I believe and think the solution is actually very clear (at least what concerns me) it’s just would SSi staff take that action or not.

Agreed totally.

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Dear all,
Thank you so much for the clarity i experience in your respinse Aran.

I, too, want to be in full respect of the ssiw method and want to do all i can to support the well-being of your company.

I Would be very happy to un-publish the courses i have written so that they are only visible to me. No prob! This would solve all challenges around integrity issues i am guessing. Is this right???

It may result in a couple of less people picking up on ssiw?? Not sure…

At the moment I have the following text as intro to the courses i have written.
“This is a short course Based on notes from the SSiW southern original course 3 for past and present/future forms of CLYWED. Please let me know if there are any inaccuracies and I will amend them. Because I want to respect the SSiW method I wonder if you would be willing to do the complete audio course before moving on to this written support?”

I would be happy to,add " this is a short and UNOFFICIAL couse…etc. " and later to add: please visit to experience the effectiveness of pure audio learning!! "

How does this land with you, Aran? Are these possible strategies that would attend to respect, inspuration and sharing?

Warm wishes,



I have to agree with you Tatjana. As my husband and I own our own business creating online courses (not language courses, but still the same thing), we would not be at all happy about someone using our intellectual property without our permission.

People tend to think of anything on the internet as being in the public domain (i.e. free to copy and use as you see fit), but that simply is not correct. Unless explicitly stated, we should always assume that content on the Internet (just like content in a book or a magasine) is copyrighted to the creators. People like us, and the creators of SSiW, have put a great deal of time and effort into their products; and this is what puts bread on our tables. Anytime someone copies it away (even with the best of intentions), it literally takes earnings away from the creator, jeopardizing the business and their ability to create more quality content.

I’m sincerely hoping that anyone who has done this without realising its impact will consider this and pull down the copied content. I’m LOVING the first SSiW free course and fully intend to subscribe. Let’s support the people who are working to enrich us and keep our language alive.


The fact is, that not a lot of content in public domain is really free. usually it’s royalty free what means you have to pay for the content to particular offerer in order to use it and even then you are obliged to use it in accordance to the Licence agreament you’ve signed one way or another. For example: I use a lot of royalty free content to create my music and videos and I pay qutie some subscriptions or I pay to some “agencies” for using such content. Usually such content is (if you’re not business and have another type of licence agreament according to that) for pure private use and even if you put something on the Internet you have to consult offerer of the content first or when you subscribe to one service or buy some software with enclosed content it’s already set what and how you are alowed to use it and what’s restricted. When you buy software (well this is kind of my field of (hobby) expertise) you also have strictly set is it for private or business use and with that said it’s very well known how and in which cases the content can and should be used. Private use is actually almost always allowed but the minute you publish whatever you created publicly the licence obligations occur immediately.

I agree that quite some times I tend to put content on social media which might require the copyright restrictions like screenshots of the matches etc, but it still doesn’t do as much (or even no) harm as it does if you take for example one course, a book, a photo or whatever from one another person or organization and put it on the net without any permition.

Agreed. I believe making people aware of SSiW and sperad the love for Cymraeg can be done different way then using their content unproperly even if in the best intention and will one could think of. Spreading the word, telling the people where you’re learning, constantly talking about the company and how great it is learning Cymraeg with them … might be much better way then publishing something based on SSi content where of course all can see the thing but it also can become the harmful thing not just from the point of view that the content can be freely accessible there but also from the point where one could say: “Oh, what company this is if anyone can take their content and do with it whatever they want and it seams no one actually care…” People many times easily get the presumptions of all kinds + some might think they can do the same as they’ve seen in this particular case. I’m sorry, but references sometimes are not enough …


This is an interesting discussion. I get the idea of SSiW being a course based on speaking and listening and ‘not to worry’ about the written from. Personally, I felt I needed to see the words spelt, to help me learn. The thing is as someone who grew up in Wales, I have experience of writing in Welsh in school and seeing Welsh written on a daily basis. So, for those of us in Wales, it seems actually counter-productive to go out of the way to try and ignore the written word. Thus, I would be tempted to use ‘spin-off’ material for cementing the language, because I can read anything written, as long as it only includes vocabulary covered in this course.
One of the great strengths of this course is that as a subscriber you can download the material to devices so you can do the challenges wherever you are, or even try a few sentences when you have a spare couple of minutes. It is a positive thing that we can us the material however we wish for our personal use, but then we can use the material in accessible ways, which indeed may bring more people to the site. it is fortunate that the language is still free, that I don’t have to pay a fine to anyone for using it.
Copyright is an utter minefield these days, because the distinction between copyrighted material and full accessibility is very blurred. It seems that all copyright holders can do is demand material is taken down, but this requires a lot of time and effort. Society seems to be moving away from traditional provider-purchaser relations, material is expected to be open source and other ways of monetising it occur, often through people liking the content sufficiently to pay for it (well this is how music works these days), even though they already have a hard copy.
I am happy for Aran to live in his fantasy castle, waited on by legions of servants, but I get the impression that Aran has produced this course because he wants us all to learn Welsh, rather than to pay for the cleaning of his moat. Really, anything to help further the language and to make it easier to learn should be welcomed, but there is a case for ensuring that the course maintains it’s integrity, because without the forum and the community, this course would be so much weaker and most of us are happy to pay for access to the fantastic content and this should continue, which will require some vigilance that material isn’t overly leaky.

