Content Theft Via RSS

I never visit Technorati, but I did today.  I guess I was bored or something.  So when I got there, I was checking out incoming links to this blog.  Interestingly, I found a link from Pc-news.us and clicked on over.  I found that all of my posts from here, the V7 Tech Blog, were being republished in full-text over there.  Not only that, but they were hotlinking the images. 

I wasn’t quite sure how they were doing it; I just thought they were copying and pasting the articles.  But as Colleen pointed out, it turns out that they are stealing the content via RSS feeds. 

The purpose of RSS feeds is to allow your visitors to subscribe to the feed, and be alerted when there are new posts.  The intentions of RSS were never to give free content to piece of shit webmasters.  You may think that because you can access the full content via RSS that it’s okay to republish it on your site, but it’s not.

Scroll on down the bottom of this blog and you’ll notice a little statement that says “Copyright 2006 V7 Inc, All Rights Reserved.”  For those that are a bit slow in the brain, it means all content published on this site belongs to V7, and to republish it without the express written consent of V7 is a violation of copyright law. Copyright “protects ‘original works of authorship’ that are fixed in a tangible form of expression,” which would include these blog posts.

The absence of a copyright notice, however, is not a green light to go ahead and steal content: “Copyright [is] Secured Automatically upon Creation.” So unless you see a GNU Free Documentation License, or Creative Commons License outlining the authorized use of said content, back off and write something original.

Hotlinking to our images is also another form of theft – bandwidth theft.  Steal that and you might just end up with the image above appearing on your site. 🙂

To avoid pissing me off and getting a call from a lawyer, don’t steal our content. 

(Note: The above image belongs to JuggoPop.)

3 Comments

  1. rQrQ07-11-2006

    nice blink colors. got my attention there.

    bwahahahahhahahahaa, it’s already in *the* blog

    look at the “b-stard” category

  2. Jonathan BaileyJonathan Bailey07-11-2006

    I’m sorry to hear that this happened to you. I checked out the site and I can see that they are still reusing your entries, though they now appear to be truncated, probably due to you changing your RSS feed.

    If you want help getting your posts, removed, send me an email. You can drop me a line via my site’s contact form if you want. I’ll gladly help out any way that I can. I’m pretty sure that getting these guys shut down should be pretty easy.

    On the upside though, if there is one, you’re in good company. I’m seeing posts from TechCrunch and a few other blogs I know as well. I’ll probably alert those Webmasters later today.

  3. CarolineBogartCarolineBogart07-15-2006

    Julie and Juggo, that pic is truly evil. Nice job.

    DMCA is cool. Samples below. Do a whois, determine their hosting company, find the abuse contact info for that company and ask how they want a DMCA complaint delivered.

    Deliver google’s by fax as follows. Follow the wording and substitute your material. I left off the pages and pages of comparisons that outlined my work and his copies.

    A recent semi satisfying action was to file a complaint with his local BBB, easy enough, it’s online. — perhaps though not nearly as satisfying as comparing one’s thief to an inflatable fuck doll.

    Google, Inc.
    Attn: Google Legal Support, DMCA Compliance
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    Mountain View, CA 94043

    Fax: (650) 963-3255
    ATTN Google Legal Support, DMCA Compliance

    Dear Google DMCA,

    I believe that my copyright is infringed.

    The offender is:
    Charles Heflin
    NetWhip
    3851 Hobcaw Dr
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
    United States
    (843) 455-2369
    charlesheflin@gmail.com
    seo2020@seo2020.com

    I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

    I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

    The infringed material is:
    http://www.bogartcomputing.com/seo-web-marketing-programming/2005/04/google-patent-information-retrieval.html

    The infringing links are:
    http://www.seo2020.com/seo-articles/search-engine-algorithm.html

    The host has offered to take this down so it might be gone
    http://www.ecomatrix.eu/Forum/Page_179.html

    Spam advertising the infringement is at:
    http://www.v7n.com/forums/seo-forum/29899-what-elusive-seo-strategy-everyone-after-anyway.html#post319449

    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=85270

    Where Heflin found my material
    http://www.v7n.com/forums/seo-forum/29494-seo-losing-ground.html

    Charles Heflin
    NetWhip
    3851 Hobcaw Dr
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
    United States
    (843) 455-2369
    June 11 2006

    Dear Mr. Heflin:
    It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my copyrighted work entitled The Google Patent: Information retrieval based on historical data. March 31, 2005, or, Ethical SEO Expanded (the “Work”) in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all rights in the Work, first published in April 2005. Your work entitled Search Engine Algorithm – Survive the Changes is essentially identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis. The bulleted lists of what Google will and will not reward (or reserves the right to reward or not reward) are exact copies of my work.
    As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as the basis for Search Engine Algorithm – Survive the Changes nor to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.
    I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by June 26 2006 indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall take further action against you.
    Very truly yours,
    Caroline Bogart

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