Getting Your Blog Ripped Off

So there really are a LOT ways of getting your blog ripped off. I think I’ve had maybe 4 or 5 of the top dozen rip offs happen to me. Actually, getting ripped off on a daily basis is my number one source of traffic. Unless I write some special piece, people coming to steal my pictures, is where about 40 percent of my blog traffic comes from. People LOVE, LOVE, LOVE stealing pictures off the internet. Listen I’m not gonna lie; every day I go looking for pictures on the internet too. But usually I try leave the source of the picture ON the capture if it’s from a news source. If it’s an old picture the name might not be on there. But pictures are NOT the only way people will try to rip off your blog . Sometimes they’ll take the actual content-word for word AND your pictures that might go with the article. One of MY most visited posts is people coming to read how some guy in Hong Kong is stealing one of my post . That was my first time having somebody steal my blog content and MAKE MONEY from it. I wrote that piece about 2 weeks after I started working on this blog back in October. And I guess I was just shocked that TWO WEEKS into it somebody would steal my content and put some adsense up and not give it a second thought. Those are called Splogs by the way. Spam Blogs. (You can read the comments section on THIS PIECE to see info about my most recent word for word content theft). But here’s another case; about 2 weeks after I joined Entrecard I found somebody doing this…

What the fuck is this? I mean, Jesus! Will you look at this? Just gonna flat out rip me off! I mean, wow! Y’know? A copycat and a fucking demeaning one at that. Just to remind you guys, my image is my actual face and my actual hair. I’m a real person. But this person just got some Funkadelic album cover and scanned some “Negro Character.” And I HOPE it’s a least a Black person, cause if it’s not… Man. Jesus. Like they just said, hey look at Dave over there he looks pretty kitsch and I think I need a picture of a Negro with an Afro too. In fact, man I GOT to have a picture of a Negro with an Afro. And I’m too cheap to buy the domain name I’ll just take some blogger blogspot and throw it up there real fast.” And that’s what they did dude. You be the judge. As a refresher here’s my “logo” i.e., my face , that I use as my avatar and Entrecard advert.

By the way, now is a good time to address this issue. I don’t know what it is about white people’s love of black people with Afros; but you know that you love them. Remember earlier I talked about people ripping off my blog for photos? Well the NUMBER ONE PICTURE THEY COME TO STEAL IS ME. Yeah, everyday ALL day. My blog gets slammed with people trying to extract that photo from this blog. One of the things I learned from reading my stats was that people weren’t just stealing my pictures they wanted me to pay for it . Did you know that? That people will try to link to images in your blog and then USE YOUR BANDWIDTH to show it on their sites, or MySpace pages. So if you’re self-hosted like me you can just use the Hotlink feature, which causes them to have to come TO the blog to see the image and they also can’t serve it from my server. They can do as “save as” but at least I don’t have to fuckin’ pay for it! But in the stats you can see people get confused by the hotlink lock and they will slam the image 4, 5, 6, 7! times in a row trying to get that picture from Google Images. They don’t just want it; they want it bad .

So I was reading Timethief’s blog the other night and she wrote a piece that tied into this one I had been working on. Her piece is all about Splogs and what you can do to prevent and fight them . The solution I liked the best was to notify Adsense when somebody is running your content. So at LEAST they wont be making money from your work. Personally I let the guy in Hong Kong go when I tracked him down because in those early days I needed some backlinks (remember he was using my images too from my piece on how to make Myspace music turn off, so I was getting pings off his stolen piece). Lastly, another way somebody might rip off your blog is just to sort of take your posts and “paraphrase” it. And I’m fine with that one, because a) usually they mention you and b) blog topics seem to come in spurts-like everybody writing about Twitter in March. So I’m not going to stop building image heavy posts, but I do limit how they leave this site. And as for copycats; even that’s cool because I feel 100 percent confident I can keep coming up with good stuff to write-and you should feel that way too.

16 thoughts on “Getting Your Blog Ripped Off

  1. Cause the ‘fro represents!! You know this!

    What’s up Dave? I’ve been tied up interviewing and traveling. I hope that all is well.

  2. Hi Sheila
    Yeah I’ve been crazy with internet/blog stuff and haven’t really done much else except a little work on my house. Just came from JohnChow’s site and he’s describing a product called Reverse Funnel and it’s definitely keeping with this theme I’ve going of rip offs. I mean wow, it sounds hard to believe that an adult person would think it’s a good idea.

    Maybe it’s time I started talking more about these darker sides of blogging. For example we’ve spoken about the downside of having a clearly “black” avatar or logo. People at Entrecard have refused my card at least a dozen times now.

  3. Hey Dave! Interesting info today.

    I’ve been getting several declines a week for EC advertising lately…not sure what’s up with that. If you’re getting declined because of race…well…that just sucks.

    Did you do the 30 minute backlinking thing? Looks tempting…

  4. Hi Kathy,
    Thanks for the visit. Usually with EC I pick based on logical complementary subject matter, so I can’t CONFIRM why, but I have a pretty high decline rate.

