The Wisdom of Thieves

Sometimes you just have to wonder, what were they thinking?

All of us who write articles and blog postings have had our work stolen by others who pass it off as their own. But the brilliance of this thief is stunning. So dumb, it’s funny. Nothing like leaving your business card at the scene.

A pingback came through on an article on this blog entitled, “B2B Search Marketing: Loose the Lingo, Remember the Buyer.” You can see the comment on the article by clicking here.

The pinkback was a verbatim excerpt from the article to which the comment related. Of course, there’s the link to the website of the person who commented on the article.

When I clicked on the link, I was taken to the person’s blog where my blog posting appeared verbatim, in its entirety, with just a few words added. Of course, there was no attribution or reference, and the link to my posting was buried in body copy with anchor text of “b2b marketers.” Below is a screen capture.

philly blog posting

Of course I wondered whose blog this was, so I click on the “About”,

About Philly

that told me it was a blog run by Dinkum Interactive, a Philadelphia search marketing company.

dinkuminteractive.jpg

I really got a kick out of their tagline, “Genuine Search Engine Marketing”. I never new what “dinkum” meant (actually never heard of the word), but their website points out that it’s Australian, meaning genuine, real.

I think not.

7 Comments

  1. Hi Galen, what was the outcome, did you ask them to remove the stolen post, if so did they. I write over at phoenixrealm.com and have had this happen to me, but RSS scrapers have been more of a hassle.

  2. The article is still there. I left a comment on their blog with the URL pointing back to this blog. I didn’t expect them to approve the comment or respond to it. Instead, I thought they might just take the post down. They didn’t. That’s when I decided to do this post. I’ve had scrapers, too, but while bothersome, they usually aren’t from sites that anyone might trust. This, however, was an organization that should be concerned about their reputation and should know better. I think eventually, they will take it down. I’ve used DMCA filings with the search engines before. This always causes the URL to be excluded from indicies, but often I find the offenders just posting the content at another URL. I figured my blog posting might be the most effective way. If someone searches for Dinkum Interactive, they’ll see this blog posting as one of the search results. Once DI figures that out, I think they’ll reconsider keeping the post up.

  3. Wow that one did slip through the defences and thanks for the heads up. I know, i know, that’s poor blog management on our part, particularly as your comment has been up on ours for a while. That post was put up by one of our new bloggers who like others, consider sending a link to another blog as giving enough credit to the poster of the blog. I can see his point but also yours.

    I too have had this happen to me not only on blogs but articles (without even a link) that have taken ages to write and distribute so it can be very frustrating. I’m fine leaving the post up if you prefer the incoming link and additional publicity or if you prefer the takedown, no worries there either. Just let me know what credit you want for the post.

  4. Galen, now that I think about it, he must have posted a link back to your website for you to have received the trackback in the first place? In this case, isn’t it not fair game to post an excerpt from your post?

  5. Paul

    I looked again at the comment, and it wasn’t a comment or a trackback; it was a pingback. I was simply moving too fast and didn’t look closely. I’ve corrected the blog posting to show it as a pingback.

    Regardless of that, however, I see no merit whatsoever to your blogger’s point (or your potential support thereof) that sending a link to another blog as giving credit was either sufficient or appropriate. And to your point…posting a link back to another site is not fair game to post an “excerpt” from our post.

    Your post was not an excerpt. It was a verbatim unauthorized republishing of our post, passing it off as your own. At one time. the post stated a member of your firm as the author. The entire body of the post, exactly word for word, was taken from our posting. The only thing your firm did was to slightly change the title and add the one-sentence closing line, “When you talk their lingo, prospects will show up at your virtual doorstep delivered by that friendly taxi driver, El Google.”

    If you want to appropriately cite (clearly shown as a quote) and clearly attribute a short exceprt (a sentence or two) and convey your own perspectives on it, that’s okay. That would be an appropriate and permissable thing to do. However, this is clearly not what was done. In your post, 375 of the 396 words represented verbatim language from our post (what you characterize as an “excerpt”).

    Secondly, the link to our article was buried as a hyperlink in the body of the blog posting with the anchor text, “b2b marketers”. This falls far short of appropriate attribution and full disclosure.

    One doesn’t have to be highly schooled in the fine points of intellectual property law to sense there’s a problem here. Most would call this both plagiarism and copyright infringement.

  6. Paul, just one more thing. You should also review your other blog posting. For instance, I did a single search of a string of copy in just one of your other blog posting entitled, “Link Building is a Must For Higher Rankings”. Just doing a simple search revealed that the paragraph in that posting (which is reprinted below) is a direct lift from a blog posting by Jennifer Laycock ( http://www.searchengineguide.com/senews/008184.html ). Not citing Jennifer Laycock as the author nor citing Aaron Wall or Andy Hagans as the individuals from whom the thought arose is just another instance of plagiarism and copyright infringement.

    Plagiarized Paragraph on http://blog.dinkuminteractive.com/link-building-is-a-must-for-higher-rankings/ :

    “What will happen to the way search algorithms score links is already happening. The Google algo has become much more elegant and advanced, devaluing staggering amount of links that shouldn’t count, and placing more emphasis on trusted links. And the trust and juice given by those links is then verified by elements like user data, domain age, and other relatively hard-to-spoof factors.”

  7. I’m certainly not disagreeing with you that this is a definite oversight on our part as I stated in my original comment. Newcomers to the blogging community, while offered appropriate training in addition to bringing their own history of traditional marketing, still may not understand the nuances that may be involved in the blogosphere and appropriate behaviors.
    I think rather than take these down, I would encourage the poster to have another go at reworking the original post with appropriate credit and citings if you are in agreement to that (in addition to the previous posts he has done if necessary). This may be a far more valuable lesson that the one you had previously suggested.

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