Mar 11 2008

Stop stealing from my site!

Site scrappers are so annoying! I’m talking about you, Technophobiac Lifestyle, Web page financial, Growing the, and many others.

Quit copying/pasting my content. It’s irritating and stupid. Instead, why not try to be original?

Anyone have ideas for how to ward off these word thieves?

33 Responses to “Stop stealing from my site!”

  1. Maybe this article will help you:

  2. How do you find out if someone is scraping your content?

  3. One thing you can do is create a Google Alert for unique phrases in your posts.

  4. That is just sad. And sadly, I do know ONE way to stop it. Change your feed from full to partial. I hesitate to share that because as a busy mom I NEED full content feeds so I just goto one place to read all my favorite blogs. But when I recently contacted a pretty famous blogger about making his read full, he commented that he won’t because of thieves. They are able to just somehow take the feed and post it right to their own blog.

  5. Spam their pingbacks instead of just deleting them. Look up their IP address in a whois and contact their host… most scrapers are using your content for google ads, so contact Google as well, they’ll be kicked out of the adsense program. I’ve had some pretty good results with getting scraper sites removed with a combination of the above.

  6. The site is basically taking your RSS feed and re-publishing it as their own post.

    One way to combat it is to stick an addendum to the end of your RSS feed with a message to the effect of “This feed contains copyrighted material from Sense to Save. If you are not reading this material in a feeds aggregator or by e-mail subscription, the site you are viewing may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact sensetosave (at) gmail (dot) com.” There’s a WordPress plug-in that does this (google ‘wordpress copyright to rss feed’ to find it. I’m a Blogger user, so I can’t help you beyond there.)

    Another way to combat it is to not publish a full feed- only have the first paragraph or so show up in reader’s feed readers (And the sites that are stealing content) I don’t like this approach as much, and other readers might not either.

    Don’t know how well actually trying to shut the site down works, but if you go that route, see

  7. If the scraper site is using Adsense you may be able to notify Google about it and have their account frozen as I believe the stolen content would be against their TOS. Of course this is after the fact but it may still hit them where it hurts.

  8. All good advice. I was going to suggest hiring a hitman…but besides being illegal, I don’t have any frugal tips for hiring one on a budget. LOL

  9. I just visited the first site you mentioned Kacie…and this post is also featured over there. LOL Maybe some of their readers (if there are any) will get a clue about what a thief this person is after reading the post.

  10. Would disabling the right click do the trick? Or does that not help with feeds…sorry I can’t help, that sucks.

  11. If you could reach through the computer and smack em up side the head that would be nice, but people like that are scum anyway. They cannot write their own content because they probably do not know how to write.

  12. First off, ensure you have a copyright notice displayed on every page in your site.

    Next, for the offenders, issue them and/or their ISP/hosting provider a takedown notice:

  13. Thanks for the ideas and links, everyone!

    @ Dreamy–I’m seeing their stuff on Technorati for the most part.

    I’m not getting pingbacks though, for some reason. Maybe I am…maybe they’re just being sent to the spam filter already. Dunno.

    I won’t be changing my full-feed to a limited one. I don’t like reading blogs that have a limited feed, and I imagine you guys don’t, either. I wanna keep you as readers for sure!

    @Joanna — Thanks for the idea about the addendum. We’re adding that right now!

    @Dwayne –I would like to smack ’em! and give them a stern talking to. Arg!

  14. I just recently heard about this kind of thing. It never occurred to me that anyone would do such a thing. Yeah, I’m like that – never expecting the worst of people. It’s just plain wrong!

    Adding the copyright thing to the end of the feed sounds like a very good idea.

    Sorry this is happening to you.

  15. whoa – I had no idea people actually did that!! Why would they do that? Seems like it would be more of a pain to copy and paste than to just write their own stuff…I would be furious too!

  16. Sorry I don’t have any information as to how to ward off sites like that. However, that happened to me as well. What’s worse is that the webmistress who copied my entire site idea and content had the balls to send me a message asking if I’d like to exchange links with her. Is she serious?

  17. Priceless…I love how your blog asking her to stop using your fee is on her site right now.

  18. Isn’t there a way with WordPress to block certain IP’s from accessing the site?

    I wonder if that can be done with feeds as well?

  19. Here’s what I did with a particularly bad one:

    (They had the nerve to list me as a contributer!!)