    30 min is an item that is a software based. And it would work, but on the 15th I’m going to change my “bottom” ads when that $25 offer runs out, and I’ll probably make a stronger case for the items I support and why.

    And for me; do you use Firefox and are you seeing any blog/Wordpress errors?

  5. Hi there,
    Thanks for directing bloggers to my post http://onecoolsite.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/splog-off-dealing-with-content-theft/
    Yesterday a fellow Blog Catalog member used my posts and found out that the her posts had been ripped off. The thief has 90 splogs on a wide variety of subjects. She has made a DMCA complaint, a Gogle adsense complaint and also reported the splogger to Technorati. IMO unless we bloggers are vigilant and prepared to act swiftly when we find someone has scraped our posts this splogfest will continue.
    Best wishes to you and your readers in all you do. 🙂

  6. Hey Dave;

    I love your mug shot! People must also love it, or they wouldn’t want to rip it off, I guess. Is that a compliment?

    How can you check to see if people are using your content?? Is there a statistic somewhere?

    Thanks!

  7. Hi Grandy
    Yeah I think I could understand if current blog visitors saw my “mugshot” and decided they wanted it, but I track the keyword search people use to find my picture and they are not using a pleasant words for those searches.

    But timethief was kind enough to leave a SECOND link to her article where she does mention http://www.copyscape.com/
    and that’s a site that checks for duplicate content. It’s much easier than grabbing a block of content and putting it in google and putting it in quotes and seeing what pops up. I have other sneakier methods, but copyscape is great.

    Hi timethief I read yesterday about the blogger who found the pro splogger, who had robbed her via technorati. The splogger just took bits and pieces from so many blogs. That’s a lot of work, might have been easier to write his own stuff.

  8. Dave,

    Don’t worry about excerpt sploggers who pull in and republish public feeds. Google usually won’t penalize them beyond placing the site in question in the duplicate content filter. You are publically publishing these feeds and anyone who uses excerpts from them is within ‘fair use’ provisions, whether they’re Google, Technorati or Joe Splog.

    The upside is that you get a link pointing to your site and, the more links you have the better your placement in Google search results. I usually do a splog bait post on iPhones or video game systems just to pick up an extra 10-50 links.

    Now, full content ripoff artist is something you should take the time to fight.

  9. I think it is hard to be original these days – I had someone pretty much steal my bestofstupid blog idea and it was a blogger i was actually pretty friendly with. they were nice though and at least gave me a link on the blog roll since i was the inspiration…but still…
    just yesterday i left a comment for someone using my sheetz shmuffin picture…sure, one guy is probably not going to make a big dent in my bandwidth but if everybody did this we’d be in big trouble!!

    It’s a sign of sucess though when people start ripping you off. It means you must have something good or they wouldn’t notice it to steal it 🙂

  10. p.s.- something is messed up on this page in ie7? Your sidebars are under the comment form! Just to let you know so you can try to fix it!

  11. HI Chelle
    Good to hear from you, and yeaah internet “friends” can be weird like that.

    And I always factor in imitation when I do something in public. But plagirism and branding theft of “look and feel” are things that people go to court about in most businesses .

    And thanks about the blog errors. I’m coming VERY close to putting up a request to “tell me about errors when you visit” becuase this theme and I are always at odds. But it’s good for what I’m doing these days-testing. Not to mention my version of “proofreading.”

  12. Yeah, Dave! I am totally 100% behind you on this one! I just started blogging for my comic book but was pretty hesitant to post any official scans of it so soon. If someone decides to rip off my scans and then recreate it and call it their own, I’m royally fucked too. I don’t need that hassle. I might decide to actually take them down pretty soon. Maybe I’ll just take photos of my works in progress and post it that way. Or, I’ll just put in big transparent letters over it, ‘COPYRIGHTED BY ME’. Although, you already gave the solution of should someone want to use your photo to have it directly linked to your blogsite rather then have them copy it. Easy.

    By the way, I know we all love the fro. I’ve seen a lot of japanese and korean cats rocking the fro too. It’s insane but, damn. Isn’t that a bit too extreme for a brother with yellow skin to wanna be a black man? Its worse when I hear a bunch of asian kids throw the ‘N’ word around at each other like they really are black. Reminds me of that comment Paul Mooney made on the Chappelle show, ‘Everyone wanna be a n—a but no one wanna be a n—a.’

  13. Hi K!
    Well actually you’re in a very good position with image based work because you can use the watermark feature to lock all your images to you. I get TONS of image visits every day-some are my scans of comics, some are tv captures some are things I took from the web and leave the original person’s name on.

    And yeah I know people love the Afro, and I lived in Tokyo so I got to see their variations quite up close. My whole dislike of people’s like is the sort of Sambo, Tar Baby, Buckwheat aspect of black people being less than human in real life but GREAT as characters. And they search strings I see in the stats are skewed in that direction.

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