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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Copies of my article
koan




msg:4263034
 9:19 am on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've been searching for copies of my articles for one of my site tonight and this just discourages me. Here I have an old, unique, well written article. It has maybe 1-2 inbound links. Oh well, they sure don't come by easily these days. But what I find are about a hundred copies elsewhere, usually with no attribution, in social networks, forums, answer sites, journals, article & essay sites, free blogs, even profiles in Youtube. On the very rare case that it does, the link is obviously nofollowed. Then I catch someone rewriting it very slightly and publishing it on a few dozens rogue blogs copying everything under the sun, all linking to their main site. On top of that, these super crappy blogs have Adsense ads. Other copies are found in "submit your articles" sites, again linking to their own site as the source.

I went through the painstaking process of sending DMCAs or copyright infringement notifications to Google Adsense, social networks, web hosting companies, or notices to owners where I thought they might just be clueless about what they're doing. I wasted a few hours in rage on a Friday night just for this one article.

Then I wonder why my earning are declining. It's a huge mess out there, people clueless about copyrights and others looking to make a quick buck by stealing content.

Why is Google indexing this crap when quality sites have sometimes trouble being fully indexed? Why is one Blogger or Blogspot site with 0 Pagerank or inbound links and no unique content actually competes with a quality site in the results? What is Adsense doing on those sites? You know these sites are bogus by looking at them for one freaking second. All these social networks, web hosts and articles sites should really be more severe with abusive users like that. A big flashy warning in red about copyrights when they sign up. One case of blatant infringement, ban the whole account.

Sorry had to get this off my chest.

 

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4263038
 9:41 am on Feb 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why is Google indexing this crap when quality sites have sometimes trouble being fully indexed?


I agree with you 100%. You would think that Google could do something about this. All we hear is that content is king and if you have good content then your website will do well. I do have good content and I write it all myself but I have realised that the only guarantee with good content is that others will copy it.

If you produce enough content it would be a full time job trying to keep on top of the infringers.

All these social networks, web hosts and articles sites should really be more severe with abusive users like that. A big flashy warning in red about copyrights when they sign up. One case of blatant infringement, ban the whole account.

You are so right on this. Many of these sites are successful more or less based on encouraging infringers and plagiarists. Docstoc is one of them. Despite my proving my case they refused to take action on my last complaint and I just don't have the money to take them on.

outland88




msg:4263218
 8:58 am on Feb 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wrong forum.

Asia_Expat




msg:4281132
 9:33 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll briefly tell you about a copyright issue I recently resolved. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that it's probably not worth the effort and expense in time and/or money to pursue most of the cases where your content has been copied. In many of the cases, the 'webmaster' will eventually realise they can't make much money by ripping off content and give up... and their sites wil vanish in the long run. The other's you have to decide if it's worth chasing...

I satisfy myself with picking on someone occasionally. One of the eight people on the advisory board of Wikileaks ripped off one of my articles. He's also a member of my forum. I bluntly told him he had no right to use my content. This should have been enough to make him remove it, but he didn't... so I wrote to Wordpress and demanded they remove it, which they did in just a few hours. The next day, he turned up on my forum claiming they shouldn't have removed it (which they did without even contacting him) and in true Wikileaks fashion, claimed he'd been gagged...

I then publically mocked his ridiculous claim of censorship... when in fact all he'd done was thieve content, and I'd taken morally and legally correct action to protect what's mine.

Just pick a few of the worst offenders and mercilessly pursue them until they break, it'll make you feel better about all the other scumbags that are in effect helping themselves to the beer in your fridge.

sundaridevi




msg:4287341
 12:59 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes. I think article marketing is more or less dead. In 2005 I wrote a good article that I researched and spent about a day writing and posted it on ezinearticles. Within two years it was picked up by at least 30 sites all with the proper incoming links (that was before the scumbags knew about nofollow). The search term i was trying to promote, which was the 3 word term for an immensely lucrative 2 word term. Went up to number 3 in google results and as a result, I made a ton of $$.

Fast forward to 2009. I was working on SEO one week and found that another article I had written about a year before and put on ezinearticles had been picked up by around 20 sites and propelled that search term into the top 10. Again, highly profitable. So I decided to really do article marketing and not just write one or two articles/year. My plan was to write 10 really good articles figuring that over the course of a year, each would get picked up 20-30 times if I wrote best of the category level articles with unique and useful information. So I did it, and on top of that I started to post to about 5 different article syndication sites.

The results? One article got picked up about 40 times in 6 months and I only got about 7 valid backlinks. All the others either chopped it up and just used a couple of paragraphs, gave no links, or nofollowed the links. One guy even posted it under his name in the same article syndication website, with his links on it. By the time I found him, his account had been recently deleted.

My take on it is that ezinearticles does a really good job of screening the articles that are submitted (they scan the web to make sure it is not a copy of something else) and for some reason the people that acquire the articles from their are *much* more likely to give you credit. Other sites are just hotbeds of scammers, the worst probably being articlesbase

So I started sending cease & desists with a cc: to abuse@hostprovider.com to everybody. It takes about ten minutes to do whois modify your form letter and send it to the owner and the host provider.

About 1/5 of the time the whole blog or article website account gets deleted. That probably means they are a multiple offender. So if everybody here sends out cease and desist letters, word will get around that if you steal articles and get caught, you could lose all the work you've been doing for months or years!

coachm




msg:4288021
 1:47 am on Mar 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't have time, as a writer, to spend much time hunting down copies of my stuff, but as someone above said, once in a while. One case, relatively recently -- a guy had a bunch of my articles on his site, in addition to articles allegedly written by famous people (I remember several from Dana White). After a few interchanges with the guy, where he tried to claim ignorance, etc, I suggested I'd ensure he could never show up in the search engines without my story about what he'd done, AND THAT if I wasn't compensated according to our fee sked, I'l forward Dana's material to Dana (head of UFC). We agreed on a fair fee of >$500, he took down that particular site, but continues with more legit practices. Sometimes we cry..but SOMETIMES, we have a good 'larf.

