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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

4 thoughts on “Blaming Technology for Splogging

  1. It’s funny how you link to Richard Byrne’s blog and he specifically states at the end, “You cannot copy an article from The New York Times and republish it in another place without permission…” when our latest genealogy splogger did exactly that.

  2. Via a standing Google alert I have set up, I recently became aware of another slant on the whole splog issue: An aggregation site that focuses on PDFs or “eBooks” that crawls the web, catalogs what it finds and then presents the documents in its own viewer.

    Looking at the code setup, it doesn’t archive the content locally but pulls it directly from the original site. The Download link also pulls from the original site, but it is far from apparent what the source of the document might be.

    Not sure they might be trying to sidestep the copyright issues somewhat in their technique or if they are just oblivious and/or don’t care.

    Me no like, but I haven’t had time to give them what for yet. Here’s an example – it is pulling a PDF from my site that outlines who’s who in a family photo and some Coney Island info:

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