This post goes well with cheese, crackers, and re-reading my Dec. 5, 2014 post,
Perhaps this sense that I need to start taking my ‘intellectual property rights’ more seriously too comes with the territory of shifting out of wandering, away from living out of my car and various short-lived odd jobs, into a settled ‘tax-paying law-abiding land owner’ situation… Given the rampant “sharing” of my blog content, I guess it just needs to be said, and perhaps it may help explain why I posted a reiteration of my Disclaimer, Do Not Share Policy and Fair Use Statement. Some things that I find self-evident, some f*ckers see differently. Apparently. I do not roll well with “anything goes”. I don’t care that “this is the internet”.
Some of these share-everyone-else’s-content mofo’s out there may even claim “the best of intentions“, but that actually does not change the fact that I disagree with their behavior 108 %. I find them lame. In contrast to THEM, I love it when people are inspired by something I wrote, quote me with a link to my work, and put in the extra work to create their own original contribution. But the folks who just STEAL (really, that is what it is) my online content, I don’t just ‘don’t like’. I wish for their demise.
One of the reasons why I consider quitting blogging altogether, sometimes, apart from reasons already mentioned, is because my writings, data, analysis and photos are being stolen, and sometimes misrepresented, often without even crediting, or linking to me. I can imagine how easy it is. Ctrl c, Ctrl v. Voila. That easy. But that’s irrelevant. The issue isn’t just the theft, it’s also that I can’t stand spreading misinformation. Often I spot errors in my work after posting something and correct those, or add nuances, or very important updates without which a reader may be mislead. The content thieves thus inadvertently also keep outdated or simply incorrect versions floating around. As far as I’m concerned, they’re not doing anyone a service.
There are entire sites, both blogs (‘splogs’ as they’re called) and shadow RSS feeds, that steal this blog’s contents, photos and all, without ever asking, without even ever letting me know, and at times adding false intros and changing hyperlinks.
“A splog (spam blog) is a fake blog created solely to promote affiliated Web sites, with the intent of skewing search results and artificially boosting traffic. Some splogs are written like long-winded ads for the Web sites they promote; others have no original content, featuring either nonsense or content stolen from authentic Web sites. Splogs include huge numbers of links to the Web sites in question to fool Web crawlers (programs that search the Web for sites to index). The sploggers associate popular search keywords with their pages so that the splog links turn up in blog search results and are sent out as search subscription notifications through e-mail and RSS feeds. […]” More @ http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/splog-spam-blog
See also Plagiarism Today (Nov. 2005), Behind Splogging: Why Sploggers Splog; and for other bloggers tired of this sh•t, there’s, for instance (also a bit outdated/inactive, but I’m including it FYI, places like, https://exposingsploggers.wordpress.com/, who once upon an inspired moment described themselves as,
“We’re a growing collection of bloggers tired of having our work stolen by people out to make a quick, dishonest buck.
If you blog then your work, your personal life, your content is being used by strangers to sell everything from pills to vacations to guns. Your most intimate thoughts are being sucked up without your permission, by people trying to make a quick unearned dollar. They’re called Blog Scrapers and Sploggers, and chances are you’ve received a Pingback from them.
!-> Chances are also good if you use Copyscape you’ve found the entire content of your posts stolen and reposted by these… people. […]”
Just as bad as the splogs, are the RSS’s that create channels that essentially resemble shadow sharing sites, which pass along (often complete, photos and all) content onto subscribers without ever asking. The ‘rssing.com/‘site is perhaps one of the worst. (If you have a blog, do some searches to find out if you’re being shadow-rss-ed!). They’re notorious, as evidenced by many articles mentioning this problem:
- What to do about RSSing.com? « WordPress.com Forums
- About RSSing.com | Pied Type
- Updated Copyright and Rssing.com | The Sanford Family …
- IndiBlogger.in | Preventing feed aggregators from stealing your content and traffic
Inquiries to find out the identity of who’s behind my blog’s shadow RSS “service” have so far been fruitless. I don’t just want the content removed, I want to know who’s behind this. But anyhow, that may not happen. Let’s see if I can at least have the damned channel shut down…:
To RSSing.com: This is a request to stop all tracking of
- all content related to allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com
and remove all existing material sourced from allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com .
