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Content Theft from Feeds – It’s Time To Take Action

The Blogging Herald reports that content theft is on the rise via feeds and it is time to do something about it. How timely since I recently posted What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content and The Growing Trend in Content Theft, which includes feed thieves.

There is a reference in the post of problems in the past with content theft from feeds and I loved the following statements.

That’s right folks, its not even hard to steal content, more and more people are doing it, and its only going to get worse. If you are being paid to write for someone else, like Robert Scoble is, then you don’t really need to worry. If you enjoy bringing in some pocket money, or even a bit more from your blog, enough to cover your hosting costs and occasionally buy some toys, or even more, then your revenue is potentially threatened by scum who are multiplying by the day using scripts and tools such as these.

The only solution that I can see: limited RSS feeds.

Scoble, tell me I’m wrong, and show me how to fight back. Tell the tens of thousands of readers of the Blog Herald, most of whom own and write blogs themselves what they should do? should we stand still whilst we get streamrolled by the rise of content theft, or should we take protective action. The way I see it, pulling back to a shorter feed is like wearing a condom if you’re having sex, it protects you from disease, and in this case the disease in content theft.

Think he and I are single voices in the wilderness complaining about this? Blogging Herald, Jason Calacanis, Micro Persuasion, CT Biz Blogs, Alex Barnett, GigaOM, Crunch Notes, VoIP & Gadgets Blog, and many others have been the victims of content feed thefts. We are not alone. Our voices are loud. When we all work together, the world changes.

We just need a plan of action and a director. Anyone?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

7 Comments

  1. Posted April 19, 2006 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I used to provide full content feeds but due to this issue and the potential to get penalized for duplicate content I changed my feeds to summary feeds.

    This is the only solution I currently see unless someone develops a subscription/password system to work as the gatekeeper to your feed. That way you could at least monitor the use of your feeds by Ip and then threaten reporting to their hosting company re: DMCA copyright violation.

    I had a blogger that recently copied one of my articles in it’s entirety on his blogger blog, he removed it very quickly when I mentioned the violation of the DMCA Copyright Act.

  2. Posted April 19, 2006 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I just read that Darren Rowse of ProBlogger is now going to experiment with full text feeds after so many requests. He’s still worried about content theft, reporting “I currently find a few site’s republishing in what I see as unethical ways each week”, so this is just a two month experiment. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with for results and responses.

  3. Posted April 20, 2006 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Interesting – and I’d be even more interested in your post on “The Growing Trend in Content Theft” but there’s nothing there when I click the link. Maybe somebody’s stolen it!

  4. Posted August 19, 2006 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    What happens if you write for a bigger blog that puts its feeds out all over the place? For example, I found an article I wrote republished on an online newspaper. However, I don’t consider it theft given that they fully credited me as the author and explained their purpose (they allow people to take down their content too).

    But just imagine that I found something else I wrote on a site that receives feeds from the bigger blog I post for, what could one do?

  5. Posted August 19, 2006 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Snarkattack: You take action just as you would for any copyright infringement. Make sure that all your posts are tagged as copyrighted, so that notice shows up in your feeds, no matter where they go. And if you have a contract with someone who uses your content in their feeds, make sure you read the fine print. They are making money on your work, so you should get compensated. If that is what you want. Otherwise, it’s abuse.

  6. Posted October 3, 2006 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, sorry it took me so long to get back here and reply. Thanks for the advice. I’m starting to see that it’s getting really hard to keep track of where one’s content ends up – and I seem to only really find out by accident.

    What sorts of preventative measures can be taken aside from monitoring feeds? I don’t claim to be writing masterpieces (though there are times when I do my best) but truthfully, I’d rather be spending time writing than policing.

  7. Posted October 3, 2006 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I just wrote about that. Check out Digital Fingerprints Help Track Blog Content Theft.


8 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Lorelle on WordPress » Content Theft from Feeds – It’s Time To Take Action Think he and I are single voices in the wilderness complaining about this? Blogging Herald, Jason Calacanis, Micro Persuasion, CT Biz Blogs, Alex Barnett, GigaOM, Crunch Notes, VoIP & Gadgets Blog, and many others have been the victims of content feed thefts. We are not alone. Our voices are loud. When we all work together, the world changes. [...]

  2. [...] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content Content Theft from Feeds – It’s Time To Take Action Finding Stolen Content and Copyright Infringements Scraping for Content 10 Big Myths about copyright explained [...]

  3. [...] I’ve written a lot recently about what to do if your content is “violated” by others using it without permission, about the growing trends in content theft through feeds and other methods, how to find out if others are stealing your content, and more, so now it is your turn. [...]

  4. Links: Content Theft & Plagiarism Issues

    Content theft is a vital issue not only for blog authors, but for almost all the site owners as well. You try hard to create you unique and unforgettable content, but one day you find out that all your masterpieces are used by some other guys who don&#…

  5. [...] Content Theft from Feeds – It’s Time To Take Action [...]

  6. [...] should caution you, however, to include titles or excerpts not full posts in any feeds you host on your website or blog unless you have the consent of the author. There are more and more [...]

  7. […] Content Theft from Feeds – It’s Time To Take Action […]

  8. […] should caution you, however, to include titles or excerpts not full posts in any feeds you host on your website or blog unless you have the consent of the author. There are more and more […]

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