I Hate Content Thieves

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content-thiefBlog writing doesn’t come easy to me. My worst subject at school was English. I loved maths and the science subjects.

So writing a blog post is NOT a small quick job for me. But I put the effort in and come up with some good posts (well I think so!).

Now what really gets me annoyed is when someone (i.e. a content thief) comes along and takes a copy of your blog post and publishes the exact same post on their site and pretends it is theirs.

That…to me is theft.

And over the holiday period I have come across numerous sites that have done just that with the blog posts on this site and my Manager Skills site.

One site was taking a copy of all my blog posts on this site and listing them as their own. No other blog posts – just mine!

The first thing to do when you find this sort of thing happening is to find the owner of the site.

Normally these content thieves add the ‘private’ clause to domain registration and it makes it a little harder to find them.

I used the whois facility and they hadn’t used the private clause but what they had done is complete all the registration information with made-up names and an incorrect email address.

But Whois did give me the name of the hosting company.

I wrote to them informing them of the theft.

Plus I wrote to Google. Well when I say wrote to Google, I had to fax them a DMCA letter.

The hosting company wrote back and also asked for a copy of the DMCA.

I then had to inform both Google and the hosting company of every single URL which had been copied plus the original.

There were 43 in total.

After a few days, the site was no longer available.

Yipee! My hard work had paid off!

Two days later the site was back!

I checked on the Whois database again.

There was a new hosting company involved.

The content thief had moved to a new hosting company to get around the fact that the original hosting company had removed the site.

Meanwhile Google replied and stated they had removed the relevant url’s.

I wrote to the new hosting company. They instantly took the site down and it has been unavailable for over a week now.

Hopefully that is the end of that one.

I am following up on 2 other cases.

One site has copied only one of my blog posts.

The second site has not only copied my blog posts but numerous others from other blogs as well.

Again there are no details on the Whois database.

But I have made contact with them via their website contact pages and their Twitter accounts. No replies as yet.

Later this week I shall be writing to Google again and the hosting companies to get the sites taken down.

Have you ever had to deal with content thieves? What action did you take?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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61 Responses to I Hate Content Thieves

  1. Joshua Web January 3, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Way to stick with it, we all have to go after content theives or they will just continue. Sooner or later there will be a big fraud/theft case, just like the one with that huge spammer. Thank you for continually posting content that is worthy to be stolen(not that I would condone it).

  2. Angela Atkinson January 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I had someone stealing my blog posts through my RSS feed. I sent them a cease and desist letter and told everyone I knew about it in my social networks (to spread the word.) They took the entire site down a couple of days later. It was incredibly frustrating, but that’s why I now have a message printed at the end of each of my blog posts in the RSS feed that states the original name of the site and that content found elsewhere is illegally scraped and should be reported. So far, so good. Glad you got your situation worked out. I know I felt pretty violated when I found my content elsewhere. I also use Google alerts to help me keep an eye on things.

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

      Angela

      So far I’ve just done DMCA and told the hosting company.

      The 2 outstanding I think I may have to do a cease and desist letter, and start sharing which sites via my social network. Hope I don’t have to but I will if I need to.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

  3. Vivek Parmar January 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    i have also facing this problem, maximum times i write about only on how-to guides and now concentrating to go ahead as many of my blog posts are being copied and as usual they are not going to remove or give me credit.
    Thanks a lot for this great article and now i will file a complaint against them
    Vivek Parmar recently posted..Make Money By Author Advertising WordPress PluginMy Profile

  4. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach January 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    Wow, how lousy you have to go thru this. Hope your site doesn’t get copied a bazillionth time (although with the world the way it is, it probably will. 🙁 ) Kudos for you to take them on!
    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach recently posted..PRELAUNCH! Online Success Black Belt Blogging Community Forums! Pass the coffee!My Profile

  5. TrafficColeman January 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Andrew this has happen to me so many time over the years that is doesn’t even bother me because..the site that’s index first gets the credit..so those people are basically wasting their time..but its your right to have them remove your stuff from their site..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”
    TrafficColeman recently posted..Who Hated 2010My Profile

  6. Alex January 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

    Hey Andrew,

    I am actually just starting to face this kind of problems and I just informed the hosting company. Now I am waiting for their reply and go from there. If they won’t do anything I will file a DMCA with google.

    I don’t understand this guys, does this theft really helps them?

    And I have a favor to ask you, can you send me your dmca copy (if you have a digital one, or point me to were I could find an example of the DMCA that I need to send to google ?)

