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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Someone Is Stealing My Content and Words

I know that stealing blog content goes on all the time, but I'm still hopping mad that my words are being stolen.

A thief by the name of Kosartheg is reblogging my articles, including those called "Directed by Duplass", "The Evolution of the Veranda", "Decisions Were Made", "Wish For A Walk", "Not Zanthan's Mystery Weed", "Destiny or Delusion", "Enjoying the Evergreens", "The Essential Earthman", "Read All About It", "Rain", "Living It Up In South Austin", "In Transition", "Luke, Mike and Idiocracy", "Calling Garden Prodigy", "Is My Name Fred" .... and so on - without my name, Annie in Austin, or the name of my blog , The Transplantable Rose, or any links back to the author - just outright clip, paste and steal.

The BLOGGING THIEF is using WordPress and has the title DuskDiary. The comments don't work, and it appears that I need a WordPress account to flag this blog. The Flying Monkeys are still on Spring Break, so until one of my wonderful friends in the blogosphere helps me notify WordPress:

This is to advise you, Kosartheg, that you are using copyrighted and protected material on your website/blog. Your illegal use of All the above listed articles at DuskDiary are originally from my website/blog called The Transplantable Rose at the address annieinaustin dot blogspot dot com. This is original content and I am the author and copyright holder. Use of copyright protected material without permission is illegal under copyright laws.
Please take one or more of the following actions immediately:
Re-write the post to include excerpts with a link to the original content.
Credit the material specifically to me, as author, and my website The Transplantable Rose.
Remove the plagiarized material immediately.
I expect a response within 5 days to this issue. Thank you for your immediate action on this matter. Annie in Austin

If you're just arriving at this post, please read the comments. The theft of posts from my garden blog is just one just a small part of a larger problem, and the commenters have a lot to say.


March 26th
Another user has reblogged my stuff again. This time it's at a different WordPress site under the aegis of financehelpblogdotcom which is not cooperating in letting me report the stolen posts. The user is kingarthur11460. If you are watching out for reblogging of your own content, financehelpblogdotcom may be a place to look.
Why have the stolen blogs all been reblogged under WordPress? Is there something about WordPress that is making it attractive and easy to use for spammers and thieves? But the stolen content is mainly from Blogger blogs. There are no answers, yet - just more questions.

33 comments:

  1. Annie, that's awful. Imagine anyone having the nerve to do that. I hope the individual is deservedly embarrassed.

    Cheers,
    Josie

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  2. Check this out, Annie!
    http://raviratlami1.blogspot.com/2007/01/beware-spam-blogs-might-be-stealing.html

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  3. Annie - If you'll email me linkage, I'll get on reporting it to WordPress.

    eliz.

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  4. Bummer. Apparently this has been happening to a lot of people. Google "spam blog" and duskdiary, and you'll see what I mean. They steal your content, and lard it with links to questionable sites.

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  5. How frustrating! I hope word press helps you out and removes the blog. Good luck.

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  6. Thank you so much for the answers - and the sympathy.

    I didn't recognize the name at first, but La Gringa in Honduras also had some posts swiped by duskdiary, and she somehow got to the person. In a weird way, knowing that other blogs have their content stolen makes me both calmer and madder at the same time.

    Annie

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  7. DuskDiary is also the ones who stole my content, but for some reason I was able to flag it. I hope you get it stopped and they remove that fake blog, soon.

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  8. MSS, it was just dumb luck. When I thought up the name "the Transplantable Rose", it didn't even show up on google, so I figured it was unique. I'd been googling the name once in awhile to see if it was reblogged. But this site took the content out of the middle of the posts, and hadn't shown up before. When I googled today, the words "the Transplantable Rose" were part of a story, so it showed up.

    E gave me links to more information, and one person thinks using RSS feeds that are complete, rather than excerpts, are making the problem worse. So should I switch my feeds over to the short clip-type?

    My garden blog is such a LITTLE deal, that it all seems stupid! Maybe they think we cottage- bloggers never look to see if we're being robbed?

    Annie

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  9. Creeps. I've heard that this happens quite a bit. No fun indeed - and I hope it resolves soon!

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  10. Annie, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm new at all this, so I don't have any sage advice. If I do come across any information that will help, i'll be sure to pass it on. Keep up your beautiful writing:)

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  11. Oh dear, so it happened to you too? I see you've already got some excellent advice and help from others so I'll just tell you how sorry I am this happened to you and hope that this will be resolved soon.

