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Swiped by the Blog Scraper

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: April 8, 2009

Where do I start?

I am very upset. Actually, I am more than upset, but to use the honest descriptive words that justify my feelings would be inappropriate for the purpose of this site.

Why am I upset?

The content of this website, The Children’s Book Review, has been swiped by a ‘blog scraper’! All of my hard work, the work of my team members, and the hours that we dedicate out of the love of “growing readers” has been stolen.

What is a blog scraper?

A blog scraper is like a parasite, they exist only by taking content from another blogger. They do this by scanning a large number of blogs every day, using software that seeks content that they can copy. It is considered scraping when they are copying work that is not owned by themselves.

Why is this bad?

Besides the obvious — claiming another’s work in its entirety as your own, with no attribution leading back to the original author or site — scraped content can appear on any type of splog, it can be damaging to the original author’s reputation. If the work is copyrighted a copyright infringement has occurred.

What kind of sites use scraped content?

Lazy and uncreative … splogs!

Why do scrapers do it?

There are many reasons, but I believe that my particular scraper is using my blog as a link outlet to get their site indexed in the search engines. This can cause a serious problem for us, the legitimate bloggers, if search engines respond to splog by blocking or treating our content as ‘suspicious’.

What action do I take?

Well first off, as all of the content I create is being scraped onto the following site Great Books Kids Love (I have not created a link to this site, as they do not deserve the traffic), my intent is for its loyal readers to discover that they are in fact reading a splog and are welcome to come directly to The Children’s Book Review. If you’re reading this anywhere else, besides The Children’s Book Review, then this article has been shamefully stolen.

I also intend on installing a Creative Commons license so that any content we create is marked clearly with the freedoms we want it to carry. Currently our copyright terms are “All Rights Reserved”.

The plagiarist will be contacted and asked to take down all copied content from his blog immediately.

Here are all of the links to the blogs and sites that I found very helpful in producing this post:

Wikipedia, Blog scraping: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog_scraping
Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/
Lost Art of Blogging, Protect Your Blog and Counter Copyright Thefts: http://www.lostartofblogging.com/protect-your-blog-and-counter-copyright-thefts
Inky Girl, Republishing Content Via RSS Feeds: Right or Wrong?:
http://www.inkygirl.com/republishing-content-via-rss-feeds-right-or-wrong-part-2/
Dozier Internet Law, Copyright Lawyer Perspective:
http://johndozierjr.typepad.com/dozierinternetlaw/2009/01/copyright-lawyer-perspective-on-affiliate-summit-west-2009-day-one-.html

The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by one of TCBR's regular contributors.

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