Splog Alert – Rootsfeed.com Violating Copyright

Stop Content Theft

Well it just seems that sploggers don’t understand.  We’ve got a new one on the horizon called RootsFeed and I urge all members of GeneaBloggers to look at the site and see if their content has been misused and their copyright violated.

RootsFeed is posting blog content in violation of copyright by a) not properly linking back to the original post and in some cases b) disregarding the Creative Commons licensing provisions.

What also irks me more is that they give the appearance that certain bloggers are “contributors” or “columnists” when in fact they are not.  I’ve verified this fact with at least one well-known genealogy blogger who said she has had no involvement with RootsFeed and did not give permission for them to use her content.

There is no contact information for the owners of RootsFeed and the About page currently lists the generic WordPress information.

What Can You Do?

Since we have little recourse due to the lack of contact information and the WHOIS registry for RootsFeed.com lists a “privacy protection” service, here is what you can do:

  • Contact the hosting company – VerveHosting – for the RootsFeed site. Send your email to abuse@vervehosting.com with a cease and desist notice and ask tell them that your original content is being used and your copyright violated.  Ask them to either force RootsFeed to remove your content or to shut down the site.
  • File a DMCA complaint with the advertisers used by RootsFeed and hit them where it hurts – in the pocketbook:

Conclusion

All readers of GeneaBloggers know – as do our members – that it isn’t playing fair when you have to steal content from others who have worked so hard to document their genealogy journey.

Don’t forget our resource page on Blog Copyright and Content Theft!

GeneaBloggers will always fight the good fight against opportunists like RootsFeed who want to ride the current wave of popularity surrounding family history and only take from our community without giving back.

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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Comments

24 thoughts on “Splog Alert – Rootsfeed.com Violating Copyright

  1. Thankfully…It doesn’t appear that my content is on this site.

    The difference between this site and other splogs is that this one actually looks nice and professional. Someone has put some time into this site… such a shame that they steal others’ content.

  2. Another plus to this site is that they do only display the first few paragraphs of the post, and link to the source to read the rest.

    But they do imply that the bloggers (and in several cases newspaper reporters) are active contributors.

  3. Thanks for this Thomas! I just popped over and there it was, my last post right on the home page. Not happy.. nope, not at all!

  4. Arrrrggghhh! My blog is being ripped off at this site. Please help, your links for the last step don’t seem to work. I filed a complaint with Vervehosting, but I don’t know what a DMCA is or how to contact Commission Junction / ValueClick OMG! What do I do now?

  5. Thanks for your post! Hopefully this will come down soon, as everyone in the genealogy community is vulnerable!

    The fact that they have not identified themselves by name is a clue that something is not quite right.

  6. Yep, they got me too. I’m taking the steps you suggest.
    One question, if we all post nasty blog posts about what they are doing, would they automatically grab that post? I’m just envisioning a page of nasty comments about them on their own site.

    Meanwhile, I’m prefacing all my blogposts for the next few days with the following:

    “Notice: If you are reading this on Rootsfeed.com, you are reading copyrighted material taken from my blog without my permission”

  7. Thanks for this info. It has not happened to me yet, but I saw several of our Genea-Family on the splog site. Now at least we know what recourse to take.

  8. OK, so I just emailed RootsFeed directly, and immediately received an email in return. This is their exact comment:
    ———————
    Your posts were removed from the site this past Saturday. Rootsfeed did not violate your copyright. At no time did we publish in its entirety any article from your website, nor did we ever take
    attribution for any article. We posted an excerpt from the article with a link back to your site, which is completely legal.

    RootsFeed
    ——————–

    What does everyone think of this? Comments?

  9. Heather

    What email did you use for RootsFeed? I do see that they’ve added a Contact Form on their site. I still disagree with their statement that they did not violate copyright.

    Cheers

    Thomas

  10. Yes, Thomas, I used the contact form today, which was not there on Saturday (I believe it wasn’t there, because I was looking for one at that time) I disagree with their statement, too, and I think that they are taking advantage of some gray area there . Thanks SO MUCH for your help. They are not using my content now, but I’ll have to be vigilant about check other websites and other folks who might also exploit this “gray area”.

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