Blaming Technology for Splogging

Stop Content Theft

I want to point out to the members and readers of GeneaBloggers a great post by Richard Byrne of the Free Technology for Teachers blog. It is entitled Stop Blaming the Technology and relates his recent encounter with a splogger who tried to blame the autofeed plugin he was using for stealing blog content. Read the entire post and you’ll be amazed – especially in the email exchange when the blogger said that plagiarism is a “gray area.” For realz.

This week, there was another incident of a site posting content from many genealogy bloggers without proper attribution.  As is my rule, I won’t mention the site or link back to the site so as not to feed them any traffic.  I too had quite an email exchange with the site owner who couldn’t understand that what he was doing – or better yet, what his WordPress plugin was doing (because you blame the technology instead of taking responsibility for your own actions, right?). He did understand that you can’t take the entire contents of another blog post and slap it on your site without permission or without proper attribution.

Especially if you are a new blogger here in the GeneaBloggers community, review our list of resources for Blog Copyright and Content Theft under Blog Resources. And because of the recent increase of sploggers using these autofeed plugins, it might be a good idea to set up a Google Alert or two using your own name and blog name to monitor this type of activity.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee Scam – Did You Receive a Comment on Your Blog?

Here is the latest link baiting, blog scraping, splog scam courtesy of a Maria Blanchard at who is leaving this comment in various genealogy blogs:

Hi, is committed to uphold the quality standards of blogging. We strive to maintain and promote only the most credible blogs in their respective fields.

Spam blogs or “splogs” has been a problem for some time now and people are getting confused about which blog to trust.

We would like to thank you for maintaining such a reputable blog. We know that it takes time, effort and commitment to keep such a blog and as such, we have added your blog as one of the top Genealogy Blogs.

You can see your blog listed here:

You can also claim your BlogFront Top Blogs badge at

Thank you for keeping your blog credible. Let’s keep the blog revolution alive!

Maria Blanchard
Blog Revolucion

Many if not most members of GeneaBloggers are finding their blogs listed at They also try to entice you to post their badge which links back to their site.  For those bloggers who are new, don’t accept the bait – the only one that benefits is and believe me, being selected by is no honor – it is actually a dishonor. We have no information on who runs this site, what they are about etc.  Why link to a site that has no reputation in the blogging community? [Note: as we usually do, GeneaBloggers will not provide any hyperlinks to sploggers – all links for are intentionally disabled]

File a Complaint

Since does not provide any contact information (how convenient) and a search of the WHOIS database shows that the domain is registered to a Rick Ong, B2 L6 Ocean Park Subd, Quezon City, MM, 1116, Philippines, +63.9367278 at, the only recourse you have is:

  • email and send a cease and desist notice (see our Resources on Blog Copyright and Theft for more information); or
  • file a DMCA complaint with Google to get removed from the Google search engine – use this form.


Blog revolution indeed.  They only thing revolting is’s tactics in trying to lure the uninformed bloggers into providing them a link.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee


Open Thread Thursday – Copyright and Genealogy

open thread

This week’s topic for Open Thread Thursday is:

Have you ever encountered a situation involving copyright issues when either posting about your genealogy research, using research resources, etc.?

Have you ever had to send a “cease and desist” notice to someone violating your copyright?

Have you ever had questions as to whether an item was copyrighted or the copyright was still in effect?

What about orphaned works (where you can’t determine the copyright owner)?

Have you ever had another researcher refuse to share information due to copyright concerns?

Post your responses in the comments or at a post on your own genealogy blog and place the link here in the comments.


Thanks to a jumbled mess of copyright laws, at least here in the United States, it isn’t easy to determine what is in the public domain, what is copyrighted and how and if you can use certain items in blog posts, publications and other communication methods.

Thanks to genealogy colleague Dee Dee King, CG, I’ve been using the following chart to determine the copyright status of certain works:  Even so, it still can be quite a maze to figure out when it is acceptable to reproduce and item and in which way so that it falls within the Fair Use method of usage.

Don’t forget to check out our Resources for Blog Copyright and Content Theft here at GeneaBloggers. While many of the resources focus on blogging, many will still help you understand copyright and genealogy.


This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee