Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I’ve blogged a few times about intellectual property, most recently about the Kaavya Viswanathan book controversy, which seems to have resolved itself with shame and disgrace for everybody involved. I recently accidentally discovered that wholesale appropriation of intellectual property is of more than philosophical interest to me. If you were to do a blogsearch for “Kitchen Confidential” you may end up on this post dated April 21 which starts:

This may end up sounding like I’m gay for Bradley Cooper, especially since I’m already on the record lamenting the canceling of his show Kitchen Confidential, but the family made a special trip this weekend to see him in his Broadway…

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s from my blogpost from three days earlier also titled Bradley Cooper on Broadway, which is about an up and coming actor starring in a play with Julia Roberts, and has NOTHING to do with custom glassware or flexible bakeware or any of the other ads linked to the post. My reaction is somewhere between befuddled flattery and bemused annoyance. It does link back to my original post, which is how I found out about it, but it also hijacks my content in a completely unintentional way. Since then I have found blogjacked dopplegangers of this post for Texas divorce attorneys and this post for breast enlargement pills.

If you have ever been bored enough to scroll all the way to the footer of my blog template, you will find my disclaimer which reads:

All the ideas on this blog are mine unless I have told you otherwise. Get some ideas of your own. If you use one of mine, give me credit for it.
This has not been cleared by a lawyer, but if your are unfamilar with the concept of common law copyright, you shouldn't use that as an excuse.

I've gone ahead and added an explicit copyright notice. I don't go for these trendy Creative Commons licenses that are all the rage. If somebody wants to use my stuff, all they have to do is ask. I'm not giving my thoughts away to anyone who thinks they want them. And that includes the Washington Post.

According to Random Bytes, the one remedy which is available is to protest under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Ironically, the law designed to prevent you from ever taping a television show again is the strongest protection for the little blogger that is being robbed blind by faceless organizations.

Someone once said:

Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

I forget who said it, so just attribute it to me from now on.

Blatant Comment Whoring™: Have you ever caught someone stealing content off your blog or website?

P.S. Thanks to Keb for the snazzy new logo. It looks great and is well beyond my lam3 skilz. I like to give credit where credit is due.


Anonymous said...

The problem with these spamblogs is that they're created by automatic page-scrapers run by shadowy enterprises headquartered in third-world countries with little copyright law enforcement. Don't feel singled out personally: it wasn't a human being that chose to steal your prose, just an algorithm looking for certain keywords. The point is to grab just enough prose containing the target words so as to not be obvious gibberish, and the linky linky linky to boost the Google score.


Impetua said...

I would feel more sorry than anything else for the person caught stealing from my dull little blog.

But perhaps that's how I keep it under the radar, so to speak... yeah, that's it, maybe I'm just CLEVER!

kontan said...

I haven't but I haven't looked either. I would be willing to bet that info from my www.compchaos.blogspot.com site has been used. Thought about taking that site offline, but I use it occasionally. I figure if profs look for plagiarism they will find it and take appropriate action...and if they don't, that's just dumb. but yeah, I can see how it would be a flattering annoyance.

Paste said...

Hi here from Micheles, good post, I found a blog last year that was regularly copying pictures and some jokes that I had posted but that's about as far as it went.

Anonymous said...

That's weird and irritating and interesting. How did you find out about it in the first place?

yellojkt said...

The pirated site appeared in my Sitemeter report, which means at least one person used it to get to me. I should be grateful, but I get plenty of LostGooglers® on my own.

I know these are pirated by scripts, but it still seems kind of pointless. Whoever is paying for this to up their Google pagerank is getting ripped off. Upping pagerank and not actual sitevisits was the purpose of a lot of comment spam. The Turing tests have pretty much ended that scam, so the arms race goes up a notch.

Some websites, particularly ones with AdSense ads, get their entire site mirrored to steal clickthroughs.

Anonymous said...

I runa hobby website and have entire webpages ripped off for use in Ebay auctions.

trusty getto said...

If this shows up twice, sorry - Blogger is quirky this morning . . .

I've had content stolen without attribution, but since it's not really worth anything, I really don't care.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery and all that . . . . yada yada

Oh, and nice new logo ! :)

Elizabeth said...

Nope, it's never happened to me, no too surprised though. And I really like your new logo! Pretty spiffy!

Anonymous said...

I got one for you yellojkt:

I've seen bits from the 10thcircle on Comedy Central's "Mind of Mencia" about a month after posting. We pulled the items in question as we were considering legal action.

Mencia says on his show that the lead time from taping to air is 3 weeks.

Nice, huh?


Anonymous said...

P.S. Dave, your avatar of Graham Hill with long hair rocks!

I met Damon at the Canadian GP a several years ago, FWIW.


Mooselet said...

I'd have no idea if it ever happen to me or not, or how to go about finding out if it did. If someone is that desperate for content they have to steal my stuff, well, they kinda suck. There is so much better stuff to steal, really.

New logo is tres cool.

yellojkt said...

That's very intrigueing, bc. Which items? I'd love to know. I know news sources are very hestitant to source a blog if they got a legitimate tip from it.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Hmmm. Actually, I steal all of my posts from other bloggers, then change all the words so I won't get busted. Tricky huh?

Anonymous said...

There's a website (an online magazine) that excerpted a bunch of my writing of death and grief, which was okay, but then they signed my name to it and had created one line that I supposedly wrote. I've tried to get them to verify that it was compilled but they haven't done it yet and it's still up.

shpprgrl said...

I've never had anyone take anything from me. They would probably be too embarassed. Nice granite countertops! Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Oh, nice logo, I see it was made using the GIMP. Yep, have that problem all the time, but I dont care. It gets my hits out there, and the content of my blog is very important I feel, anything to get it out there is a plus...