Plagiarism - How should it be handled?

by Zippo, 4 days, 1 hour ago

Hi everyone.

Please tell us what you think about the Plagiarism problem and how we should handle it. Your opinions is very important to us!

Unfortunately, we've seen conflicts happen more and more often and we must come up with a solution. It's common to see people copy high rated tactics and post them as their own work without giving credits or make few insignificant changes and say that their tactics "inspired by" when it's obvious that 99% of the tactic it isn't their work and "inspired by" doesn't look like appropriate credits. Also, copying set pieces is a very common thing.

We want to hear your thoughts/opinions:

- How it can be proven that someone copied other person's tactic? What criteria should be used?

- Should there be a "punishment" for taking someone else's work without giving credits, if it should, then what kind of "punishment" it should be.

Looking forward to your comments.

Cheers.

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@Zippo thanks for starting the discussion going on this topic. As you say, it has generated a bit of discussion of late.

I think the starting point should be why people use the site. I think there are a few different groups of people.

There are a core of people who love creating tactics and set pieces who are striving to try and crack a formation and structure that will be unbeatable, generally through analyzing what works. Some of this is obviously trial and error. An example of this is @ZaZ who can always be relied upon to come up with a very competitive tactic, with little or no reliance on tactics of other people. Most of these people who also love the collaboration and competition that comes into play as the tactics and formations evolve.

The other extreme are people who come to the site only to try and find a tactic that they can plug and play. They have no interest in playing around with tactics only in playing the game. Clearly there are plenty of people who sit between these two extremes.

I don't think it is a high proportion of people that are intentionally stealing other people's ideas and I also think that we have seem in years gone by that some minor changes can be the difference between a really good tactic and an also ran tactic, so I wouldn't like to see tactics not tested with small changes.

What we don't want to do is to slow down the evolving and testing of tactics that allow creators to analyze what works.

Some of the instances of non attribution recently have come from newbies to the site. I think pointing out to these people on what we as a community expect in terms of attributing the basis of the tactic is sufficient for an innocent first offence.

Maybe to assist people understand this is what we are looking for, an additional two questions for authors before they submit a tactic would help as follows:

Is your tactic based on an existing Tactic that has been tested? If so which Tactic or Tactics?

And do the same with Set Pieces. Are your Set Pieces based on or copied from an existing Set Piece routine that is from a Tactic that has been tested? If so which Tactic or Tactics?

This post is just trying to stimulate some more thought on this topic. I will have a bit more of a think and post again. I am definitely interested in the views of others.

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It's a hard issue because the more we test, the more we get close to a set of instructions or roles that work better than others. After some point, it's hard to run away from that if you want your tactic to be competitive. I don't think anyone has a problem with using someone's else tactic as a base, the problem is finding out when some tactic becomes unique enough to allow claiming it as your own.

In my opinion, any tactic with too few changes, like only two or three visible differences (not counting player instructions or set pieces), should be called a tweak instead of having a unique name. In those cases, it's pretty obvious credits are mandatory. It can still have a unique name with the base name, like "Revelation SS Tweak - Rush" or "Rush (Revelation Tweak)", for example.

The hard part is defining when changes are deep enough to stop being a tweak. I would say you can't use team instructions and player instructions to define that, as most top tactics use a very similar set of those instructions (which don't need to be called "Blue instructions" anymore at this point). However, some team instructions actually change gameplay drastically and should count for tactic uniqueness, like low tempo, pressing less, regroup, hold shape, shoot on sight and low line of engagement, for example.

Other than those more unique team instructions, what should be counted are basically different team positions and roles. Any tactic that only changes one position, like pulling a striker from AF to SS, should be considered a tweak (unless it's something that has been historically used by some user, in previous patches/versions of the game). That also counts for making some shape into a three defender tactic, for example, or just moving the wings. More than that and it gets in the spot where it's fine to either call it a tweak or claim ownership of the tactic.

Changes in roles, however, have a smaller weight than change in position. I would say changing the roles of two or three positions should still count as a tweak, if there aren't any other changes other than that. When the changes hit half the team, or when you change roles together with some team instruction or position, then it starts becoming more unique.

One way to address the problem could be, for example, to add a field at tactic creation to link to the tactic used as base, if it's a tweak.

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As a newer poster I am dealing with this now. I want to see tweaks tested and finding what the appropriate level of is understandable. After your replies @Zippo  and talking with other members I have a better understanding. I’m glad a post like this is started because as new person to the forums I want to make sure on the proper way to not only post a new tactic but also to properly attribute a tweak.

