Facing Content Theft

So, like other bloggers I am facing the problem of content theft. It is being done by scraping the full feeds. Man, it is so easy to use technology the wrong way! Here are some URLs that have the copied content:

  • http://superfish.org/index.php/2008/03/10/my-mom-is-not-going-to-read-this-code/
  • http://superfish.org/index.php/2008/03/17/yes-linux-is-fun/
  • http://superfish.org/index.php/2008/03/19/extreme-programming-getting-stagnant/

I am sure that it contains content scraped from other feeds, and I do not see any where credit being given to the original author. And of course the owner has not left any option of contacting him/her.

But I think it is time to think about taking care of feed scraping. The reactive, and perhaps the guaranteed-to-work, solution is to start giving out partial feeds. But there are two problems with it – I myself like full feeds a lot, and secondly I am sure a lot of my readers too. So, this solution will lead to punishing these good people to stop the bad ones.

The other solution is to include a link to the original content and a notice about it in the syndicated posts. That way, anyone reading the duplicate content will know that this content has been scraped and will hopefully stop visiting that site. I will try this one before I try others.

Of course I am going to pay heed to Lorelle’s and Amit’s advice and try my best to let others and the site owner know about this.

Let me know if you have other solutions about these. I am really keen to keep the full feeds going.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Amit Agarwal said:

    Some suggestions here as well.

    I actually add a second link in my RSS feed that points to the original article – thus you can use scrappers to your own advantage.

  2. Binny V A said:

    Getting your content stolen is a fact of life in our field – there is not much that can be done about it. Just accept it and move on.

    And I really would like you to keep on using full feeds.

  3. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Thanks for the link Amit, I had not thought about contacting the hosting company.

    Binny, we should whatever we can. We might not get good results, but it would wrong on our part if we do not even object to it.

  4. Douglas Karr said:

    It’s one of the reasons why I wrote the PostPost WordPress plugin. I have an ad and a statement at the end of every post that requests permission for republishing. It’s cut back on the number of thefts!

  5. engtech said:

    partial feeds = less readers

    It’s much better to include “This content is originally from: blah” text in the beginning of your feed.

  6. Jonathan Bailey said:

    The situation can be resolved pretty trivially. I looked into the site and it is hosted inside the United States so you should be able to file a DMCA notice with the host, expedient.com, and have the site taken down.

    If you need/want any help with that, let me know. I’ve got the stock letters on my site if you need them and you are free to use them.

    All in all, this should be one of the easier cases to deal with and should only take a few moments.

    My only minor concern is that I have not worked with this host before and can not vouch one way or another for their cooperativeness. Still, the odds are very good.

    Let me know if I can help!

  7. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Doug, thanks for the info, I will try the plugin immediately.

    engtech, yes, I am biased towards the notice insertion solution.

    Jonathan, thanks a lotfor the pointers and info. As suggested, I will contact the hosting company and inform them. Will let you know how it proceeds. BTW, PT is a great site, planning to take time to read through it.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
+91 9819820312
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