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  1. #1
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    Fellow ShareaSale affiliate is splogging me - stole my entire blog, redirected links
    Hello,

    The website supherofanboy, which is a splog, has stolen the entire contents of my blog, groovysuperhero. It's such a poorly done splog, that one post reads "we at Groovy Superhero," and the next post reads, "We at Comics Connection" - it's just a scrip that scrapes. We not only have ShareaSale in common, we are both affiliates of the same merchant, SuperheroStuff. His scraping script has replaced every single one of the 500-or so links in my eighteen month old blog - that's 2500-3000 links or more, to wikipedia, news articles, media, or affiliate links of my own - to links of his own, redirected to his affiliate account at SuperheroStuff.

    I'm certainly not his only victim, the blog exists to steal, but I've been hit pretty hard - the blog has an entire section called "Groovy Superhero", just to show of the many posts I worked so hard on. Of course neither his registrar (GoDaddy) or host (Media Temple) cared at all, even after viewing the stolen pages. However, without the ShareaSale account the site has no reason to exist, or at the very least no method by which to make money by stealing content. It is my sincere hope that ShareaSale cancels this criminals' account. I'm sure you know his/her account info, but if you need more information I have done a great deal of research and I can provide you with leads as to the (non-existent) marketing company that is a front for the owner of the superherostuff site.


    Thanks for your help, and in pointing out an affiliate who is not only violating your TOS but the law, I hope I am helping ShareaSale as well.

  2. #2
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    You may be best off approaching the merchant. If it's clear that this person is copping your content, chances are they'll terminate the affiliate.

    Doesn't hurt to request removal from Google as well.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidh
    You may be best off approaching the merchant. If it's clear that this person is copping your content, chances are they'll terminate the affiliate.

    Doesn't hurt to request removal from Google as well.
    Thanks, I'm in the process of notifying Google and Yahoo, and that was great advice about contacting the merchant directly, thanks - I just sent them a message.

    Still, the blogosphere would be a safer place if this site and it's owners were banned from ShareaSale entirely, because what they do is create a basic template site around a topic - I'm guessing comicbookfanboy is one of hundreds of automated sites, because it does nothing but scrape. It's ugly, none of the features work, there is no effort made to make it even appear as if they generated any original content - I suspect they just build tons of sites loosely based on a niche or topic, set up the wordpress scrape plugin, find an appropriate affiliate to redirect all links to, and let the machine do its work. It would be great for them to have one less outlet for spam/redirecting links, and one less reason to steal content.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    You sure it's not the other way around?

    Content on your site is not original.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah
    You sure it's not the other way around?

    Content on your site is not original.
    Whereas your humor is so sharp, biting and original, and you're sitting around viewing forums so that you can jealously attack the victim of a crime like a second grader. This is the other downside to internet anonymity - on the one hand, there's crime, and on the other hand, there are mouth breathing, no friend having, mother's basement dwelling loser virgins like you taking out your miserable lives on total strangers. Please die of a stroke in the near future.

  6. #6
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Whoa, slow down msager. Don't you think that you're response was a little over the top? That's not really the way we conduct ourselves at this forum. A more appropriate response would have been to ask what was meant by the remark or addressing the remark. Not attacking the member. If you're still a member here (there's a good chance that your a$$ has already been bounced if a mod has seen that response) then you owe an apology. You talk about acting like a second grader, well your response was anything but adult.

    Frankly, you just lost a ton of credibility.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Whoa, slow down msager. Don't you think that you're response was a little over the top? That's not really the way we conduct ourselves at this forum. A more appropriate response would have been to ask what was meant by the remark or addressing the remark. Not attacking the member. If you're still a member here (there's a good chance that your a$$ has already been bounced if a mod has seen that response) then you owe an apology. You talk about acting like a second grader, well your response was anything but adult.

    Frankly, you just lost a ton of credibility.

    -rematt
    Excuse me, you are way out of line. I am talking about content theft and spam redirection of links, and he jumped in with a childish insult.

