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Scraping site

  1. Hi all,
    I recently found that the content from my site has been put on another site. Today, this site restructured adding ads and changing the layout making it more difficult to track down what posts of mine had been stolen.
    Reviewing this site further today I noticed many others have been scraped as well, many from wordpress bloggers.
    Is there something we can do to bring this site down? I've read the info posted here on scraping but this seems to be a larger effort going on.
    The site I am referring to is: http://my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer/
    I look forward to reading your ideas and thoughts.
    Thank you.

  2. Thanks for your links.
    I was preparing the DMCA letter and I looked deeper into the above site and found many different blogs that had their content stolen.
    I thought that maybe a collective effort was already underway for this particular site.

    Thanks again.

  3. I'm one of the WordPress bloggers who, like you, have had my blogs scraped by this same http://my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer/ site. Yesterday I reported the violation to Google AdSense. I also left a comment on the site telling the owner that I'd reported the site and that if the owner didn't remove all eight of the posts he'd scraped from my blog I'd report the owner to DMCA. I also added that if the owner really was an "attorney" the owner should study copyright law.

    I don't mind so much that scraper sites use my material as much as I object to the fact that they are too lazy to create their own content. They use other people's labor to bring AdSense profit to themselves without sharing that profit with the rightful owners of the content. In my book such profiteering isn't much different than SLAVERY.

    In addition to the http://stolen.wordpress.com site I propose WordPressers create a similar page here in Forums on these scraping sites and that way we'll have a stronger front on which to gain some knowledge. I know there can be a positive response somewhere because at least one former scraper site previously discussed in these Forums-- truthfulnews.com--has been removed.

  4. Domain Name: ZESTEAD.COM
    Name Server: NS3.WORLDISPNETWORK.COM
    Name Server: NS4.WORLDISPNETWORK.COM

    http://www.worldispnetwork.com/
    "To report any network abuse or spams originating from our network please email [email redacted]"

  5. Many sites have been removed, and many sites have gone inactive because Google pulled their Adsense accounts. Reporting to Adsense is my favored method, because it kills their whole reason for stealing and prevents them from doing this on other platforms.

  6. absolutely agree with you raincoaster.
    from my experience, if you are dealing with self hosted scrapers, the fastest, easiest way is to go for the money belt.

  7. Yes! I just searched for bloggerwave.com, which hosts http://my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer/ and I got a 503 service notice instead of the site. I don't know if that means the site has been removed, but maybe if everyone reports these scrapers we can shut most if not all of them down.

  8. The problem with tracking scrapings from one's own blog is that one can end up in some unpleasant places. Twice following vanity searches on my blog name I've been caught in nasty porn loops - now I'm reluctant to follow up such searches & won't click on any address I don't already recognise. But sometimes one's blog is genuinely referenced elsewhere and it's a shame not to be able to follow up - perhaps someone has suggestions as to how to tell the bad links from the safe ones?

  9. Oh and I forgot to mention that apparently scam-artist companies like Bloggerwave, Loudlaunch, and Pay Per Post that give bloggers "assignments" to post content (even if it isn't their ORIGINAL content) for cash are such scum suckers that they don't even pay the sploggers who steal other people's content. You can read about one such ripped-off blogger's experience here
    http://www.thesassysoutherner.com/?p=271 and here http://www.thesassysoutherner.com/?s=bloggerwave

  10. Where would I go to report the website that began this entire discussion? WordPress is hosting him. He has just moved his site from myzestead.com to http://www.stewart-kirkpatrick.com/souralba/

  11. Thank you all for your comments.
    I will be notifying Google AdSense.

    Luminaria - Your last comment (11:23) confused me. Are you saying that the myzestead scrapers moved our content to a new hosting site?
    It sounds like this is like a game of whack a mole.

    I really appreciate all of the suggestions.

  12. Something new with this my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer.
    If I click on the blog headings now, it takes me to the original poster. They're still posting my entire content but now it looks like it links back to me. This didn't occur previously.

  13. Luminaria: wordpress is not hosting him. He is using WordPress software, but is hosted elsewhere. If he's running adsense, complain to Google by clicking on the "Ads by Google" and reporting a violation.

  14. Luminaria: http://www.stewart-kirkpatrick.com/souralba/ is my site and there is *no* scraped content on it. I am a professional writer and do not steal other people's words. I’ve never been hosted at myzestead.com. Finally, if you look at my site and yours they are completely different. I've posted a comment on your blog and would be grateful if you would email me.

  15. I need a more knowledgeable person to help sort all of this out. But if you visit
    http://my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer/uncategorized/pending-meltdown-of-6000-banks.html you will see just one of the entire posts this splogger has scraped from my blog.

    I noticed yesterday that this splogger changed his format/theme and SOMEWHERE on his blog (I can't find the page now) he said that WordPress wasn't redirecting his site (?), and for a brief time (?) yesterday he had redirected his readers to http://www.stewart-kirkpatrick.com/souralba/ so naturally I thought he had two separate blogs, and Mr. Kirkpatrick got my comments on his blog.