(I scrapped the entire offending site before talking to him, so I'd have the evidence to send to others victimized, like Dana White and guest contributor, and inventor of the Internet, Al Gore.

I think some of his guest contribs had been quite dead for some time.

contentmaster




msg:4307185
 6:13 am on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Koan, I am facing a similar situation - most of my home page content has been copied on 2 different sites. My site has been around for 6 years with top rankings on Google...Ever since my revenue went down, I started panicking and checked via Copyscape to find copies of my home page and services page. What is the way out really? Are there any formal letter formats that we can use in our first contact with them?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4307207
 7:40 am on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I normally just point out the location of the infringed material on my site and theirs and ask them to remove it with a warning that if they don't they face further action. This is normally enough.

jecasc




msg:4307223
 8:16 am on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why is Google indexing this crap when quality sites have sometimes trouble being fully indexed?


Google is not the internet police. It is your responsibility as copyright owner to protect your rights. There is no watermark in text that identifies the real copyright owner to the search engines. The search engines are trying to identify scraped and copied content but there is no 100% guarantee they identify the original source correctly. By the way - who says just because a website was the first to publish a text online it owns the copyright? And how should the search engines know if someone stole your content or has obtained a license for use?

So it is up to you:
- Check regularly for copies of your texts.
- Check if your content even qualifies for copyright protection. If it exceeds the threshold of originality required by law.
- Check if it could be fair use.
- Search for contact information and contact the offender. Set a deadline for removal.
- If you can't find contact information or you get no responce, file a DMCA complaint with the most important search engines.
- If you are sure of your legal position you can also contact the webhost and tell him about the offense.

You should however be aware that if it turns out that your content did not qualify for copyright protection, or the use was fair use after all you could get in serious trouble if the website is taken down.

So better don't contact the webhost or Google about a recipe for boiled eggs.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4307264
 10:29 am on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

By the way - who says just because a website was the first to publish a text online it owns the copyright?

If you write or create something you own the copyright automatically.
[ipo.gov.uk...]

jecasc




msg:4307330
 1:41 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)


If you write or create something you own the copyright automatically.

Publishing is not writing. If I take an article from a printed magazine or book and publish it online I have published it first online, but I am not the writer and not the copyright owner.

Many people complain that Google could simply identify copyright infringment by checking who put a text online first. However being the first online publisher is not an indication of holding the copyright. You could have ripped the text from an offline source or from a "subscription only" website where search engines have no access.

So search engines have in fact no clear indication who is allowed to publish a certain text and who not. They can make educated guesses but that's all. Which means webmasters and content writers have to take care of this problem themselves.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4307338
 2:10 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

sorry, I missed your point.

Jane_Doe




msg:4307358
 3:18 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have had my articles copied by a celebrity chef on her blog. Only she claimed the first person events happened to her instead of me. It is like a bad movie where someone else has taken over your identity.

I never knew how many content thieves there were in this world until I started writing online. Newsletter publishers, magazines writers, celebrities, college professors supposedly writing "original research" papers, and of course zillions of ehow writers and their breathern.

iamlost




msg:4307493
 7:48 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I never knew how many content thieves there were in this world until I started writing online. Newsletter publishers, magazines writers, celebrities, college professors supposedly writing "original research" papers, and of course zillions of ehow writers and their breathern.

So true.

It sometimes feels like shadow boxing - too few satisfactorily solid (financial) punches landed to release pent up frustration.

I sometimes think the cease and desist letters and DMCA requests volume exceed new site content. However, they do minimise scraper damage and copyright infringement actions cover legal costs so the fight continues...

santapaws




msg:4307539
 9:35 pm on May 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

if google is trying to improve the user experience they need to get on top of identifying first publication. It really does seem more than ever that your own work when copied by others is getting pages penalised and thus the logical conclusion is that nobody will bother with original work, it will be a free for all copy from all. So I think it does mean its in Googles interest to sort the issue out.

koan




msg:4307589
 1:05 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

the first online publisher is not an indication of holding the copyright


It's not perfect but it would work, say, 97% of the time, so it's a pretty useful indication for search engines that are used to evaluating pages and sites with imperfect signals anyways. Use it with the overall reputation, authority, pagerank, links, existing duplicate content, history, etc of the site and you can get it right 99.9% of the times.

tangor




msg:4307643
 5:30 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

t's a huge mess out there, people clueless about copyrights and others looking to make a quick buck by stealing content.


What can you do? Even the Vatican seems on board with copy theft...

Speakers at a bloggers conference at the Vatican this week gave themselves an indulgence, saying it is OK to lift content from "old media" and that copyright was old hat.

The Vatican's Councils for Culture and Social Communications had invited 150 bloggers to a meeting in Rome yesterday.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/03/vatican_blogs/

However, we do not have actual statements from the Vatican in this regard, but the report itself is accurate. Go from there.

It will be a sad day when copyright is "got rid of" as an impediment for no workers to work off the work of those who work, and They Are Working to make that theft of Work Work...

koan




msg:4307663
 7:54 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll CC my DMCAs to God then.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4307674
 8:31 am on May 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you have his email address it could solve a lot of other arguments. ;)

.

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