FIRST not Attributing Community Resources in Official Media

In mid-December, FIRST uploaded a series of programming videos on the FIRST Tech Challenge YouTube channel. In two of these videos, there are sentences that are word for word copied from Game Manual 0, a FTC community resource (that I manage).

Example 1: The text from https://youtu.be/j2yBz9zT22c?t=142 is taken verbatim from the first note on Servo Guide - Game Manual 0.

Example 2†: The text from https://youtu.be/vj_uDxiVT-U?t=110 is taken verbatim from the second bullet on
Driver Station Guide - Game Manual 0.

While I applaud FIRST for trying to make more introductory content for teams, Game Manual 0 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0, which means that if its contents are used, they need to be attributed. I have emailed FIRST about this (at [email protected]) on December 19th, another one on December 26th, and not only has this situation not been rectified in any way, I have not even received a reply.

On January 12th, I sent another email to the same address, ccing [email protected]. I still have not received a response. Afterwards, on January 29th, I reported a security vulnerability in the FIRST website to [email protected]. It was sent from the same email address, and was also not responded to.

†This video has since been made unlisted—however, it is still accessible through the public playlist of these tutorial videos, and given the other example is still up, which was also mentioned in my email, this was likely for unrelated reasons.

33 Likes

This is pretty terrible. FIRST has a disdain for community resources, but this is pretty surprising.

Then again, it’s also FTC, and I’m convinced at this point that FTC is run completely independently without any oversight. Nothing else could explain it.

16 Likes

Looking forward to your post on April 29th if you don’t get a response by then.

6 Likes

They responded to someone else who shortly after reported the same vulnerability, however as of a few minutes ago it is still not fixed.

I have now received a response from FIRST about this, it is being worked on.

11 Likes

I wonder if the response came because of this post or something else.
Also, did you get a response for all 4 emails or just some of them?

1 Like

Given the initial response was a Chief Delphi DM, it was because of this post. The 3 emails regarding this issue were pretty much identical. The same vulnerability email was acknowledged when someone else reported it, so I’m not particularly concerned about that.

7 Likes

In addition to these videos containing improperly attributed text, some of the slides seem to have been created by someone with zero previous FTC experience. For example, the previously mentioned gamepad video contains instructions on how to use gamepads for FTC programming; unfortunately, whoever made it seems to have confused FTC and FRC:


This looks like it was taken from Joysticks — FIRST Robotics Competition documentation. The videos also have various other production issues.
I am glad to see that these videos are finally being reinspected by FIRST. Hopefully, this will eventually result in better documentation and learning materials for FTC teams.

9 Likes

If FIRST weren’t the owner of the WPILib docs, this would be even more blatant plagiarism than the GM0 examples, taking nearly a whole paragraph from the original page. I really hope FIRST investigates and either properly attributes everything that ended up in these videos from outside sources or takes them down to redo them.

3 Likes

I almost get the feeling this was rushed/assigned to someone with little FTC experience. Plenty of littered errors and a number of slides feel like it was just copied from “[SUBJECT] + FIRST Robotics”

1 Like

I will say, next time a resource like this is in the making, there are plenty of volunteers/alumni managing projects like GM0 that would absolutely give it a once over or even help write stuff if needed. Might help take some of the pressure/work off of FIRST.

3 Likes

Edit: since this was flagged previously I’m gonna add additional info of why this was posted/removed and why it’s back again. I agree my original text could read like an advertisement for frczero and while that wasn’t my intention at all, I get it 100%. My intent was to show that there are mentors and others out there who want to and are currently writing technical documents outside of official documents because categories like social media branding, running 3d printers and mills are not in the pervue of any of the existing documentation sites like Wpilib and etc. I do apologize and am sorry for the trouble this caused anyone. For people curious why this is here under a post about gm0 is because when frcZero was first thought about we looked to gm0 as an inspiration and I wanted to contact the team who runs that and make them aware of what we were doing, that we mentioned their site and that we used 0 content. I sent that in a private message to the gm0 manager. Seriously not trying to offend anyone and I think in my worry that we’d also be looked at as copying/borrowing from gm0 I did exactly that with the post below by accident. Again truly sorry and I’ll try not to do something like this again without being crystal clear about my intent

We have frczero.org as the FRC equivalent of gm0 now but that only started in February of this year and is still not filled out enough to be really helpful yet imo. The reason we felt the need to make another documentation site is Wpilib docs are not meant to be Vendor Hardware specific and the vendor guides are not detailed enough or they leave out useful information that teams need. We also wanted to cover Competition info, hard skills like machining and Fabrication and then other stuff that again none of the existing guides cover well like Branding or social media management

I agree 100% that alumni and mentors have tons of knowledge in our heads and would like to have one place that the community can share that knowledge in a searchable and maintainable way that isn’t just a bunch of forum topic posts on CD. We are already doing it anyways out of sheer nessecity!

Two of the videos were re-uploaded after I emailed (they re-uploaded and didn’t even send a response back to me) about the excessive issues in them.

In particular, the one on sensors literally had failed audio takes not cut out of the video, with the person speaking messing up on the word “pressure sensor” for 20 seconds before continuing. I am of the opinion that none of the videos were actually watched back by anyone because I don’t understand how things like that could possibly be missed.

It seems all the videos have finally been taken down now though.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.