March 13, 2012

OK Google, let's see how you handle Blogspot blogs that BLATANTLY STEAL content.

Stealing blog posts for ad revenue makes baby boys cry.

I recognise that it's hard to come up with original ideas.

I acknowledge that my own work and blog posts are often influenced, sometimes very directly, by the work, writing and designs of others.

Wherever possible, I consider it good form to link back to the original author, to cite, and to get permission.  Links are how the web works, ideas are meant to be spread, and all that.

You can imagine the sick feeling in my stomach when one of my Google News Alerts for "canberra handmade market" started returning text that sounded awfully familiar to posts I recently wrote regarding the event.

Curious, I clicked through to the article, and was shocked to find pictures of myself, complete with the verbatim text of several dozen posts I've written here over the last few years, mixed in with what appears to be content directly lifted from several other blogs (Louis Vuitton, among others).

I was incensed, and seeing red.  This blatant digital thievery was just plain rude, and, if my 'bush lawyering' senses were correct, most likely very illegal.

Practical Action

My handsome, helpful husband suggested that this was probably largely an automatically-generated blog, with some internet lowlife sniffing out trending topics and wrapping them up in a spammy, ad-revenue-generating eyesore, sucking the link juice and integrity out of original blogs whilst hiding behind their online anonymity.

I'm trying very, very hard not to take it personally.  I do feel as though Google has let me down, so they were my second port of call. It turns out they have a few forms I could fill out (but none of them like what Centrelink has ever thrown at me).
  1. Report DMCA violation  (considering the blog is hosted on a the Google-controlled, I hope that this encourages them to act quickly)
  2. Report Web Spam (I'm now being out-ranked by this counterfeit blog for terms like "canberra handmade market".  Google's magic algorithm is not infallible, it would seem.)
So I dutifully filled them out, and will now wait with bated breath for Google's response, while staring daggers at this counterfeit site.  I won't link to it - it's not likely that that your visits or disapproving comments on that blog will have any positive action in the long run.

Over to you, Google.

I'll update this post if and when Google takes action.  Let me know in the comments if anything like this has happened to you online, and how you've dealt with it.


Yana said...

on no! this is terrible!!!! i hope google comes back and takes action! very sorry to hear :(

Banaghaisge said...

I think Google/Blogspot take issues of plagiarism, theft, copyright infringement very seriously. You should also be able to trace whoever has done it very easily (via IP addie. It is the sort of thing most teenagers are now able to hack!!), and it seems if they are copying stuff re local shows etc then you are dealing with an Aussie-sited thief. And therefore MUCh easier to charge. Talk to AFP, they have an internet division now.
Hugs, Jasmine (Lenore's auntie)

Handmade Silver Jewellery - Lesley H Phillips said...

It's been well over a month since your posted this? Have they taken action yet? I do hope so.

Handmade Silver Jewellery - Lesley H Phillips said...

It's been over a month since you posted this, have they taken action yet? I do hope so!