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Plagiarism on Blogger and What they did



1:15 am on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Someone had posted an entire article of mine on their blog, even starting it with a phrase identifying himself as the author.

Then pasted my article.

I contacted Google/Blogger about this and they sent me this email:

Blogger Support

What should I do if the person doesn't take the article down?

[edited by: digitalghost at 2:45 am (utc) on April 21, 2006]

[edited by: rogerd at 2:57 am (utc) on April 21, 2006]
[edit reason] No Email Quotes or Specifics Please [/edit]


2:05 am on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

File a DMCA complaint. Wouldn't they have to act then, in spite of the disclaimer they sent you? IMO, the disclaimer is just meant to discourage frivolous complaints....


4:52 am on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Sorry for the cut and paste

They basically told me that they are not responsible for the content on blogs, if I had a problem, deal with it with the blog-author on my own.


3:50 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Maybe someone who has more experience with this can chime in, but my understading of the DMCA is that if they host the content, and you file a DMCA complaint, they must take action of one kind or another.


9:44 pm on Apr 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If Blogger is actually the host for the blogs, I'd think they would have to behave like a host. That's completely different from, say, a forum administrator having a disclaimer about not being responsible for individual posts (which is another can of worms in itself).

--That's an honest "If". I really don't know how Blogger's system is set up.


11:18 pm on Apr 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Maybe someone who has more experience with this can chime in, but my understading of the DMCA is that if they host the content, and you file a DMCA complaint, they must take action of one kind or another.

I have had plenty of experience with DMCA reports and web hosts (not blogs) but maybe this will help. Some hosta will remove the content immediately upon receipt of a DMCA (usually freebie hosts) if you provide enough proof that anyone with eyeballs can tell who the original owner is.

Other hosts will reply to your DMCA with a letter saying they have told the other person to provide proof they own the article. And if they do (even though it may be a lie) the host will do nothing about it and tell you to take the person to court, i.e., they will bounce the ball back in your court.

Sooooo, the more proof you can offer in the original DMCA the better your chances are they will force the other person to remove the content.

Except for official copyright registration of your article the best proof is 3rd party proof. If your article has been online more than a year it will be included in the WayBackMachine so use that as one of your sources as proof that you had it online longer. If you posted it on the internet in a newsletter with dates on it that may be sufficient proof that you posted it first. One method to get good 3td party proof it to get a browser copy of your article (a copy that saves images, code and html) as soon as it shows up in Google's Cache because it also has a date on it.

However, none of those prove who actually wrote it. If you have a Copyright registration Number, that is the best proof.


2:55 pm on Apr 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Back in February, I found a blogger blog that had many, many, many posts that contained my original material. Every time this person posted an entry, she would copy about one half of an article from my site. It was alot of material, my articles are loooong. LOL. At first, I attempted to contact the blogger (person who did the copying) and received no response.

Then, I went ahead and filed a DMCA with Google (without asking them if I should.) I mailed it all by snail mail and the thing must have been 30 pages long. It wasn't long before Google responded, saying that the situation was rectified. When I checked, the blog was "redone" and fresh. Everything was deleted and a new one was up.

I was happy with Google's quick response but surprised that they allowed the person to keep using their service, given the severity of the violation. Of course, I'm assuming the same person took over the URL, which I do believe is true, but not definate.


1:34 am on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I stumbled across Blogger's official position on this earlier today and I think it's not only untenable, it's borderline unconscionable:

Terms of Service
Someone is linking to images on my server, how do I stop this [help.blogger.com]?

Here's [help.blogger.com] their answer:
Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages. In cases where a contact email address is listed on the page, we recommend working directly with the author to have this situation remedied.

Additionally, there are measures you can (and should) take to protect your images from being linked to, described in the following articles:

* Apache-Server.com, "Preventing Image 'Theft' [apache-server.com]"
* Webmaster World discussion thread, "Using htaccess to prevent image linking [webmasterworld.com]"

Please follow up with your web host if you have any questions about implementing these techniques.

That's not an answer.

That's an excuse.

(And man, that last line is almost as obnoxious as if they'd said, 'Please reinstall your system software.')


Blogger/Blogspot is a "team in Google [blogger.com]" so I think Rainie's advice is spot-on, particularly seeing as how its TOS [blogger.com] includes the following footer:

"Copyright 1999 - 2006 Google"

Blogger can 'say' it's not responsible till the cows come home, but when leading blog and group sites accept DMCA notices, and even make it easy to file same, it's outrageous Blogger tries to shirk responsibility.

Instead, by doing nothing, they re-victimize their members' victims.

(Aside: It's even semi-outrageous Google doesn't accept DMCA notice of copyright infringement [google.com] via e-mail. I've filed multiple DMCAs with Yahoo, MSN and MySpace against their members' copyright infringements and they've ALL enabled e-mail filing, and some even web forms. And they've ALL yanked the infringing materials.)


7:13 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for all the responses. I was pretty shocked considering Google takes websites out of its search engine that it considers to have duplicate content, even if that content isn't copyrighted.

What would happen if you opened several different blogs and posted copyrighted material from some gigantic media corporation? Would they care then?



7:15 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

ps the offending poster took down the plagiarized article, thankfully...

...though I have found it on several forums (copied and pasted without a link or the author listed). One forum moderator told me that the postings would eventually drop out of the forum so I shouldn't worry.


3:09 am on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

lcampers, one thing you mostly do NOT need to worry about is the duplicate content problem. The people who copied the article will get penalized, while your article will stay in the SERPs.


7:37 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

That is good to know and I did not know that.

Thank you.


11:25 pm on Apr 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Also, duplicate content in itself doesn't get someone kicked out of the search engines -- it just gets them kicked "down" in the search engines (meaning they won't rank as high as they would have otherwise).


3:24 pm on May 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google, upon receipt of a properly executed DMCA, removes personal contact information, but forwards it to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where it is posted as an example of the "Chilling Effects" of copyright on freedom of speech.

Suggesting of course, you are the low-life. Shameful, IMHO.



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