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How to stop content from being stolen?…

  • 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?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
  • Try using .htaccess hacks to disable hotlinking. Information here http://altlab.com/htaccess_tutorial.html

    Good luck!

    The Gadget Guru

    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.

    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.


    Moderator James Huff


    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/

    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.

    Moderator James Huff


    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

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

    Moderator James Huff


    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.

    “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:


    It’s like dealing with the Mafia nowadays.

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

    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.

    “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,


    [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.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
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