Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Copyright infringement

If you read this blog, you know it's not very good. We're not very good at riding bikes and we're way worse at writing. After you've read all the good bike blogs on the internet (of which there might 1.3 or so), you come here because you live near Hartford and you want to remember that the cycling scene around here is not worthy of report. However, I surfing the website the other day and I came upon this.

What the fuck!?

I worked hard on that bike ride. I had to drive all the way to Vermont to do it, in addition to the riding part! Then, I had to write about it. You better believe that when some spam blog steals my precious literary work, I'm going to do something about.

So, I filled out some complicated Google copyright infringement form and got an email from Google that apparently they're taking care of it (the offending spam blog is hosted by blogger). However, they're only going after two the examples I sent them and I'm fairly sure that the spam blog has co-opted every single beat bike blog post ever. Even former bloggers like Joel, El Presidente de Chine and Rich aren't safe.

Is anything sacred?


adventure! said...

I still haven't figured out what the point of these spam blogs are. I'm guessing "to make money", but how?

Also, I'm sick of folks contacting me about site links and "guest posts".

Brendan said...

Somebody sent an email to me about that and I thought they were going to pay me, because like, it would be advertising. Alas no, they wanted to advertise for free. A few years ago, people sent me a few things to review. Most of the stuff wasn't very good, but I did get some pretty good soda.

sujal said...

There are two ideas at play here:

1. Boost their google rankings. Google pays attention to links to a page from other sites. So, they may have some other site they want to show up for searches for expensive search words like "mortgages" or "mesothelioma", so they need a network of fake sites with good google ranks to link to that final destination. Google also looks at how much text, the topicality of a site, etc. to determine how high it ranks in search. So, they steal content to make their blog look like someone is actually writing it.

2. The site itself in this case runs ads. So, by stealing your content and having it show up in search, they can run ads without doing any writing or original work. The site is hosted by Blogger, so they don't even have to pay for that. Sure, it's only a few dollars here or there in profit, but since it's automated, you can do this at a pretty large scale with some effort.

Just two possible theories.

In either case, I would remove the link to the site. You're actually helping them a lot by having a real link in your text without a rel="nofollow" attribute on it.


Brendan said...

That's what the nofollow attribute is for? Thanks!

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