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New Way to Hijack Blogs?

New Way to Hijack Blogs?

Have you ever wanted to have a copy of your favorite blog to read offline?

WebCopier, a program that downloads entire Websites to your computer, certainly hopes so. The software will save an entire dot com to a hard drive, allowing you to view and print the contents at any time.

Should bloggers be worried about such a program? I mean, this seems to make it awfully easy for someone to grab years worth of valuable posts and do whatever they want with them. Sure, a content crook can sit there and copy and paste (or print) every blog entry; where there’s a will there’s a way. But at least those methods might discourage people because of their time-consuming nature.

On the flip side, Webcopier can be a useful tool for bloggers. The software can backup all of your posts or let you (or someone without Internet access) examine your Website for broken links, typos, etc.

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WebCopier for Linux is free for personal use. Windows/Mac users can expect to pay $30.

So are programs like WebCopier good or bad for bloggers? Or, do they have no impact?

View Comments (7)
  • These tools have been around for many many years, and they do make it easy to do as you said, most of the ones I have seen rewrite URLs and code to point local instead of to the web, making them useless for the download and them upload to a new site logic. Furthermore they do not download the code for a site, just the rendered HTML, so even if they did upload it, the finished product would be a shallow copy of the original.

  • WGET can be a little unreliable when it comes to images in CSS files and such though, or at least it was when I last used it.

    I find WinHTTrack a better option for Windows, which has a lot more configuration and is UI-based — it’s also completely dedicated to getting a reliable copy of websites with plenty of options for the outputted files, while I believe mirroring sites is more a side-purpose of WGET.

  • I’m aware that these tools exist. On my personal blog on my domain I watched as someone used such a program to steal my blog contents and later I saw the contents published on a splog as though they belonged to someone else.

    I took the route of making a DMCA complaint and the web hosting company powering the splog in question and they shut it down. However, this does not prevent them from doing it again and I lack the time and energy to spend on tracing these content thieves.

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