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What to do about sploggers? (23 posts)

  1. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Any clue? For the uninitiated: jerks with some technical know-how setup a framework for processing a variety of RSS feeds into something that seems to be a real web site but isn't, then rakes in the dough on advertising and affiliate programs and the like. They steal content and make money off it while you get the fig.

    So, what to do? Ignore them? Take action? Use a plugin? Any experiences?

    My one thought was to hardcode a link back to my web site in the text of my RSS feeds... and perhaps leave it at that. It's sort of like free advertising. I suppose the thing that -really- bothers me is that my content is out there making someone money, and people couldn't even possibly get back to my site even if they wanted to.

    Thoughts?

  2. DianeV
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    That's one way.

    I've also limited my RSS feed to excerpts.

  3. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I like having a full feed and want to keep it for the readers...

    Hmm, in this case it looks like this site he's using for an affiliate program is actually keen on getting to the bottom of it... so that's good news!

    Any others?

  4. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    No one bothers to deal with this stuff?

    Is there any way to figure out the IP of a splogging site and subsequently ban it from your domain?

  5. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    One more stab at this and then I let it fall to the bottom again :) *stab*

  6. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Only way I would think might work would be using something like http://www.arin.net/whois/ or http://www.domaintools.com/ to see if you can get at least an IP with an abuse email you can contact.

  7. Chris_K
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    When I find folks "consuming" my stuff and ignoring my license, I contact them. If they don't respond, I write an article about them, categorized/tagged to match what they're swiping.

    Those articles are rarely complimentary. Always amusing to watch those hit their site.

    There are plugins that'll add copyright type stuff to feeds if that's your interest. Because of my license, I have folks consuming my feed(s) and crediting me, so those plugins don't work (in my situation).

    Bans are certainly an option. Whooami has some stuff about .htaccess banning I believe? Search here might turn some of it up.

    I'm with you on the full feed. Keep it. There are some blogs I'd love to read more, but excerpt feeds drive me nuts. *sigh*

  8. buzz
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

  9. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Cool, thanks everyone... I will look into one of these solutions. My problem right now is that this splogger has no contact info available anywhere, and none of the obvious addresses attached to the domain return anything. I was thinking of making a nasty little post about the site but then again, it's like free promotion for them... which is something I'd rather avoid :)

  10. ladydelaluna
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Free BAD promotion though. I'm not sure what your topic is (didn't bother to check), but if it's about blogging/web stuff anyway - make a post about the &*#$s out there who are doing this sort of thing, and highlight him as an example. Don't link to him with his official blog title though... use something like "This piggy fugger..." with the link. LOL

  11. webDressing
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Please let us know what you end up using, and if you decide to try AntiLeech please provide a screenshot and/or a link to how it looks when it's applied.

  12. drmike
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I always use "Biggest a$$hole on the internet" myself when i do those kinds of links.

    Of course I have a script that placed those links across the bottom of a large number of hosting clients covering 15 class Cs. Search engines usually pick that up fairly quickly. :)

  13. Doodlebee
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    For the record, even if you can't find contact information for the splogger, you know his domain name. Use a whois search to find out who his hosting provider is. Then contact his host with a standard copyright infringement notice. The host *should* investigate, and most will take down the site until the investigation is finished.

    If the host doesn't respond, then they have an unscrupulous host as well, and you can report them - I *think* to ICANN, but I'm not sure about that one.

    It's a total PITA, so I'd start with this initially (because after a while, there's so many that you just can't do this all the time - you wouldn't b able to keep up!), and then do the .htaccess thing Handy was referring to.

    I also like the idea of scraping the scraper and hard-coding your link into each post - that's just funny. I would so do that.

  14. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Am I crazy, or is your copyright only as strong as you are willing to enforce it? In the age of RSS feeds it almost seems pointless to try and torch these bastards.

    Anyhow, I looked into the plugins built for this problem, and I don't know... I think I'm just going to track what IPs access my site shortly after I make a post and try to catch 'em red-handed and simply block the IP server-side. Stupid question, but is the IP of a splogging site likely to change much over time?

  15. Doodlebee
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Am I crazy, or is your copyright only as strong as you are willing to enforce it? In the age of RSS feeds it almost seems pointless to try and torch these bastards.

    Exactly.

    Many people argue that anything that uses RSS is fair game - since RSS feeds are used to syndicate content and be distributed widely.

