Dealing With People Who Steal Your Content

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I think everyone knows I am not a lawyer but incase you did not here is your notice.

A few times a week I get emails from people who are getting there RSS republished other places. Usually the title of the subject is like “PLEASE HELP ME CONTENT THIEF STOLE MY STUFF”.

Usually the first thing I look at is there feed to see if they have anything about how there RSS feed is licensed. Not one time has any of these people ever had anything on there feed that says how it can be used. You can see in my feed that it says it falls under the creative commons license with some rights reserved and it links to the license here

So here is the thing. In my legal experience its always been about “intent”. If someone gets caught ripping off your RSS and you have ZERO instructions on how your rss can and cant be used then you are going to have a hard time going after someone ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU STILL DON’T HAVE ANY INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW YOUR FEED SHOULD BE USED.

In the end really… how bad is it? I see so many people LINK to people that are stealing there content and make countless posts in forums linking to the place that is stealing there content… where otherwise someone would have never seen it… Is it me or does this seem stupid?

If you really have a case its very easy to file a DMCA request to there provider and the content will be removed within a few days (google blogspot and wordpress are very fast in this). Also worst case scenario is that someone ranks over you for your own content in Google and you can send Google a DMCA and they will get nuked out of the search engine…

I do think this is a area where someone could start a service that would handle this for you. They could actively search and destroy people that were syndicating your content. I dunno that is probably messy….

So my final thoughts on this is basically look and make sure someone will actually SEE the site before you make a huge deal about it. Is there alexa number 7 figures? Is there pr0? … srsly

51 thoughts on “Dealing With People Who Steal Your Content

  1. Jake from MoreMerchant.com

    I have ignored the problem in the past but as my sites have grown I have seen a very widespread problem from some sites. What bothers me is when they strip any links away from my site.

    If they link me I normally leave it alone. If they take away a link it upsets me.

    The problem is Google isn’t acting anymore on this issue. They have sent me emails saying I need to take it up with the host etc..

    So I have done that 2 times and the host has ignored.

    So I don’t have time to waste since I am running a growing blog network. So for now it mostly goes ignored.

  2. Paul.

    Someone at Johnchow.com ordered a reviewme for their site while their site was filled with content they had ripped off from him. The review was harsh.

  3. Mubin

    Shoe, quick question. I notice that when I refresh your page I get a different title, how the hell did you manage to do that? Its friggin awesome is it a plugin or something you got Dil to write? Let us know.

  4. eTown Landlord

    So shoe, what do you think about scraper sites? I though I heard you say something about a scraper for voip that you spotlighted on net income that you thought was a pretty good site? Perhaps I’m wrong but I thought you had said that was a scraper…

  5. eTown Landlord

    Your right but there’s no running involved. It can dynamically populate content so you don’t have to touch it after you make it. Put up a couple of adsense ads and voila. website ready for clicks from internet noobs that don’t know better. I don’t have one but I think that’s the biz model…

  6. ***V***

    These sites are great if they keep your links up. Something a friend does is have the RSS feeds generate extra information per post that includes, “If someone is stealing my feed e-mail me at . . .” He’s gotten responses and took action.

  7. Modern Worker

    Yeah, spot on. I’d like to meet some of the people behind scraper sites because it seems so faceless and bland, kinda creepy in a weird internet way (for lack of a better way to put it).

  8. ferrarislave

    I say, don’t use content that you don’t own and claim it as your own (too many people are doing this). Hey you ripped those images off my site man, ya, but you got them off Google images… Also, be smart, tag your images, have disclaimers, and agreements. Just be smart about it.

  9. Dave Starr --- ROI Guy

    Good points, Jeremy. It’s amazing how many people provide no copyright and use information … and how many “agreeived” copy victims didn’t own the content to begin with. It;s certainly a two-way street.

    I did get a kick out of John Chow’s latest review of a blogger who aid him $400 to tell the world about the content the guy had stolen. Although the crazy part is the guy is getting way more thna his $400 worth in traffic, to be sure.

  10. Mystickcal

    Hey Shoe, Just to let you know, in your feed your still linking to version 2.0 of the license. You need to update that to 3.0 as I’m sure you know, just incase you didn’t realize you forgot to update it :D

  11. Cristián

    2 of my domains got highly penalized for duplicate content… which got copied by other sites who were older than mine.

    But as you said, I didn’t have any license anywhere.

