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Splog Alert – Stealing Content

Stop Content Theft

Another WIN for Google Alerts! Guess who couldn’t sleep and woke up with a “funny feeling” and decided to do some work at 3:00am? As many readers know, one of the main reasons I use Google Alerts is to not only monitor and track the genealogy industry, but also to see who else might be using my content from my sites.

Offender: Ancestors and Kin

The latest violator – a site called Ancestors and Kin ( which is registered to a Christopher Campbell.  Here is the email I just sent to Mr. Campbell this morning:

Hello Mr. Campbell

I am the owner of and via Google Alerts this morning I found that six of my recent blog posts have been used at the Ancestors and Kin ( website which, according to the WHOIS record, is owned by you, Christopher Campbell:

Registration Service Provided By: LAUNCHPAD.COM, INC.
Contact: +1.17135745287


    Christopher Campbell        (

    7726 Johnson Rd




    Tel. +1.8506262920

Creation Date: 03-Jul-2011
Expiration Date: 03-Jul-2012

I am formally requesting that you immediately remove these posts from your site on the basis that they violate the copyright on my intellectual property. You have stolen my content without my permission. Your use of GeneaBloggers content does not fall within the Fair Use doctrine of US Copyright laws. In addition, you are using your own name as author on all of these articles giving the impression that this is your content.

Please remove all GeneaBloggers content immediately and no later than 5:00 pm Central Daylight Time, Friday, August 26 and email confirmation to me at once content is removed. You may also reimburse me at the rate of $500 per article if you choose. Either way, please let me know which option you choose.

If content is not removed by 5:00 pm Central Daylight Time, Friday, August 26, I will pursue all legal remedies including filing a DMCA complaint with Google and with your Internet service provider.

Finally, I am notifying many of my colleagues in the genealogy industry from whom you’ve also misappropriated content.  Since such theft on your site is so pervasive, I will most likely need to alert my community of over 2,000 genealogy bloggers via blog post at GeneaBloggers and have them check your site for their own content. GeneaBloggers has a long history of representing its members in the fight against splogs and content theft – please see for past occasions where we have successfully won each and every case of content theft.

Please email me if you have any questions.

(Note: members of GeneaBloggers are encouraged to use/copy the above text as the basis of a cease and desist notice to any sploggers caught using your content).

The Offense

Ancestors and Kin is stealing content from genealogy bloggers.  It is doing more than aggregating from RSS feeds – Campbell is using his own name as author attribution and is not linking back to the original post.  In addition, the site appears to be making a profit from affiliate advertising, links, etc.

What Can You Do?

Contact Christopher Campbell at using the WHOIS information listed above. Use a cease and desist notice and tell Campbell that your original content is being used and your copyright violated.  Insist that he remove your content or you will contact Ancestors and Kin’s web hosting company and file a DMCA complaint as well as a DMCA complaint with the advertisers displayed at Ancestors and Kin.

I also recommend, if possible, that you post at the comments for each post using your content and link back to this post.  At the very least, they’ve been “called out” here at GeneaBloggers and this info will show up in Google search results.


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 who want to ride the current wave of popularity surrounding family history and only take from our community without giving back.

© 2011, copyright Thomas MacEntee

24 thoughts on “Splog Alert – Stealing Content

  1. Mr. Campbell you are either wrong, ignorant or seriously misinformed. RSS feed is merely a “channel” a “method of delivery” of content. Stop blaming the technology – you are using an automated method to take the content of others and present it on your site in such a way that it robs the author of attribution and traffic. Please see – we’ve been down this road before.

    The post will remain.

  2. Mr. Campbell,

    Viewing the RSS feed for GeneaBloggers or any other blog via Google Reader is within the guidelines of fair use because delivery is to you personally. The content is not being placed on a publicly accessible website where you have advertising.

    The fact that Google can do this is part of the agreement to use Google Reader.

  3. How do I set up an alert that checks for use of my Blogger blog posts online?

    Also, thanks for what you do. Mr. Campbell may not admit it now, but being called out is good for him. Hopefully he will learn about the importance of citing your sources through this.

    Question: If he did cite you as the author would it still be wrong to copy full posts. I know EOGN often encourages others to share his posts. My thought is that the citation should include a link to the original and the author should be specified at the beginning rather than only at the end?

  4. Thanks for the comment Michael.

    1. You need to have a Google Account to set up a Google Alert (search for Google Alert on Google). Set up several alerts using keywords – I use GeneaBloggers as well as others.

    2. I don’t think there can be a “blanket” policy for all bloggers nor should there be. Right now, even changing the author to GeneaBloggers would not suffice – if you notice, clicking the post title takes the reader to another page at Ancestors and Kin rather than back to GeneaBloggers. A simple “source” link in my book is not how most bloggers set up such a feed.

    I almost always give a full link to a source and I go the extra mile by setting up a track back link in WordPress.

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