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How to stop content from being stolen?... (28 posts)

  1. zenpop
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Lately I'm seeing our site's content/blog (and the images that accompany the entries) being posted -- in total -- including hot linked images -- on other sites.

    These sites are obviously doing this to get the search results from Google. And of course they are running different money making programs on their site, etc. They are even running a "copyright by" notice at the bottom of their sites -- but the content originated on our site...This is infuriating!

    How can we prevent this from happening? What are the work arounds? Is there a plugin to prevent this?

  2. GadgetGuru
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Try using .htaccess hacks to disable hotlinking. Information here http://altlab.com/htaccess_tutorial.html

    Good luck!

    The Gadget Guru
    http://blog.gadgetgurutech.com

  3. zenpop
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thanks. The hotlinking is a problem (though some of the sites that are stealing avoid that by just downloading our images and then housing them on their server).

    The real issue is our written content being stolen.

  4. GadgetGuru
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Well, it's the internet...

    If people can read it, they can copy it. I don't think there's any way around that. At least they're including the copyright notice :)

    If your site is getting harvested by a splog, try reporting it at this site: http://www.splogreporter.com/ . I'm not sure how they go about getting rid of splogs, but it's a step in the right direction.

    GG

  5. As long as you offer syndicated (RSS) feeds, anyone can steal your written content, there is no way to stop them. You can slow them down by offering your feeds as summaries, rather than full content. This strips all HTML out of your syndicated posts and shortens them to about three lines, thus forcing a visit to your site to read the entire post. Or, you could keep your feeds at full content and add a copyright message to each syndicated post by using this plugin: http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/wordpress-plugin-to-automatically-add-copyright-message-to-your-rss-atom-feeds/

  6. zenpop
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    TO GG who wrote: "Well, it's the internet..." God, what a horrible rationale. You obviously don't make any sort of livlihood from your site/blog...I do. Traffic from Google is crucial to our cash flow remaining strong.

    And you misread my original post: they are NOT running OUR copyright notice from our entries in tandem with the pieces...they are running THEIR copyright notice, for THEIR domain name, at the bottom of the entries.

    I can't believe no one has devised some kind of plugin to combat this...it's really a nightmare.

  7. There will probably never be a way to stop it. All the splogs are doing is getting your syndicated (RSS) feed and displaying it on their website. You could turn off your syndicated feeds, but that would ruin your blog's usability for most of your readers and probably have a significant impact on your returning visitor count. Though there is no way to stop splogs from publishing your content, the two solutions that I posted above will still force or encourage visits to your blog.

  8. Dgold
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    It's a choice any WordPress site user makes, or would make if they thought about it: Leave RSS enabled (and share your text content freely with anyone who syndicates it), or disable RSS. There's a presumption on this board that all WP users are blogging for public newsreaders. Disabling RSS is considered the ugly hidden option here for reasons stated by others here. But the answer to this user's question is really quite simple:

    turn off RSS and the other sites won't be running your text feeds anymore.

    I think we should keep in mind that WP can be used for a private diary (*turn off rss and pinging before first post!!*), school notes, small workgroups, or just for a news website on the www regardless of RSS. Should be a choice for users.

  9. Denis de Bernardy
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    There is a simple way to stop splogs:

    a) Get Bad Behavior
    b) Don't use services such as feedburner

    Though, arguably, it only stops them to a certain extent, i.e. you'd need to blacklist magpie, which they use most of the time, except for certain IPs.

  10. Cyberney
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I am a pro writer and sometimes I find some of my columns or even a short story on somebody's website without my permission. I then send them an e-mail to ask to delete my work. If they don't I could get them to court, but that's a real hassle, even for my publisher. It takes a whole lot of mailing etcetera and a whole lot of time before they remove my work from their sites. How about musicians who find their work on all kinds of websites? Even broadcasted! So, it may sound weird, but the only way to cope with this is telling yourself that what you actually write is interesting enough for others to steal it from you. I am afraid you will have to live with this. I don't say it's nothing to get mad about, I only hope this stealing will not make you sick and tired. You go ahead with your blogging, believe in what you do. Stealing is for the poor minded people. You are better off with a rich mind. Good luck. Cyberney

  11. Cyberney
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #


  12. bambam4479
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    You could always try their host or whoever they have registered the domain through. It is your right under the DMCA.

  13. Denis, Michael Hampton (Bad Behavior's developer) has stated that Bad Behavior won't protect you from splogs, and he's right. It hasn't done a bloody thing to keep my content away from them. Blocking Magpie, however, will stop some of the splogs that are out there, but I don't think that it will stop all of them. What we need to do is take our "online lynch mob" of about 20 million bloggers and attack the splogs with every resource that is available to us.

  14. zenpop
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    "You could always try their host or whoever they have registered the domain through. It is your right under the DMCA."

    Yes, this is true -- or rather WAS true several years ago. All of the registered info I checked on through WHOIS shows the splog assholes using bullshit like this to hide behind. To contact them I have to send a registered legal letter, just to tell them to stop:

    http://domainsbyproxy.com/

    It's like dealing with the Mafia nowadays.

    I'm considering dismantling our RSS -- if that is what it's going to take.

  15. zenpop
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    We do not use any RSS on our site, other than the one that is automatically activated with WordPress. Can someone tell me how to shut this off in the admin section? so that no RSS is going out?

    We've installed an email alert system for repeat readers, they can sign up for that if they want notification of new material.

    I'm tired of paying my writers and illustrators and then having that ripped off to benefit some scumbag ne'er-do-well splog crew. F*ck 'em.

  16. planetthoughtful
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    "This is what happens on the internet" isn't a rationale, it's a reality.

