9.22.2008

Dudes...I been scraped

Two weeks ago I got an email from my friend Ann letting me know that she got a pingback on her blog from someone who full on copied one of my blog posts (in which I linked to Ann) and pasted it into their blog. This is called scraping, people, and it's not cool.

Kat's Adventures in Copyright Infringement

1. I freaked out a bit, and wrestled with a few overwhelming emotions. Why me? What if my taking action opens a bigger can of worms than I want to deal with? Remember that time when you were seven and you didn't confront the older kids who stole your bag of salt water taffy and how lousy you felt? Isn't it ironic, given how you feel about the ramifications of the DMCA, that you now use procedures outlined by the DMCA to deal with this? This would be flattering if it wasn't an automated process...little ol' me and my little ol' oranges and peaches blog worthy of being copied...too bad.

2. I thought back to what little I learned about copyright in Library 101. The only thing that really stuck was that only the copyright owner can file a copyright notice. Since I figured I would never *be* that copyright owner, I must have tuned out. The other thing that stuck is that one does not need to mark their work with a copyright notice in order to hold the copyright. But, I figured I should read Blogger's Terms of Service -- just in case I have to prove that this is my original content.

3. I read about how other people handled it when their content was lifted. There are some excellent sites that have outlined the steps to take when content has been scraped. I consulted One Cool Site and Lorelle, but there are lots of sites out there.

4. I found out as much information about the site as possible. WhoIs provides domain registration information. Since there was no contact information on that page, I clicked on the IP address and was able to determine which company was hosting the site. I also browsed through that company's AUP, or Acceptable Use Policy -- mainly for kicks, but also because I learned that every ISP has one.

5. I contacted abuse@theISPcompany.com to report the offending site. "I believe someone who is using your hosing services is scraping content from my blog. According to whois.arin.net, this IP address (xx.xxx.x.xx, www.url.net) is registered to [your company]. My original blog posts (urls) have been lifted in their entirety here (urls) without attribution or my permission. If this is your customer, and if you're able to do anything about this matter, please contact me. Blah blah blah." Just a note - It is not in my nature to use the official- and harsh-sounding language suggested in other copyright notice form letters I came upon. And, the DH (who responded to this kind of stuff when he worked at a local ISP) gave me permission to tone it down a bit. Just so we're clear, I did not write blah blah blah in my email though.

6. I contacted Google AdSense to notify them that one of their customers is scraping my content. I received a follow up email with instructions on how to submit my request in writing.

And, that my friends, is Kat's Adventure in Copyright Infringement sans results. Tune in next week for Kat's Adventures in Finally Locating and Killing that Damn Cricket in Her Basement.

4 comments:

Kat said...

And I heard back (really quickly) from the ISP saying that what I sent was not an official DMCA notification. The official steps are described in the DMCA (512(c)(3)(A)(i-vi)).

Good times, but I understand and appreciate that there needs to be a formal process.

tragicoptimist said...

I'm glad that you're pursuing this. I'm kind of interested to see how it all turns out.

By the way, I gave you a blog award (it's on my blog) - I tried commenting on your Steagall act post, but I think I typed the word in wrong, so if it does come up, I'm not trying to spam your comments :).

timethief said...

Best wishes to you for getting your stolen content removed from the slpog site. DMCA notices usually work but sometimes the Google Adsense complaint does the trick faster. In the final analysis the motivation is money so reporting the splog site to Google Adsense and to other advertisers (read the ToS) will result in banning and blacklisting.

Rosco said...

I'm interested to hear how this turns out. I am discussing copyright with my computer apps class as we look at web 2.0 applications - so I used your situation as an example. They are all cheering for you!