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DMOZ publishes plagerizer
What can be done?

 2:42 pm on Apr 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is my second attempt to get help here, my first posting got blocked.

Hopefully this posting will get through the censorship on these forums and reach the right people.

I need to get a plaigerizing site delisted from DMOZ. It would be great if my sites could then be listed in their rightful place.

DMOZ has a listing for a site that has plagerized my content, word for word. The originality of my site's content is verifiable at archive dot org. The fact that I cannot get my sites in DMOZ tells me that my sites (the originals) are being treated as duplicate content while the thief's site is listed.

After a cease and desist and some nasty phone calls, they have changed their content. They simply stole content from yet another site (who I have already notified), and mixed in some text from their existing clients. These clients are no doubt unaware of the negative consequences of this.

I am trying to take a stand against a type of person everyone hates, and the inability to list the urls is helping them and hurting me.

I have already done the obvious. There are no editors for the category in question, nor for the next one up, nor for the one above that. I have written into the closest level I could find, but still no results.

DMOZ, I know you are out there, please advise.

[edited by: skibum at 4:35 am (utc) on April 7, 2005]



 2:17 pm on Apr 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Report the site and the source of the plagiarism in the ODP Editors' "Abuse Reporting" forum.


 2:33 am on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Plagiarism goes against everything DMOZ stands for. I'm sure this can be fixed.


 2:59 am on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Important update....

24 hours after posting this first letter in the forum, and within 48 hours of writing to editors at DMOZ, the offending plaigerizer has been removed from the listings.

Thank you, DMOZ, thank you for this. Thank you.

God willing now my sites can take their place in the listings.


 6:21 am on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am very happy for you borkboing! I know how it hurts when somebody steals all your content, and then THEY get listed everywhere and not YOU with your own content, THEY are in all serps and not YOU.

All because sometimes you are too busy working on content and don't have time for all that link exchange and submission hype, while they just do copy and paste and have plenty of free time to improve their PR. You turn into some kind of slave for them, free content filler. People do this to me all the time.


 12:40 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you for your kind words!

Now I can only hope that I can get my sites in the listings.

They are travel sites that make their money through selling travel, and contain much useful original content.

I have read some recent posts, and they really worry me. In some of the postings here editors have directly stated they consider sites that contain advertising or purchasing functionality of any kind (any sites that work for a living) to be spam... that makes any original content incidental.

Others can look at the original content and disregard the functionality, as long as that functionality does not overwhelm the informational content.

Say a prayer that I get an editor with a more realistic eye. There are no editors for my category, nor for three levels above that. They must be under tremendous work loads.

The tool that I used to find the duplicate content is copyscape.com.


 2:46 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>they consider sites that contain advertising or purchasing functionality of any kind (any sites that work for a living) to be spam... that makes any original content incidental.

You are misrepresenting the editors, but the form of the misrepresentation is very telling.

The information content is not "incidental". It's EVERYTHING. The promotional content is not "incidental." It's noise.

And nobody said anything about "original". The keyword is "unique". I've contributed a few tens of thousands of pages of "unique" content to the web -- of which a pizzley few dozen were "original" (to me, at least -- they were all original with someone, which is WHY it's nonsense to talk about "original" content.).

Again, advertising is nothing, nothing at all but noise. And a website is not ever denied because it makes noise. It's denied because (1) it does nothing but make noise, or (2) its primary purpose is obviously to make noise, or (3) it makes so much noise the editor can't hear the information (if there is any).

As for "websites working for a living", that's also nonsense. There's no such thing, so the problem has never arisen and will never arise. In any case, whether or not someone makes money from a website (whether by subscription or by finding customers or by selling ads or by collecting information from surfers and selling it) is a business model issue, and that is not significant to us. What we're exclusively interested in is the information flow.


 9:42 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you very much for taking the time for your response posting. Please Hutcheson, and with all respects, please do not assume you know me like that. There is nothing "telling" based upon what has been said. You have not "caught me" nor read between my lines, nor do you have any real insite into my thoughts, motivations, or even websites. Allow me to clarify.

My first concerns revolve around a posting I have read where a dmoz editor described webmasters who have advertising on their sites as "stupid" and "spammers".