This is an interesting discussion. The SSiW method has so far worked so well for me that I don’t feel a need to use Memrise to learn the vocab. By the time I’ve done a lesson or two with the repetition, I feel like I know the words. (I hope this doesn’t sound snobby - it’s just my experience thus far.) However, I am using Memrise to learn additional vocabulary outside of SSiW.

I totally agree with this. Aran has put a ton of time and effort into making a fantastic learning method, and should retain all the rights to his material, and the income that goes with it.

I get the impression that Aran is passionate about promoting the Welsh language, and I am very grateful for that, and for his generosity in making the entire first course and first level available for free. But that doesn’t mean he is giving away everything he’s done - this is his business, and he has clearly put (and continues to put) a huge amount of time and thought into what works, what doesn’t, and how he wants to do things. He deserves to be able to make an income from his labor, and grow his business in whatever way he chooses, without people appropriating his work.

The trouble with the internet age is that many people think that they can just take whatever they want because it’s out there and it “should be” free. The same people probably wouldn’t shoplift physical property. Intellectual property is owned by the creator just like physical property is owned by the purchaser. On the other hand, I think many people (like the original poster) are nice, and just want to share, and they simply haven’t thought about what they are really doing. I understand the sentiment that “I’ve done all this work to make this Memrise course, I’d be happy to share it with others” - but doing so without having asked permission is wrong, in my opinion.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with someone making an SSiW Memrise course for their own personal use. It just needs to stay private, so it’s not available to anyone else.

Regarding the SSiW philosophy on not reading/writing until later:

The thing that people living or who have lived in Wales have, that some of us do not, is prior exposure to the language, especially to how it sounds. Even if you only spoke English to start, you already have the right vowel sounds and the right accent. So the fact that you have seen Welsh written on a daily basis is not as critical, in my opinion. For those of us outside of Wales, I think it is really important to avoid the written language in the beginning. We need to be solid on the speaking, on the sounds and cadence of the language, on the accent, before we start looking at reading/writing. Maybe if I were learning a language with a totally different alphabet, it might not be as important, but Welsh has letters that look like English letters that don’t sound at all like their English equivalent. And the vowel sounds are very different. I remember hearing words like “mewn” and thinking how different they sounded, and that I’d never figure out how to say them properly. But it is getting easier with time and experience (although my American accent will never go away :slight_smile: ).

Unfortunately, @aran, I don’t think I have any good answers for you. Since pretty much anyone can contribute to Memrise, I don’t see how you can stop them from using your logo or materials, or make them put some kind of disclaimer. It sounds like your experience with YouTube was awful but in the end I think maybe you need to contact Memrise and ask to have courses that infringe on SSiW removed. We can only hope it wouldn’t be a terrible battle to do so.

(Okay, I’ll stop, I think I got a bit passionate there myself :slight_smile: Hope I haven’t offended anyone - that was not my intention at all. We are each just giving our own opinions.)


13 posts were split to a new topic: Looks like a misunderstanding to me

Yup, but if we buy some physical thing which contains “intelectual property” like CD, a book or something similar, we don’t entirely own even that. We can read/play it but (if you ever read what states on CDs) not publicly and even playing music aloud to be heard outside your walls can (theoretically - to make things clear) be a matter of sharing and could “disturb” those who are a bit too obsessed about such things like copyrights … In some cases even copying files/music to MP3 to listen later can be a case of copyrights But, not to scare people on here, this isn’t the case with SSi as authors of the course even encourage us to download the content to devices and learn when and where we have time to do so.

The user should be so honest to put the course in private not to invite anyone who isn’t already on here to use it (if it has to be used by someone other then author …) Writing to Memrise if nothing happens should be prety much a good idea. It can’t happen less then them to say “We don’t care” or “We don’t have any control upon this.” which I believe will not be their reaction if they’re at least as serious company as they seam to me.

