Where does content theft start?
Tuesday August 01st 2006, 2:10 am
Filed under: Opinionated,Poker Stuff

I just had a trackback from a site I didn’t recognize. So I look it up and find that it’s one of the “zombie-blogs” popping up left and right. What is it all about? It’s providing “poker news”, namely taking parts of content from poker blogs, slapping some ads on it and that’s that. Then I go ahead and the server admin is telling me something along the lines of “if you don’t want your content available around the net, just stop pinging search-engines” – errm wtf?
The site in question, which shall receive no further link love through this post, is a clear case of content scraping in order to monetize other people’s content. The only thing that it’s keeping it from being outright 100% content theft is that it’s providing a “read more” link leading to the original authors blog, but does this make it any better? So you get a linkback, but the thing is that it’s still using the content in order to slap ads on them.

Anyone got some hands-on experience with similar sites? What’s your opinion on such sites? Does a linkback make something like this legit in your eyes?




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Content/Screen scraping is thing you hardly can fight anyways. You could put on copyright disclaimers on your page and then sue him – but is it worth the effort? If he really pisses you off so much you could get in contact with a botnet owner and buy a DNS attack on his servers or mail accounts.
At least he put on a backlink – the majority of scraper dont even think about that.
Screen scraping has become a major business lately (e.g http://www.scrapegoat.com/ ).

Comment by g3no 08.01.06 @ 12:35 pm

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Hi g3, thanks for your comment.

Indeed, trying to fight it is a hassle and probably not worth the time, but it still rubs me the wrong way. No doubt, getting quoted on “real blogs” is similar – you get quoted, you get a link back – but the main difference is that the content surrounding your content is really related, whereas such zombie blogs are just trying to accumulate lots of content in order to slap ads on them.

Sidenote: …and now I think I know why the admin of the server was so defensive of “the author” of this blog – I’m 99% sure now that he is the author. How do I know? I’m not 100% sure, but the weird thing is that I received 4 more trackbacks from other blogs on the same blognetwork today…hmm…

Comment by Ingoal 08.01.06 @ 12:40 pm

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First off, I have to humbly disagree with G3. There are lots of things that you can do. I have shut down over four hundred plagiarists and none of them have involved a lawsuit, it’s just a matter of knowing how to make the law work for you.

Fighting back is neither time-consuming nor difficult. Once you have the basic tools, a cease and desist letter along with a DMCA notice, it only takes a few moments each case, it’s just a matter of getting set up.

Also, while I can see the similarities between these blogs and being quotes on a real one, there is a huge leap in intention. While someone quoting you for real is taking your words and transforming them into something new, scrpaers add no value to your work. Worse still, being affiliated with these sites can hurt your search engine rankings, even if that association is unwilling.

If you want to take action, send me an email and I’ll gladly see what I can do to help.

Good luck with this!

Comment by Jonathan Bailey 08.01.06 @ 1:09 pm

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Thanks for your comment Jonathan. Good point you made there, which was the one thing that really made me mad in the first place: Quoting someone in a context (aka own new post, article, whatever) is good, just taking the content in order to monetize it is not good and basically unacceptable. I will definitely think about taking further steps, although I will probably wait to hear back from the admin/”author”…and thanks for your offer to help, I might drop you an email in the near future, depending on how it’s going…

Comment by Ingoal 08.01.06 @ 1:49 pm