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Copying others' web sites SUCKS!

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Offline Meg

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Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« on: April 08, 2013, 01:17:47 AM »
I belong to a couple of article sites and currently, one of the big topics there is that some writers are having their web page content stolen and republished elsewhere. It's a big topic for these people and it's NOT just a line or two or even "content curation". From the comments there and the work that various people have done, there appears to be some kind of software that looks for published content in various popular topics and copies it entirely, republishing an entire page, often along with pictures, quizzes, etc. These people are online writers, depending on their writing for their income and their page views are dropping because of this type of theft. The thief is even using a google adsense account to get income from these stolen articles. Some people on the article sites have asked for software that stops copying but apparently there is nothing available for stopping professional or software copying. The CSS script that stops the "right-click" copy and paste deters the everyday reader but apparently not the software that does this, as it avoids using Java or similar and scrapes the hub directly from the server.

The writers have posted DMCA notices but apparently this thief changes domain names regularly and just pops up again. They have also complained to adsense, to see if the account can be stopped, however, all this takes considerable time away from writing new articles.

I own TBS and IAW (among others) and use them but I use them to get an article structure and find facts and then rewrite my content, using different sources. I don't want to steal someone else's content and pass it off as my own.

I don't know that there is anything that could be done to stop people copying someone's site and passing it off as their own but is there a piece of software (rather like accurank) where you could insert your new article, maybe get a time-stamp on them and that would keep a constant lookout for copyright thieves? If not, can you create a piece of software that does this (or something else helpful) that would help writers keep track of what they had written (or maybe it would take the url to the article, rather than the content). It could also include a DMCA, provide a link to the thieving site and maybe track down any useful information that can be gathered online, such as clickbank IDs, adsense numbers, amazon affiliate numbers etc?

I certainly think from the comments I am reading at the moment that a number of writers would jump at the opportunity to have access to a piece of software that keeps a guardian eye on their sites / articles and alerts them to any illegal copying, together with information on the url, etc. I know people can use "Google author" to claim authorship but a lot of people don't want to give google more info than necessary.

ANYONE ELSE INTERESTED IN THIS?

Offline andrewwilson

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 01:28:35 AM »
Copyscape already provides the service that you need but as with all things, there is a cost.
Their Copysentry product will likely meet your needs but it will cost you a minimum of $4.95 per month for 10 pages and $0.25 per month for each additional page.
How much content do you have, how much is it worth to you?
http://copyscape.com/copysentry.php

Offline Meg

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 01:58:04 AM »
Copyscape already provides the service that you need but as with all things, there is a cost.
Their Copysentry product will likely meet your needs but it will cost you a minimum of $4.95 per month for 10 pages and $0.25 per month for each additional page.
How much content do you have, how much is it worth to you?
http://copyscape.com/copysentry.php


That looks good thanks. One of my sites has hundreds of pages though! However, that site is not monetised and is a "local" interest site so doubt anyone would be interested in that. The cost at $4.95 per month for 10 pages would be prohibitive, for that site and some of my others, as far as I am concerned.
Do you see any need for anything further for helping people keep track of their content and it being stolen?

Offline andrewwilson

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 04:33:54 AM »
Meg, content theft is always going to happen. There are tricks you can use to ameliorate the issue but as long as copy/paste works then it is going to happen.

To be honest, I have never worried too much about it. After all, if I can't stop it why worry.
I like to use the full rss feed in my blogs and that means the links in the articles will appear if the rss feed is used elsewhere (unless the 'borrower' has specifically disallowed that from happening.

Embedding is not a new thing but it has disadvantages. If you embed your own content then you get no SEO value and it probably will not show up in search results. If somebody uses your content in an embedded form then you get no back link benefits. It certainly will NOT stop people taking your content without your consent.

Embedding ads in rss feeds is something that some do but I'd bet the return is negligible.

A while back I was looking at buying in some articles that were going to cost me several hundred dollars each. If I had followed through on the project I'd have used Copyscape. But what are you going to do next?
If you issue a DMCA the infringer just moves the content or site, or, better yet, he looks and sees that you are not US based. He knows that all he has to do is issue a counter claim and unless you are willing to pay money to drag him into court after just ten days the content will be restored to his site.

So, it ain't even the cost of using a tool it is the cost of following up on any infringement.