    It’s funny that today, when you posted this post, I noticed that some of my content was stolen.
    Alex recently posted..Miley Cyrus dress upMy Profile

  7. Bonnie the Joomla Designer January 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    I’ve only had this happen to me once, and I wrote a note and they then gave me credit on the page rather than just stealing what I wrote. The way I found out about it was through http://www.copygator.com

    This is a situation where the law is murky, and it is really tricky to catch people because they can hide behind hidden domain registrations. I wonder if there are any copyright attorneys who have blogs on the subject…

    Hope your New Year was great!
    Bonnie
    Bonnie the Joomla Designer recently posted..Joomla- WordPress or Drupal – Which to chooseMy Profile

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Bonnie

      Thanks for sharing that link.

      I agree the law is a bit murky but my recent experience has made me research the subject and I now know a little more!

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

  8. Phil January 4, 2011 at 1:25 am #

    Hi Andrew! For me, those acts are really a theft and those thieves must be caught but maybe it sounds difficult to do. It already happened to one of my friends wherein her blogs were totally copied. Sad to say, isn’t it? But I’m so glad that you wrote this kind of blog for it really give a nice information. Thanks and have a great day!

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

      Phil,

      The research took quite a while…to establish what to do in this situation. Now I know…it doesn’t take long.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

  9. Ryan Biddulph January 4, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    I like the non-resistant approach.

    It’s happened to me a number of times over the years. In the beginning I got angry, then I tried to fight back by sending polite than more forceful emails threatening, then I learned that non-resistance is the way to go.

    Same deal here too; tons of blog posts showing up without any type of credit, etc.

    For myself, when I let go of things someone better comes along quickly. It’s taken quite a bit of training and going against the grain but when you let go, you grow. If somebody appears to be stealing from you their karma is terrible. I choose not to get caught up in their karmic crap storm.

    Thanks for sharing your story Andrew.

    RB
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Home Based Business Tips – Follow These Steps to Grow it Like a WeedMy Profile

  10. Alan Mater January 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Sounds like a post I wrote in the past. I didn’t bother pursuing them as I felt it was a waste of time and that they weren’t going to benefit anyway. I sent an email to the owners for the first couple sites I came across, but they just ignored me.

    What I do now is use the RSS Footer plug-in for WordPress and add a link to my blog home page along with a copyright statement.

    I’ve noticed quite a few content scraping blogs that are pulling my RSS feeds and using the content as their own, but it’s completely obvious that it’s not their content since I use RSS Footer. Anyone that would happen to come across these sites would notice right away and most likely come to my blog as a result.

    This is how I handle this type of problem as I don’t have to waste any of my time.
    Alan Mater recently posted..The Best of ReplaceYourSalary 2010My Profile

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      Alan,

      The RSS Footer plugin is a great approach.

      I have that installed but somehow theives are still taking my blog posts and using them without the RSS Footer.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

      • Alan Mater January 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

        That would mean they’re literally copy and pasting each post from your blog. Which begs the question, why bother?

        I see you disabled right-clicking, but Ctrl + C still works if someone wants to copy your posts.

        There’s a way you can disable highlighting content using a simple script, which would prevent any and all copying of content.
        Alan Mater recently posted..My Guest Blog Posts of 2010My Profile

  11. TJ McDowell January 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    When I was still doing ezine articles, I used to find websites that would spin my content and re-use on their sites. I think they were assuming that I wouldn’t be able to find the content because the words were different than the original. Unfortunately for them, they left the link in the byline intact, so wordpress reported their links coming in to my blog posts. I didn’t really care too much since it was just a copied ezine, but it was a little frustrating. If it was an actual blog article or website content, I would be upset for sure.
    TJ McDowell recently posted..PhotoOne Bought By StudioPlus SoftwareMy Profile

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      TJ,

      I’ce had people copy my ezines as well – that’s not too bad. But from my blog…that’s different – as you say.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

  12. Dennis Edell January 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    So many posts is bold to be sure, and not an accident.

    1-2 posts should be taken to the sites owner first, more often then not it is beginner ignorance.
    Dennis Edell recently posted..I Was Hoping to Never Have to Publish This…My Profile

  13. Corinne Edwards
    Twitter:
    January 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi Andrew –

    Not exactly the same – but still annoying.
    I had someone take a post from a well known article sharing.

    They gave me credit but then picked many keywords which led to sales pages.

    They did take it down. But I found it accidently.

    How did you find this was happening?

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Corinne

      I set up Google alerts for certain phrases including my name.

      Each day Google sends me an email alerting me that the phrases have been used on the web.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

  14. Talen January 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    I had the same thing happen over the holidays. An autoblogger decided he was going to start his empire and created over 100 blogs all stealing my content complete with copyright notice attached…there is a great wp plugin for this called c feed.

