Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I may become increasingly pissed about this....

So right, there's a site out there, bitacle.org, which is reproducing people's blogs and feeds, etc. Lit Soup is one of them that's being done that way. Now, as far as I understand, by default, everything I write on this blog is copyrighted to me, although I do allow it to be publicly viewed on the Internet. But what this insidious other site is doing, is reposting my blog (originally without giving me credit nor copyright) and then slapping text ads from Google AdSense on top of it. If someone clicks on one of their ads, they get a percentage of what that company paid Google to run the ad in the first place. Essentially, they're making money from my words.

To say that I'm annoyed is putting it mildly, although as it's 3:45am in the morning, I am not going to overreact at the second. But when I am in a more rational mood later today, I shall be deciding what to do about this. I am not pleased.


December Quinn said...

I read about another site doing this last year, but I don't know what happened. I'm fairly certain a couple of authors contacted their attorneys, though.

Deanna Hoak said...

Hm. Do you mean under "Aggregates"? They have my LJ on there, too.

It looks like they're using the RSS feeds, and they do (at least currently) link back to my site. I'm not sure it's so different from any other blog aggregator, except it's the first one I've seen with ads.

I did have someone steal several of my articles lately and repost them without my permission, without a link, and without even spelling my name correctly. It's incredibly annoying when people violate copyright.

JimFreedan said...

You can try reporting the site here


I just looked through the ToS for Blogger and it pretty much says they can't do what they are doing,

"Member may not copy, reproduce, distribute, or create derivative works from this Content without expressly being authorized to do so by the Service or the Advertiser."

I'd tell Blogger about it and let them handle it with all their corporate lawyer types. The real scary thing for you is that Bitacle is putting a Creative Commons license on your reproduced blog-- that means a ton of Bitacle clone sites can popup that will re-use your reproduced blog thinking it's perfectly ok to do so.

Mary Robinette said...

Here are some links.
Maxpower, "What should you do when you've found a content thief?"
Plagarism Today.

I use Wordpress, which has two different ways of controlling "sploggers." A digital fingerprint, which makes spotting the splogs easy and a leach protection plugin. Both are handy, but sadly won't help on blogger.

Bernita said...

I'm a little dim and barely post-Luddite, so may I ask how does one discover if someone or some site is ripping off your words without even the semblance of attribution?
Not that I'm a likely candidate for such...

Dan Gamber said...

Don't get all pissed, Jenny. It's a good thing. It's kinda like the equivalent of a search engine crawling your site. Aggregators are kinda like a clearing house for blogs, it's one of the ways information traverses the blogsphere. All the links they had pointed back to your blog, for people to come to and comment. That's why blogs have things like XML and RSS feeds is so people can pick up your posts and 'syndicate' it. Responsible aggregators and blog-lodites will always link back to your original article. I have a friend who had a sports blog post that got picked up by a commentary editor on espn.com--brought him tons of new traffic.

When you get pissed is when they take your post without a link back!

Jenny Rappaport said...

Just to clarify, I'm not particularly annoyed that they're spreading my content (although it still doesn't say I'm the original author). What I am annoyed about is that they're getting money for it based on the ads; I deliberately don't use ads here or at my LJ account either because I just think it's wrong on a blog. I come to the blog to read, not to be assaulted with ad content.

Andrea said...

There is plenty of reason to be pissed. They have only recently added the links to your site (on their page where they've already reproduced your content WITH the ads, quite possibly for as long as you've blogged) after pressure from hundreds of other bloggers who are only recently (in the last month) discovering this is being done to them as well (hi, waving over here pissed also about my stolen content, so I sent out the email letting you know it was happening to you, too). It is NOT like Bloglines or other feed aggregates, because they've been making money off the stolen content for months without crediting the original authors, without links, and in DIRECT VIOLATION to many Creative Commons Licensing agreements.

Oh, be pissed, Jenny. And let them know it by requesting their host (finding their WHOIS information: WHOIS gets their ISP) info@bitacle.com is the email to the site administrator to request they take down your content.

I posted about this at http://littlebalddoctors.wordpress.com with more links on where to go if you want more information.

Joe said...

Welcome to the Internet. As a freelance writer since 1994, I've had to deal with this for years. It's very frustrating, but usually a well-worded cease and desist letter will get them to remove the offending content. Good luck!

Jodi Meadows said...

Arrrgh, I'd be so mad.

*passes the kicking boots*

Hopefully some of the other comment people's advice will help. If not, you and I can buy one of those giant things of toilet paper from CostCo, find out where the person who runs the site lives, and TP their house!


Deca said...

One thing that you can do is report them to Google (or whatever advertising company they are using).

I'm not sure what Google's policy on it is, but they might pull the ads if the site is blatently infringing on copyrights.

You could also try and trace them to their ISP and contact them. ISP's are often pretty good about upholding copyright.

Of course, if you are fabulously wealthy you could sue them. You aren't going to make any money, of course, because they are not impacting your income (i.e. you don't have ads here so it isn't hurting you money-wise).

George said...

It's tough to fight this kind of quasi-theft, Jenny. A lot of websites (we call 'em scrapers) exist only to repackage content from original sites and re-publish the stolen content with ads.

I think of it as ebook stores selling copies of, say, *Pride and Prejudice,*, which you can download from Project Gutenburg for free.

Irritating? Yes. Preventable? Maybe, but not easily. Good luck.