Welcome to Book Blogging 101, a weekly feature on Parajunkee’s View that answers your questions and strives to share great book blogging tips and some helpful hints to assist you on your book blogging endeavors.
I have a little problem. I do routine searches of my content, to make sure no one’s trying to steal it, and I found this site that keeps on posting chunks of my blog posts with no sort of link back. I keep on reporting copyright infringement, and I think they take down whatever I ask them to.
On top of that, I’m not even sure how legal a site it is, anyway. To me, it just seems kind of sketchy…
What do I do?Thanks PJ! You’re awesome ;)PS: For your linkage pleasure, this is the site:
http://www.harrypotterbox.com – Riv Re
There is one thing in the blogging world that drives me absolutely batty and that is what is termed as “content scraping.” This is where blogs will “scrape” your RSS feed and generate it on their sites for their own nefarious purposes. It could be to generate affiliate sales, or even keywords and content bloating. But, I think it becomes even worse when it is done by a “real” person (instead of a software program), who is stealing your content just to beef up their own site.
The site you referenced though looks like one of those sketchy, foreign, phishing expeditions, scraping via some sort of program. This is made evident by that wonderful big ORANGE button at the bottom of every post that says “report copyright infringement”. Why would they have that there, unless they want you to click on it? They might be out to gather writer’s info — and if you are putting your email in whatever form you are filling out, along with generating your IP address for them, you are doing exactly what they want. When I checked their domain on www.whois.net I found the site is run out of Jhonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. China, again! China is well known for their phishing scams and copyright fraud. If you want to take it another step I would get the email addresses from the whois.net report and email them that they are in copyright infringement. But, I think this might be something really sketchy and I would just ignore it. If worst comes to worst, I think you would have to get a lawyer involved. China does have copyright laws that do not require registration, so it is doable. But, my gut tells me to just ignore that scammy site…
Now a few of you might be asking, how do we find out that our content has been scraped or stolen?
The best way, and most dependable, is to just take a few sentences from your review (use what you think would be the best part of the review) and then go to Google with those sentences copied into your clipboard. Copy them too Google in-between “quotes” so it will search EVERYTHING. Let’s do an example, I recently checked on my reviews and to do this I just worked within my review category and went down the list. When I got to my Touch of Frost review, I took the string of text shown below and copied and pasted it into Google like this:
“In ‘Touch of Frost’ you are introduced to Gwen Frost, a gypsy with a different kind of magical gift, she has psychometry. She usually uses her gifts to find things, but when she stumbles upon a murdered classmate in the Library of Mythos Academy she knows that she might be the only one that cares enough to look into her death.”
Now that is a very significant chunk of a review. It SHOULD not hit outside of my postings, unless someone has copied it word for word. So, what did I find? Here it is:
If you have gotten a similar response as I did, what do you do now??
My first step, well, this wasn’t really a step, it was more of a temper flare, was that I jumped onto twitter and voiced my frustration. When tweeps hear plagiarism they go kind of bonky. So, the site was searched and it looks like most of this person’s reviews were plagiarized. So, it’s not just an honest mistake.
Then, I went on the site and looked for a contact page or email. There was none. So, I commented on the article and left the link of the original review. Most people that advise on blog content stealing, say, “keep it professional” to stop the person’s first reaction to retaliate, but I’ll admit to being a bit snarky. I basically commented and said I was the owner of the post and that it should be removed ASAP. I didn’t say, “can you please take it down?” I said “it must be removed.”
Legally, you have to give a statement, if you, in the end, have to take it to court. If you phrase something in a question, they could really just ignore it because it is more of a suggestion instead of a command. I also recommend keeping records.
But, then they might not do anything at all…what now?
It is called a DMCA Complaint. Go back to that whois.net and look up the host of the website and find their complaint area, or if it is a Blogger Blog, go to this URL.
Feeling that you need to do more?
Do they have advertisers? You can contact all their advertisers, especially advertisers like Google Ad Words. Most advertisers make you sign a TOS that says you will not post illegal content. An advertiser like Google can lock their entire site down.
Do they have blog groups or affiliations posted? You can contact them and report illegal content. A lot of “upstanding” groups will not want to be affiliated with illegal content and will drop them from their groups.
The wonderful thing about our community is that we are a community. Much like a neighborhood, if a neighbor is caught stealing someone else’s petunias, most likly the other neighbors will band around the victim and shun the thieving neighbor, no matter how hard the thief tries to fit back in. There is nothing like peer pressure and it can work very well in a blogging community. But, we just have to know when to draw the line. There is a difference between a bit of pressure and a lot of bits of bullying. You don’t want to take things overboard.
I can’t get to all the questions, but please ask your BB101 Questions here…bring it on.