It saddens me that I have to write a post like this, but unfortunately I feel I must. Today I happened to find a blog that was stealing content from other blogs, two of which I am familiar with. I'm not going to link to the blog because they don't deserve to get a hike in their numbers, but I feel I do need to speak out.
I happened to come across this because of a Google Alert I have set up with my blog name. One of the stolen blogs had written a post mentioning my blog name and so it showed up in the same Google alert as under a different website. It was obvious as soon as clicking over that this blog DID NOT write the post in question (as well as every other post there) and did not give credit to the people who had written the content.
Please, please, please if you ever notice a blog where posts appear to be stolen, contact the owner of the original blog right away. It may turn out they were reposted with permission, but it's better to play it safe than sorry.
Stealing someone's posts is WRONG. It doesn't matter if it's on the internet, that post still belongs to the person who wrote it and is protected under copyright law. The thing that really gets me mad about this blog is one of the feeds they are stealing from has a copyright notice written into each and every post to prevent this from happening. And although they didn't remove it, they did twist it around so it meant something completely different. Quoting someone and linking back to their post is fine (and I think should be encouraged) but do so with the permission of the person who wrote it. We bloggers are a pretty friendly lot (generally speaking), and a quick email just to check will suffice.
Now, if this has happened to any of you reading this, what did you do to respond? I've been looking for things all day, but I have yet to find a good, definitive source on how to take care of this sort of thing. If anyone has any links/suggestions/etc. please leave them in the comments.
We're all in this together. Let's help support our fellow bloggers and keep our eyes open for stolen content.
Okay, plea over. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.