A Blog Around The Clock

Blog Plagiarism Alert

It happens to many bloggers sooner or later, and now it happened to Danica – someone is completely stealing and mirroring her blog (and of course earning money from adSense while doing it).

Unfortunately for the guy, he (I am assuming it’s a he) chose the wrong person to infuriate. Danica is an IT expert and an experienced blogger and she is mad like hell right now (and you don’t want that happening to you!) and she knows how to deal with such cases.

This includes actually posting (in hope the guy is reading his own creation) exactly what she will do to him. Perhaps the pirate will realize it is much less trouble to just delete the whole thing.

Anyway, if you have additional advice for dealing with such cases, please leave them in the comments of that post.

Comments

  1. #1 bernarda
    May 29, 2007

    One of my favorite sites, about Mark Twain, has experienced a problem with theft and now all of its interesting stuff is unavailable.

    http://www.boondocksnet.com/site_news.html

    “All sections of the BoondocksNet.com site that were primarily textual have been permanently removed from the site. The only sections that are still online are the Historical Graphics Gallery, Political Cartoons and Cartoonists, and Stereoscopic Visions of War and Empire. Those materials may also be moved to a different domain at some point in the future.

    The removal of the materials from the site is the result of the site being banned from both Google and the Microsoft Live search engine, which I believe is the result of their inability to deal with a well-documented problem with page hijacking using 302 redirects. A 302 redirect is supposed to be used to tell a web browser that a page has been temporarily moved to a new location. The browser is supposed to automatically go to that URL instead of generating a “page not found” error. Google and other search engines (except Yahoo) interpret these links to mean that the page linked to really belongs at the linking site, and it lists it under that domain instead of the domain where the page is housed.

    Since 2003, people have been using 302 redirect links to inflate their rankings at Google, making it appear that they own content that is actually online at other sites. There are now hundreds of sites claiming to be the real location of pages at BoondocksNet.com. Google lists many of their links to this site while excluding all pages at BoondocksNet.com from its index.”

    The author of the site is a serious scholar, so if anyone can help him, that would be great.

  2. #2 Danica Radovanovic
    May 29, 2007

    Thanks Bora!
    I got this morning email from Dreamhost (the host where this thief hosted all domains) after I wrote to their abuse dept. including my original URL of blog and the proof of the web infringement. The anwer is so diplomatic and vague:
    “Thank you for writing.
    If you believe that a DreamHost customer is engaging in the unauthorized distribution of your copyrighted material, please submit a formal notification of claimed infringement as described in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (512(c)(3)(A)(i-vi)). Please be sure to provide detailed and specific URLs/links to the content in question, not including any non-infringing material.
    You may submit your DMCA Notification (text only and no attachments, please) to us at abuse@dreamhost.com. Upon receipt of a valid DMCA Notification, we will commence with the removal of such content in an expeditious manner.
    I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more immediate assistance. If you have any other questions, please let us know.”

    Okey, I also got email from Google adSense and they got totally wrong reply, I do not know how to reach some of the real person, not automatic machine.
    Also, I did contact via email Google removals, their email I found on Digital Millennium Copyright Act web site and didn’t get reply.

    Do anyone suggest something else? Maybe I should call Digital Millenium Rights people (I am in Europe and it pretty much costs) or to send them fax?
    I understood that Dreamhost is protecting this criminal??

    Anyone form legal side who can help?

  3. #3 Greensmile
    May 29, 2007

    Danica:
    four suggestions, none fool-proof unfortunately…
    1. This is a technique I use for a slightly different purpose: to prevent my work from being quote-mined, i.e. used out of context. I select critical passages or sections of text and drop the text into a MSPaint or PowerPoint text control to render the text as a graphic object then save it as a GIF and past the GIF into the document where the text was. This is an example…scroll to the middle of the post. That is extremely tedious if you are prolific. On the other hand, you can then use a “watermark” background which cannot be removed by fairly elementary HTML edits.
    2. much weaker but it will make the heartless bum work a little harder: make up your own “paper”, an image that you can tile the background with. This will take extra work on your part and will not be compatible with all blogging tools if you are trying to protect blogged content.
    3. put a copy right notice in you templates. It may help establish your rights just to have claimed them in that way. But also, it will help especially when your original versions can be shown to have existed with the mark in cached versions predating the stolen versions. Again..more work for you but more work for the thief. I use Creative Commons myself.
    4. when I first started blogging, i noticed that a certain template change caused my blog to disappear from the google search. I never got an email response from a live person at google but after rummaging around in their badly organized help pages, I found my offense: I had some invisible text. It was not invisible because of a

    with a visibilty=”hidden”, it was invisible because I set font color == background color. I don’t know if it is still the policy but back then google did not want people thinking THEY had made a mistake so they just suppressed pages that would not render text which none the less could be searched.
    The application of this foible would be to put a bit of javascript that detected the URL from which the page was being hosted and if it was not YOUR URL, it sets font and text color the same, making text disappear and perhaps making the purloined page vanish from the google universe.
    The javascript would work best if you use CSS but spotty application of it rather than whole blank pages is more subtle, has much the same discouraging effect to the thief and is more universally applicable to different web authoring methods. [I have not actually been desperate enough to try this]

    Good luck. That is a rotten thing to have to deal with.

    [yes, I am a software engineer]

  4. #4 Danica
    May 29, 2007

    Ah, Greensmile (software engineer: ) I replied at B&B, thanks for your tips, especially one for google services: ) still no answer from removals@google…
    Huh, I use Creative commons licence from the beginning and If Dreamhost does not block this guy – I should contact Lawrence Lessig or other people from CC Board.
    About DMCA: http://www.google.com/dmca.html, do you have any suggestion on this, as Dreamhost are reffering to them?

  5. #5 Danica
    May 29, 2007

    I got right now reply from WordPress, while i was writing the comment on the blog : WordPress support says ‘its out of their hands, they cannot do anything to stop that site” and they suggets to contact Dreamhost, which I did last night.

    Any legal, CC, EFF or digital guru around?
    I posted two possible sollutions on the recent comment:
    http://danicar.wordpress.com/2007/05/28/blog-plagiarism-web-infringement/#comment-1845

  6. #6 James S
    January 21, 2009

    I personally use the http://www.copygator.com website to find duplicated content. To me it has a number of benefits over copyscape and copyrightspot:

    1. it’s automated and brings me results instead of me searching for duplicated content. All i had to do was submit my feed and it started monitoring my feed showing me who’s republished my articles on the web.

    2. i get notified by email so it contacts me when it finds copies of my articles online.

    3. i use their image badge feature to alert me directly on my website when my content is being lifted.

    4. it’s a free service as opposed the “per page” cost of copyscape/copysentry.

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