    There are various techniques that you can try to make your content harder to copy. For example, there are javascript snippets that disable the right-click menu on a user's mouse [1], and similarly you can use javascript to hide the browser's menu bar, etc. But the reality is that if your content has commercial value, someone will work out how to copy it. And another reality is that a percentage of your legitimate consumers will feel frustrated at being forced to accept such limitations. I know I would.

    You can definitely go through the motions of notifying the offending party that they are in breach of copyright and that the content should be removed immediately or legal action will be taken. Similarly, depending on where the site is hosted, you can check their host's web site to see if they have an 'acceptable use' policy that covers misuse of copyrighted material, though even if they do you should prepare yourself that they may have little or no intention of enforcing it. You might want to contact a lawyer and get a generic 'cease and desist' letter drafted, using suitably threatening legal language, and send it off to anyone who has copied your content, as a matter of course.

    Ultimately, it's up to you to determine exactly how valuable the content is to you, and what lengths to which you are willing or prepared to go to protect it. Yes, it's illegal to use copyrighted material in the way you're describing, but it's painful and usually expensive to enforce.

    And, I speak from experience, in that up to a couple of years ago I ran a site that had content stolen and reproduced a number of times. I did what I could to disuade the offenders from maintaining my content on their sites, but had to accept that even the most aggressive cease-and-desist campaign would often fall into a black hole of indifference, and ultimately I wasn't making enough money from the content to make chasing even one offender financially feasible.

    It's frustrating, yes, but it's that reality thing.

    Much warmth,

    planetthoughtful

    [1] Or, more accurately, responds to a right-click event by displaying a "This content is copyrighted" notice, etc, instead of the expected menu with the "Copy" item.

  17. To deactivate your syndicated (RSS) feeds, you must first remove any syndication (or RSS) links from your blog's theme (they are usually in the sidebar or footer). Then, from your theme's Header Template, remove this section (or the section which closely resembles it):

    <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
    <link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="RSS .92" href="<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>" />
    <link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom 0.3" href="<?php bloginfo('atom_url'); ?>" />

    Now, delete these files from your WordPress installation:

    wp-atom.php
    wp-feed.php
    wp-rdf.php
    wp-rss.php
    wp-rss2.php

    And, that should be it. No more feeds, no more splogs. At least you have an email notification system set up.

  18. ifelse
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    "There are various techniques that you can try to make your content harder to copy. For example, there are javascript snippets that disable the right-click menu on a user's mouse [1], and similarly you can use javascript to hide the browser's menu bar, etc."

    BTW, this does *NOT* work at all in practice. As well as annoying any readers, it's (extremely) trivial to bypass and fails to stop the main sources i.e. automated programs which grab your content via RSS and republish it without any manual intervention.

  19. planetthoughtful
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    ifelse: I agree wholeheartedly. It wouldn't discourage any but the most novice of users, and presumably they're not the problem, while it would annoy others a great deal.

    Much warmth,

    planetthoughtful

  20. mikep
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    As a journalist/writer, I've had my work copied, most recently by a splog using RSS2Blog. I also see my pieces copied into forums etc. There's a copy 'n paste mentality out there that thinks if it's on the internet, it can be freely copied. And splogs don't care what they do with other people's content, provided it earns them money. Zenpop - try splogreporter.com.

  21. VaamYob
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    :( I wish I had something worth copying.

  22. Dgold
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    macmanx, thanks for that followup instructions, very helpful. If that's not in the Codex, it should be. Even though WordPress espouses RSS and comes with it auto-enabled, really WP is useful to some sites that don't want RSS.

  23. estjohn
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I beleive there is also a plugin that will add a copyright to your feed... it might not be a big step, but whoever is getting feeds will see youre copyright shown up on someone elses site..

  24. whooami
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    mmm, interesting topic of conversation. One suggestion for "making it harder" would be to provide your most valued text content inside an image. I realize its a little extra work, and might possibly provide a page layout challenge but its certainly going to deter copy/pastes more than some "no right click" javascript.

  25. chimommy
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Unfortunately, the only sure fire way to avoid content theft is to not have content. Of course that isn't a viable option I know. GadgetGuru is correct in that it is the way of the internet. Doesn't make it right or ok but that is true. People think anything on the internet is free for the taking.

    I hope you find the solution you are looking for. I will agree with others, disabling right clicking is one of the worst ways to go. From a visitor standpoint, it is irritating and I personally will not stick around a site that disables menus on my own system. I use my RC menu a lot and don't enjoy being told I can't. ;)

  26. angsuman
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    To summarize:

    As MacManx has kindly pointed out there is a plugin to automatically add your copyright message to your RSS / Atom feed items. If you publish your full content via feeds (default) then it add the copyright message to each feed items. So you will have fun watching them displaying your copyright message on their sites. Not only that it will also indicate that it is stolen. Surely it would do world of good to the reputation of such sites.

    You can also disable the feeds altogether as MacManx instructed but that is in some way throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Several people do read blogs using feeds, myself included.

    Bad Behavior or any spam control plugins will not help in any way. Preventing Magpie RSS from accessing your site will not help either as it takes one line of code to change it to behave like Internet Explorer / Firefox.

    BTW: Content-in-images, stopping hotlinking does not solve this issue. Preventing hotlinking merely saves you some bandwidth.

    splogreporter.com is a recent effort by a Kerala based blog pinging site - pingoat which tries to catch the splogs. It does allow you to take some action, check the site for details.

    BTW: You mentioned you make significant income using blogs, care to provide some rough picture :)

  27. clearblogs
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Ban the IP of the website stealing you content and maybe disable rss feeds or somting

  28. leonleon123
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I think best solutions to prevent stealing is to make rss feed that contains only title and links to content, that way they can not still content and if they steal that rss fed they will give you links.

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