Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I Hate Scrapers

A fellow sailing blogger drew my attention to a certain sailing website this morning. It's a very slick website full of lots of great sailing content. It also has masses of ads.

The only problem is that much, if not all, of the content is material they have "scraped" from other sailing websites and blogs. But there are no attributions as to where the material came from, or links back to the original websites.

I see they have copied a lot of stuff from Sailing World.

They have also copied all the recent posts from Proper Course.

Now, I don't usually mind people reusing my blog posts.  Fellow bloggers and newsletters like Scuttlebutt only do that occasionally, they even sometimes ask permission first, and they almost invariably provide a link back to Proper Course.

But this new site is working on a whole different level. They are taking EVERY new post I publish. (Even ones that have nothing to do with sailing. Ha ha!) And they have so many ads it's clear that the whole venture is a commercial operation to take other people's content and make money from it. They even have the cheek to claim copyright for all the content on their site!

I have reported what is going on to the relevant authorities.

And, as I think the scraper may be taking the content from my RSS feed, I have modified the feed so that it only publishes the first few lines of each post. Anyone who wants to read the whole content of any post can click through to the blog. I'm sorry if that is an inconvenience to any of the readers of my RSS feed, but this kind of blatant, automated, large scale content scraping for commercial gain needs to be stopped.


R said...

You should check and see if they have copied and hosted images from your posts. If not you can give them a good poke by changing links in your posts to keep the original images and replacing the images they link to with a nasty-gram.

Tillerman said...

That's a great idea R. They are linking back to where Blogger has stored images for me. If I can work out how to leave a nastygram at that same address, I will have some fun with them.

BlueVark said...

Interestingly this issue has hit the UK political arena recently:

Pandabonium said...

Love that idea by R!

At least this scraper is skimming the cream of the crop by re-posting your content. But what a scumbag for profiting by stealing your ideas without so much as a link back. Grrr.

Tillerman said...

Actually I see there are links back now. I don't know if that is a recent addition or if I didn't spot them at first, because they are hidden away after an advertisement after each post. A

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Please name names of this scraper. I know some one who can take a whack at him. 'is name is "Tony".

Tillerman said...

I have avoided naming names because I don't want to provide them with any traffic. I was rather hoping they would "scrape" this (I hate scrapers) post but it hasn't happened. Maybe some of the precautions I have taken have made them lose interest in me. I also hear that some of their corporate victims, who no doubt have copyright lawyers and web techies, are aware of their activity and are taking action. Hopefully that will finally put them out of business. But just in case it doesn't, hang on to Tony's number. We might need him.

Joe said...

For the life of me, I've tried to find the scarper mentioned in your post using Mr. Google and have come up with blanks.

Tillerman said...

That's good Joe. It means they don't rank very high in search engines yet (and hopefully never will.) In spite of the fact they are featuring two of my posts on their home page, I can't find their site by Googling the titles of those posts.

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