Offline Meg

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 05:06:44 AM »
Meg, content theft is always going to happen. There are tricks you can use to ameliorate the issue but as long as copy/paste works then it is going to happen.

To be honest, I have never worried too much about it. After all, if I can't stop it why worry.
I like to use the full rss feed in my blogs and that means the links in the articles will appear if the rss feed is used elsewhere (unless the 'borrower' has specifically disallowed that from happening.

Embedding is not a new thing but it has disadvantages. If you embed your own content then you get no SEO value and it probably will not show up in search results. If somebody uses your content in an embedded form then you get no back link benefits. It certainly will NOT stop people taking your content without your consent.

Embedding ads in rss feeds is something that some do but I'd bet the return is negligible.

A while back I was looking at buying in some articles that were going to cost me several hundred dollars each. If I had followed through on the project I'd have used Copyscape. But what are you going to do next?
If you issue a DMCA the infringer just moves the content or site, or, better yet, he looks and sees that you are not US based. He knows that all he has to do is issue a counter claim and unless you are willing to pay money to drag him into court after just ten days the content will be restored to his site.

So, it ain't even the cost of using a tool it is the cost of following up on any infringement.

Your DMCA posts were very useful. The people I have been following are getting half of their articles stolen and posted elsewhere. They are not getting backlinks and the thief is using adsense to benefit from their work. My articles are not in popular areas but theirs are, so they are getting half or more of their articles stolen, so their traffic drops and they lose their take home pay! It's very disheartening to research and write a popular and well written article, only to find someone else stealing it within a couple of weeks and diverting the income to themselves.

Offline andrewwilson

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 05:29:44 AM »
Meg, I rather doubt that people are actually losing any appreciable revenue from such stuff, here's why:
It is unlikely that the pages that are hosting purloined content are as well ranked as the pages from which the content comes. Search engine rankings are, it'd seem, logarithmic; this means that if a page is ranked on page one of Google that the traffic coming to a site on page three, for example, is by comparison almost negligible.
These jokers tend to rely upon a huge volume of low ranked pages rather than having stable, well made, well ranked pages. Also, SE's can determine with quite good accuracy which the earliest instance of a piece of content is.

It may be that there are exceptions to this general rule but that's what they are, exceptions.
One other thing that can be done is to report infringing pages to Google. It only takes a few minutes to do and a successful claim will result in getting content removed from Google's search index:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=93713

Offline Meg

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 06:01:18 AM »
Meg, I rather doubt that people are actually losing any appreciable revenue from such stuff, here's why:
It is unlikely that the pages that are hosting purloined content are as well ranked as the pages from which the content comes. Search engine rankings are, it'd seem, logarithmic; this means that if a page is ranked on page one of Google that the traffic coming to a site on page three, for example, is by comparison almost negligible.
These jokers tend to rely upon a huge volume of low ranked pages rather than having stable, well made, well ranked pages. Also, SE's can determine with quite good accuracy which the earliest instance of a piece of content is.

It may be that there are exceptions to this general rule but that's what they are, exceptions.
One other thing that can be done is to report infringing pages to Google. It only takes a few minutes to do and a successful claim will result in getting content removed from Google's search index:
http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=93713



The people I am mentioning write articles for article sites and they get paid from the number of views of their pages on there. Now, these go up and down, but they are reporting views of their articles as being down maybe 50%, which will drop their income by the same amount. The sites they have found stealing their content are enormous and apparently all hosted China / Korea by the same person! Does that make the stolen sites into authority sites? WP can change the date on an article, as you know to show a date much earlier than the true date of publication. Can the SEs determine the true date of publication? They are all putting in DMCAs to Google  and complaining to adsense but it all takes time. If I find myself lucky enough to get a popular site, it would be nice to know that it was being checked regularly, so I would know immediately if I were being copied, in order to do something about it.

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 08:02:05 AM »
Meg, I'd be surprised if these sites outrank any of these writers' pages.
Share a url or two for these sites, I'd be interested to see.
Honestly, I doubt that that money is being lost to these people, there's all sorts of reasons why pageviews go up and down.

If your friends' pages were indexed before the infringing pages then it does not matter what date is placed upon the article.

Offline Meg

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 09:11:47 AM »
I am copying and pasting now!  ::) It's from this page: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/111298  It is posted on the forum of Hubpages, which is open for anyone to see:

"I've had 38 of my hubs  scraped by the same outfit operating over different sites.  I know that there are various threads now, but here's a list of the site names.  They are scraping topic categories, as far as I can see.  The sites are made up entirely of hubs, so please check for your content.