    So yes, in this situation, you're right (and I believe I said it'd eventually not be worth it to chase everyone down and torch them, because it'll take up more of your time than you want it to). I only suggested it for this case, because this seems to be the one that's gotten under your skin the most - chasing one down isn't gonna hurt anything.

    IP's do change. And IP addresses of people doing illegal stuff changes very frequently. It'd be just a fruitless to ban by IP address, I would think. I had the same kind of issue a long time ago with referer spam, and I used .htaccess to look for certain terms within sites trying to link themselves in my referer logs - it has worked quite well. I would think that doing something similar would work in your case - which is why I agreed that you should try out Whooami's solution - you might have better luck that way.

  16. klklaser
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I'm another one that excerpt feeds drive nuts. If a blog only has excerpts, it goes into a special section that I rarely look at.

    One reason I do things this way is because I have special templates with clear fonts and character spacing and line-heights that allow me to read much more quickly.

    Sometimes I really think that the newspaper industry screwed up people's ideas regarding what are good fonts and font presentations, simply because they needed to conserve paper and consequently squashed everything too close together.

  17. goooglemonster
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    after erroneously receiving a DMCA notice from Viacom about a video of mine on YouTube I read up an awful lot. Something interesting you may glean from on Chilling Effects. People are sending DMCA notices.. which technically you have just as much right to if you feel your copyright is being violated. Why let big companies like Microsoft do this to Google..when you can do it to a splogger near you. Let alone.. whomever is hosting the splogger. Which means..they will be dropped like a hot potato. DMCA's are nasty little pieces of work..but considering that you just want to scare the bejeezus out of them. Why not? Just an idea! Im hoping the EFF takes on Viacom..ive given them my info..just dont be stupid like Viacom and send notices to someone who isnt infringing on your copyright!!!
    Otherwise people.. i just landed here and am very impressed with WordPress..even if I know nothing about operating stuff like this. I'll figure it out.
    Oh one more thing.. about those DMCA's..designed for biz to screw all us little folks.. the more average people use them and the more trouble is created..perhaps the sooner they will disappear!..just a little something to think about. I saw one blogger had sent one to google(its fashionable to pick on google i think??)..so the potential is there..if your stuff is being picked up elsewhere..get the hosts after them. excuse the length here. -b

  18. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Well I can't imagine going to the trouble of threatening legal action with some web site... in the end I decided I would simply spice up my feed a bit, throw down a copyright statement, a link back to my site, the post itself, and a fancy little "comments" link... here, for example, is the latest piece of content thieved from my feed:
    http://www.roostmusic.com/News/october-rust-breitseite-ep/

    All things considered, I get the SEO juice, a bit of promotion, and at least it's clear where the content originates... I guess that's about the best I can do, and hey, it's not like I have to put any work into fending off the inevitable splog assaults as my content production continues...

  19. drmike
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    The host *should* investigate, and most will take down the site until the investigation is finished.

    *snort* Yeah right. Never sent a complaint to an ISP, have you? Most will just toss the complaint until you get a judge involved. There's no money to be made in following up with complaints such as this and you're asking them to get rid of a paying client.

  20. Fretless
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Out of interest, how did you do the feed code Xander?

  21. Xander
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I had totally forgotten, but it looks like I used the Better Feed plugin (chosen for how easily it is to customize):
    http://frenchfragfactory.net/ozh/my-projects/wordpress-plugin-better-feed-rss/

    As you can see, there are many handy options to mess with.

  22. Stephen Cronin
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I've written a plugin called DualFeeds which allows you to offer BOTH a full post AND a summary feed. By default, the normal site feed is full post and a second feed is created (by adding &dualfeed=2 to the URL) for the summary feed. However there is a parameter to switch the feeds, so the normal feed is summary and the second feed is full post.

    I didn't write this to deal with the splogging situation, but it could be used to help to a degree.

    If you use the plugin and switch it, so the normal feed is the summary and the second feed the full post, then the sploggers will presumably scrape the summary feed. If they want to, they could visit your site and find the full post feed, but I think most of them won't, so this may offer a degree of protection.

    The main problem with this approach is that it will mess up your existing subscribers (who will have to resubscribe to the URL for the second feed).

  23. MrGunn
    Member
    Posted 6 years ago #

    I think an analogy to image hotlinking is appropriate, and you know how we deal with hotlinkers.

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