Of All the Lame Excuses for Stealing Content

Filed as Guides on April 8, 2009 4:55 pm

You know what is worse than someone stealing the hard work of someone else and profiting from it? No, I didn’t either, until today.

The answer? Claiming that THEY are the victim.

Yes, you read that right. Not only did this guy steal 50 of Darren Rowse’s posts (50!), but they are trying to make out that they are the victim of the situation.

Now hopefully the situation will be resolved by the time you read this so I will not “out” the blog or blogger in question, and that is not my style anyway, but it does deserve to be discussed just in case anyone else has the bright idea to follow suit, or worse if their story (unlikely as it is) turns out to be true.

Darren noticed that 50 of his articles had been ripped off with the author attribution being the only change. A simple case of “scrape, profit, ask for forgiveness later” it seems to me.

To make things even more ludicrous, the blog is set up to give advice to other bloggers …

Their claim is they outsourced the writing and didn’t check the posts, they went up immediately. They paid a writer. 50 posts. Didn’t read a single one of them.

Um, yeah.

Darren has another excuse to add to his list of horror here.

The lessons here:

  • Save yourself grief and create original content, your readers will like it better and so will search engines
  • When paying other people to write for you, read what they produce and check it for plagiarism!
  • If you are going to automate your content, don’t just scrape, find feeds that are built for the purpose, like if you want a  discount voucher site you can use Promotions.co.uk feed or for products you can find many feeds at Commission Junction. Certainly do not rip off a high profile blog like Problogger and expect to get away with it!
  • Should you want to quote or excerpt a post, make sure you are not copying the whole thing, and provide attribution – people are a lot less angry when their work is copied if you don’t take the whole thing and at the very least link back

Unfortunately content theft is unlikely to be going away soon, even if we would like to run around the internet tapping people with the clue stick sometimes :)

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  1. By Jonathan Bailey posted on April 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm
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    Chris: This is actually very commom behavior among plagiarists. Of the ones I’ve dealt with, I’ve had many go public and claim that I was the actual infrniger, ignoring evidence, reality and even physical possibility.

    You can read about one such experience in my list here:

    http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2009/01/07/stupid-plagiarist-tricks/

    This is the danger in going public and a big part of why I prefer handling things as quietly as possible. Sometimes though, that just isn’t an option.

    Thanks for the heads up on this story!

    Reply

  2. By Tracy posted on April 9, 2009 at 1:31 am
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    How can anyone steal 50 posts from Darren? Everyone reads Darren and would know right away!

    Reply

  3. By Jonathan Bailey posted on April 9, 2009 at 2:23 am
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    Tracy: You’d be surprised. It’s not meant to fool you and me, just the search engines and they can be rather daft.

    Reply

  4. By Nick Gandy posted on September 3, 2009 at 3:46 pm
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    We had content plagiarised (still have) from our Discount Vouchers site http://www.latestdiscountvouchers.co.uk where entire paragraphs were copied onto another discount site that is owned by one of the leaders in the field. In the end we just changed our content because it wasn’t that great to start with. The copied content still remains to this day I believe.

    A few other sites have done the same over the years and one even copied our terms and conditions word for word without changing the website that the T&Cs referred to!

    It’s a problem that doesn’t go away, but one that needs to be monitored and action taken where required.

    Cheers,

    Nick

    Reply

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