From Lorelle‘s blog -see EDIT at bottom

Center of contents dot com is scraping this blog, whacking Google Ads on it, and basically trying to drive up traffic using my content, unattributed. They will probably let the domain name “age” – get high up on Google Ranking around the keywords to do with – and then sell it to a content/community provider. Actually the words seem to be around online schools so they may have a client in mind already.

By putting Google Ads on the site they are earning revenue as well. They also link their hundreds of splogs (spam blogs) sites together to make it look like they have a little chattering community happening. Icky, no? Most of those spam blogs are using real content to mask ads for Viagra etc:

From userfriendly.org

RUIN THE GAME: Here’s what I’m doing. First, by posting centerofcontents.com sucks donkeys balls as the Title, I ruin the game. People who buy “aged” domain names usually do a search first, and if the top few returns have “sucks” in the title, why would you buy a “damaged” domain name? Then I add a H1 heading cos Google ranks H1 headings high. That looks like this:

centerofcontents.com sucks donkeys balls

Would you want a domain name that returned ‘sucks’ at the top of search results?

CEASE AND DESIST LETTERS: Second, I want to send a cease-and-desist letter to the registrant and host so I did a Domain Name Lookup (Whois). It’s NameCheap Domains – they register the domain name. I’m not sure what those letters look like. My buddy who does my “wet” work is overseas at the moment so I have to wait for him to come back. Oh, ok, he’s not really an assassin but he knows how to write nasty legal letters. Anyone out there know what a “stop stealing my content” letter looks like, or should I wait for him?? Or I guess I could just send out an example one like this one from Kazaa reporting to Google. Don’t you think it’s hilarious that KaZaA, the filesharing pirating of software site should have one of these stop-stealing-my-stuff letters?

Then another cease-and-desist to the registrant themselves, though by the look of the email address, s_p_r_u_n_g@hotmail.com, I think they aren’t planning on paying any attention:
Registrant Contact:
PITS
Nattwut Kittayapison ()
+66.85997111
Fax: +1.5555555555
194/74 Foresta Moo.11
Tumbon.Nongkam
Sriracha, CH 20110
TH
I can’t figure out who the domain name host is – it might be enom, but I’m not sure. Oh look when it was registered!

Expiration Date: 2008-09-09
Creation Date: 2007-09-09
Last Update Date: 2007-09-09

DOB THEM IN TO GOOGLE ADS: The next thing I do is click on the word “Google Ads” in one of the Ads itself. This takes me to a Ads by Google page. I click on “Tell Google What You Think” and there’s a subsection there called “Report a Violation”. They give me a check box that I tick “The site is hosting/distributing my copyrighted content”. God Bless Google. Let’s get their Google Ads account blocked.

I can’t get to my .htaccess file because this blog is hosted by Google’s Blogger/Blogspot. That file would allow me to block them or redirect people from their IP address range to always scrape a home page or one post. I would’ve directed them to scrape a really good post called “centerofcontents.com sucks donkey balls”. Heh.

REPORT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT TO SEARCH ENGINES: The last thing for me to do is to report them to Google through the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. That’s an involved process to tell Google in writing – not email – about naughtiness re: content. *sighs* Like, I have time to sit and type out letters like this. That link is to the Web Search area, but if you find a Blogger on blogspot nicking your stuff, you can use this one, or if its adwords here, etc.

What else should I do? I have to take some time to read through Chilling Effects site:

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.

Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.

My site has been scraped before but usually just a little bit and then they move on. For some reason, centerofcontents.com has annoyed me more than the others. I’m pretty generous with my intellectual property and time – why should nasty smelly site scrapers get my google rankings on my keywords? Sheesh. Quote my stuff, argue about it, be engaged, but don’t just pick it up wholesale and cart it off so you can sell Google Ads on it, if you don’t mind!

Thanks to Meg from Blogpond and Rod from Confer for letting me know about this. And I think this is something that the “protect the consumer” site I am always raving on about should have – companies can protect themselves but who protects us?

EDIT: Drats, just found a much more involved and better post from Lorelle on what to do with horrid site scrapers. I wonder why I bother blogging sometimes. Grrrr.

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