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I think @Zippo will come up with a solution that still give people a way to tweak other people tactics. Tweaking is not wrong tbh, just show them a way to confirm this is a tweak base on which tactic.
Tweaking sometime get tactic better and better over time. Just like in fm 20, someone did just 1 or 2 changes (I dont really remmeber this), and make it to the top of the table. So even people like TFF sometimes miss something that worked well and someone finally complete the last piece. If now we forbidden people from making tweak, isn't that wierd ?

So my opinion is, allow tweak version of tactic, but make 1 to 2 question asked the author is this a tweak or not.

Basicly Im fall into the 2nd group as @Mark said. I'm the kind of player who do not have much knowledge about tactics. So I would just download other people tactic. Testing some change to see if It worked or not and sometime share this with the author so he can know what worked and what is not. Just like the thing Im doing with @ZaZ right now.

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Your comments are highly appreciated! Please, keep them coming! :thup:

The discussion here will help us to come up with the most optimal solution.

We want to hear as many people as possible.

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I'm rather new to the tactic posting thing, I always created my own tactics, but I like to think I had a good idea or 2 and that at least some of my tactics are good and multiple people enjoyed them.

Personally, I have absolutely nothing against people tweaking my stuff and posting, as long as they mention me at least. If you heavily modify a tactic, no need for that, but I think if you use the exact same formation/roles with different instructions, you should give credit. Just my 2 cents.

EDIT: Tactics are not intellectual property, everyone should be free to use them and post them, credit would be nice but can't be enforced, it is ultimately always going to be a choice of admitting to "taking inspiration" or not, depends on the poster and if they wanna credit or not, and that's how it should stay to improve the quality of the tactics.

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One thing that could help would be to not test tactics that are too similar to another that was already tested, unless they are marked as a tweak. I believe there is a rule about that in how tactics are tested, saying you won't test things that are too close, to avoid the use of brute force. But then we would need to have a clear understanding of what is considered "too close", and that's up to debate.

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ZaZ said: One thing that could help would be to not test tactics that are too similar to another that was already tested, unless they are marked as a tweak. I believe there is a rule about that in how tactics are tested, saying you won't test things that are too close, to avoid the use of brute force. But then we would need to have a clear understanding of what is considered "too close", and that's up to debate.

I was thinking the same. I reckon that would stop a bit of it, but with some allowance for newbies first time. Still no test but point them to the rules

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a really good discussion here and many good ideas

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Hang the plagiarizers

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Metal said: Hang the plagiarizers

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Metal said: Hang the plagiarizers

Haha, that would be funny, but I think most of those people don't actually do because they are mean or want to steal the idea, but simply because they don't understand yet why it's wrong. Some of them are even more innocent and just think their small tweak was amazing and want to test it, but don't know they need to tell where the base came from.

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Another thing I would like to add is that some things don't require immediate credits, because they are overused. For example, I don't think people need to say in every tactic like "set pieces are from ZaZ". It's sufficient if they give credits when asked about set pieces, or to simply correct other people if they try to give them credits for those set pieces. Not sure what other people think about that, though.

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ZaZ said: Another thing I would like to add is that some things don't require immediate credits, because they are overused. For example, I don't think people need to say in every tactic like "set pieces are from ZaZ". It's sufficient if they give credits when asked about set pieces, or to simply correct other people if they try to give them credits for those set pieces. Not sure what other people think about that, though.

I agree because most people on this site use your set pieces as template. I know I do, but don't feel the need to acknowledge it because when you go to the routine in the tactics it will say ZAZ and it's a given that yours is the best set piece routine.

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ZaZ said: Another thing I would like to add is that some things don't require immediate credits, because they are overused. For example, I don't think people need to say in every tactic like "set pieces are from ZaZ". It's sufficient if they give credits when asked about set pieces, or to simply correct other people if they try to give them credits for those set pieces. Not sure what other people think about that, though.

Set Pieces are interesting aren't they. Some people like to spend a lot of time on them and try and perfect them for their tactics and others prefer just to plug and play what they think are the best. I think if the set pieces are from the base of the tactic you have already acknowledged then there is no reason to acknowledge the set piece as well. but if you have taken a set piece routine from another tactic and not altered it I think there should be some acknowledgement.

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ZaZ said: Another thing I would like to add is that some things don't require immediate credits, because they are overused. For example, I don't think people need to say in every tactic like "set pieces are from ZaZ". It's sufficient if they give credits when asked about set pieces, or to simply correct other people if they try to give them credits for those set pieces. Not sure what other people think about that, though.

Also, not only your set pieces but also instructions are used by most people. That's probably because it's considered the surest way to eliminate uncertainty of performance in the unpredictable FM-Arena testing database. :)

Regarding this topic, I think the easiest approach to avoid plagiarism is, at least to use this site's feature of searching for the same formation before uploading tactics, and to mention it in the thread if the similiar tactic including instructions already exists.

An Example of 4-1-3-2 : 4-1-3-2 Formations

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