    The biggest step I’d take is reporting their ads to Google. Click on the “Ads by Google” and scroll to the bottom where it lets you offer feedback. Then when possible click “report a violation.” It lets you report that they’re stealing your content. I include a demonstrative link and then a little thing about how they’re scamming Google and their advertisers, too, by having ads on worthless sites and such.

  20. Growing the dream swiped one of my early articles and I emailed google about the situation. It doesn’t look like anything has happened to their ads.

    How did you find out that these sites were scrapping your content if you’re not getting pingbacks?

  21. As you may know, I’ve had some of the same issues on mine, both with material and pictures. The first thing I would suggest doing, is changing you creative commons license. The one you have right now allows people to copy and distribute your material. I would suggest switching it to a non-commerical no derivative.

    This has helped me greatly. These site will try and take my stuff but they only will put a teaser along with a link back to me.

    If they don’t take your stuff down, I would contact the hosting company. I ‘ve had very good luck with that.

  22. sorry meant to say non-commerical, too. That way they can’t make money (ads) off of your work, either.

  23. I would recommend you sue them for copyright infringement. You should be able to get $50,000 to start with loss of income. That should get their attention. Of course you would sue them locally which would require them to come to your area of the country to protest the suit.

    I am not a lawyer, so I recommend you speak to a real lawyer before taking this action.

    Here is the best advice I can give you about copyright law.
    Why you should register your copyright

  24. There’s a plugin for WordPress blogs, called RSS Footer, by Joost de Valk. It allows you to add a line of content to the end or beginning of your RSS feed articles. I have one for my feeds and it reads, “If you reading this off a blog and not an RSS Feed reader, then this article is stolen from (my blog name).” You can put in any sentence you want. I like it.

  25. People can be so stupid! It’s on thing to do a QUOTE! and give credit for it. Totally different to be so stupid you can’t come up with your own material! Pathetic. Sorry it’s happening to you Kacie!

  26. I found you back in the Fall Y’all giveaways and I have been sort of a “lurker” on your site – so, I decided to “delurk” – not a word, but fun to write. I have really appreciated reading your blog and I think that it is really terrible that someone is stealing your words.

    My husband and I were way in debt when we got married (school and car loans), so we paid off in two years and then saved for a down payment on a house – in order that I would be able to be a stay at home mom, which I am now (I have a 2 year old and a 9 weeks old). we are now trying to learn how to best manage our money – we pretty much have our emergency fund in place, but now need to learn the best way to save etc. I appreciate your heart and your writing.

    I also was clued in to CVS by you. I only started doing in in the past 2 weeks and it is amazing how much you are able to get with paying so little! That $5/$15 has been really useful and I have used it many times already. I love saving money and am learning new ways to be frugal from you and also MoneySavingMom – I think that I found her through you. I have been trying to teach my friends how to play the “CVS game” – I still need to be more clear about it, and I just started a new post about it today – don’t know if I will finish it or not.

    I hope that people stop stealing your words – but keep writing anyway! :)

  27. OOHHh suing them would help you reach your goal of paying off debt and accruing your emergency fund AND set an example to others who do it to STOP IT! Pray about it. :)

    Anyways, I just came back to mention adding a copywrite to your feed, but it seems a lot of people have already mentioned that (and I just checked your feed, so it is already in effect I see). :)

  28. Looks like this scummy situation is happening to a bunch of you guys, too.

    I just don’t understand people who operate spammy blogs. What gives?!

    Anyway, I think I will ask my husband to change my Creative Commons license.

    I absolutely don’t mind (in fact, I’d love it!) if people quote something I wrote.

    But to copy and paste an entire post without asking if that’s ok…what the heck? NOT OK.

  29. With some sites, I get the pingbacks. But others, I’m finding the links via

  30. Thanks for delurking! It’s nice to hear from you–thanks for your encouragement! Glad to hear things are going really well for you, money-wise!

  31. Wow, sorry people can’t come up with their own content and had to steal yours, Kacie.

    Does anyone know how to put that footer on blogger blogs?

  32. If you can find a street address a cease and cease and desist letter might get it done. Do you have a copyright notice on your site?

  33. That happens to us all the time…we actually have a program (sorry, not sure what it’s called, but e-mail me if you want me to track down the name) that our program manager runs, and it finds our content on other sites. Sometimes I just stumble upon our articles or blogs on other site when Googling our names. What our program manager does when we find this stuff is e-mails them a ceast and desist letter, and if they don’t take it off, she looks up their IP address and contacts the host, and lets them know what’s going on. We’ve gotten a lot of it removed this way. Good luck! I know those people are a huge pain in the butt.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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