The latest blog to steal my – and others – content is jobs.org.nz.
They should know that they are in good company – the previous offender of note was a <redacted> site.
So I’ll do the google-ads-filled jobs.org.nz a favor and directly link the two together: redacted
<update 2 – after a chat with a very polite domain owner I removed the link above. See comments at the end of the post>
So along with that childish response I also did the adult things
First I complained to Google Adsense. They have a nice little set-up for receiving complaints – just click on the gooooogle link by the ads.
However I got an auto response which says Google’s policy is to respond to all alleged infringements under the DCMA – which is right. However in order to do so I need to send something in written form – which will not happen as bits of paper confound me.
It should be really easy for Google to make this work automatically.
They just need to give me a form when I can put the copyrighted material (mine) including links to specific copied articles, along with a link to my feed. Similarly let me put a link to the stolen copyrighted material and a link to the culprit site’s feed. If the site is taking other site’s source information then give me the ability to put their feeds in as well.
Then it should be a trivial matter to automatically monitor the feeds of the source sites and check that the culprit site feed is appearing after the source. Automatically take the Google ads off that site – it is clearly of low quality anyway.
If the site wants to challenge Google to get the ads back, then so be it – but the onus is now on them to prove the content isn’t from the names sources.
I do recall when I first got Google ads for a site that it was actually quite tough (it was SmokeCDs or Snow.co.nz I think). Now it seems any man and dog combination can get the ads, and the results will vary for adsense buyers.
Next I did a whois search, and found that the owner of this shame is <edited> from Christchurch.
I’ve emailed him and also the hostmaster at 1stdomains to request that they stop. We shall see what happens next.
I am happy for people to grab content from this site with attribution and add commentary – it’s all adding to the conversation. But to do so to a google ad filled site with no context is clearly wrong.
<update 1: I’ve received an email reply (2 actually) from the site domain owner who tells me “I did not set any feeds up personally” and offered to remove my content.
I also notice that right now there are no longer any Google ads on the site.>
<Update 2: As noted above I’ve now chatted to the domain owner Rob. While he owns the domain but the site is owned/operated by a student out of India. He proactively removed the Adsense code from the site once he saw this post.
I’m struggling with this exchange. I think I was a bit heavy handed and perhaps wrong – and I give credit to Rob for being so proactive and polite. The jobs.org.nz site does after all link back to my site, and doesn’t take entire articles – both the right behaviour.
So I removed the references to a previous offender site that dabbled in pictures of unclad gentlemen engaged in mutually consensual activities.
And as Don asks below – what is the difference between jobs.org.nz and Google News? – aside from the site design, the number of ads (Google News has none) and so on. Shouldn’t sites be glad to have their content syndicated elsewhere?
My answer rested in the design of the site, the number of google ads and an over-riding sense that the purpose of the site is simply to harvest content and surround it by Google ads.
My determination was that is is a splog – a spam blog – something that Louise talks about in her post on Changememe. She links to an article on Techcrunch which talks about sharing the joy. Perhaps it would be ok for ad-laden sites to grab content if they do so with permission pay the content providers a commission. You could see a world where this is semi-automatic, but also one where there are lots of errors.
There is something else going on here – we are in New Zealand. I was able to find the domain owner, he was able to find me and we were able to have a nice conversation (and emails) about it all. Because we are a small country we can self-edit to an extent.
So I am going to let this rest as far as jobs.org.nz goes.
But what do you think? is the site (and it is more informative to see it with the ads turned on) adding value? Should I be upset or happy that my content is taken? I feel my response was pretty tough – was I clearly in the wrong?