The code number you provided for eliminating your illegal “channel 12257604” is:
Sure hope that works.
A Screenshot of that specific crime scene:
What to do about it?
Most sploggers are luckily smart enough to remove content when asked, as it is really not that hard to have their entire site shut down due to copyright violations, as well-explained by Drinkcoaster’ “Whine Journalism and how to bring the splashback” in 8 points. So far I’ve just asked and repeated my requests to have my content removed, but in a quickly approaching future – now that I’ve written this warning blog post, I may skip the warning and kind requests altogether and proceed straight to going bat-sh*t-ballistic on them.
Kissmetrics gives some more suggestions on how you can catch these very uncreative content and traffic thieves @ Content Scrapers – How to Find Out Who is Stealing Your Content & What to Do About It.
Why does it actually matter to me?
The illegal (copyright-violating) and ethically substandard practice accomplishes several things: More blog traffic for the thieves, less for the writer/artist, better search engine results for the thieves (which if you have enough of ‘m can push original content creator’s sites away from the first page), and thus potentially even income for the thieves, through advertisements, which depend on traffic, and, again, less income for the original content creators.
When you have an audience on a topic, you actually have influence. Give the already apparent lack of integrity of sploggers, I wonder if their influence is de facto no different than that of the entertainment industry, which puts on a good show, but is clearly really not serious about manifesting meaningful positive change. Food for thought, I suppose…
Some hold quite the attitudes about stealing, though. A screenshot to document Mr. Robin Westenra putting in a little jab towards me after taking down part (not all) of my content he has been plagiarizing off and on in the past year:
And his “GO HERE” now just goes to my blog, no longer to the relevant blog post(s), as – obviously – he is not into his game to send traffic directly to a news source. My Chernobyl Forest Fire (+3) posts were not much work compared to my Zaporizhia digging, though.
Back then, This notorious splogger tried to get away with his theft by calling me, flattering bullshit intro aside, an “anonymous author”. (I guess that’s one way to make it sound like you’re not stealing from one actual person…) And his intro also misrepresented my findings: For instance, I did NOT say that leak at the ZNPP site was “comparable to Chernobyl” (to the contrary, actually, I believed it was much smaller), and if you paid attention to my research, you’d know that RT’s coverage wasn’t “fantastic” at all, either. (See an example @ Please Note: The Radiation Reported in “leaked documents” from Zaporozhye / Zaporizhia NPP is NOT “5 mSv/year”, but 5 µSv/hr !!! (RT mistranslation being spread widely); Annotated Screenshot of an excerpt of the above-mentioned:
And that second “someone else” (above) was also me. I think you get the picture. As of time of posting this blog post, my stolen content was still up @ http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2015/01/important-leaked-information-about.html.
Stolen everything (entire giant posts) from:
So while I work (sometimes quite hard) creating original content, they, the copy-paster thieves, often reap the benefits. This is véry different from news headline aggregator sites, which ethically abide by standard Fair Use standards (such as ‘quote and link’), such as (tabloidesque-headlined nuclear news) ENEnews.com, which merely shares some quotes and direct the reader to the source for more; or, to give another example, the (conspiracy & fear-flames-fanning) site, rense.com, which merely makes up its own catchy headlines and directs you, the reader, further to a source. Both in fact increase traffic for the creators of the original content. See the difference?
I started paying more attention to this phenomenon over this past winter. It was last year (2014), during the intensity of being one of the few bloggers putting in some major efforts to expose the hushed nuclear crisis at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (See links @ Jan 12, 2015, “Cover-up of Zaporizhye Nuclear Accident Near-Certain“), that an ENEnews commenter, Craig-123, otherwise nice and often actually contributing, made me aware again of this skewed type of view (that in the “new culture” stealing is just dandy…) in an odd comment, shown below. Right as I was doing overtime late into the nights, researching that most-likely covered-up Ukrainian radioactive cloud, he has nothing better to do than to “address his troops”, so to speak, with this announcement:
Who is that written for? What purpose does it serve? Also, I have no idea what “copyrighted radiation map” he’s referring to, though. I offer an overview of Online Radiation Monitors, and use those myself to investigate situations every now and then. The radiation in food data I gathered (in California, and in Japan) I would only share on a case by case basis, which grew out of seeing my hard data being misrepresented. But everyone can check it out, full disclosure, and contact me if interested in doing more with it.
