Despite having a copyright notice at the bottom of every page, my blog posts have been stolen for several months now by a content scraping site. I was alerted to this as I use a free service called FairShare to monitor the web for content copied illegally from my blog. The scraping site is MakeMyComputerFaster and they’ve been copying not just part of my posts but the whole deal. Here’s an example. Strange thing is most of my posts aren’t giving tips on how to make your computer run faster so I don’t really see what’s the point. They’ve even copied the warning at the end of my post that it’s been copied without permission. Actually, I wonder if this post will appear there after I publish it? What I want to do here is go through the steps I’m taking to try and stop this and the difficulties I’m having.
Contact the owner of the site copying my posts
If you read any post on blog plagiarism, this is always the first recommendation. It’s worth a try but my first point is that any site serious about content scraping just isn’t going to make their contact details freely available. And so it is with my problem site. There you’ll find no contact form, no contact email, no contact details, and you can’t comment on any post. The owner calls himself James Brooks but I wouldn’t think that’s his/her real name. So what next?
Run an eWhoIs search
As you can see the eWhoIs search brings up the information that the site has been registered through WhoIsGuard to protect the owner’s real identity. No surprise there. The only other info of note is at the bottom of the page:
So the site is hosted by pipeDNS servers.
I’ve also read that it’s possible to track anonymous bloggers by using their Google Analytics code. Unfortunately, this content scraper didn’t use Google Analytics as it didn’t show up in the eWhoIs report so a Reverse Google Analytics ID Lookup wasn’t possible. But it’s worth bearing in mind for the future.
Contact the host of the site copying my posts
So I’ve emailed the agent for pipeDNS who deal with claims of copyright infringement (justHOST.com) pointing out the position and giving examples of my plagiarized posts and asking if they can contact the site owner to see if the illegally copied posts can be removed. So far my email to pipeDNS and 2 emails to justHOST haven’t got a response and the illegal content is still online.
Well, looks like I have four options:
1. Just ignore it. The site has PageRank 0 so there’s little likelihood that the copied posts are going to outrank mine in a Google search.
2. Submit a DMCA takedown notice to the host pipeDNS asking for the illegal content to be removed. Looks like that’s the only way they will take any action unfortunately which is a pity. It would have been nice if they had made some effort to police the content scrapers they host without having to resort to a DMCA notice.
3. The domain expires on 27th January 2012 as seen in the graphic above. Wait and see if the owner renews the domain or just lets it lapse.
4. Hope that the bad publicity of this post gets a response and he/she takes all the illegally copied posts down.
What do you think I should do here? Drop a comment below. I’ll write a Part 2 to this post when there’s more to report.