    It would be helpful if we could figure this out so it doesn't happen again. You'll notice that this splogger's daily posts are quite prolific. I apologize for the confusion, Mr. Kirkpatrick. I'm sitting here scratching my head because I can't seem to find that redirect page. I think there are at least two people would like to know what's going on here. This austindwilawyer is a piece of work.

    Raincoaster: I did report him to Adsense two days ago and also to the domain host of myzestead.com yesterday. I don't know if this caused the splogger to link back to original posts as My2bucks said or what.

  16. If you do a search on my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer for Mr. Kirkpatrick's site (sour alba) you get this page: http://my.zestead.com/index.php?s=sour+alba

    Can ANYONE explain this?

  17. It's a search expression. I get exactly the same result on my blog: http://69105.net/?s=sour+alba

  18. Sorry? If you type in your search expression you get a 69105 message>Search results; if you type in http://my.zestead.com/index.php?s=sour+alba into your search bar, you actually get a real page.

  19. http://my.zestead.com/index.php?s=sour+alba
    No posts found. Try a different search?
    is what I get.

  20. Hey Luminaria. No problem. I'm confused too. I just moved my blog on to a new host and wonder if that has something to do with it? If this splogger is redirecting people to my site he must be one of a tiny handful of people who read and should be very easy to find. ;)

  21. I've noticed that whenever I make a post about Ron Paul or something that relates to him and tag my post; Ron Paul. This random third party website grabs it, makes a copy and sticks it on a site with a bunch of other people's articles. It's rather unsettling.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    http://will86aber.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/the-disaster-that-is-penndel-borough-officials/

  22. Hi. I've received a response from Google AdSense. Here it is below:

    Hello,

    Thank you for your note. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged
    infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the
    text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website:
    http://www.copyright.gov/) and other applicable intellectual property
    laws. In this case, this means that if we receive proper notice of
    infringement, we will forward that notice to the responsible web site
    publisher.

    To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written
    communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the
    items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be
    liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and
    attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when
    you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the
    right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first
    contact an attorney.

    To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following
    format (including section numbers):

    1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has
    been infringed upon. For example, "The copyrighted work at issue is the
    text that appears on http://www.legal.com/legal_page.html."

    2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted
    work listed in item #1 above. You must identify each page that allegedly
    contains infringing material by providing its URL.

    3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact
    you (email address is preferred).

    4. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that use
    of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing
    webpages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law."

    5. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury,
    that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the
    copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an
    exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

    6. Sign the paper.

    7. Send the written communication to the following address:

    Google, Inc.
    Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
    1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    Mountain View CA 94043

    OR Fax to:

    (650) 618-8507, Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints

    Regards,

    The Google AdSense Team

  23. Yet still no-one addresses the practical issues: in order to prove one's original work has been copied elsewhere, one has to visit sites where one runs the risk of picking up malware or getting stuck in looped cycles.

    Imagine you've just googled a distinctively original phrase from your own blog and you find it occurs on a number of (non-WP) sites - how do you check out such sites safely?

  24. It may take a bit of tech skills to do it safely. You can use a VM (virtual machine). I just saw "Steady State" on LifeHacker (http://lifehacker.com/397786/kid+proof-your-pc-with-steadystate). Or you can use a Linux Live CD.

    I leave it to you to Google to find the details.

  25. katm - I feared it might be the kind of operation beyond most of us - I'm sure I'm not atypical in being as careful as I can be, with the basic prophylactics, but I certainly lack the technical skills and confidence to do as you suggest (and thanks for the suggestion, btw)....effectively, >90% of us (at a rough guess) are unable to enforce our copyright - I've just stopped worrying about it, frankly. If I had to learn the relevant tech skills & keep them polished & up to date, I'd probably never have the time to write another blog entry.... :-)

  26. doggerelist: you could always check them out from a public computer that you KNOW has up-to-date malware protection. Ask at the library. Then use it at the end of the day, because the virus scanners, etc are usually run after closing. Some have very good protection, some just adequate protection, some less, and you don't want to infect a vulnerable computer. Just say you'll be visiting new sites and you want to make sure your disk won't get anything nasty on it, so are they protected. I word with public computers a lot, and some places will be very helpful. Everyone loves killing blogscrapers.

  27. That's a good suggestion, raincoaster....there's no easy solution to dealing with these vermin, and every small step helps....

  28. http://stolen.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/myzesteadcom/

    Making a DMCA complaint is a little bit of work but basically consists of filling in the blanks. Our experience is that they are often successful.

  29. I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I just noticed that http://my.zestead.com/austindwilawyer/ sucked up my entire post today literally instantaneously after I posted it. That means he's sucking our posts via RSS, right? Apparently the partial post setting for RSS is completely useless when discouraging these splog bots. I haven't had a chance to write the DMCA complaint letter yet. I wish there was a way to BLOCK HIS DOMAIN!

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