Blog Post Piracy
Steve Rubel of Micro Persuasion writes:
Two weblogs are republishing my content without permission. One is called “Advertising, News & Information.” This site is profiting off my content by running Adsense. The other is called Podcast Rebroadcast.
This appears to be a common problem. Jason Calacanis wrote in June that we should call these people out. I am doing my part. Beyond going to partial text RSS feeds – which I am loathe to do – I have really no other course of action right now other to email the site operators, which I have done.
There is, of course, copyright law. The creative commons license for Rubel’s blog states that the work must be attributed to its author and it cannot be used for commercial purposes. The pirated post doesn’t contain his name on the post or the name of his blog, but it does at least have a link to the original post on Rubel’s blog. Is this sufficient enough attribution? As for commercial purposes, the blog copying Rubel’s posts is displaying Google Ads.
The Advertising News & Information blog appears to go by the name of Surferdiary.com Advertising Blog, and it appears to contain copied posts from a variety of different blogs. All say “Posted on [date] by Administrator” at the top, and all seem to have a link called “Source” that links back to the original post.
One of the ironies is that the Surferdiary.com blog contains Rubel’s very post complaining about the piracy of his postings.
What makes this interesting is that the copyright norms in the blogosphere are generally quite loose. Although many commenters to his post are sympathetic to his plight, many are not. Consider this comment:
So is it fair to say you’ve joined the ‘control’ gang but maybe without knowing it?
Another commenter writes:
I guess I’m confused how this is different than most aggregators, which also redisplay your content.
There are probably hundreds of sites that do that with our content, and as long as they link back to us, it’s hard to see why it’s a problem. They’re just helping to get more people to read what you have to say.
One commenter states:
I personally find the irony here pretty funny. Bloggers initially called out newspapers for not being open enough and now that the top bloggers become ever more powerful they are starting to act just the same. Perhaps it is human nature…
The best way to deal with content theft, when it’s simple scraping like this is to ignore it — that’s right, ignore it.
Should he ignore it? Or does it call for a response?