Yah, maybe you’re right and I got it too but it’s obvious we care VERY MUCH about (for) (gee what whould be correct here???) the company and the people behind it who gave us so much in order to learn Welsh (and other languages) and tend to give us more.


I’m very happy that people here believe so much in the human nature that, it appears, you can just disapprove of their behaviour and they will stop doing whatever they’re doing. But I don’t believe in that. How do you plan to make people keep their Memrise sets private? Should there be special people appointed by the SSI who look through Memrise every day and write to the owners of the practice sets to demand to close them? Or will we just rely on the people’s good will? I’m interested in the practical side of things. We in Russia say “no matter how many times you say “halva” you won’t feel the sweetness” (halva is a typical sweet eaten here). No matter how many times we say what people must and mustn’t do they won’t do it - not all of them.

This is the part of the modern copyrights laws that make them hateful and stifling.

[quote=“Y_Ddraig_Las, post:25, topic:4510”]
Society seems to be moving away from traditional provider-purchaser relations.[/quote]

My thoughts exactly, though I don’t agree with everything in your post.

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I agree on this part though. One too passionate can see every single act of copying something to somewhere if even for their own (private) use as breaking of copyright laws which are (in some spheres) really a bit blurry. I know this because I had numerous issues and then putting the question where are limits no one could answer me this one for sure. However I did nothing illegal though - it was the case of sharing what was shared on social media by the authors themselves publicly … yah … and I was accused of stealing the property despite I didn’t even copy material anywhere neither download it and even less publish on my sites as my material aswell … And I had to “give up” and delete things or I would be prosecuted … Copyrights is the sphere which you can’t play tricks with endlessly. One day you’re caught one way or another …

On the previous your note: When I said the people should be so honest to put copyright content down, I meant about this particular case which was presented here and not the general one. Even YouTube, having their own automatic system of detection copyrighted material can’t control everything and you might get copyright disclamer after some years since your video (or whatever material on this matter) was published. Then it depends of the licence type of content what their action is but it’s surely too efficient to argue with. However if the copyrights are settled (like they are in my cases when publishing videos) you can always dispute the case and you’re usually granted of your content to be further viewed publicly. I don’t claim SSi should have people who would check the sites in order to find their content but when they’re aknowledged to some of it it might be right to react in that particular case. Piracy always was and always will be present especially on Internet and I believe authorities are sometimes too passionate about them however we have to put ourselves in the shoes of creators who’s content or whatever they make is for many of them the only source of living and puts bread on their table …

I believe there’s no need of further explanation. I’d still write to Memrise if I was SSi staff.

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The SSiW course material is essentially MP3 audio files, distributed over the internet, so it does have parallels with music distribution. SSiW uses the ‘Bandcamp’ model, where ‘taster’ tracks are provided free to use, then a paywall is passed to access further tracks, additional material and HQ tracks. It is a good model in my view.
The source material for the course is the language, which isn’t anyones copyright, but the creative content is copyright of SSiW. Memrise courses based on SSiW can be viewed as ‘add-ons’ to the course and are only especially useful with access to the SSiW material. It can be argued that no-one is making money off the back of SSIW with Memrise, but may be promoting SSiW to a wider audience.
What makes it interesting is that a SSIW based Memrise course is just a vocabulary course, anyone can set one up. What makes it different is that it is using SSiW creative content. It is a tricky issue, SSiW isn’t open source, it isn’t really free for people to make their own add-ons beyong personal use, even though anyone can and may be useful to some learners.
Audio copyright is very strange. Most of my generation spent years copying LPs onto cassette and then later CD to listen to purchased content in the car / on the walkman etc. I and most people were unaware that this was technically illegal, until they changed the law a few years ago, when we realised that we were doing something illegal, but it was fine now! It’s crazy I can play an LP of mine through a computer and make a digital copy for my own use, but it is illegal for me to download the digital copy off the internet.
most people are honest and will pay for content if they can, there will always be free-riders, it’s often a question of maintaining systems so the proportion of free-riders doesn’t become too large… I’ll stop before I get into Population Ecology!

My earlier point was that I would have avoided the written language during learning listening and speaking with SSiW, if I was coming to the language cold. Before SSiW, I would say that my reading skills were better than my listening skills, so it seemed wrong to attempt to keep the two things separate when they interlink so much.


Agree with that. I’m a member there (not artist but one who purchases through it also) and it’s really good model. Artists who might never benefit otherwise as they’re kind of Indie benefit from there (however I don’t know BandiCamp’s financial model though).

