Friday, April 28, 2006

I Am a Victim of Blog Plagarism

I am noticing something that is happening on both of my blogs. I post a blog entry then some other person creates blog in which all they do is plagiarize/copy other people’s blog entries (such as mine) without giving credit to the original author. Those blogs appear ‘empty’ other than a bunch of advertisements on the site. When I look around on the site I can’t find evidence of a real person there, nothing original, no profiles, etc.

It appears that each time this was done the plagiarizer was using a Google blog search tool. For some reason unknown to me these show up as links. So I can track a link to my blog and when I go there it is not really someone linking to me but someone plagiarizing my blog entry.

One time the culprit was blogging on Blogger and this one is on a private website. The name of the website contained the phrase 'myspace.com' and I mistakenly thought the site was related to them. I emailed MySpace.com to complain about this and gave the URL of the plagiarized post. It took me about an hour to prepare the copyright violation using all of their legal language. They contacted me to say that it was not an account holder of theirs. Apparently the person is also abusing the 'MySpace.com' name to try and trick people into thinking that they are linked to MySpace.

I bet there is a name for this ‘phenomenon’. If you know it, let me know. I am trying to learn more about this problem but am coming up empty handed so far.

I am ticked off about it to say the least.

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4 comments:

Marvin said...

I post this on behalf of my better half.

Dear Christine:

Google's blog search engine did lead me to your blog. I am a teacher and graduate student working on my degree in Technology and School Leadership. Along with three other teachers in my cohort, I am giving a presentation on blogs. We have created a "Blogger Beware" section and we want to add information about copyright issues as they relate to blogging. I will probably link to your blog and this post which offers its own caveats that I will pass on to my classmates.

Where would I tell my classmates to go if they think they have been a victim of plagiarism?

Also, what do you think about Technorati? Would you recommend that I tell my classmates about it? Are there concerns with it that I should pass along.

Please visit our blog - it's still under construction, and must finish what we will present by tonight. If you have suggestions as to how we can improve our blog, please let me know.

http://blogeducation.typepad.com/

Gratefully yours,

Eve

P. S. This is my very first comment to another blog!!!

christinemm said...

When I felt I was plagarized I contacted who I thought was the website hosting company. In the end I realized that they were not the site.

I do not know what to do about plagarism when the website host cannot be determined or if it is a private website.

I had read "The Weblog Handbook" by Rebecca Blood before I began this blog and it was very helpful in addressing many blog issues which I don't discuss on my blog. Example: if you are employed and you blog about anything work related you could get fired. If you are employed and your employer finds out you blog and they read it and don't like something you said (i.e. politicial, thought of as racism, etc.) they could fire you. If you are applying for a job they could read your blog and make determinations to not hire you based on something they find out about you, personally. This is also similar to college admissions officers reading MySpace and Facebook entries of applicants to determine what kind of person the applicant is, and making decisions based on that information.

I use Technorati and like it. I have not use Google blogs to find blog entries. I don't know of anything problematic with Technorati. I realized that to increase my blog traffic with Technorati that I had to open a free account and to 'ping' them each time I do an entry. I cannot get the automatic ping function to work as they say is supposed to happen. Oh well.

Lastly, I was researching ways to make money by blogging and came across some eBooks that laid out plans, most were $50 or more to access the information. I can't remember the name of it but one reported that a person could earn $500 per day by doing a website or blog with their methods. I read a review that said it was highly unethical to do what they say to do but they did not disclose what it was. One thing did involve hacking into Blogger in some way, I think it was to get the blog displayed on the "updated in the last minute" function on the front page or something like that.

I suspect now that one of the ways is to set up what I call a 'shell blog' for lack of a better term. That kind of a blog is a blog which takes paragraphs of other bloggers text from their blogs and posts it, seemingly with some software program (as it does not appear to be edited by a human) and then they run lots of ads on that blog. Those blogs contain no original content by the blog owner. For example they lift a portion of my blog entry and then they run Google Ad Sense ads that have content about my blog entry. By listing THEIR blog on Technorati and Google Blogs and using the Google search engine, they get hits to their blog as the readers want to read about what the original writer wrote about...so traffic is driven to their 'shell blog'. I guess they hope that their blog readers then click on their ads so they make money.

I wish I knew what to do about this but Internet searches on this subject are not coming up with information for me.

I wonder if there is a term for what is happening here. I don't know. If I knew the term then maybe I could find a solution or discussions about it.

There was another term which I now forget that was when the people were putting comments on people's blogs which were basically advertisements. They'd say "hey this is a great blog if you want to buy X product see my blog". There was also a problem with porno blogs advertising on comment sections of people's blogs that had nothing to do with porno.

Marvin said...

My better half says:

Thank you, Your reply was helpful.

Les Becker said...

The term I googled to bring up your site was "blog plagarism" - I was looking for a specific example I had read about a few months ago, but yours caught my eye because your particular issue was proof to me that it is all just getting worse.

I have seen this topic many times, being discussed on blogs that have been plagarized. I see that's what they're calling it in the "Blogosphere" as well - and that's really what it is; plagarism. And illegal. It's hard to fight in any medium, I suppose. There is always going to be someone who wants to make a buck for doing nothing, and they either don't know or they don't care that reprinting another person's words without giving the author credit, plain and simple, is THEFT.

The only term I've heard for those advertisements that people put into comments on another's blog, is "comment spam". I finally had to add a plugin to my wordpress blogs to "catch the spam". DAILY FIGURES SOMETIMES TOTAL IN THE HUNDREDS.

We can only hope that these comment spam and plagarism practices are just a "phase", and will soon lose their popularity, because I don't think we can catch everybody. It's worth trying, though.