20

I got a suggested edit this afternoon linking an answer of mine (Setting a from address in SingleEmailMessage) to a Salesforce KB article. The comment made it sound as if I had copied the KB article.

The question in the KB is almost spot-on, and the answer is verbatim, aside from them leaving out the code sample from the question. Is this something Salesforce has recently started doing? Should I just be flattered? SFSE got no love in the KB article - if it did it might drive more traffic our way!

  • 4
    The fact they also used owea as a variable name makes it really blatantly obvious they ripped off the content. I'm surprised to see this content being copied in such fashion. There's no stated author so I doubt it's plagiarism. Not to mention it's free content, so no likely copyright issues. Still, surprising. – Adrian Larson Jul 24 '18 at 22:14
  • 4
    Yeah, I don't want to make waves about copyrights or anything like that - I was just very surprised they ripped it verbatim. It's not just the code, it's the entire answer. I guess I should be flattered. – JCD Jul 24 '18 at 22:29
  • 2
    I've had SF Support suggest SFSE as a resource for certain SFMC cases, so I suppose I'm not surprised. – Adam Spriggs Jul 25 '18 at 0:14
13

Salesforce sources its Knowledge Base articles from things that employees find interesting and submit internally, after which it goes through a review process and eventually ends up being published. Employees are encouraged to submit new articles that they find interesting, which means inevitably they will end up coming from blogs, SFSE, Stack Overflow, GitHub, etc.

Unfortunately, what they have done in this case is most likely breaking the Creative Commons license, which requires attribution. Since this entire site is on CC, it's theoretically possible that SO could decide to go after salesforce.com for infringement. I seriously doubt this would happen, because it would be bad business, but this brings up an interesting point: the KB articles should be attributed to wherever they came from.

If these were published papers in academia, they'd be in trouble for plagiarism immediately, because these are obviously direct copies with minimal cleanup and zero attribution. While I can't say that it ever will cause problems, I can say that, since it's been observed (actually, I've known this for years, but just kind of ignored it), they probably should revise their practices before someone who does care about such things gets their content lifted without permission.

I wouldn't even know who to talk to about this one, but you might want to ask around and see. It wouldn't be that hard to add a custom field that includes a URL to the original source material (this is Salesforce!), although unfortunately, all currently published material would probably never get attributed, since it'd take ages to Google and attribute all the original source material.

  • Thanks for the insight - I too wondered who/what the point of contact would be for something like this. Figured it was worth a shot here since I see the occasional product manager lingering around SFSE. Maybe they'll see this and consider amending their policy! – JCD Jul 26 '18 at 11:59
  • 3
    seems like Andrew Fawcett would be a viable entry point as he has 30,000+ rep points on SFSE and now is a big cheese at SFDC – cropredy Jul 28 '18 at 22:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .