Are People Stealing Your Blog Content?Published on June 20th, 2009.
If you’ve been blogging for a while you’ve probably had a lot of people stealing your content in various ways. And you’re probably upset about it too. People steal my content every day, be it translations, photos or scraping of my full RSS feed. I used to get very upset about this before, but now I’ve learned to live with it. It’s too time consuming to actually try to do anything about it.
I look at it in a different way now, actually I think it’s pretty stupid for me to get upset about it. And why is that? Basically because I (we) do the exact same thing. We might not be stealing other people’s blog content, but most of us probably use copyrighted photos, download music and other copyrighted material. And that is pretty much the same thing, it’s just a vicious circle of mad people. Nothing good comes out of getting upset about it, period.
Ask yourself, do you really have the right to be mad about it? Do you respect other people’s rights?
So instead of getting upset about it, look at it as an opportunity to grow and reach a new audience. It’s your content so you can do exactly what you want with it. Watermark your photos, link to your site inside posts, do everything you can to make sure that people who are looking at your content from somewhere else, will know that they’re not looking at the original source. Sure, other sites might make a few bucks by using your content, but it’s also free advertising for you, if you take use of the opportunity. If people like what they read, there’s a big chance they’ll check your site out, if they know where your site is located.
This applies to artists too (or the labels in charge). They can either be be upset about their CDs appearing on torrent sites, or they can think of it as free marketing. The CD itself isn’t the only thing you can make money with, use it to advertise the artist and sell other stuff. Just look at some of the big Japanese artists like Koda Kumi and Hamasaki Ayumi, A LOT of people download their CDs but they probably make gazillions of dollars by selling t-shirts, hoodies, slippers, plushies, fans, photocards, tape, you name it.
The Japanese are very clever when it comes to getting the most out of their fans.
It’s all about using it as an opportunity, look at it differently, be happy.
A few tips for bloggers who are fighting RSS scraping sites:
- Don’t fight them, use them.
- Watermark your photos.
- If you’re linking to pages on you own site, open them in the current window instead of a new one. That will lead people off the scraping site.
- Use FeedBurner FeedFlare.
This was taken on a site that scrapes my full RSS feed. The FeedFlare is automatically embedded at the end of every post. You can freely choose what you want to have in the FeedFlare. If your blog is new or just doesn’t do very well on search engines, these sites can be a big threat to you as they’ll get visitors that should end up on your blog. So if your blog is new, it’s even more important to do everything you can to let those visitors know that the’re not where they should be. I’ve been blogging for a while now and I hit fairly well on search engines, none of the scraping sites hit higher than my own blog, but it’s still important for me to do whatever I can, as people can miss my entries when searching.
This came to mind after all of our discussions about fansubbing and whether fansubbers should allow their translations to be used on streaming sites. I’m interested in hearing your thought on this, do you get mad if people steal your content? What do you do about it?