Sunday, April 30, 2006

[geek] Okay, this is bloody annoying...

[Updated at the end of the post - 30 April 2006 23:35 PDT] Someone is stealing my content! My recent post on atheism was stolen for, of all things, a Christian dating service, while my post on blacksmithing was stolen to promote a 'majikal supplies' site. Unethical, dishonest - and possible violations of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) to boot... See, these spambags (because that's really the league they're in) use a 'spider' program to crawl the web and find posts that contain keywords - doesn't matter what order they're in or if they're in the context that the 'blog' pretends to be. They then pull excerpts with those keywords into fake posts on their website. It's all about steering Google results to these sites - these fake sites then link to bullshit marketing/sales sites (Click here to visit our sponsor!), which is where they then make their money. It looks like maybe the same skeezy outfit took both of these posts - the sites are identical in layout. I suppose they might not be - after all, the same spambags who sell CDs with spam software and databases of email addresses could sell spider software and web templates just as easily. But they certainly look, feel, and smell like they're the same scavenging bastards. I actually went so far as to file a DMCA complaint with the ISP of one of the sites since they're hosted here in the US - I figure that this might count as using my content for commercial purposes without my permission or compensation. The other ISP looks like it's based in the EU with a US office and a server farm in India... I have no idea if a DMCA complaint to them will produce any results. Hell, I have no idea if my first DMCA complaint will do anything. We'll see. It's my content, dammit. It isn't that widely read, but dammit, it's still mine. If someone wants to distribute it (properly attributed) for non-commercial purposes, that's fine by me - but using my writing to boost a sleazy site's "Google Juice" is out of bounds. Update #1: My first complaint worked! The whole skanky domain has been taken down... I just hope that the bastards didn't have a backup. My guess is that they didn't - these morons strike me as being too 'quick buck' oriented to actually, you know, plan for things. We'll see - I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the second complaint.

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