This will simultaneously make no sense to anyone and plenty of sense to everyone.

Nothing is sacred online, and increasingly in offline matters, as far as the concept of copyright and intellectual property.  Despite recent lawsuits it will likely remain this way for some time.  I think this is better than the alternative.

That being said, there aren’t really that many people with online material about Kryptos and even if it’s not someone who directly builds a site then it will be the inevitable trickle of interested parties keeping tabs on material relating to Kryptos.  Anybody reading this particular post will have already waded through a plethora of copy/paste sites and meaningless half paragraphs that start with the origin of the name Kryptos from the greek.

This is not to say that multiple people can’t come up with the same idea or see the same thing.  This is about plagiarism.

It’s very possible that after filtering around online long enough for one to get an idea buried in the memory that reappears later as “original”.  The concept of memetics explores this very process well.  That’s unintentional and sometimes hard to consciously note, that’s also not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about plagiarism.

If you’ll note, in the two short paragraph above, I linked to a webpage about plagiarism and an article in Wikipedia that describes memetics.  This is how to note a citation or reference for your reader.  I’m not always that great at this and sometimes I just hint that I’ve stolen some description from Wikipedia or just have a link out to someone else’s site.  All the same, it’s not enforceable.

So how do social people with offline customs and morality come to grips with online plagiarism?  They accept the fact that as passionate and inflamed as they get, there’s not much they can do about it.  Some folks like to retaliate and others post flaming rants.

I resort to a carefully employed apathy.

There’s not a whole lot I can do and in such a narrow field as “folks who like to read/think/work on Kryptos”, it becomes obvious to one’s peers when someone has acquired another’s ideas without giving credit where credit is due.  I have a hearty expectation that there are at least three people who would bear down on me with appropriate derision and disapprobation if I did this.

If I’ve done this, now is a great time to let me know…

I would be disappointed if someone simply did a copy/paste on anything I’ve written and then claim it for their own without getting it to work a little better than I did.  To take a concept and actually execute it more poorly than a simple copy/paste is deplorable.  I think I’d be interested and a little proud to see someone take inspiration from anything I’ve had a hand in and make it fantastic.  To see the reverse is disappointing and more than a little depressing.