July 18, 2008

Sploggers







Lately, I discovered some links to my recent posts and when I checked on those I was rudely surprised initially, and then annoyed, to see my entire posts published in other blogs, verbatim and with each and every photograph, under different website owner names. For example:
  • Violet Voices
  • Addict's Dreams
  • Violet Confessions

I’m not really tech savvy so I emailed a friend on this matter. Thanks to his help, I was informed that the above links are those of spam bloggers (also called, sploggers). I was advised to delete the links as soon as possible and I did so immediately.

Apparently the sploggers resort to stealing content in order to fill space on their own sites to attract traffic, and their website has advertisements too, so they must be generating income out of it. It is so wrong to copy, use my blog posts on their site without permission and make money out of it. The simple rule is when a person has not written it, that person needs to take permission from the owner of the contents before anything is copied or reproduced. Copyright infringement is illegal.

By the time I realized what was happening, already 4-5 posts had been published on their site. I consider this to be blatant misuse of my blog posts on their website. It is a matter of copyright violation. I wonder if this will continue and if deleting their back-link will solve the problem or not. Is it like a case of website hijacking?

The author is the copyright holder of all blog posts. No splogger or any person who not travelled, photographed, written and presented a post or done any creative writing can take credit for my efforts. They do not have the authority to publish any of these works on their websites as their own. I do not think a "link back" is sufficient credit for another person's efforts.

Browsing through I did reach blogger's online help site and have submitted the links of these sploggers to them. Now I intend to put up some sort of a copyright notice on my site. I'd like to hear if there is any other recourse available in such cases.

Has this happened to any of you? What have you done about it? I welcome you to share your thoughts on this matter and thank you for your help.


Update:

1. As per advice from my dear fellow bloggers, I've now deleted the links to sploggers.

2. This particular post complaining about Sploggers has also been copied on their website.:)



23 comments:

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

This is horrible!It has happened to some of my friends.

First of all,register your blog with Copyscape,My Free Copyright and Creative Commons(if you have not already done so).You can find them towards the bottom of my blog.Also,in the "contact us" section of Technorati,report this plagiarism.

And do go through this and contact google :

http://www.google.com/blogger_dmca.html

And do not put the links of the plagiarists on your blog,that gives them all the more publicity.

Lekhni said...

Despite having copyscape AND creative commons, it has happened to me.

I did report to Technorati, and they got back saying they would not add them to their list.

If they are a blog hosted by blogger or wordpress.com, you can report them as a splog. If they have their own website, it gets worse.

You can report them to Google so they have their adsense accounts cancelled. I wrote to Google, but the procedure that Google outlined (I think involved faxing my details, my blog post, splog's post and what not) made me gave up. I am not sure how serious Google is about this. Fax, indeed. When I had sent them both links and they could clearly see that even the image on the splog was linked to mine..

Cuckoo said...

Oh dear, you too became a victim of this ? I think I must request you to go thru 2 of my posts. This is the second one. Read the comments as well. So shameless he was that he was even accepting appreciations on the creations which he stole from my blog !!

It has happened many times with me, as Lekhni said despite having copyscape and creative commons.

You must have noticed, now I very boldly & shamelessly scream about copyright thing on my site including at my homepage though have not got time to check in recent times. Who knows it might be happening again.

Fortunately, I didn't have to write to any Google/Technorati etc. Our one trick worked & the guy had to publically apologize on my blog. He also deleted all the copied posts & photos from his blog. I was very determined to put him to task.

What one of my readers did was to go to all his readers and leave comment telling them of his deeds. He was rightly put to shame.

It happens, not much we can do about it. All our hard work is there in the open & we can just see it going to some people like him.


Cuckoo

Suzanne said...

It's probably going to take a lawsuit to get Sploggers to sit up and take notice. This is really sad.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Zhu said...

Sorry to see that... it did happen to me and I was very annoyed.

First thing, do NOT link to these blogs (remove your post's links!). It encourage them to get a backlink.

In short, there is not much you can do. Lawsuit are expensive and frankly, I doubt it worth it. You can have all the copyrights stuffs on your blog, it won't prevent it.

Ignore them... Luckily, these blogs are usually shut down by Google because they cheat with Adsense (their ads).

Priyank said...

Welcome to the big bad world. The wise friend whom you emailed and consequently discovered this phenomenon of splogs could have been an erstwhile splogger himself. ;-)

I would advise you NOT to sweat over this. Do you know how many posts of yours might be getting copied and reprinted in newspapers? I've had that happen to me. Entire posts stolen, pictures hijacked and plenty of sploggers. If you sit down mending every cut, it will exhaust you. Soon you'll be de sensitized :)

Bendtherulz said...

Oh bummer. Not a very good thing to happen. I asked Kalyan the other day why he is not posting more images, and he mentioned the same stuff. May be you can post your images with your blogspot id. So that in those cases when someonedoes steal the idea...others can see the real website....even cuckoo does that.
Lastly -its nuisance , but I think you just have to move on.Dont get stressed .

