When Someone Steals Your Content

The web is a cut and paste world. Inevitably, someone will steal your blog post content. Rarely is their much you can do about it.

Another compliance blog copied my post on Perspectives on Hedge Fund Registration and plopped it into their blog.

They were lazy and just copied the html, leaving the picture hotlinked to my site. That means I can change the image on them, leaving a message for its readers to see that the publisher is a thief. So I replaced the picture of Paul Kanjroski on my server with a new image.

Thanks to Dominic Jones of IR Web Report for showing me how to do this (its easy).

Here is the result:
Fun games with content thieves

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6 Responses to When Someone Steals Your Content

  1. Jim Hietala May 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    First off, I enjoy your blog! As a lawyer, maybe you could comment on the legal situation around internet content. My layman’s view is that if you own the copyright, you would have recourse against someone using it without your permission?

    Might make an interesting blog topic…

    Jim

  2. Jack Vinson May 16, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    Looks like they’ve taken down the infringing post. Good catch, Doug!

  3. Lewis Kinard May 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    It looks like they attributed the content by name an hypertext link to your blog at the bottom, where “Source:” appears. What would you have preferred?

    I am unaware of any ALA-style “rules” for attributing blog content within other blogs. Do you know of any?

    Finally, what is most offensive to you: the fact that the content was just copied verbatim, or that they did not ask first?

  4. Doug Cornelius May 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    This is not the first time that a blog post has been stolen, but this one REALLY rubbed me the wrong way.

    1. The site owner did not respond.

    2. As far I could see, all of the stories on the site are stolen from other sources, word for word, picture for picture, style for style

    3. The site is commercial, selling ads and acting as a commercial gateway to the site owner.

    4. The site is about compliance. Its supposed to be about complying with the law and maintaining high ethical standards. They are not practicing their own profession.

  5. Mark Astarita May 18, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    It is simply incredible that websites that promote themselves as legitimate business ventures would engage in such outright violation of the rights of others. That site has quite a bit of content that is stolen from others, including the WSJ. Their main post today appears to be a word for word copy of a WSJ article, with the author’s by-line stripped out.

    Someone needs to go after them, they are simply stealing other folks work!

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    […] 24 – It’s not the Heart of Gold, but Doug Cornelius is understandably bothered about someone lifting his blog’s content for their o…. […]