Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What do you call it when...


What do you call it when a person takes something you've worked on and uses it without permision? I think you call that stealing. And in the case of your written words and thoughts, that's called theft of intilectual property, correct?

There is a site, nominally a blog, that is simply subscribing to RSS feeds from other pages, and then having them posted on his own page. He's not reposting vebatim, just the first few sentences and then a link to the original poster's blog or webpage. I know, you're going to say "but Joe, don't you do that from time to time?" Yes, I do sometimes refer to work that others have done, but I usually add my own comments or spin on the subject and link or give a "hat tip" to the original author. Very often my site contains "original content" inspired by news or opinion I've read elsewhere.

This fellow, dose not claim that he created these posts, he even has a disclaimer on his site, saying that all content is copyrighted by the original source. But curiously enough, he has ads running down both sides of his page. And for me, that's part of the problem. It appears that he's looking to advance himself on some level based entirely on the work of others. He's been posting everything from sites that he has subscribed RSS feeds for, and I doubt he even reads or moderates the site. Now the ads can't be making that kind of money, so I don't see a real financial gain, so why go to all the trouble? In my humble opinion, it defeats the purpose of blogging to just set up a site, that is in essence an RSS reader.

He had contacted me about a "link exchange" and I checked his site, tracking it for several days, to see if he ever posted any original content. Then I e-mailed him to discuss my concerns. Lastly I posted an inquiry of fellow bloggers on the AutoBloggers blog. He has failed to respond and now I am doing this, as a sort of test of my theory that he doesn't even moderate his site.

If he does, he will contact me, if he doesn't I will encourage other bloggers to take a stand against this practice. And if all else fails, I can persue other avenues, including contacting his webhost. So Andy if you read this, please e-mail to explain the situation.

I know that this is not "On Topic" for my blog, but that's life.

Joe

7 comments:

Dorri732 said...

Looks like it didn't work:

http://www.theautomobilist.com/archives/2006/02/what_do_you_cal.html#send

Big Ford Fan said...

Dorri, it worked in the sense that it proves that this guy doesn't moderate his site. On the top of the next hour, my post was on his site. This guy indiscriminatingly reposts what ever apears on sites that he has subscribed to RSS feed for.

I probably won't take any further action, but I won't link to his site. I would also recommend that others remove their links to his site, on principal.

He avoids legal action by the way he works the reposts, and gives credit. But I just wonder what the purpose for his site is? He can't be making real money from the ads, so why bother?

Dorri732 said...

He probably isn't making real money from THIS site, but how many like it does he run?

Racedriven said...

I can answer that, he runs 2+, I have found one at http://thegossipist.com, same design and everything, he runs others as well.

Big Ford Fan said...

So now we know thanks to RaceDriven, that this idiot isn't as dumb as i thought. He's making a small profit, either by the ads or by showcasing the software that allows him to steal other's material and repost.

He's also been careful to avoid Copyright trouble, but not reprodcuing the entire post or photos, but only a teaser, considered "fair use" in publishing.

Here's an idea, let's see if we can get all of the sites that he harvests materials from to post articles about his stealing all on the same day. He obviously doesn't moderate the site, so they would all go through and potential readers would know he's a fraud and a thief.

Food for thought.

Dorri732 said...

Found this information about who registered www.theautobilist.com

Registrar Name: TUCOWS INC.
Address: 96 Mowat Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3M1, CA
Phone Number: (416) 535-0123
Email: transfers@opensrs.org
Whois Server: whois.opensrs.net
Referral URL: domainhelp.tucows.com
Admin Contact: Domain . Admin
Phone Number: 416-535-0123
Email: comnet_admin@tucows.com
Admin Contact: James . Woods
Phone Number: 416-535-0123
Email: jwoods@tucows.com
Billing Contact: Saville . Levin
Phone Number: 416 535 0123
Email: reg_finance@tucows.com
Technical Contact: Edward . Gray
Phone Number: 416 535-0123
Email: egray@tucows.com

Give him a phone call, maybe?

Big Ford Fan said...

Dorri, great detective work. You should post this info on AutoBloggers as well, let the others know that this is a commercial operation.