Year of Original Content: Make Money From Copyright Thieves

Ask First Copyright badge - by Lorelle VanFossenI and Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today have long been advocates of copyright protections and education, leading the way with projects such as “Ask First,” the Year of Original Content,”5 Content Theft Myths and Why They Are False,” and “The 6 Steps to Stop Content Theft.”

It seems that the rest of the world is waking up to the fact that stolen content is big business. Within the past two years, there are a variety of services you can use to track where your online content has gone, report and stop it. A new project is underway called the Fair Syndication Consortium that might put a dollar amount on that stolen content, paying you for others abusing your content. [Read more…]

Tracking Scrapers Together Through Trackbacks

A blog post linking to one of my blog posts has been scraped dozens of times. Recently, it was scraped by eight different sites in the same day. The eight trackbacked sites turned out to have a single owner/webmaster using their auto-blogging scraper across multiple splog sites. I’ve let the blogger know – after the second time it happened – and now that it’s happened multiple times, it’s time to change strategies.

It’s now time to work together.

Have you received multiple trackbacks over time from an blog post with a link to yours and the investigation finds that it isn’t the original site but a scraper? What do you do? [Read more…]

How to Help Immunize Your Site Against Scraping

Scraping is one of the most annoying things that bloggers have to deal with. It can hurt their search engine ranking, cause confusion among readers and cause them to unwittingly help spammers line their pockets.

Nobody likes being scraped but it seems that some sites are able to survive it relatively unscathed while others are bumped clean out of the search engines, almost instantly replaced by the spammers that take their content.

So how do you ensure that the damage caused by scrapers are kept to an absolute minimum? There is no secret formula, but there are a few tricks that seem to work very well.

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Blogging is About Writing – and Not

Business of Blogging graphic - copyright Lorelle VanFossen

Blogging is about writing. That is a fact. You can video blog, podcast, and do all kinds of fun things with your blog, but it is the writing that makes or breaks a blog. What you say in the blog posts, descriptions of visual and audio elements, and what words you offer search engines for their indexing to help people find your blog.

However, blogging is not just about the writing, albeit it is a large part. Blogging today is about so much more. Are you ready? Do you know all the things you have to know about blogging before you start blogging? Or after?

Whether you are a new blogger or long time blogger, these are the things you are going to have to learn about in order to blog in today’s world.
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Why Not to Switch to Partial Feeds

When people first discover that their content is being scraped, they often overreact. When they do, their first action is usually to alter their feed to change it from “full” to “partial”, thus turning off the flow of content to the spammers.

However, in doing so they also turn off access to their site’s content to their legitimate subscribers and, generally, wind up doing more harm than good to their site. Worse still, though they do limit the impact some scrapers have, they don’t stop the problem itself and fail to mitigate against a whole slew of others that are repurposing their content.

In short, truncated feeds are not just a great way to turn off readers to your site, but an largely ineffective way to solve the issue of content scraping and spam blogging.

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How Creative Commons Can Protect You

The majority of bloggers that choose a Creative Commons License do so for altruistic reasons. They want to encourage sharing of their work, within certain guidelines, and willingly sacrifice some of their exclusive rights to allow the rest of the world access to their content.

But what most Creative Commons users don’t realize is that, by applying a CC license, they are, potentially, providing themselves with important additional protections.

Simply put, by having a well-written, legally-sound license for their content, they eliminate many of the uncertainties that non-CC users face and can provide both themselves and their readers with copyright stability in a very tumultuous climate.
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Google! Clean Up Blogger! Now!

Google search results in blogspot splogs

I know that lately, there continues to be a lot of kvetching about Google, Page Rank, and spam blog issues. This are legitimate concerns, but I have a bigger bitch with Google. Clean up Blogger, NOW!

I was contacted today by a newspaper reporter from Charlotte, North Carolina, to comment on the death of a local blogger, part of a pair of women who have taken Charlotte by storm with their social commentary blog. I wanted to research this myself to write about it here, so I headed to Google, the search engine of choice, and entered in death, social, bloggers, charlotte, north carolina and clicked over to Blog Search when Web and News came up empty. I expected to get a few hits as the reporter said the death of this young woman was the “talk of the town” and the community was turning out to support the surviving blogger.

What I got were ten search results all from Google Blogger/Blogspot sites.

My first reaction? Google must now give priority to their own bloggers in the search results. It’s a good assumption based upon the evidence.
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The Five Worst Ideas in Content Theft

When it comes to detecting and stopping content theft, there is a great deal of progress to be seen. New plugins are constantly being developed to stop scrapers, search techniques are constantly being improved and new tracking methods are being explored.

But despite all of the effective ways to monitor your content and protect it from misuse, it seems some of the worst ways never die.

No matter how many times these techniques to get shot down, disproved or otherwise defeated, there are still those that preach them as gospel. However, these systems not only provide a false sense of security, but often times irritate readers and, in some cases, can actually make the problem worse.

So let us take a moment to look at the five worst methods of dealing with content theft on the Web and analyze why they are so bad.

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The 6 Steps to Stop Content Theft

With spammers and plagiarists becoming more prolific and more aggressive than ever, content theft is no longer a matter of “if”, but “when”.

Where once protecting content was the realm of lawyers and billion-dollar industries, it is now important for Webmasters, large and small, to be familiar with both the laws and the tools available for dealing with content theft.

Fortunately, the steps for fighting plagiarism are easy to follow and, for the most part, the tools are free and readily available.

If you take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the process and technology, you can become a champion plagiarism fighter in short order and get back to the business of running your site before you realize how effective you’ve become.

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5 Content Theft Myths and Why They Are False

When it comes to content theft, there is a great deal of confusion.

Not only is copyright law almost impossible to understand, even by most lawyers’ standards, but the technology used to steal content on the Web is often confusing in and of itself.

This confusion has given rise to a series of myths and misunderstandings about content theft, many of which have very negative implications for Webmasters concerned with the rising tide of scraping and plagiarism.

To help dispel some of those myths I, along with Lorelle from Lorelle on WordPress, have put together a list of the most common myths in content theft and explanations for why they are false.

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