    And now you jump in with a childish sense of self righteousness.

    Grownups are talking about crime. Your are out of line and nobody is going to do anything to me for standing up to immature morons like the two of you. This is a thread about my being splogged. I don't need childish criticism for a moronic stranger, and I don't need anything from you.

    Please let's talk about the thread and not be retards, people. I am more than happy top discuss the thread, and as my original posts show, before I began being attacked by morons, I am actually quite civil in the presence of civil people.

    If you're not here to talk about my problem, don't talk to me please.

    Frankly I don't know you and you have no credibility to begin with. You mast have a very sad life to feel a need to exert such false authority and play internet cop. I imagine you have a pretty sad station in the real life, but congratulations, you're king of the stranger - don't know anything about them or their situation - grade school teach lecture givers! Get a life.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    Whoa, slow down msager. Don't you think that you're response was a little over the top? That's not really the way we conduct ourselves at this forum. A more appropriate response would have been to ask what was meant by the remark or addressing the remark. Not attacking the member. If you're still a member here (there's a good chance that your a$$ has already been bounced if a mod has seen that response) then you owe an apology. You talk about acting like a second grader, well your response was anything but adult.

    Frankly, you just lost a ton of credibility.

    -rematt
    I would just like to add that this was a pleasant professional thread between adults about serious topics, not in the least bit crass or rude or childish, until that moron decided to jump in. And it would have stopped there if you hadn't felt a need to jump in and keep it going. In your zeal to play cop, you really should pause to realize you're only exacerbating the situation

  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    msager, before you start flaming long term members realize this community has been here a long time. While you are taking a week time-out I recommend you re-read this thread. After that time if you still feel you are handling yourself professionally feel free to proceed towards a lifetime IP ban.

  10. #10
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msager
    I would just like to add that this was a pleasant professional thread between adults about serious topics, not in the least bit crass or rude or childish, until that moron decided to jump in. And it would have stopped there if you hadn't felt a need to jump in and keep it going. In your zeal to play cop, you really should pause to realize you're only exacerbating the situation
    msager, a forum is like any other community. New members to the community are rarely in a position to dictate the general tone of the community. On the contrary, with very few exceptions new members need to make the effort to fit in, not the other way around.

    ABW is a community of business professionals. We treat each other with respect, we help each other, we learn from each other, we joke with each other and we disagree with each other. But rarely do we allow our interactions to be lowered to the level that you demonstrated here.

    Based on your last few posts my guess is that ABW probably isn't the right forum for you to become an active member of. I'm also assuming you joined ABW for one purpose and now that you've completed your report/rant/accusation you'll be moving on and we probably won't hear from you again. I'm good with that.

    If, however, you plan on sticking around after your week long hiatus, here's a piece of advice that I also gave to a veteran member in the past few hours:

    THIS IS A FORUM, IT'S NOT YOUR PRIVATE MESSAGING SYSTEM. Use the appropriate support system if you don't want others to comment.

    -rematt

    BTW msager, don't feel that you need to respond to this post. Another response like your previous posts will get you permanently banned and that's not my intent.

    Chuck, if you or any other Mod would like to remove this post, feel free.
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  11. #11
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    ABW is a community of business professionals. We treat each other with respect, we help each other, we learn from each other, we joke with each other and we disagree with each other. But rarely do we allow our interactions to be lowered to the level that you demonstrated here.
    And we don't let newbies rope us into arguing over stupid crap rematt -

    On a brighter note:

    Fixing to go fishing for a few hours with my grand-daughter and relax before it hits 104 today!

    Jimmy McDonald - Your Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy ( & SprinklerGuy - & GarageGuy )
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  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Rematt, thank you for coming to my defense. You have a way with words and always know how to put things in an eloquent way. No exception here.

    msager:
    First off, my apologies for being short and not returning to the post immediately to explain myself. I am on vacation visiting my relatives for a family function. So I was browsing the forum quickly and got called away.

