Is my content being stolen?

I know from my stats that a recent referrer to this blog is a site called Yogacara Network, which “collects, aggregates, and publishes existing information about religious doctrines [and provides] tools for discussion and publication of original work.”

Several of my recent entries, including one about a possible epidemic of vCJD, have been wholly reproduced on that site. There are links to the ‘full article’ (the original posts, on this blog) at the bottom, but I am not properly credited as the author.

Is my content being stolen? Please comment, preferably with some advice!

Lorelle has an excellent blog about WordPress. She’s written a comprehensive article about what to do when someone steals your content.

7 thoughts on “Is my content being stolen?

  1. That’s pretty cheeky actually. The conventional blogging etiquette requires a clear reference to the original author and, at most, a few quotes from the original text. That satisfies the ‘reasonable use’ copyright clause (as I’ve been told, anyway). More than that, and a blogger is violating copyright law. The best thing to do is simply ask him/her to remove all but a small extract from your essay and clearly cite the source. If that fails, you can make a complaint to the blog provider (if there is one) or, if necessary, contact the person’s server provider and explain that a breach of copyright has been perpetrated (giving the bloggers IP address).

  2. Are they just using your RSS feed? If so, then you’re implicitly giving them permission to use your content: After all, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. If you don’t want people to syndicate your content, you shouldn’t provide a syndication feed (though ideally, of course, they’d give some information about where the feed is coming from). If they’re also reproducing the “below the fold” content, then I’d agree you’ve got a problem.

    Lots of people reproduce my RSS feed, both with our without credit, but I try to view it as a compliment.

  3. Yes – this common now – these are called spam blogs – they gather people’s content and fill the pages with google ads to try to get revenue without any work.

    Its a scam – you should let google know (they have an area to report spam blogs – look on the google site and you’ll find it.


  4. I’m not a lawyer but I believe per the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the web hosting company is obligated to act on copyright claims and take their site down if the offending party refuses to remove the content infringing on your copyright.

    First, you send the offending site a “cease and desist” letter (many samples are available online). If they don’t abide, you write to the web host requesting that they take the offending site down. You also write to Search Engines and directories requesting that they’re taken off search results.

    If you’re being copied via the RSS feed, switch it to publish summaries of posts, as opposed to full posts.

  5. Your CC license allows redistribution (of full text) with attribution as specified by author, which seems to be the contentious issue. It’s not a matter of plagiarism or a spam blog republishing content; their site is non-profit and does provide attribution with the “full article” and “source” links at the bottom of each of their aggregated items. All they failed to do was credit your name instead of just the link. However, I don’t see where on your site you do specify attribution to name.

    It’s bad blog etiquette for them not to use your blog name in the source link, but RSS aggregator sites are a new and different animal. Some are better than others. I’ve seen sites that don’t credit or link, but stealing is not the right term since they’re resyndicating and also not profiting. It’s a foggy area.

    I’m glad you worked it out with them, but to avoid this in future I’d suggest making it more clear on your site how exactly you would like your work attributed, as per the CC license.

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