Another editor posting soon after toned that down, but the reaction may have been honest. Having dilligently and strictly followed the rules of submission for years without result, I am hoping that with the end of this nasty plaigerism will come the end of my submission efforts too. This is a legitimate hope, and I cannot express how happy it would make me to finally be included in the DMOZ listings.

My second concern is that, having worked very hard on my sites for so long, that they may be in complete compliance with DMOZ requirements and still not be included. (My sites do not have advertising at all, but they do have a graphically-integral interface where travel reservations can be made.)

An eye that is negatively sensitised to commercial content of any kind, be it ads or interfaces, by definition makes the content incidental and the noise primary as it has been trained to weigh one more heavily than the other. I am aware that this is not the intent of DMOZ. A more measured approach finds the content.

This is what I am hoping for, and that is all that was meant, I am not picking on the DMOZ editors here. I have been working on these sites for over 3 years, they are full of good ideas and original content and still stand a chance of being rejected out of hand. I am not out of line for expressing this as a concern.

I do understand the distinctions about your points on noise vs. content, and have applied it positively to my websites to the best of my ability.

I will give getting into DMOZ my best efforts, and hopefully they will be included in the coming weeks. Thanks again to everyone who has read and posted.

Some side notes:
- It would be great if a rejected site received some feedback. Webmasters could then bring their sites into compliance, and the internet as a whole might improve.
- From the Hutcheson post: "As for "websites working for a living", that's also nonsense. There's no such thing, so the problem has never arisen and will never arise." - - - sorry, I do not understand this comment in this context.
- To me, "unique" and "original" is synonymous, as I write my own text. It is both original and unique. Plaigerisim notwithstanding. My apologies if anyone found this confusing.


 9:52 pm on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

It would be great if a rejected site received some feedback.

Any information is too much information for the scammers - they then know they found out and what to do to avoid detection next time.

To me, "unique" and "original" is synonymous, as I write my own text. It is both original and unique.

While I agree with Hutcheson's comments, when I look at a site, I tend to say to myself something like "Would adding this site to the category increase the catgory's value to the user/visitor" --- obviously if the content is the same (ie not-unique)as a site alread listed, how is the interest of the visitor served by having two similar copies? ---- but I do ackowledge the issue you had in your first post.


 1:31 am on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>An eye that is negatively sensitised to commercial content of any kind, be it ads or interfaces, by definition makes the content incidental and the noise primary as it has been trained to weigh one more heavily than the other. I am aware that this is not the intent of DMOZ.

It's really the other way around. We're sensitized to INFORMATION. We're instructed and trained to ignore the non-unique content. The nub is, obviously: advertising, promoting, marketing, or order-taking for someone else's goods or services is by definition non-unique -- the actual provider always has a uniquely authoritative position to to give information about his own goods or services.

So it doesn't matter how originally second-party advertising is worded. It's beyond "incidental" -- it's irrelevant. If we can get past it to the possibly-unique information, we will.

This is almost never a problem for sites that would have been listable without the advertisements -- we're good at ignoring the advertisements.

The problem is, people who think about the advertisements first, second, and third -- produce websites that are about advertisements root, stock, and branch: even what they fondly see as "information" is nearly always simply original promotional copy.

And so, when the site is rejected, they think the ODP rejected their infomercial because we put too much emphasis on their ad content. But that's not the case at all. We put NO emphasis on their ad content, but our definition of "advertising" comprised ALL their content.

It's hard to see how the other half lives, let alone thinks. Information is a different mindset: there are people who cannot give it, and there are those who cannot pay attention to it -- or even hate it. I know: I've met some of them.

When you marketroids meet the ODP editors, I know how you're feeling -- or at least, I know a mirror image of it -- very well. You're facing someone who can't promote long johns to naked eskimos; or who is indifferent (even, as you've noted, occasionally hostile) to your ulteriorly-motivated suasion; and you're facing someone who WILL be VERY hostile to you when you get "too pushy". And most people are too polite to tell salesman how irritating their pushiness gets. So salesmen just keep pushing harder and harder to make the sale, and eventually push past the point of toleration. Then they go away wondering why people are always hostile. But they themselves worked hard to destroy whatever benevolent feelings existed.


