Monday, February 28, 2011

Internet Thieves .. Copyright Infringement!

The longer you blog, the more likely you'll discover
your content and photographs have been stolen.
The nature of the 'beast' that is the internet?
Ultimately, it makes no difference if you watermark photos or not,
or if you embed your photographs with copyright information.
Watermarks can be sliced off / embedded data is easily ignored.
I'm told savvy computer geek thieves know how to remove watermarks,
and they surely aren't concerned with embedded attribution.
I could spend all my days (and nights) searching AND finding obscure and not-so-obscure web sites and blogs where my words appear in my own voice yet on a totally foreign web address.
Splog = spam blog.
A friend's web site was hacked yesterday,
and she has reminded readers of the importance of backing up your web site and blog content.
Is the internet a sexy beast? One we find alluring despite its faults?
You may soon see a copyright notice in each and every Bay Area Tendrils post.
Little steps to lessen, if not alleviate, opportunities for sploggers.


  1. How do you find your work on other obscure and foreign blogs? I would never know if my images or text ends up elsewhere. I have a blog in Turkey with images of my Christmas decor, but how I found it out was the link came in through WordPress.

    So where do you look?

  2. I'm sorry Alice, I hate splogs and rogue thieves. We had content lifted last spring by a gardening organization that should have known better, and told us to take it up with their lawyers. They felt they had every right under the DMCA to use anyone's content they wished. I was livid. Still makes me angry just thinking about it. Sadly, it's almost impossible to protect our blog content online.

  3. It seems to happen every year, then it dies down for a while. Think we get lured into believing our content is safe, then the spammers hit again.
    Wish there was a failsafe way to protect our words and photos.

  4. CVF
    I am shocked to hear that a reputable organization responded to you in that way.

    I doubt there will ever by a way to prevent internet theft. But we can do our best to follow up to get content deleted. I've been engaged in the process, but it's tedious and time-consuming!

  5. GWGT
    Many ways, including google alerts that you can set up in various ways:
    also, go to the copyscape or copyrightspot sites to track content from your web address.
    You can search google images, as well.
    If you do a google search for copyright infringement, you'll find a great deal of helpful information.

  6. Hello Alice, I guess I have never really thought much about this, obviously I have heard about it. I suppose the type of stuff which I do on my blog its not so likely to happen. You mention backing up your blog, does this suggest that the hackers can do more than simply copy, can they actually remove the content completely.

  7. Hi Alistair,
    Hackers can remove a blog or web site. I suppose some can do just about anything they set their minds to.

  8. Oh for heavens sake - what on earth do they gain? Surely showing off someone elses content cannot give you a sense of achievement?

  9. AA
    One wonders..... but then, it's about a crass attempt to make money off someone else's efforts.

  10. Thanks Alice. Now I have a place to look.

  11. Nothing will stop a thief. You would not believe how easy it is to remove a watermark. a new piece of hardware came with software that told me how and I didn't even want to know. jim

  12. This infringements and theft of others copyrights are really disgusting practices, but that can be a lesser evil than finding your site completely obliterated! I dont even know how to duplicate my blog!!!

  13. It's about making money by attracting others to a blog where desirable topics are covered and good pics are displayed. The site will have large numbers of advertisements in hopes that visitors will click.

    The latest scraper discovered by some bloggers I know did not bother to remove watermarks, signatures or other signs of ownership. I saw posts of Catherine's with her name still signed and others' posts with pics with blog names still plastered across them. Many of the blogs from which posts were lifted had all kinds of copyright info and so on prominently displayed. It does not deter.

    The owner of a stolen post can report the theft of posts to the server. It is a slow process. I believe reporting to the companies whose ads are on the scraper's site is effective. No company wants bad press and association with a thief.

    Google the name of some of your posts if you want to see if they show up elsewhere. Also google the names of some of your most used labels such as plant names. There are many sites with advice on protecting your work and how to find and report.

  14. Andrea,
    I went through a long process today with the host server for my web site, to learn various ways to back-up postings.
    There are many methods, and free software is also available. But there are steps involved, complicated in many cases, so for a lot of people, it means paying their 'techie' gurus to provide help.

