I’ve heard a bunch of stories about bloggers whose content was copied or stolen by others. I always wonder to myself- how did the copier think they would get away with it? I mean, come on- this is the internet we’re talking about. Nothing can be hidden here.
Especially when a site completely scrapes an entire book review, but has the “courtesy” to include a source link at the bottom of the page. This recently happened to me. Here is my original post and below is copied content.
Check it out. Exhibit A:
Oh look, how nice. They cited the link at the bottom. Exhibit B:
If you want to check it out further- click here to see the full, stolen post. I hate to give them any more traffic, but I thought some of you may be curious.
I’m not sure how other people feel about this. I mean, some could argue that the scraper did cite a link to my original post. My thoughts are that that if you turned in an essay in college that was totally ripped off of someone else’s paper and cited the original article in the bibliography, wouldn’t this be labeled as cheating?
This bothers me for a bunch of reasons. The biggest one being that I work really hard on my reviews. I do my best to provide a unique perspective and insights into books. To just have the whole post lifted and re-posted on another blog (along with a bunch of other scraped content from a random range of sites), is really upsetting.
I plan to handle this in the following ways:
1. Comment on the blog, stating a cease and desist notification.
2. Find and contact the owner of the blog using WhoIs.com Database and send another cease and desist letter.
3. Take pre-emptive action for the future by using Copyscape.com to see if my posts are being scaped elsewhere.
4. Set up Google Alerts (described in this post at LegalProductivity.com) to notify me of future scraped content.
For anyone who’s curious- bloggers do not need to officially copyright their posts or blog. Once you’ve written a post, it’s inherently copyrighted and would be recognized as such if a dispute ever came up. If you wanted to trademark something, that would require official legal paperwork (and fees, ew).
Has your content ever been scraped or copied? How did you handle it? Any advice or tips about scraped content is welcome! I’m definitely open to all opinions!