Saturday, March 19, 2016
This morning I sat down at my desk with a cup of coffee, ready to do a little genealogy. I haven't looked for my entrepreneurial ancestor Milo Galloway in a long time, so decided to do an internet search to see if anything new about him had been added. A few hits down in the results, an unfamiliar website came up and upon opening it my jaw dropped. There on a "day trading" site I found my blog about Milo titled "Of Land Deals and Canals"! The entire blog, word for word including the image. I was aghast to say the least, nowhere on that page was there any credit for my work. Copying an entire blog is bad enough, but to not even acknowledge the author is even more disturbing.
I read through the site's policies, and found this:
The entire contents of the Site are protected by international copyright and trademark laws. The owner of the copyrights and trademarks are ******** its affiliates or other third party licensors. YOU MAY NOT MODIFY, COPY, REPRODUCE, REPUBLISH, UPLOAD, POST, TRANSMIT, OR DISTRIBUTE, IN ANY MANNER, THE MATERIAL ON THE SITE, INCLUDING TEXT...
Strong words from a company which sees fit to themselves copy, reproduce, republish and post the work of others. And they are the owners of the copyright to my blog????? Really??? And all this time I thought the copyright on my blog content belonged to me.
I sent the offending company a polite email asking them to remove my work from their site; what happens next remains to be seen. Looking further at the site I noticed near the top, the word "From" followed by, in small pale blue letters, the words Of Land Deals and Canals -- not my name, not the name of my site. The link does take one to my blog page, but is that enough? How many people will even click on it? Especially since it just reiterates the title. I didn't even notice it at first and I was looking!
I did another Google search, this time using the search terms "copied my blog" and lots of sites full of advice came up. The US government says that to copy my entire blog, my permission is required. Even if I were given credit on the offender's site, that alone is not sufficient. Other sites note that this sort of thievery can affect search engine rankings and cause Google to mistake your blog content as the duplicate. I'm not sure yet how far I want to take this, hopefully the filched content will just be removed.