Tk care ~

Lakshmi said...

It did happen to me once and then I deleted the same..however I havent checked after that ..Its sad that people are stealing copyright content , especially when they can express their own views

The Wandering Hermit said...

At least they have mentioned that the material is sourced from you.. In my case they had posted whole short stories and images straight off my blog and claimed authorship..
It happens a lot..

I think you should restrict the feed content of your blog and set the setting for brief.. that way if the readers want to read more they will have to visit the original blog.. (I do that now).. (but this still doesn't prevent them from simply copy & paste)...

Images are worst.. I've had so many people rip of my images.. intially I used to post big sizes without any watermarks or copyright signs.. but now post max 800 x600 below 72 dpi resolution and insert copyrights signs all over the images.. (they can still make postcards but big sizes will not be clear if they try)..
Thus I have had to remove all those big images from my blogs and older posts...


You should also put a COPYSCAPE banner on your blog and which enables you to search the internet periodically to see if anyone has posted verbatim off your blog.

I hope this helps..
If you put up anything on the net it is virtually impossible to stop others using your stuff. but as long as they link back to you its okay.. the ones to worry about are the ones who claim ownership of other peoples work..

indicaspecies said...

Sameera,
Lekhni,
Cuckoo,
Suzanne,
Zhu,
Priyank,
Bendtherulz,
Lakshmi,
The Wandering Hermit,


First of all, sincere thanks to each and every one of you for your detailed comment giving valuable advice on this issue. I have done what could be done with the limited time available to me these days, and intend to pursue on this matter in due course.

As suggested by a majority of you, I'm going to put this entire thing behind me and move on. What makes me smile through the whole situation is that am currently busy winding up stuff at work to go on holidays. That will be another trip to..naturally, the Himalayas!

I thank you for your advice and suggestions, and more importantly, for your support and encouragement. It is so comforting to know that there are such lovely friends there in this virtual world who care.

Have a lovely day!

Lena said...

you know you really better post some copyright notice on your blog though it wont prevent some people from stealing the content. When this happened to me i contacted the concerned people/host providers saying that plagiarism is a crime and can be legally sued. Actually it helped.
On the brighter side, when you are being plagiarised it means you are becoming popular :)

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Lol,they even posted this on their site :P

Btw,forgot to mention the other day.

*Add a script to your template code which will disable copy-pasting of text from your blog manually.Though it is not totally foolproof,it helps.You can get that html script with guidance here :

http://www.dynamicdrive.com/

Ask a tech-savvy friend to do it if you find it confusing

*In your blog feed in the settings,turn down feeds to "short",if they are set to "full".This will prevent syndication of the full content of your posts,and the pics will not go around for sure.

Sorry this never struck me the other day.Take care,have a great week ahead :)

indicaspecies said...

Lena,

Welcome, and thank you for your kind advice and interesting comment.:)

I shall take your last sentence as a compliment, thank you. You may have noticed that I have put up a notice on copyright, and added Copyscape for page protection. I hope that helps. I intend to pursue other avenues of action in due course.

indicaspecies said...

Sameera,

You come out with good ideas. Thank you very much.:)

I'm most likely going to need help with these matters but I intend to get these things done asap.

Indrani said...

Shocking really! The post and the comments are an eye opener to me.

Shantanu said...

It's a jungle out there and these are automated sites (like you saw this compliant was copied too!). :)

CHEWY said...

Ut-oh! I had no idea about any of this. Thanks for this informative post. Shame on them!

indicaspecies said...

Indrani,

The intention of this post is to share with others and to learn from others so that sincere and unwary readers could beware.

indicaspecies said...

Shantanu,

Yea. It's a pathetic situation. I wish we could level charges against such sploggers.

indicaspecies said...

Chewy,

Indeed, shame on the sploggers.
You have beautiful stuff on your blog Darlene. Take care!

JafaBrit's Art said...

He has stolen about 20 of my posts even with statements of violation of copyright.

There are quite a few others who are up in arms about this particular spam blogger and many have issued formal complaints.

If you are interested here is a link to a blog catalog thread I wrote and a lot of advice and ideas to deal with it.
http://www.blogcatalog.com/discuss/entry/hum-stealing-content

I also did the feed thing but it seems he is still able to copy and paste my full posts, arg!

By the

flyingstars said...

hmmm...Celine, I can just empathize with you & really what we go through when these things happen...In the online world really nothing is safe & sometimes these days I think twice before posting something as the fear remains in the back of my mind, but still go ahead & try to put as much safeguards as possible based on the uniqueness of the content...but I know still it may be not enough...I have faced these situations quite a few times & sometimes thought whether I will quit blogging or not...still try to convince myself and get along....I can only say for your best photos try to put some watermarks on it & perhaps decrease their resolutions also a bit....& just move along.

Sujata said...

Wow!! The nerve of it all!! I had no idea on any of this. Thank for sharing and starting a dialogue around it.