    Content thieves! Grrrr!

    Go see my blog, it will cheer you up!

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  12. Hi Annie,
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery what would outright thievery be?

    Apparently plagiarism is rampant in colleges so I would suspect that this just reflects the general state of iilegal/amoral behavior today. Easier to steal than think up something original.

    Here's an interesting link about plagiarism.

    http://evolt.org/
    Imitation_flattery_or_thievery

    Maybe you should write less well? ;)

    I hope the blogsite bans the person doing this but the culprit will probably use other blog sites to continue stealing. Apparently it's done to get more money through ad click on Adsense but you don't have that on your blog so they must just be after your content.

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  13. Annie, that's terrible. I've only been blogging for a few months so I really don't have a suggestion for you. Honestly, I didn't know this happens...

    I'd love to see the creep get nailed on this one.

    Keep doing your wonderful posting!

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  14. What does it mean when you say you "flag" it?

    I've not heard of this problem before. It is creepy.

    Bill
    prairie point

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  15. I'm sorry they've hit you too, they seem to have hit several garden blogs. So far the genealogy blogs haven't been hit yet, as far as I know, but maybe we just have our heads in our books and should be checking more carefully.

    I knew they could steal from anyone but I didn't realize it was as easy as stealing directly from your feed. I'll be changing my settings.

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  16. Annie, I just sent you copies of the emails that I sent to get a DuskDiary blog that was stealing my content taken down. I hope that helps.

    The people that do this are such idiots that they will even repost the articles calling them thieves! I know because I've seen mine on several.

    My experience is that DuskDiary is easier than others. Hundreds of my articles are showing up on some spam blogs and I've been told that I have to do a formal DMCA complaint.

    I've also found out that Google is no help at all. You can report copyright violations via the "Ads by Google" link, but all that results in is a form letter from Google weeks later saying to file an official complaint, which must be by mail, not email, and will be published on a website for all the world to see.

    That's just not practical for me in Honduras, not to mention that I don't want my name published -- I live in a dangerous country. Shame on Google.

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  17. Annie, I forgot to say that I don't agree about changing the feed to partial. The feed is for the convenience of your readers and a partial feed is just plain annoying to me.

    I do click over the blog on many of my favorites, but I read too many blogs to do that on more than a few. I rarely ever go to blog of a partial feed unless it is one of my absolute favorites. (Like yours ;D)

    A partial feed is an option, but personally, I'd rather not inconvenience my readers for the sins of a few thieves out there. Plus I have about 50 readers who get a daily email with any new articles and I don't think that would work with a partial feed.

    It is so frustrating!

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  18. First of all, I want to give credit for the template that was used for the letter in my post to http://lorelle.wordpress.com/

    Carol, we must have posted at the same time. I remembered your problem, and that you had some kind of alert set up, but forgot the domain name of the thief.

    Pam, thank you. I know it's widespread, and is annoying rather than important. But not saying something seems like agreeing it's okay. They are creeps!

    Chigiy, thanks for the sympathy - and the compliment.

    Yolanda Elizabet, your latest post did cheer me up - you are so fashionable!

    Ki, thanks for the links; I wonder if any of the other stolen garden bloggers have adsense, and also if they're all on Blogger, since both May Dreams Carol and La Gringa were hit.

    Mary, I hope to heck it doesn't happen to you, too. [Although you'd manage to turn it into a good story!]

    Bill, I hope I have this right: There's a tab marked flag on the top border of a lot of blogs, so if someone wants to complain to Blogger, or Wordpress, etc. about blog content, you click it. [I don't see one on your page.] I did get the fake blog flag to click later on.

    Hi Apple, I hope you are okay, but I don't know how you can tell - my finding this was just luck.

    La Gringa, I have used your form, changed to my information and sent the emails. Thank you so much for your help. I have learned more than I want to know about this!

    As to feeds, I don't have counters, but know my numbers can't be very high - so I'll probably leave the settings alone. I'm fishing for conversations and gardeners! I don't want to put a quarter of a worm on the hook if nightcrawlers work better!

    Annie

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  19. Oh, Annie, I, too, am so sorry to hear about this. There really are some rotten people out there.

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  20. This happens to me too from time to time. I think it's just how things are going to happen in the blogosphere unfortunately. Good for you for fighting back, though. It never occured to me to do so. Maybe next time.

