Plagiarism Update

Thank you everyone for your support and tips on fighting back against plagiarism! Naturally, I’m flattered by a citing now and then as long as there is clear attribution, but the web site in question has actually stolen DOZENS of my posts, including the associated images (even of my kids!), and wasCopyrightbook so brazen even to lift my original category names: “Scrutinizing the Diabetes News,” “Diabetes Bulletin Board,” “Self-Disclosure” and so on. Wankers!!

Anyway, based on all the great input, here’s what I’ve done about it so far (in case this should ever happen to you):

- contacted WordPress (their blog host software) and Google AdWords (their source of revenue!) to report the abuse

- filed a DMCA notice (formal complaint) with the domain name host, in this case What I learned is that under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, which protects intellectual property, injured parties can file a detailed complaint for review by the Web host. If the host indeed detects copyright infringement, they will issue a warning and can even shut down the offending site if necessary. I’m told GoDaddy will need a few days to review my case. Should you ever need to create a DMCA notice of your own, there’s a sample HERE.

- shortened my RSS feed to include summaries only, rather than entire posts. I feel like this shouldn’t be necessary, since to my mind the feeds are intended for readers, and certainly do not give anyone permission to republish substantial material without consent. But I’m told that doing this helps curb content theft. So I’m on board.

- other ideas?

In addition, I wanted to clarify my reference to BlogBurst: that service does use clear attribution, and bloggers have to register to be included — which I actually did a while back, without realizing the full consequences. The small print in their agreement has you signing away a lot of your rights, which has a number of bloggers up in arms.

But I’m not bothered too much by BlogBurst, because I think it will be rare that a newspaper picks up my (niche) diabetes content — and when they might, it will hopefully just help other people affected by diabetes find me.

It’s the stealing crap that I’m mad about!


8 Responses

  1. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk May 14, 2006 at 9:48 pm | | Reply

    I’ve seen other forms of site copying in order for people to make money off of the web advertisements.

    The fact they were making money off of them says a good deal about the quality of information and entertainment.

    The person copying your entries probably never made it through high school, as they got in trouble for copying their friends’ homework.

  2. David Edelman
    David Edelman May 15, 2006 at 5:30 am | | Reply

    Amy, WordPress is actually software like Movable Type and not a hosting service. It looks like this site is part of a large group of sites like it. Here’s who’s hosting it:

    I hope your complaint is resolved. There’s no great way to stop this stuff. Getting them kicked out of AdSense is a great way to go. If you don’t here back, keep sending emails. They’ll eventually suspend the account, cutting off their revenue. That’ll really piss them off because all that setup will have been in vain.

  3. Nick
    Nick May 15, 2006 at 9:35 am | | Reply

    I hope your complaint is resolved. I care about you. I am also angry about stealing. It is good to hear from you.

  4. Kassie
    Kassie May 15, 2006 at 9:47 am | | Reply

    If it were me, I’d un-link to the website in question. I just clicked over to check them out, and realized they must be getting a lot of traffic thanks to this post!

    Of course, I’m a tad bit jealous that they’re not swiping MY posts ;)

  5. AmyT
    AmyT May 15, 2006 at 10:24 am | | Reply

    Hi Kassie,
    I was kind of hoping they might realize that they’re getting a lot of hits off the site they’re STEALING FROM — i.e. maybe they might notice they’ve been caught red-handed?

    Delusional on my part? …

  6. Kassie
    Kassie May 15, 2006 at 10:35 am | | Reply

    LOL, good point. I’d guess, though, that this is automated stealing and they won’t notice. But the bump in visits could make them more attracive to advertisers?? Not sure how that works.

  7. AmyT
    AmyT May 15, 2006 at 11:38 am | | Reply

    Hmm, not sure, but I’ll remove the link just to shut ‘em off now…


  8. Scott
    Scott June 6, 2006 at 8:46 am | | Reply

    Hi Amy,

    I read this post a few weeks ago and never dreamed that my own blog would be impacted, but I filed the info. in the back of my brain just in case.

    Then, this morning, I was doing my usual blog search for news related to type 1 diabetes, and discovered that my most recent post on FDA News related to type 1 treatment was also lifted, without attribution, by another blog at

    I plan to follow your recommendations, but wonder if anyone knows how to properly identify the domain name host.

    Any suggestions would be welcomed!

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