How do you stop someone scraping / stealing your blog content?
Hi Dave. I'm a follower of your blog..its wonderful that you answer so many questions. I'm in a trouble and hope you will help me. :-)
I have a blog on Blogger. Recently I discovered that whenever I post in my blog a copy of my post is being copied into a website automatically and that I am losing all my traffic. Not only me but also the same problem persists with another blogger...
I'm getting depressed & feeling very sad. What to do?
Thanks for your kind query. The sad truth is that at the most fundamental level, anything you make available on the Internet is available to the nefarious, the delinquent, the bad people just as easily as to the people who are your customers and community. There are steps you can take, as I'll explain in a moment, but realize that you're caught between the proverbial rock and hard place with your situation.
Worse, being on Blogger exacerbates things too, because one of the ways you can turn this problem into an opportunity is to edit the format of your RSS feed so that when they scrape your content it includes links back to your original entries directly (as I do with this weblog, as you can see if you subscribe to the RSS feed, which you should do anyway, right? :-). Problem is, last I checked, Blogger doesn't let you get down to that level of nitty-gritty so that's not a solution that's available to you.
The only other solution that you can try is to file what's called a DMCA complaint. DMCA is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and it's intended primarily for just this sort of situation, where someone is illegally misappropriating your copyrighted material for their own ends.
Generally, you file this DMCA notice with Google because there's a 95% probability that the scraper is stealing your content to try and gain traffic from Google and monetize it. Problem is, the DMCA filing process is onerous and a hassle, to say the least. One reason:
"FOR WEB SEARCH, YOU MUST IDENTIFY EACH SEARCH RESULT THAT DIRECTLY LINKS TO A WEB PAGE THAT ALLEGEDLY CONTAINS INFRINGING MATERIAL. This requires you to provide (a) the search query that you used, and (b) the URL for each allegedly infringing search result."(caps are Google's, not mine, by the way)
Before you start considering an untraceable call to Tony Soprano, however, is it possible that the owner of the site that's scraping your content doesn't realize that it's against your wishes? I know some sites "aggregate" content from other sites and in my experience quickly remove your RSS feed / weblog from their content if you ask them nicely.
The other possibility is for you to change from a full feed RSS feed (that is, where your entire article shows up in the RSS feed) to a partial feed. I'm pretty sure you can do that with Blogger and having just the first 30-45 words of your entry and a continuation link will doubtless make your material less attractive to the scraper.
Perhaps readers have additional suggestions in this situation?
I hope so, it'd be nice for you to stop feeling sad and depressed over your blog.
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