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  21. To clarify...these creeps aren't plagiarist in the sense that they are stealing your content for the writing. They aren't garden blogger who wish they could write like you. What they want is blog posts so that they can create a fake blog with a link list to porn blogs...or anything else that they want show a lot of links to in order to boost their Google ratings.

    I went to the site and flagged it too (one of the options for flagging is "copyrighted material"). I got back a message that it had already been flagged.

    I went to look at it just now and the message says "The blog has been archived or suspended." Good news; however, this is a fake person with a fake blog designed to boost Google ratings for those links. This person (or company) probably does nothing but create fake blogs all day.

    The lesson is that it's not just vanity to Google yourself.

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  22. Gotta Garden and James, it's disturbing, but at least it doesn't appear to be personal!
    MSS, yes, that blog disappeared yesterday evening, but it seems to be a many headed hydra. La Gringa, May Dreams Carol and All About E have been looking into this and it appears that a legitimate business is the host but they will only take a complaint made by certified mail.

    Philo went to duskdiary, and threw in a few search terms - innumerable fake blogs came up, many with paragraphs that I could recognize as belonging to bloggers I know. Some were mine and Carol's, some belonged to Trey of Golden Gecko and OldRoses of A Gardening Year. I'm pretty sure they were all Blogspot blogs.

    MSS, one disturbing thing is that I have been putting short passages of older posts into Google, but the pages at dusk diary didn't come up on the searches, even though those exact passages were included in the stolen posts.

    The only thing I'm not disturbed or confused about is how wonderful the people who write the blogs can be. Thank you all. I'll let you know if anything else happens.

    Annie

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  23. Annie,
    I figured out the Adsense angle. The culprits create a blog, steal your content, add their Adsense links so Ads appear on their blog and they reap the profit w/o you having any ads on your blog.

    They can create hundreds or thousands of blogs, cut and paste stolen blog posts and if each made $5 - $10 or more a month that could add up to a substantial amount. Fast and dirty.

    Google and Adsense should have an easy way to report these abuses.

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  24. Sounds like a problem, but not as big a problem as having an Arizona Ash. :)

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  25. Annie - I never knew people did this?! I hope you can stop the perpetrators who are stealing your voice.

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  26. "Google and Adsense should have an easy way to report these abuses."

    They are part of the problem. They make it very easy and FREE for us to create blogs and then lure in the greedy and lazy with the lure of Free Money from ad clicks. They are in essense recruiting average Joes to be their worker bees getting ads posted all over the internet.

    Unless Google, Adsense and others have an ethics policy guiding this business they are not going to make it easy to report abuse.

    Stealing someone's words or pictures for the sole purpose of making money is theft. Adding a link and credit to the original author may take a little of the sting out of it, but when the sole purpose is still to make Free lazy money is is still very rude.

    I found one of my posts re-blogged by someone who has five blogs and counting of re-blogged material all on Hawaii topics. No comments, no interactive platform just an ad platform with re-blogged posts from others.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I do not click on ads at any site. I suggest that a no ad click policy be promoted.

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  27. Wow...what a mess! I'm kinda scared to look for my content being stolen! I agree with Christopher, a no-ad policy wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. I chose to leave them off my blog because I feel inundated by them everywhere else, and wanted my blog to be pleasant for ME first and foremost. I hope there's a solution forthcoming to all of this down the line, cuz' I can see this becoming nothing but worse!

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  28. Hi Annie-

    This same thing just happened to my blog earlier this week....I found two different fake blogs with my writings...

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  29. Thanks for the heads up. I am not quite sure of this persons web site. You say he has some of my stuff?
    Have you heard anything since this post?

    Thanks

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  30. Dear Annie,

    I just did a little searching and found some sites that show how to disable right-clicking and cut & paste on your site so folks cannot steal as easily. Examples are here:
    http://www.hypergurl.com/norightclick.html
    I'm sure there are other sites that give more info. Hope that helps a little.

    Good luck!
    Dawn in NW Austin

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  31. Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for the link. I don't think it would help in this instance, because a couple of the people who already have right-click protection were among those whose blogs were copied. Some people think the content is taken from the RSS feeds.

    Annie

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  32. Dear Annie,

    That is a real shame. I cannot imagine why anyone would steal content from a blog. Sounds like they have no conscience. Grrr!

    For the record, I want to thank you for your lovely site. You, Pam and a few other Austin garden bloggers have been a huge help to me as I learn to garden in Austin since my move from Florida.

    Thanks Again!
    Dawn

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A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.