Ooooo, I would lie if I’d say I don’t belong to this generation and didn’t do that. I did this numerous times at the late stages even knowing I’m doing illegal act but since I did it for my own listening elswhere than on my gram, I thought it’s allright … I was maybe even worse as I’ve recorded quite a lot of content from the radio programes to the cassettes. (I’m really music adicted, sorry) However nowdays I buy almost every piece of music I own and I even purchased some which I previously recorded and this for already owned it. Happenings of all kinds are teaching you and you can or learn from them or not.

Unfortunately even if you purchase your digital copy, if you want to download it one more time, you have to purchase it once again. At least it is the case with eMusic, which member I am. If I loose my music for whatever reason it doesn’t help I already bought it, I have to buy it one more time (it might be there’s some discount in price for that, I don’t know). Well, at least now they invented the cloud service which gives me the possibility to listen the music I’ve purchased there through that service on any device through their app. But, yah, it is crazy thing in deed as technology goes it’s own fast forward way and MP3s we’ve bought today might be the very well burried history in the (quite near) future and no matter we’ve bought our copies of music (or whatever audio) we’d have to do it again …

On the reading/not reading when doing SSi courses aspect: I was very eager to write since I am kind of twitter adicted (or I was and am not these days anymore) and I wanted to tweet in Cymraeg even if I didn’t quite know how to speak yet. So, I for some parts knew first how to write some things and only then how to say them. It is extreamly difficult to cope with some differences in writing/speaking but with the pronunciation of already heard words i never had particular problems but if I wanted to read the word before I have heard it it is even now another story though. So I would say - everyone knows their own way is the best for them but I’d say trying to go according to recommendations of the Course creators one has to do first and then see if it suits to them or not or how they can benefit more. SSi creators actually don’t demand you have to do what they suggest. They just allert you that the course might work properly and entirely as it maybe would if you obay their “rules” and suggestions. So, it’s everyone’s free will how you’d actually learn the language. Trying different things is alway good to do and establish what you can cope the most with.

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Being a lover of music, I am deeply concerned with how music is distributed these days. I have hundreds of LPs, CDs, a vast collection of John Peel shows on cassette etc. Music has to be available, so people can discover that they like it. I am old enough to remember saving up to go down to Cardiff to buy records I had never heard, solely based on reviews, no-one does that these days.
I spend far too much money on music and the idea of having to re-pay for something I’ve already paid for, at the expense of not supporting an emerging artist pains me to the core. So, I refuse to use any digital service that overly restricts the ability to transfer to my format of choice, in any case I back up everything diligently so I don’t have to risk that, even if it means working around ‘copy protection’, sorry, I chose to pay for the music, so I can keep it archived, until the next format change comes along and I can transfer the files (which I rarely get around to, it’s so time consuming).

Two alike in this matter obviously … I believe we might be quite the same generation, bsaed on just written.

But this becomes a bit off topic now too. :slight_smile: I surely am backing everything up not just music. and I agree with you here on what you’ve said completely.

The whole business of copyright is a morass - and it differs from country to country, to add to the mess. I think many laws need to be reconsidered in the light of the digital age, and consider what constitutes “fair use”, but creators/musicians/whoever do need to have their work protected, too. A difficult task, to be sure.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? (It would make parenting so much easier, too! :slight_smile: ) This is why I think in the end Aran might need to talk to the people that run Memrise, because they are the ones that have control over what is published on their site. As far as practicality, it could be as simple as someone volunteering to check Memrise every so often and letting Aran know if they see a Memrise course that uses SSi material.

Regarding the speaking/reading/writing thing again - I certainly didn’t mean to send this thread off topic. I think there are large differences in learning Welsh for someone from Wales, and someone like me, brand new to Welsh and living elsewhere. We may not always realize the different perspectives and experiences of someone learning under different conditions than our own. After reading @Y_Ddraig_Las’s post, I thought that was an interesting thing to think about, and I shared my own perspective/experience. For me, the SSiW way was the right way. I personally am glad to have had the benefit of Aran’s philosophy. I was not and am not trying to say that it is the only way, or should apply to everyone else. I should probably not have posted my thoughts in this particular thread. @aran, I apologize for having gone beyond your original request.

No, no one says that but what is not entirely good is that you’ve used copyrightet material publicly on other site no matter how good intentions you had and I believe it was all done in a good manner, but still. You should at least ask and then go according to what the answer of SSiW staff would be. That’s all. From here on, it’s only the debate about copyrights which derived from the first posts no one claiming something is particularly bad or good.

Hi there - did you read my initial response?

I certainly wasn’t saying that Memrise is bad - far from it - I’ve often recommended it to people.