To repeat an interesting example of an actual blogger (who creates much original content, but uses copyrighted material without asking: Remember L.A.’s Michael Collins’ Enviroreporter? He took my data (radioisotope analyses paid for entirely by me, but used by him, in a way that was likely solely for the purpose of drawing internet traffic his way through sensationalizing. His pathetically unscientific fear-mongering piece mentioned me three times by name in its section, “Hot Pot”. Think about it: Of all the spins he could have picked, he chose to -essentially- associate a dissident immigrant researcher-blogger, here legally on a greencard, with cultivation of a federally controlled substance, including the oddly crafted sentence: “Indoor grows use the commercially available top soil in Northern California that Van Broekhoven bought to test to raise potent plants as well.” (If you add some comma’s , then it *could* be correct: “Indoor grows use the commercially available top soil in Northern California, that Van Broekhoven bought to test, to raise potent plants as well.” Still a weird sentence, and not what was published. Was his ulterior motive to direct federal attention my way? I don’t care how much he appears as an anti-nuclear activist, I still wonder… (–> This G4 TV piece was reportedly seen by millions. It contains highly misleading disinformation. Study my findings about Potassium content in Japanese seaweeds and then re-watch Michael Collins put on a good show. And thus… I wonder some more…)
(Little diversion of utter insignificance: For those unaware, the realities of living under a dystopian police state of sorts isn’t just armchair book knowledge for me. I have experience. I participated in various environmental causes in the 1990s, was a key ground supporter of Julia Butterfly’s internationally renowned Luna Treesit (including 10 months as its logistical coordinator), served as a riot medic in tumultuous anti-neoliberal globalisation protests in Seattle (N30, 1999 [See, for instance, This Is What Democracy Looks Like (Seattle 1999 WTO), CBS 60min., Four Days in Seattle The 1999 WTO Riots plus news stories one week late, Breaking The Spell, etc.]) and DC (A16, 2000), as well as beaten and tortured in Czech Republic (S26, 2000 – [UN pdf. Page 79, case 433-434]), etc. )
I guess back in those days, perhaps, I read up too much on ‘The War at Home‘, ‘Cointelpro‘, and well-documented cases of infiltration by agent provocateurs and informers in the non-violent radical environmental movement, and such…). That covert realm IS an aspect that can not be ruled out just because the internet came into prominence. Just saying.
Anyhow, not only did EnviroReporter use my data without asking, without linking to the source, my blog (!), to top: he did not allow me to comment (!) in the article’s comment thread, and even going as far as blocking the ISP I was trying to comment from. No integrity. Talk about an untrustworthy source… For documentation of his use of my data for inclusion in his nonsense, see https://allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/radioisotope-analysis-results-for-sampled-seaweed-soil-mushrooms-northern-humboldt-county-california/
Anyways. I could go on, but here are so many other pieces to this vast challenge. This aspect, namely the possibility, or high likelihood actually when you research this history, of covert operations that intentionally create dynamics that undermine effective political opposition organizing, can not be underestimated. That’s not paranoia, that’s having studied relevant history.
So, that being said, it gets REALLY interesting when ‘tracking’ apparent allegiances of commenters on nuclear and anti-nuclear forums. I won’t put in the time it would require to “map it” so well that I could share it here, but to summarize: I am unable to shake the impression that quite a number of online “anti-nuclear” activists, ranging from radical and angry to reserved and technically highly informed, are not per se who I used to think they were… Once you pick up on that, you find yourself in an atmosphere of distrust, of not quite knowing anymore who actually can be trusted. Many hide behind fake names, too. This edge of ‘too many unknowns’ creates a dynamic that often leads to self-silencing and self-isolation. Ironically I am far from alone in this.
So if this blog goes silent again…
Have a toast to the plagiarizers, the trolls, the spooks,…
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Added after posting (May 15, 2015, 8pm Mountain Time (Colorado)): Just for the record: manipulations of the online media landscape available to proxy-block-circumventing-unsavvy Canadians are apparent, and on the rise. Checking with Teleport.to “confirmed” (for what an alleged CIA tool is worth…) this blog is currently a mere blank ‘error’ page again in that fine Uranium mining country to the North…
And the beat goes on…
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