An unfortunate scrape

This weekend post, like many from this blog and others, has wound up on a scraper site, unattributed and poorly formatted, not to mention incomplete.

Ordinarily I would ignore this sort of petty lifting, but inasmuch as they actually posted a DMCA takedown procedure, albeit in PDF format, I decided to give the premises a look-see.

For future reference, this scraper, and probably several others, is represented for DMCA purposes by a fellow named Mike Johnson in Shelby Township, Michigan at (Note: Do not bother Mr Johnson unless you’ve been similarly scraped by a site which names him as DMCA representative.)

Although I really put this up to give you a look at some of the motivation out there, courtesy of one Jeff Johnson. Some months back I went to the trouble of sticking an actual copyright notice in my feed, so here and there you may see my name in vain.


  1. jen »

    12 October 2009 · 7:46 pm

    how do you find out if this has happened to you?

  2. CGHill »

    12 October 2009 · 7:53 pm

    Most of the time, I don’t; I found out this time because the scraper was using WordPress and he actually included a link to the source material — which meant that WordPress duly sent me a ping.

    There is a service called Copyscape which searches for duplications between your content and what someone claims to be their content, but I have no experience with it.

  3. Andrea Harris »

    12 October 2009 · 8:06 pm

    So that’s what they’re called. I call them “fake blogs” or “spam blogs.” I used to find my stuff on these sites all the time. Then there was this one site that copied an entire post of mine, but it was legit — they were just n00bs to the world of blog-linking and quoting and had set their site up incorrectly so that it didn’t link back to me (someone found my post there and emailed me about it, I believe — it’s been a while.) Anyway, I emailed the blog owners and they reconfigured things so that it looked like a proper quote and linked back to me.

  4. Lisa Paul »

    12 October 2009 · 8:16 pm

    I seem to get scraped all the time. On sites that have nothing to do with what I write about. Various plug-ins or WordPress give me a ping, but I don’t know what I should do about it. Of if I should even bother. Do people read these things?

  5. CGHill »

    12 October 2009 · 8:41 pm

    The one thing all scrapers have in common: they want to make money off Internet ads without exerting any effort. Most of them, inevitably, are not very good at it.

    The only time I really get exercised is when something that’s mine is being attributed to someone else. When I find out, I generally don’t have to do a lot of sabre-rattling to get the matter fixed; once I decided to allow someone to mirror an entire section, but this is not typical.

    In fairness, I should point out that lawyers for an automaker once demanded that I remove a graphic that said automaker had trademarked. I did so.

  6. CGHill »

    12 October 2009 · 8:42 pm

    For the curious, here’s someone who scraped my Jim Croce story from earlier today.

  7. Da Goddess »

    14 October 2009 · 2:25 am

    I totally need someone to monitor these things for me. In fact, I think I need someone to help me stay on top of all the things that need to be done around here.

    Can I give you the list and have you write up some sort of HELP WANTED ad? It’ll also have to be looking for someone who’ll be up for sleeping with the boss and such. That’s not too much to ask, is it? I mean, the benefits could be pretty great for the right applicant!

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