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Breaking the Brick Wall on Your Content Theft Search

Blog writing tips and articlesA Content Theft Tale by Jonathan Bailey on the Blog Herald is a brilliant read for those concerned about content theft.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Over here at the Blog Herald, my latest post about the twenty best free anti-plagiarism tools was going over very well. With hundreds of views and half a dozen trackbacks, it was rapidly gaining traction among its readers.

However, one of the trackbacks was not what it seemed. Elsewhere on the Web, a Brazilian blog had not merely linked to the original post, but rather, had copied the entire thing.

…As the case went on, it became an interesting microcosm for plagiarism and content theft issues on the Web involving different ideologies about copyright, international laws and a surprise hosting discovery that, theoretically, should bring the incident to an abrupt ending.

While this is a common occurrence in my blogging and writing world, and I’m spending more time every week combating content theft, I am frequently running into a brick wall in my research to shut down a splog and copyright theft.

Typically, a kind email or comment does the job if the blog honestly didn’t understand copyrights and Fair Use. It takes a moment and I use a prewritten form letter I can quickly copy and paste into a comment or email.

However, as Jonathan found out, the discovery that a blog is hosted on an international web host which doesn’t have the equivalent of the DMCA or copyright enforcement makes stopping the reluctant content thieves much harder.

What Jonathan discovered, after a little more research, was the following:

But before going down that path, I decided to give researching the host a second try, this time using my favorite networking tools site Domain Tools. What I discovered is that Clubeweb, at least in regards to this site, was not the host but merely a reseller. The server actually resided in the United States, under the watch of a company called Softlayer. Since the server is on American soil, American laws apply. As such, we were now free to file a DMCA takedown notice.

YEAH! Brick wall broken down!

I use Domain Tools and DNS Stuff to track down contact information and now I can pay closer attention to host resellers, tracking down the real host rather than the reseller. This may lead to a more copyright friendly web host that will work with you to help you stop the content thief.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted July 11, 2007 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I really can not stress this enough. Though the DMCA is a U.S.-only law, one would be absolutely amazed at the percentage of servers hosted in the United States.

    A year or so ago, I encountered a case where a Chinese man used a Brazilian host that was renting servers from an American company. Since most of the major reseller hosts are in the U.S. and the law applies to wherever the server physically rests, U.S. law (or similar law) governs the vast, vast majority of sites out there.

    All it takes is a little detective work.

    Regardless, thank you VERY much for the write up. I’m extremely honored. I’m glad you loved the article!

  2. Posted July 24, 2007 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Someone posted my entire post on their site attributing them as the author. I threatened “legal action” (not knowing what the hell I was doing) and she attributed me as the author. As it was, there was an alinks link in the post she lifted so I got a pingback. Looking through her site and doing some googling of content, I see that every post has been lifted from somewhere and attributed to her. rrrrr.

    How much should we be on the lookout for this? I don’t want people getting hits or credit for my work? I don’t get paid for it, why should anybody else 😉

  3. Posted July 25, 2007 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    For specifics on what to do when someone steals your content, see What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content.

    Should you be on the lookout? Damn straight. It’s part of our responsibility as “publishers” to protect our work, if that is our intent.

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] on WordPress published a new piece by Jonathon Bailey of the Blog Herald that talks about what you can do when your content is stolen. This is a problem that most bloggers face, sooner or […]

  2. […] Breaking the Brick Wall on Your Content Theft Search […]

  3. […] Breaking the Brick Wall on Your Content Theft Search […]

  4. […] Breaking the Brick Wall on Your Content Theft Search […]

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