For over a year now, I have been seeing ping-backs coming to my website from people linking back to my blog posts. A lot of them are from websites that are scraping content from multiple blogs for each of their posts. Typically, they use RSS feeds and go from there. They always link up to my post and put a line or two of my content. This bothers me, but at least they are not taking all of my written words and are linking back to give me my traffic for the content. If you are a blogger you have no doubt experienced this.
Now let us go to the Darkside of scrapers . . . cue the Darth Vader music. (Note: now an Update on the bottom)
Recently, I have seen a slew of ping-backs from Ubervu. I have to admit that I did not put much thought into it, I just assumed it was like the other RSS scrappers out there. Apparently, I am quite naive and many of you may be as well. Thursday, I saw the light. Thanks to Christina Gleason (aka @Cutestkidever on Twitter) sending out a Tweet with a link to her latest blog post called Ubervu Steals Your Blog Posts AND Your Comments. When I read her post, I was angry. How dare they think that just because our blog posts and comments are online that they do not have to abide by DMCA laws (FYI – DMCA =Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998)..
It quickly got worse. TechyDad helped me to check out what they had taken from me. He did the following search on Google to check:
Before my eyes, I saw that there were at least 43 mentions of my blog and Ubervu. I went back to Christina’s article to figure out what to do. Clearly, I did not want to allow them to steal my material and make money off of content they were directing back to their website and not mine. I went and submitted a request to have Ubervu take off any content/comments/links to my website. I reminded them of infringing the DMCA and started to re-Tweet to everyone to let them know about this new scraping phenomenon.
TechyDad also found the following items and sent out Tweets:
- Disqus is working with Ubervu?!! http://bit.ly/bCZIVj
- Also worth reading RE Ubervu: New Class of Scraper Site That May Kill Your Rankings w/ Duplicate Content http://bit.ly/cGeKRc via @pocketseo
I have to admit, my blood was boiling at this point, especially when I read how they were defending that they were stealing from people. Taking attention away from my content and pulling it up for you on Google – NO THANK YOU! Of course, to make matters worse the following ping came through at the same time:
Yes, while I was fighting back against them, they were stealing more of my content. So, if you are a blogger – please check this out and protect your writing. Also know that Ubervu has profiles that link up your comments on blogs and Tweets. We need to unite as a blogging community to make sure Ubervu stops and others know we will not tolerate this.
So my question to you this week:
Do you check ping-backs to your blog? Have you seen anything from Ubervu before and will you let them know that they are stealing from you and going against DMCA.
Please pass along this information to other blogging friends to check out. We must stand up against this so others know not to steal like Ubervu.
UPDATE: I wrote this post Thursday afternoon and since that time a lot has happened. Ubervu has replied on Christina’s post. They explained what their intent was and are working on fixing items as quickly as possible. I know that my links/comments are now giving 404 error messages, but my profile on their search is still there. What Ubervu is quickly realizing is that their idea may have worked had they asked bloggers/Tweets if they wanted to opt into this service. Autopilot grouping people into such a service is the WRONG way to do this. I will give the person on Ubervu’s Twitter account credit for replying to things and watching the Tweets as things have progressed Thursday into Friday.
Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the MckLinky there if you are participating.