):

    Awesome Ski Copy Writer, expressly reserves the common law copyright & other property rights in these ideas, product designs, comments, images, & drawings, etc. These designs, ideas, comments, images, and drawings, etc, whether explicitly copyrighted or not, are not to be changed, copied or linked to in any manner whatsoever, nor are they to be assigned to any third party without first obtaining documented consent from us and credit is clearly indicated.
    Best regards, Terry
    (Direct Contact is best vs PMs)

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