Friday, January 26, 2007

Evil Evil Scrapers

I just thought I’d share my latest experience with Candy Blog content being “stolen.”

I found, purely by accident, that Candy Blog posts were being republished in their entirety on another blog called simply “World Food” (I’m not going to give you the URL). My posts were in there among other food blogger posts about things like fruit, recipes and personal food experiences. I counted three other victims of this scraper blog.

The amalgam blog had no contact info, no advertising, no real purpose as far as I could tell, expect perhaps to buoy the entire domain in some way with content that search engine bots would find.

I did a domain search and located the owner of the domain and sent an email. Surprise, it bounced.

So I did a search for who hosted the domain and sent an email to the host at the “abuse” email address listed on the lame-ass site. That bounced. So I sent another set of emails to all the other email addresses listed on the site (sales! support! tech! help!). No response, but at least no bounces.

I also contacted Feedburner, who burns the Candy Blog feed with their service (basically they take my single feed and convert it to just about all the common feed formats). They said they were unable to discretely block a single user even if we knew what IP they were from.

After no response I started doing some more digging and came across the excellent blog resource called Jonathan just so happened to be writing about Feedburner feeds.

With some more digging and some assistance from him we tracked down the actual host (the host I contacted was actually a reseller of hosting plans) and I sent out some more emails. No response so with Jonathan’s help I also sent out official DMCA notices to the host via email and fax.

Lo and behold a few days later I got a brief email back from the host saying that they removed the domain from their servers.

I know some people say that I should be flattered that people are taking my content. But I don’t think I should be flattered. They’re not taking it becuase it’s good or they like it, they’re taking it because it fills up their site with content with lots of keywords that people search for. There are lots of sites that republish digests of my feed and I have no problem with that. But when they take the whole thing (including photos) with no link back to the site, claim they wrote it and are republishing it under a CC free-for-all license, I have a problem.

Now if I could just solve my hotlinking problem.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:05 am     Curious News

  1. That’s awful. I think it’s terrible when people steal others’ work, and it’s so hard to find out who did it on the internet.

    Comment by Carina on 1/31/07 at 3:22 pm


  2. Good for you girl! I switched to partial feeds on my blog for this very reason. I’m thinking about switching back to full feeds, but just don’t have the time or energy to deal with scraper sites. People don’t realize how much time it takes to write content.

    Comment by Tanya on 3/12/07 at 5:04 pm


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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.