In part 1 of this series I explained that I found a spamblog stealing content from one of my blogs. In part 2 I showed that this spamblog was part of an elaborate spam network that was stealing content from over 300 blogs.
The content of the spamblogs in this network was stolen from blogs with two common features (in addition to being Blogspot blogs):
- No copyright notice was visible on the blog or in the site feed.
- The site feed was set to 'full' - which means most, or all, of the text of a post was displayed.
Content on blogs is copyright protected whether there is a copyright notice showing or not. Unless there is notification in the blog saying content may be used one must ask permission to use it.
Some blogs use Creative Commons licenses. These licenses allow some freedom of use but any restrictions must be adhered to. A 'cc' license doesn't mean a user can do everything with the content or use it anywhere.
If you find that a blog is using your content without your permission you can ask the blogger to remove it. If that doesn't work you can report the blog to the blog host if it is known. You can also report spamblogs and copyright issues to Google and other search engines. Check to see if the site uses Google Adsense. If it does report the blog to Google.
You don't have to feel helpless when faced with content theft. Things may seem to be taking some time to fix and you may be frustrated. The easiest thing to do is blog about it. Explain what is going on and how you are dealing with it. You can link to the post with the stolen content BUT don't link to any spamblog - that is just sending them traffic. It is better to write the URL without using a link and let people copy it to their browsers.
What is Copyright Protection?
Finding Stolen Content and Copyright Infringements
What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content
The Worst Excuse for Content Theft
If you decide to use a full site feed on your blog consider adding a copyright notice.
Do You Need Permission to Use Feeds
Adding A Copyright Notice To Your Site Feed
Full versus Partial RSS Feeds
Feed guarding: Protecting your weblog content from theft — or worse fates . . .
How To Spot a Splog
Reporting Spam Blogs
Do You Really Want To Delete Your Blog? - explains how deleted blogs can end up becoming spamblogs.
Splogs + Scraping + AdSense = Fraud
How Spam Blogs Cheat Technorati