Wanted: Someone Smarter Than Me

I’m looking for someone who can answer the following questions.

1. What is the term for a blog taking word-for-word content from your post and reposting it on a blog without giving you credit? I’m not going to give links to the places where this has happened, because all you really get is my posts with lots of adsense surrounding them. They do link back to me but the way they do it is sneaky. They sign the posts with their name, but then the link on the user name is a link to the original post. Someone is definitely trying to cash in on the serendipitous Google juice I’ve generated with original content about the Zune and believe it or not Erin Andrews and Bret Bielema.

2. Is there a way to detect this?

3. Is there a way to prevent this?

4. Do I have any right to my own content?

If anyone is smart or blog savvy enough to answer, send me an email at matt[at]mkinmotion[dot]com.

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2 Replies to “Wanted: Someone Smarter Than Me”

  1. Despicable! Just wrong! They should be booted off their own blogs. As for enforcement, I have no clue, I think you just have to take this one in the teeth.

  2. Alright, I’ll take a stab. I’m not going to claim to be smarter than you, but I think I know these quesstions just because they happen to fall in my area of relative expertise.

    I’ll take them one at a time.

    1. What is the term for a blog taking word-for-word content from your post and reposting it on a blog without giving you credit?

    The technical term is called “scraping”. It’s done via your site’s RSS feed. If you need help finding that, just let me know.

    2. Is there a way to detect this?

    Many. One way is to register for FeedBurner (feedburner.com) and use their “Uncommon uses” feature to track potential scrapers. Another is to embed a secret and random word into your RSS feed and set up a Google Alert (google.com/alerts) to detect it.

    There are also sites like Copyscape (copyscape.com) that can detect plagiarism of an entire site and a new product called Sentinel by Blogwerx promises to automatically defend against such scraping (blogwerx.com)

    That should help get you started.

    3. Is there a way to prevent this?

    Prevent is tough. You can always truncate your RSS feed (shorten it by using the option in Blogger) but that is about it. The feed is automatic with Blogger and that is almost certainly where they are getting the information.

    4. Do I have any right to my own content?

    Absolutely. Copyright takes effect the second your work is fixated into a permanent medium of expression, in this case it is posted to your blog.

    The one thing I am worried about is your CC license as it gives up all rights but attribution. That can bite you in the back when it comes to scrapers as they are allowed to do whatever they want with your content, as long as they provide a link back to the source.

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t have that license, just realize it comes with drawbacks.

    But the bottom line is you enjoy full copyright protection over your content.

    If you need any help with this, drop me a line and I’ll gladly see what I can do. Just give me the address of the guy and I’ll see what the best route of cessation likely is. It shoulldn’t take long.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your problems but I hope that I can help and that you are doing well!

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