    When I first Googled your site, a different site came up. Can't remember the name now. This site seemed to have lots of scraped content, not the splog you were referring to but a different one. It was a splog with lots of scraped comments as well. Since we have had so many fake posters here lately, I jumped to the conclusion, especially since you just joined. I have since looked again and found what is supposed to be your site.

    I too, had to deal with scrapers and content copiers on my sites. There was one site in particular that did this a few years ago. I, together with a lawyer, took some action and the offending site got penalized by Google and went out of business. Domain went up for sale. If you decide to come back perhaps I can go into detail. So from then on, I put up obstacles to make it harder for scrapers to copy. It's not foolproof but it at least is a hinderance if they do decide to do it. So far, *cross fingers* , so good.

    I totally understand your frustration but to insult, accuse and have a tamper tantrum you will get nowhere. Your attacks and insults will not be tolerated in this forum because we are far more mature and have more respect for each other than that. There are plenty of other forums out there for that and you are welcome to join those. Your behavior discounts all the credibility you would want from someone who runs a site and claims to be having an adult conversation on a forum. If I were to purchase something from your site, I'd think twice, since this posts or any ABW post for the matter will rank high on SERPs, and to see someone act immature, insult, and hot-headed is not someone I would do business with.

    If you decide to come back - *Welcome to ABW*

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I read this last night on my last run through and started to comment on the unacceptable language used, to suggest that the OP go read the rules here regarding offensive and personal attacks and also regarding the posting of others' sites, even if it is not a link. The place to report this kind of problem is first with SAS. Fill out a support ticket and your problem will be handled. Throwing out allegations on ABW only alerts the malcreant and gives them time to hide their offenses.

    Then I thought - to heck with it, why try to help someone like that? So instead, I filed a complaint about post #5. Thank you Chuck.

  14. #14
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Just what we need - another newbie with a bad attitude.

    They don't ever learn do they.

  15. #15
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah
    Rematt, thank you for coming to my defense. You have a way with words and always know how to put things in an eloquent way. No exception here.
    No problem, and thanks for the compliment. Also thanks for clarifying the situation. Perhaps if msager returns he'll learn that a reasonable response would have produced much better results.

    I do hope that msager returns to at least let us know the outcome of his site scrapping issue.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  16. #16
    http and a telephoto
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    First, even if this blog is scraping your own blog, do you have an rss feed on *your* blog? If you do (and most blogs *do*) you are pretty much saying "take my content and syndicate it". If you don't want your content syndicated, turn off the rss feed. Then if your content is scraped you have proof it wasn't available for syndication.

    Next, put a disclaimer on *your* posts that states they are not available to be used on other sites. There are also plugins that allow you to append content to every entry in your RSS that you can put "This content is copyright protected and if you aren't seeing this post at (your domain name) then it has been used without permission." Or you can use your RSS to show *your* ads and *your* adsense.

    And I agree with the advice to go directly to the merchant, they have a vested interest in having their product not appear on sites that are stealing content, since that is probably not the only thing they are doing that would reflect badly on the merchant.

    And to echo the others, flaming isn't allowed here, nor are personal attacks. If I had been online when you posted your attack above, you would be banned already.
    Deborah Carney
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  17. #17
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    Loxly is correct. You are offering your content to be syndicated with no rules on how it is used. This person is doing it as you have allowed them. They aren't scraping the site, they aren't breaking your terms etc - until you update your terms or remove the feed, I don't think there is much you can say.

    This is one reason to always have your rss feeds be excerpts, not complete stories.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Next, put a disclaimer on *your* posts that states they are not available to be used on other sites. There are also plugins that allow you to append content to every entry in your RSS that you can put "This content is copyright protected and if you aren't seeing this post at (your domain name) then it has been used without permission." Or you can use your RSS to show *your* ads and *your* adsense.
    Well, Duh to me! Thanks, Deb, for that suggestion.

    I've had the rss-footer plugin on a couple of my blogs for ages, and never bothered to go in, activate it, and explore the possibilities. One of those plugins I probably uploaded because somebody recommended it, then never followed through. (I know, I'm probably the only person who does that.)

