CNC, copyright, and suspended accounts (oh, my!)

Hopefully this will be a quick question to answer. As a number of us have noted, there was regretfully a serious increase in copyright infringement during the City Nature Challenge. Not only did this result in a number of flags but also a number of suspensions. What’s a little peculiar, though, is that a large number of these came from the same region and even the same non-CNC project.

This got me thinking, regarding this CNC and future ones: is there anything in place for CNC to explicitly not count observations marked as copyright infringement or more generally observations by suspended users (particularly over fabricated observations)?


Note: general discussion of copyright and fabricated observations occurs in the below thread and isn’t the aim of this question.

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/finding-and-dealing-with-fabricated-observations/2758

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Because the CNC accepts casual records in their projects the only way I see to technically do it is to explicitly exclude the user by name.

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I would love if we could explicitly exclude records marked as having photographs that violate copyright from the CNC. Actually, it would be great to be able to exclude those records from any project, since they often are observations of species that would not normally be found in that place. Unfortunately there’s no way to explicitly exclude those records without excluding all non-media records.

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What you might consider is for a lot of the copyright images I found, I re-identified them as ‘Life’ and you should be able to explictly exclude that taxa. But it relies on the records being so identified, and might hoover up a few others caught between conflicting ID’s (although if fixed, they would then come back to the project).

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Thanks for the suggestion - definitely something we’ll keep in mind for next year! And who knows, maybe next year the local organizers will decide to only accept verifiable observations - we’ll see. More and more of them see the benefits, I believe.

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I wasn’t aware of this incident at all, could any one of you please give me an example of a copyright infringed observation (along with the original)? Many thanks.

I am aware that for the CNC there can be duplicate observations of the same organism but by different accounts since they were working together; I assume such observations don’t count.

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I can send you a link to all the copyright violations, but because you are not a site curator, you will not be able to see the photo in question.

Here is an example https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/24655644

If there is a user who has been suspended for multiple copyright violations, or futzing with dates (both of which happened during this CNC), you can always add an exclusion filter to the project and exclude that user’s observations from the project, which was what I recommended to a few CNC organizers.

These will definitely count, as an observation on iNat is the record of an encounter between the observer and an organism at a time and place.

One conflict that is possible with re-identifying them as life is an effort to reduce those left in the limbo of Life. Discussion of that topic : https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/state-of-matter-life-limbo/2870
Surely there must be another way. As I think you were trying to say that if they are moved out of Life they would come back.

The copyright violation flag makes them casual, so they should not be appearing in searches for needs ID where the current ID happens to be Life, and the re-identification as Life gets them off the range maps.

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Fair enough.
My search here with Needs ID gives results:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?verifiable=true&lrank=stateofmatter&captive=false

But my search here with Casual yields nothing:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=casual&verifiable=true&lrank=stateofmatter&captive=false

Take the verifiable=true out, by definition casual records are not verifiable.

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Got it!
That search resulted in 107 pages.

I have noticed that within these casual results are observations missing location or observation date. Observer chose Life for suggested ID as well. There is a lot of seemingly removed images and frass but there are a few observations by novices that by asking them to add date and/or location these observations could become research grade.

By don’t count I meant they don’t count as a copyright thing and each counts as a seperate observation (should have been more specific). So yes, your response makes perfect sense, thanks.