 2:10 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

So I am a marketroid selling long johns to naked eskimos?

Are you even reading my posts?


 2:25 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

The DMOZ was never intended to be the electronic
equivalent of the Yellow Pages.

Sure, marketers would like to bust in to that resource.
They would also, given permission, like to spray-paint
"Coca Cola" on the moon.

Properly done, marketing has a beneficial effect on the economy.
If you want to advertise, I suggest all the usual
inlets, outlets and orifices.

I would like to believe that at least one entity online,
DMOZ if nobody else, refers people to sites based upon
honest content rather than the urgent needs of hucksters.

- Larry


 2:53 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I feel I am being accused of something I am not doing here.

My original posting was about a plaigerizer. I mentioned a concern about getting listed and possibly getting an editor that sees more one way than another. That was the beginning and end of it, I did not accuse anybody of anything.

Yet this has degenerated into name-calling, I am a "huckster" and a "marketroid". I had no idea that DMOZ editors had a culture of client hostility that ran so openly.

None of you even know what my sites look like, yet you feel at liberty to draw negative conclusions. That was a choice on your part. Consider this a Rorschach test you have failed.

I think I have learned what I need to learn from you all.


 3:00 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hutcheson ..nice to see your input again ..respects


 3:25 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hello Bork:

I hope I did not hijack your thread.

The proper term for "plaigerizer" is 'plagiarist'.
This means a person who takes the hard work of another
and pretends that it is his own, nothing more or less
and universally refers to a creep considered beneath pond scum

None of this applies to you as far as I can see.
Few would plagiarize a semi-literate, but tons will scrape!

If you feel somebody has used or abused your content
then there are different ways, to deal with this,
not all of them so very good or useful.

If you are simply unhappy with DMOZ listings, well,
I cannot help at all.

The simplest and easiest way to get a DMOZ listing
is to not sell anything at all.

Best wishes - Larry


 4:03 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Larry,

Thanks for the input, I was not aware that I had used the word incorrectly. Constructive input is always welcome, be it positive or negative, and is not hijacking.

An example of hijacking would be inconsiderately using a thread to inject a 'hello' to a friend.

I am very pro DMOZ, I am not unhappy at all. I did not want to give any other impression, but that seems to be the way this posting has spiraled off.

There is a balance to be sought. Taking it from the other direction from including sites, if we took down all the sites that sold a product or service, DMOZ would become considerably smaller.

Wish me luck on getting included!


 4:50 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

>if we took down all the sites that sold a product or service, DMOZ would become considerably smaller.

So it would. But size doesn't matter anyway. Coverage in its chosen niche matters.

I'm not aware that anyone has ever proposed that anyway. I'm actually a little surprised that nobody has -- again, one of those things that seemed obvious for licensee would be to publish only the ODP non-commercial categories, and substitute their own paid listings for the ODP Shopping and Business categories.

But if we did do that -- would the surfers be worse off? That's the only question WE'd ask.

But it's statements like this that make you look like a marketroid in public, whether or not anyone mentions the fact. The discussion, on the ODP side, never had anything to do with sites that sold stuff! And only someone who COULDN'T EVEN IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITY THAT ANYONE WOULD SELL WHAT THEY THEMSELVES OWNED would ever have taken any ODP comment that way!

-- Sell what you have: the ODP is open, even anxious, to feature your site.

-- Shill for someone else: it can't possibly be unique content, the ODP wants to avoid listing the site.

That's the critical distinction. And you can't paper over it. You can't hide it from us, no matter how hard you try. You can't wish it away.

Now: do I think creating such sites should be a capital offense? I'll take the fifth on that. But -- it is clear enough that such sites should be linked to by the folks who profit by them -- the people who actually have the goods and offer the services being advertised. Vstore can, if they wish, provide a directory of all their independent doorways. So can Amway and Avon. They have a stronger interest in that information, and better access to it, than the ODP could ever hope for. If such a thing is worth doing, surely, beyond any doubt they will do it.

But they haven't. That tells us all we need to know.