    Whois only gave the host so I had to send DMCA’s to both Google and the host listing over 200 urls. Same situation the pages came down and then re-appeared. Luckily it seems to be over for now.

  15. Dean Saliba January 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    This may sound like a silly question but how did you find out these blogs were stealing your content? Did you type your post titles into Google or something?
    Dean Saliba recently posted..December 2010 Blog Income ReportMy Profile

  16. Henway January 5, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    When someone steals your content, it’s the most annoying thing.. there’s really not much you can do at this point but if you keep reporting them I’m sure they will stop since it’ll suck up their time… You can also opt to use the paid version of Copyscape.
    Henway recently posted..Medifast Stories – Dec 2010My Profile

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      Henway

      I did look into using the automatic Copyscape checker. It checks to see if any of your blog posts are used elsewhere on the net – everyday and automatically. But it was very expensive.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..I Hate Content ThievesMy Profile

  17. John January 5, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Andrew – I can imagine how it must feel for you to take your time and write an original compelling article just to see it get republished on someone else’s site with them calling it as their own.

    I like your diligence in contacting the hosting service to get the site taking down. I personally have not had to deal with this problem yet, or maybe it’s just because I haven’t seen it any where.

    However, if I ever do I will take the same actions as you to take care of the matter.
    John recently posted..Find Out If Your Spouse Is Cheating With A Reverse Telephone LookupMy Profile

  18. Steve January 5, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Nice job getting after the site content thieves. I notice that my Forex site gets 6-8 ping backs from content thieves every time content is posted. I put links in the first couple of sentences and only push out 100 characters in the RSS feed to combat it.

  19. satrap
    Twitter:
    January 6, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    I can not even begin to describe how disgusted I am with those thieves. I mean, how can you think it is ok to copy what I have spend hours and hours working on to create it and publish on on your so called site and take all the credits for it?
    The good thing is, usually these kinds of site disappear in a few months or so as they are always looking for easy money, success and what not, and of course, success and money doesn’t come with stealing other’s content.
    satrap recently posted..53 Ways to Make Money OnlineMy Profile

  20. MicroSourcing January 6, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    The thing with incidents like that is that you need constant follow-up. It doesn’t end right away. But so long as there are results, it should be worth pursuing.
    MicroSourcing recently posted..IAOP Says Outsourcing Seen as Vital Business Asset WorldwideMy Profile

  21. Rob McCance January 7, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Holy crap what a complete pain in the arse and waste of your time!

    Really unfortunate and sorry to hear that.

    Looks like you were victorious but you will never get the time back.

    So far, I’ve had no stolen content that I’m aware of.

    How did you discover it?
    Rob McCance recently posted..Atlanta Property TaxesMy Profile

    • Andrew
      Twitter:
      January 7, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Rob,

      It’s been a good experience though.

      I set up Google alerts for certain phrases including my name.

      Each day Google sends me an email alerting me that the phrases have been used on the web.

      Andrew
      Andrew recently posted..Do You Listen To Your CustomersMy Profile

  22. Donace January 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I’ve had this issue before as well, and normally contacting blog owner if poss has worked for me (got it changed from a full to partial post and acredidation.

    What I use is a small plugin (think yaost seo plugin now works for this to). Just add a footer to your feed. That way you can track via ‘incoming links’ if any posts are republished, as I find they mostly grab the post form the feed.

    Or just add an internal link IN your post so a copy paste job is kinda tracked as well.

  23. Dan Lew
    Twitter:
    January 10, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    Great news you were able to get them to pull their pages down, cheeky they moved to a new hosting to try it again.
    Dan Lew recently posted..How To Trim Fat Off Your BlogMy Profile

  24. Steve Roy January 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Andrew,
    Good detective work, my man. There are a lot of scumbags out there looking to steal our hard work and it’s wrong!

    I don’t know how we will ever stop them though….
    Steve Roy recently posted..10 Reasons to Escape The CubicleMy Profile

  25. pravakar February 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Really it is very good article to find out the person who is copying content.

  26. Zezebel February 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    OK. found your article about auto-blogging.
    Thank you for sharing this. I had found over hundreds site with my contents in them without a link back to the original blog. Look like this will take sometimes for me…. 🙁
    I hate thieves too….
    Zezebel recently posted..Understand SEO easily with this videoMy Profile

  27. John May 10, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    That’s really annoying that one tries to steal your content. Were you able to find its domain registrar? Maybe you can tell its domain registrar so the thieves will lose their domain.

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