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What to do about sploggers?

  • 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.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
  • That’s one way.

    I’ve also limited my RSS feed to excerpts.

    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?

    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?

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

    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.

    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*

    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 🙂

    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

    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.

    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. 🙂

    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.

    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?

    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.


    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.

    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.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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