  12. Knuckles10

    A decent defense against the scrapers is to have alot of links to your site in your own articles. Dont go crazy, but the occasional “we are now revisiting on what we talked about [link]last week[/link]” works nice.
    This obviously wont work on sites that strip the links, but its a good way to scrape the scrapers and get some backlinks..

  13. Icheb

    What kind of bs is this? It doesn’t matter whether I put a big fat “DON’T RE-PUBLISH MY CONTENT” sign on my website or not, PEOPLE CAN’T TAKE OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT.

    With your kind of logic I would have to put a “DON’T STEAL MY CAR” sign on my car just so I can go after someone who might steal it.

    Just because I publish a RSS feed doesn’t mean everyone can take the content as they please.

  14. Tim Spangler

    All the people who jack your RSS feed made my Technorati score shoot up about 10 spots when I was linked in the Dillsmack interview post, so I’m not complaining. :D

  15. Jeremy

    Pedantic comment: it’s “their content”, not “there content”. You’re excellent advice will read with much more power if you write it without grammatical errors. Cheers.

  16. TeeCeo

    For me personally, I am going to take the “shoemoney” route on this one and say that I am not building my blog for google, I am building it for reg. people and other bloggers to come and get info. if you think my posts are good enough to steal AND you link back to were you stole them from then I say bring it on.

    And yea shoe you are right, if you are in the 6 to 7 digits on alexa (i am) then who the hell out there knows who you are anyways. if someone gets your content and links back to you in my book, thats a plus.

    As for the disclaimer shoe, go ahead and make a video for it as well, place it on this site and youtube, get another million links because it is sure to be big time link bait and keep pulling those strings baby, for I for one ain’t mad at ya.

  17. cooliojones

    Speak of the devil. Woke up today and checked my incoming links, and someone stole my content too. My New Hustle is still new but still has that great content that attracts the eyes of scrapers. I thank the dude for the compliment, but please, get your own content.

  18. Seo Guru

    Yeh its almost like when people take your domain name leave the plural out and copy the mother and take some of your traffic..never thought they would do this with my wedding site

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  20. Kirtok

    One of my staff forwards me an email with a link to an article “Boss, you should read these, some great ideas”. I click on the link, and it takes me to a scraper type of blog, and here’s the article I’ve written the day before and have spent over 2 hours. It had only 1 link in it and it was removed, and no backlink to my blog, and not even a mention of my name.

    It doesn’t feel good when people steal from you.

  21. TeeCeo

    Let me add this bit as well. I know a guy that got his whole website copied and duped into google on a new url. what this guy did was he did a simple whois and found the guys IP that he was hosting the site on and all those url’s that were on the IP, he got them all Flamed by google in a matter of days with his spam report.

    Webmasters are very smart and i think you would have to be a fool to mess with someone who sits home all day finding new ways how to F you over.

  22. BigPappa

    I am not a professional copy writer by any means and lord knows I make a ton of typos and grammatical errors. I did notice something in a LOT of your posts. You are typing “there” when it appears, from the context, you are meaning “their”. Then again I could be missing something. Just FYI – I would want someone to point that type of error out to me. Love the site man. Keep up the good work.

  23. Tim Linden

    I found Amazon linking to a content thief. It was on the main page of their Amazon Web Services section, under “In the News”. I read a post by John Reese (income.com) and then when I was on Amazon’s page I clicked the link to an article and started reading it. I KNEW I read it somewhere before. Ended up just contacting Amazon and John and it’s now updated.

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  25. Grivon

    Agreed completely shoe – if nobody’s gonna see it – it’s not affecting you – WHY DRAW ATTENTION TO IT?!?

    I guess they’re just those same people that call the cops on kids dealing weed on their streets though… it’s not hurting them… but they have to make a big dealio about it anyways – you should konw though… you ARE drug dealer :p

  26. Grivon

    Taking the shoemoney route never hurt anyone – good choie :p

    I did only a few months ago and am much richer (in intelligence, AND money!) for it!!

  27. lyricsreg

    Stealing content is not a issue, as it’s only being done by people who have no idea on how to run a website and are just looking for a quick buck. They give up sooner or later …

  28. Nick Sullivan

    Yeah there’s pretty much nothing you can do other than show a creative commons licence. And if a site who is ripping you off is big enough to actually overtake you, take action. Fast.

  29. Gecko Tales

    Usually that’s enough. Webmasters dont’ always steal content just to steal. Sometimes they just want to share and don’t really understand the laws or figure no one will care.

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