How Udemy Is Profiting From Piracy

Yep. That’s mine.
  • In some of the videos (as with Troy’s) the video is cropped to remove the watermark. This pushes content outside the edges of the video and is (typically) a dead giveaway.
  • I only dug through my video a little bit but I did see the Pluralsight logo watermarked there. That took me 30 seconds.
  • My voice is clearly not the voice in the introduction. Same with Troy’s.

Not The First

Since I posted this quite a few people have come forward saying that their courses have been pirated, sometimes more than once:

No Review, No Money, No Problem

This is where things get very, very murky. I’m not a lawyer and I’m not going to dive into DMCA stuff because it will cause all kinds of arguments and I could easily be wrong.

  • Don’t have prior knowledge of any copyright infringement and
  • Don’t directly benefit financially if there’s any way that you can control the posting of this content

What’s a Reasonable Solution?

With Pluralsight (and many other educational companies) you have to go through some rigorous reviews to avoid problems like this. We have a three-step review (Peer, A/V, Tech) that catches even the smallest things (I was asked to remove a slide showing avatars from StackOverflow once).

  • Checked for a watermark
  • Checked for a change in voice
  • Looked for the obvious crop or blur of a watermark
  • Looked for / Listened for references to companies that don’t have a publishing agreement with Udemy

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Author of The Imposter’s Handbook, founder of bigmachine.io, Cofounder of tekpub.com, creator of This Developer's Life, creator of lots of open source stuff.

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Rob Conery

Rob Conery

Author of The Imposter’s Handbook, founder of bigmachine.io, Cofounder of tekpub.com, creator of This Developer's Life, creator of lots of open source stuff.