Copyrighted problem statements

The forum to report every bug you find or tell us what you'd like to find in UVa OJ

Moderator: Board moderators

Locked
Darko
Guru
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:34 am
Location: Calgary, Canada

Copyrighted problem statements

Post by Darko »

I am not sure if you guys cleared it with TopCoder or not, but problem 11154 is a TCHS 6 250-pointer:
http://acm.uva.es/p/v111/11154.html
http://www.topcoder.com/stat?c=problem_ ... 2&rd=10058

I know that sometimes they have problems that are almost the same as some on UVa, but there is no copyright on them, so, it might not be ethical, but it is legal (and I think TC deals with such cases in their own way). But this way, I don't know.

It is at least a good example of well-specified input format :)

[EDIT] Man, next one (11155) is a TC problem, too - are all four of those recently added problems actually TC problems?
http://www.topcoder.com/stat?c=problem_ ... nt&pm=2312

fernando
New poster
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:21 pm

Post by fernando »

Actually, 11157 is (almost) the same as a past regional contest (SWERC 01) problem:


http://acmicpc-live-archive.uva.es/nuev ... php?p=2425


so, this should have been called, the "pirat" contest :D

yiuyuho
A great helper
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2002 2:00 am
Location: United States
Contact:

Post by yiuyuho »

hmm...may be the author of that problem also submitted his problem to UVA after the TC contest?

sohel
Guru
Posts: 856
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:50 am
Location: New York

Post by sohel »

May be that's why this contest was a surprise one !! Most of us didn't know about the contest, since it was declared just before the start.

And surprisingly, the last SRM's 900 pointer was a repeat of one of the uva probs.

So it kind of evens things out. :)

fernando
New poster
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:21 pm

Post by fernando »

yes, that was 10989, it was exactly the same as the 900 in SRM 334, although one could pass the TC one with a less efficient algorithm.

As Darko mentions, it was relativately common see UVA problems on TC, but i had never seen a TC problem on UVA

is this the beginning of a war UVA vs TC?

Darko
Guru
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:34 am
Location: Calgary, Canada

Post by Darko »

That was actually a contest?!? That came out of nowhere.

TC owns the published problems, so the author cannot just republish them somewhere else.

I am not quite sure how I feel about all of this. I support sharing, but those problems should have been properly credited. Just changing titles of other people's problems and passing them as your own is really low.

And - 11157 is exactly the same as 2425, I just got 2 ACs with one solution.

Carlos
System administrator
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 2:00 am
Location: Valladolid, Spain
Contact:

Post by Carlos »

We're looking into it...we're trying to contact the problemsetter.
DON'T PM ME --> For any doubt, suggestion or error reporting, please use the "Contact us" form in the web.

Carlos
System administrator
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 2:00 am
Location: Valladolid, Spain
Contact:

Post by Carlos »

As a provisional action, we've disabled the submissions for all problems in that particular contest. Our intention has never been to violate TopCoder or any other organism copyrights, and if we ever did so it was without our knowledge.

Sorry for any of you who submitted solution to those problems. In case we disable those problems, those submissions will be marked as SE.

And thanks for reporting it before this issue gets more serious.
DON'T PM ME --> For any doubt, suggestion or error reporting, please use the "Contact us" form in the web.

shahriar_manzoor
System administrator & Problemsetter
Posts: 399
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2002 2:00 am

Hmm

Post by shahriar_manzoor »

I think there is nothing as evening things up as we are not competing with topcoder on who can copy more from the others. And I have strong faith in our EPP members or other people who we ask to set problems will not intentionally copy problems.

It is hard to prevent copying problems like it is hard to maintain copyright of digital images as they can be morphed, collaged, skewed or rotated. So again the basic thing is intent. If someone likes a problem at UVa and decide to make a topcoder version of it then it will be hard to prevent. And for problems like "Convert an infix expression to postfix" cannot be copyrighted. For network flow problems there are some standard problems in some well known books. If two people take it from the same source then who is to blame?

We are taking ideas from different books to set problems, so are we breaking the copyright law? So the problemsetters need to be honest, no law is going to protect us. But ofcourse in UVa we will try to adopt such things to protect our problems so that other online judges don't copy our problems (Problems set by us).

Observer
Guru
Posts: 570
Joined: Sat May 10, 2003 4:20 am
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Copyrighted problem statements

Post by Observer »

Darko wrote:I know that sometimes they have problems that are almost the same as some on UVa, but there is no copyright on them...
This is quite false... From an old post by gvcormac:
"In general, the problems are copyright by their authors, whether or not there is any explicit notice in the problem statement."
Different countries may have different rules. You may also want to check other references about copyright issues.
7th Contest of Newbies
Date: December 31st, 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 12:00 - 16:00 (UTC)
URL: http://uva.onlinejudge.org

Darko
Guru
Posts: 580
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:34 am
Location: Calgary, Canada

Post by Darko »

I didn't know that about copyright. For me, whatever is in the public domain is public, unless explicitly stated otherwise. It's more of a cultural thing, I have no idea what laws say about it. Just to make myself clear - if you use something that is not yours, you should properly credit it.

I was concerned that someone at TopCoder would find out about this and sue UVa or something. They really don't need that.

And, funny thing that you quoted Prof. Cormack, because some of the Waterloo problems appeared on TC.

Carlos
System administrator
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 2:00 am
Location: Valladolid, Spain
Contact:

Post by Carlos »

The decision has been to completely remove any reference to this contest, including problems in online judge. All submissions to it will be marked as SE, and will not count for your personal statistics.

Sorry for any time you had lost because of this.
DON'T PM ME --> For any doubt, suggestion or error reporting, please use the "Contact us" form in the web.

Locked

Return to “Bugs and suggestions”