Genevieve vs. the thieves
I'm reluctantly reverting to a "short feed" for Prairie Bluestem. Subscribers will see that this post is cut short. To read the rest, you'll have to click back to the blog. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Let me explain. Just in the last few days, I found an Australian website that is republishing every Prairie Bluestem article I write. It's going to be a duplicate of my blog if they carry on. I also found a Russian website that was translating my Tree Notes blog feed to Russian and using the articles as their own.
I think the German web host of the Russian website has taken down the stolen Tree Notes articles -- possibly the entire website. (I get an error message when I try to go there.) I sent the web host a detailed, formal complaint about copyright infringement after getting no response from the Russian website. Investigating the theft, finding the web host, and compiling the complaints took five or six hours over a couple of nights.
I've spent nearly that much time trying to get the Australian website to take down the Prairie Bluestem articles they have posted. So far, no success. They are "investigating". I've written to their web host who is also "investigating." So, until the Prairie Bluestem feed is removed from their site, the feed will be truncated. They may publish it, but they'll only get an excerpt.
I wish I could say these are unusual incidents, but they're not. These are just the latest skirmishes in a long war with content thieves. Honestly, it makes me wonder if the "full feed" is worth the time and effort it takes to retain ownership of the content. I am interested in the thoughts of others on this topic -- both bloggers and readers. What do you think?
It really makes the smoke come out of my ears when I see my photographs and articles republished on another website. Invariably, every article is surrounded with ads. Thieves are jerks who don't want to work, and internet thieves are no different than the rest of the sorry lot. They steal content to bring search-engine users to their ad-heavy pages, because they don't want to do the work to create their own content.
How do I detect thefts like these?
A copyright statement is inserted automatically at the end of every blog post as it goes into the feed. (In Blogger, go to Settings >> Site Feed.) The copyright statement contains some distinctive words -- my name, the blog name, the blog address, and my e-mail address. I have a Google Alert set for each of these distinctive words. When they appear somewhere on the web, Google sends me an e-mail with the URL.
And now, something to balance the yin and yang of this post--
Isn't that a beautiful place? It's Eagle Falls, at Cumberland Falls State Park in southeastern Kentucky. Eagle Falls is about a mile from Cumberland Falls. Isaac didn't have any trouble with the climb up the hillside, but it was a fairly strenuous hike for me. He and I went camping at Cumberland Falls several years ago, when Dennis was still in Iraq. We really enjoyed that little excursion.