 5:06 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wonder if this thread has gone off track

the original post was about a site copying another site content and being accepted into a dmoz catagory and Dmoz reacted correctly and removed the site ( well done )

Now the thread appears to have veared off track , when the problem was identified and resolved thread should have been closed

From a personal standpoint it might be nice for a dmoz specific section created where we could have some input from dmoz spokesman similar to yahoo tim and google guy
that would provide guidelines ( I know there is a forum on dmoz but it is so noisy it's difficult to obtain answers or guidance due to the noise )

Most webmasters on this forum show respect to GG and Tim for the time they give to monitering the threads even if 95% of the time they do not participate and it would be nice to see some semi official dmoz input

just mt 2 cents


 5:16 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Steve,

Those are all good points, and I do agree.

This will be my last posting on this thread. I will be turning off the notification feature.

Thanks to everybody!


 6:00 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

That was going to be my last posting, but I have an update.

The plaigerist removed my copy. They then copied a second site, and I turned them in for that too. Apparently the owners of that site didn't like it either, as now ALL descriptive text is gone (there is nothing there now but graphics, no doubt stolen as well).

After a brief period of being off the DMOZ listings, the plaigerist is back. I am beyond words. After plaigerising, they are back in the listings with a skeletonized frankensite when they should have been banned for life.

After all this arrogant back and forth about "how we do this" and "how we do that" and the name calling, now I AM angry. You DMOZ editors are so full of bull***t your eyes must be brown. You do not walk an inch of the talk you talk.

Oh, and by the way you hypocrites, the plaigerizer sells travel too. They can get in, lie, steal, have a worthless site and they are welcomed with open arms.


 6:09 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are achieving nothing by name calling

I agree this raises an issue that DMOZ should address

How come sites waiting for inclusion into dmoz can wait up to 12 months to be added but others can bypass the whole waiting system and get in in a matter of weeks

But name calling those who were willing to participate in your thread achieves nothing and antogonises possibly the only people who may have helped

I think you should edit your post and remember that allowing your emotions to drive your words is not good practise on any forum



 6:26 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Steve,

You are right, of course.

I feel like I had been the one being patient and nice in the face of rudeness, and now this. I should not have lost my temper like that.

I don't know how to edit a post on this system. I will issue an apology instead.

DMOZ editors: I take it back. You guys work hard, and you are sincere about what you do. I do not know where the system broke down here, and I will probably never be contacted to find out. I was angry when I wrote that earlier posting, and I hope you understand.

I have since written into the category editors, hopefully further action will be taken.


 6:35 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

borkboing, please PM me with the URL involved. I thought that issue was settled also, and now I'm curious enough to go check specifically.


 7:18 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Boy I can't wait for the next instalment of this series :) Please give us an update as soon as you can borkboing.


 7:52 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Funny you should ask...

Whatever Hutcheson did got the offending site knocked off the listing... again.

Thanks H!


 8:35 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

But I haven't DONE anything yet.


 8:57 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

The category editors must have gotten there first. (Check you email).


 11:07 pm on Apr 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

only the shadow knows

and for any conspiracy buffs amongst us, just an FYI, I am not the shadow


 1:44 am on Apr 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you see different results in the actual category, that may just be you accessing a different front end server. There is a cluster of servers which do not all update at the same time, the changes may take a few days to be cached on the server you connect to.

Search is way behind the categories though, so you could get a result in search that is no longer in the category.

Sorry, even further away from the original topic.


 9:07 am on May 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

The one thing I don't understand is the argument against giving comments as to why a listing was rejected.

I don't understand how giving a reason for rejection will aid spammers.

It seems to me that most DMOZ editors say the reason for rejection, generally, is lack of unique/original/good content. Why not just say that?

It would set a lot of us at ease who have a site rejected without any explanation, and we're completely at a loss as to why. Was there not enough content? Has the editor discovered copies of my content and incorrectly assumed that I was the scraper? Was the site down due to server maintenance at the time the editor was reviewing it?

So you tell a spammer that they have no original content and their site is full of spam.

What's the worst that will happen? They go out and write a whole bunch of original content? ;-)

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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