Anne Holland, CEO of MarketingSherpa, keeps a close eye on what’s being said about her company on the Internet. She routinely visits Technorati and Feedster, types in her company name, and reads what bloggers are saying.
Recently, she began to notice that not infrequently bloggers have been pirating entire articles and reposting the content on their sites. Because all of MarketingSherpa’s content is copywrite protected, that amounts to nothing more than sheer thievery!
According to Anne, some do it innocently, being so excited about a given article they copy and paste, though often without any attribution to the source. Others do it spuriously, with profit as the motive. These blog thieves are seeking to drive revenue from Google AdSense and see keyword-rich, relevant content like MarketingSherpa provides as a way to attract search engine traffic. Some have even created “bots” that grab content without the intervention of a human editor. Either way, it’s still unlawful, illegitimate, and just plain wrong!
Unfortunately, what’s happening with Anne is also happening with other publishers. There is a mindset that says if it’s available on the Internet, it must be free to use.
In a recent article at InternetNews.com, Jason Calacanis, founder and chairman of Weblogs Inc, said that of the over 13 million blogs being indexed by Technorati, only 4 million of them are real. Does that mean that there are millions of “bot” blogs out there scouring the Internet stealing content? Perhaps so.
In a subsequent article on the subject, Anne draws on some comments from readers and lists several action steps. I won’t outline them here lest I be guilty of the very same “black hat” techniques.
If you’re interested in knowing more, read both articles at MarketingSherpa. As with all their content, it’s available for public viewing for only a short time. Of course, you could always find some site that’s stolen the content and read it there I suppose. Heh. But that would be rewarding bad behavior would it not?
I’d like to hear your feedback on this subject. Do you share my view that such tactics are illegitimate, or am I making a mountain out of a molehill? What can be done to stem the tide where this is concerned? Feel free to leave a comment.