  15. This is so frustrating. Like Donna, I wouldn't know how to find the content of my blog out there in the ether...but this is good to know. Also, it may be worth posting the copyright line in every post...maybe it will slow them down if many of us were to add this in our posts.

  16. Hi Jim,
    I embed information in all my current photos -- I've never believed that a watermark would stop someone who is out to steal.
    As I said in the post, the embedding that professional photographers take pains to do is still not enough to keep photos from being stolen. Most pros find evidence of their images that have been pirated.

  17. Erg. TOTALLY useful warning. THANK you. See, I hate to save my pictures (with watermark) at the smaller resolution 'cause the bigger ones are SO COOL when you zoom in on them, and the small ones just pixel out. =( Guessing that's my only option to preserve my favorite photos, though, eh? I will be re-reading your post. Thanks again!! =)

  18. Alice, I sure enjoy every post and sorry your content is ripped off. I hope you find a way to make it difficult to steal or at least branded so it can be attributed to you. Sorry you have to waste time on protecting your work when you could be doing positive things. Thanks for your posts.

  19. Hi Rick
    Welcome to the blogosphere. I'll look for your posts on Florida Friendly Plants.

  20. biobabbler,
    I understand the desire to post big cool pics! Thanks for stopping by:-)

  21. Hi Alice! I once found through my analytics that someone had found one of my drawings through a search engine designed to look for tattoo images! Flattering, but strange. I think most of the time I operate on ignorance = bliss. However, my blog posts are a representation of my work, not the work itself! I can see how troubling it would be for you!

  22. Hi Alice

    It winds me up the whole internet plagiarism thing and that includes duplicating photos.

    On occasion I've received emails or comments asking to use pics and I'm more than happy for that to happen, never object. Common courtesy always works for me. But when stuffed if effectively 'nicked' and passed off, then it makes my blood boil and it seems there's little to do.

    CVF's comment just illustrates the arrogance out there.

  23. To all, an update:
    During my recent research forays into theft of my content:

    I've located a photo - which has been removed with apologies;

    Scraping of the written word on another site has also been removed, along with an email stating that the site was not to blame!!/responsible, it was the RSS feed they used;

    AND a blogspot site that remains online with my words & photos - essentially my post in its entirety. It's been reported to google with no action thus far. An additional note: the site has no advertising on it. I've also emailed the site's designer, with no response.

  24. I'm sorry this happened to you but it is the way of the blogspehre. We try to be diligent but things slip through our fingers. Sounds like you are doing due diligence.

  25. I was considering putting watermarks in my photos but didn't because another post said it didn't stop them. I don't think I am going to expend any energy worrying about all this because from what you say nothing works. If you find something that does work, I would try it. thanks for exploring the issue though.

  26. Oh just go ahead and name names and sites and servers. My wife showed me this link where a TV station was accused of stealing (because that is what it is, isn't it? when you take something that doesn't belong to you and use it as your own) pictures from bloggers. I guess that they think stealing is better than having to pay for the use of the photos.

  27. I'm sorry you've been dealing with this, Alice. I keep hoping that karma will resolve some of this stuff, but I guess the lazy thieves of the world will always try to get something for nothing. I'm glad you posted this information, because there are many new bloggers out there who were obviously unaware of the problems.

  28. I'll stay with the copyright notice, mine is a sign off. And the watermark on the pictures. My pictures are backed up on my hard drive. My words are saved as word documents. Then it is focus on blogging and gardening.

    It is like leaving the car, locked, with the burglar alarm set, in the garage. Can still be stolen, but less likely.

  29. I do not have this copyright notice on my blog and am not so angry if someone steals my photographs which doesn't mean that I approve it. As you said, what can you do? I leave it to one's own moral and conscience.
    Sometimes I need a photo that I do not have and look for some on Internet but I always sign the author underneath and put the link to the site I have it taken from.

  30. Worrisome indeed. Like Elephants Eye one of my blogs is saved in word documents, the other I am not so concerned over. If I took better photos I might be more concerned with theft. Thank you for posting this. I hope you solve your theft problems quickly.

  31. Thanks to all for adding to the dialogue,

    I have yet to hear from google about the complaint I filed: the site with complete postings from this blog remains online......