FinanceForPeoples
Familywithparenting
FoodforCooking
EverythingAtHomes
GenderRelationships   
Games-Toys-Hobbies
BusinessEmployment
EntertainmentwithMedia - a couple of mine here
EducationforScience - lots of my history hubs here!
CelebrationforHoliday - Christmas, Halloween and Easter
Pets-and-Animals (can't actually find this site) - NB, it's pets-and-animal
artswithdesign
religion-philosophy
travelingandplaces - a lot of my hubs here too
Fashionandbeautiful .com
www.  Celebrationforholiday.  com
www.  travelingandplaces. com
healthforpeoples

I searched for Food for Cooking and came up with some info about this guy. This site was created on 3-04-13. He's already had two domain name changes in less than a year for this site. He has also had 2 IP address changes in a year.

. It looks like he changes names when he runs into problems like this. ... Don't email him!  Another hubber has reported doing that and had her email hacked.  ... If this fellow is a pro scraper, he will undoubtedly switch domains every 60-90 days to avoid the spider crawl and is possibly using a Twitter like API to pull content.  ... All the domains are registered to one person, in China. Most of the hosting looks like Korean servers. And they are mostly WordPress builds. ... I check often for copied hubs every few months and didn't find the copied work on my own. Only once I heard about the site, and searched for my username did I find out. If it hadn't been for this forum, I wouldn't have known about it at all! ... My traffic fell significantly around the time this guy started operating despite the fact that I outrank his articles.  I think the crappy links he is pointing at my subdomain are affecting it ...Hold the phone on the massive DMCA to Goo.
These sites are not essentially indexed, yet.
I did some research on this list. Every single one of these domains is listed on the same exact container/server out of South Korea. All three allowed IP Addresses are in use.
121.254.188.50
121.254.188.104
121.254.188.109

The list is/was rotating, which is why one moment you could see it and then it was gone. He ( Gong Haohui ) is swapping pointers to avoid detection when scraping. Here is the email to the Server, where you can report these domains and the IP addresses directly: [email protected]"

Offline andrewwilson

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 10:16:55 AM »
See Meg, what he is doing is unlikely to build any kind of standing. I bet a box of fantasy Krispy Kremes that he is making good money but he ain't decreasing the incomes of these good folks except in so far as it distracts from the ability of the writers to write.

A while back one of my major sites was being mirrored by someone in China, they were using a trick with DNS to copy my content. The second I posted something it was on his site. It was not easy to find a solution. We did. Did I see one iota difference in traffic, ranking or Revenue?
No, nothing.

In my case we found a technical solution and changed the way we worked. The cost of doing so we will never recover because there was no loss.

Offline Jonathan Leger

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 10:19:15 AM »
What Meg is describing is very possible. I'm not going to go into detail about how to do it, but it basically involves copying other people's content to a new domain and blasting that domain with massive numbers of low quality links. It works,  if even for only a few days or weeks. Then they rinse a day repeat. Google is doing nothing to stop it at the moment.

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 10:37:42 AM »
Jon, I don't dispute that the actions are happening but how likely is it that this is reducing page views of original content by 50% or so on well trafficked and established sites?

Offline Jonathan Leger

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 10:58:46 AM »
It depends on the industry, but you can rank for very competitive keywords doing this. Search for payday loans and you'll see that most of the ranking sites are using the methods I described.

So it's possible, though I doubt it's probable.

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 04:38:54 PM »
I belong to a couple of article sites and currently, one of the big topics there is that some writers are having their web page content stolen and republished elsewhere.

I watched Sean Donahoe do exactly this in a demonstration video. He never bothered to give any credit to the original writer as he just copied what he wanted! And since he was demonstrating a product I must assume there are many folks doing the same thing just from watching his video. :(
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Offline Meg

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Re: Copying others' web sites SUCKS!
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 11:32:17 PM »
 
I belong to a couple of article sites and currently, one of the big topics there is that some writers are having their web page content stolen and republished elsewhere.

I watched Sean Donahoe do exactly this in a demonstration video. He never bothered to give any credit to the original writer as he just copied what he wanted! And since he was demonstrating a product I must assume there are many folks doing the same thing just from watching his video. :(

Not a good way of working!  :(