But I hope you can appreciate that material on Memrise using SSiW logos is a little complicated?

I’m sure you put it up there in good faith - as did Elkie - and I’d be very interested in your input on this, as we try to work towards a sensible solution that covers as many bases as possible - if you’re willing to engage with us… :sunny:

Thank you so much for posting in this thread, Elkie - I really appreciate your input!.. :star: :star2:

Asking people to unpublish is one possibility, but it seems maybe a little too much for me - and I share your concern/uncertainty about what works to let new people know about SSiW, and what might be accidentally encouraging people to go in a different direction.

It’s all a little tricky, but the huge amount of intelligent input on this thread has given me a great deal to think about - I’m going to try and think of a few possible routes forward that we could suggest, maybe by next week, and see if any of them seems to be a clear winner… :sunny:

Hi, thanks for your response, I hadn‘t really thought about this as there were “courses” on Memrise already alongside plenty of material from many courses used without permission. It was actually a pre-existing course that introduced me to SSIW initially! I assumed at the time it was obvious that the course wasn‘t affiliated with your company as they so rarely are but thinking about it that is probably not the case so I will remove it from public access. In response to your second point, while I agree that it is important that the podcasts, perhaps especially Course 1, should be used on their own as listening and speaking exercises (and for many people this may be all they need) I find that for me to learn most efficiently I need to practice things through several different methods from early on. Having said this flashcards or writing could never be of equal use to me as an audio-based course. For example, I listen to an episode of SSIW in the morning and some days, if something wasn‘t sinking in or just for some variation, I would use Memrise or traditional flashcards instead as I found I would remember vocabulary I found tricky better this way for the next time I heard them in the podcast (or, indeed, in conversation if I was with the right people). Before realising this (when learning French) I was learning vocabulary at an unbearably slow pace when trying only to use podcasts before giving up and trying only to use a book before trying only to use Memrise courses and then finally using a combination which got me quite far quite quickly.

I think if people were to find the course on Memrise they wouldn‘t find it much use as it didn‘t actually feature any full sentences and after they direct themselves to the real course they would be just as likely to agree with what you say about avoiding reading initially once they had heard your arguments, but equally I would see no harm in them using a Memrise course as supplement if they, like me, find it helpful as an aid or for some variation.

I ‘ll have to apologise for this not being written in a very succinct manner but I ‘m rushing slightly as I forgot to reply earlier and I don’t want to become an enemy of such a great resource!


Don’t worry about that - we’re not ‘enemy’ type people! And it was clear from the start that your intentions were good - which is why I thought this might be a good opportunity to have a chat about some of the more complicated stuff with people like yourself and Elkie who have put up material on Memrise… :sunny:

I’m sorry you’ve gone straight for the ‘make it private’ option - I’m not sure that was necessary - because there’s certainly a discussion to be had about whether or not material like this brings more people in than it distracts (I don’t want to sound dismissive of your preferences - having the right emotional balance is hugely important to language learning - but I also believe that quite a lot of learners look for something different when they don’t feel the course is ‘sinking in’, because the process of ‘uncontrolled learning’ is an emotionally challenging one to master).

Can I ask - is the blurb on the landing page of the Memrise ‘course’ the only bit of text that you as the owner can put in?

It struck me last night that the ideal for us might be if SaySomethinginWelsh/SSiW/etc wasn’t used on the intro, searchable page, but was flagged up in some way ‘inside’ the course, but I have no idea at all if that would even be possible? :sunny:

A couple of ideas I just had -
What if SSiW created a universal disclaimer explaining that the Memrise course within it was created by a SSiW learner using Memrise to help with their learning of the SSiW audio course, but that the Memrise course itself was NOT a part of the SSiW courses. Also, to recommend to the reader of the disclaimer that to do the official course, they need to visit the SSiW website.
Obviously it would need to be worded better than this, and checks with to make sure they’re happy with this disclaimer being placed on those courses constructed by our learners. The disclaimer could be made available for learners using Memrise to use through the SSiW website in the FAQs, in the learning tips or something like that.
Just a thought, if those learners who use Memrise are finding it helpful to them.

Or, if the courses on Memrise have broader privacy options available, say, the courses could only be made available to SSiW users via an account set up by SSiW for learners to share their methods with, noting that the account isn’t an official course on Memrise provided by SSiW (this could also be where the aforementioned disclaimer could live).

I haven’t used Memrise for a while now, but I created a couple of mini courses a couple of years ago around Welsh numbers in both the decimal and vigesimal systems. Things may have advanced since then.

Just a couple of ideas there…

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