    Great tip. Gives me something to do on a hot Sunday afternoon.
    Generate more fake news.

  19. #19
    http and a telephoto
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    Glad to be of help Gary There is a lot you can do to your RSS feeds to make them work to your advantage.

    ChetF, great point about changing the setting to excerpt only!
    Deborah Carney
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  20. #20
    Full Member iolaire's Avatar
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    This is the number one justification for using some sort of link jump/redirection script.

    If they don't see clear affiliate links in your posts they will not be able strip out your codes and add their own. This type of thing will happen, but the scripts will not be smart enough to follow a URL and look for the redirect and the true affiliate URL.

  21. #21
    Moderator bibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msager
    I would just like to add that this was a pleasant professional thread between adults about serious topics, not in the least bit crass or rude or childish, until that moron decided to jump in. And it would have stopped there if you hadn't felt a need to jump in and keep it going. In your zeal to play cop, you really should pause to realize you're only exacerbating the situation
    You have come to our community and without asking what a long-time veteran of this community meant by his post you went on an immature rampage.

    There a re some long-time affiliate marketers, affiliate managers, etc. who are experts in our industry and should command some respect.

    I have no time for people calling any of our members "retards". That violates our TOS and I ask the moderator to ban this newbie for life.

    I have at times butted heads with veterans but did so in a respectful tone, even after being put in my place. But no one ever called me a "retard" and I sure as heck never did to them.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    First, even if this blog is scraping your own blog, do you have an rss feed on *your* blog? If you do (and most blogs *do*) you are pretty much saying "take my content and syndicate it". If you don't want your content syndicated, turn off the rss feed. Then if your content is scraped you have proof it wasn't available for syndication.
    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    You are offering your content to be syndicated with no rules on how it is used. This person is doing it as you have allowed them
    An RSS feed doesn't give the automatic right to republish the content. RSS feeds can be and frequently are used for people to put into RSS readers...i.e. Google Reader, newsfire, feedreader, etc. Just having an RSS feed doesn't mean someone else is invited to steal your copyrighted content just because that is what some people do.

    ABW has an RSS feed. Does that mean Haiko has allowed everyone to republish ABW feeds anywhere on the web and scrape the entire forum? No, it's for people to put into their own RSS reader so they can browse the forum without having to visit the site checking for updates constantly.

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    An RSS feed doesn't give the automatic right to republish the content.
    exactly, a RSS feed might be another door open to the stealing of content, but its not permission for same.

  24. #24
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    msager, you really need to respect other people on this board a bit more. You don't have to agree 100% with what everyone says, but there is a wealth of experience here.

    Despite the bickering, this is an interesting topic because other ABWers may find themselves having similar problems...

    The rights and wrongs of the use of RSS feeds is not hugely relevant - the bottom line is that if you insist on putting your full content into your RSS feed, then it *will* get copied by splogs. On my highest traffic site, I maintain a summary RSS feed which is about a 20 word summary.. I really don't care if that gets copied or not.

    It is quite amusing to see that the OP's latest post on their blog is a rant about people copying the blog.. which of course has been picked up and reposted in its entirety by the other blog.

    Anyway.. how do you deal with a copyright infringement? The answer is.. it depends on how much has been copied, their apparent intent and by whom. But a typical sequence might be:

    1. Contact the owner of the other site and politely ask them to stop, explaining that the RSS feed is not intended for republication.
    2. If that doesn't work, send them a firm but polite Cease & Desist notice, giving a realistic deadline to remove the content and an assertion that you are prepared to protect your intellectal property rights.
    3. File an DMCA complaint with their web host and/or Google etc. This can often be extremely effective. You can also try to file a DMCA complaint with ad networks that they use.
    4. Sue their sorry asses off.


    You can of course jump in to any one of these steps as you feel appropriate.

    Although, if you feel a bit mischievous, then you can do what I do sometimes.. and edit my .htaccess file so that the leached images end up being redirected to something revolting.. tubgirl works well in that respect!
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

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