I Love Having My Content Stolen

You know, it’s really irritating when you pour your heart and soul into something, only to find someone else riding your coattails and leeching off your efforts. It would appear that NetworkVirtualization.com is one such leech.

I have no problem with other sites syndicating my content as long as proper attribution of the original author and original site is provided. Do me a favor: visit some of the URLs below (I’m not going to hyperlink them and give the site a traffic boost) and tell me how any of the examples I’ve listed below provide proper attribution of the original author and the original site:

http://networkvirtualization.com/content/unified-fabric-inevitability
http://networkvirtualization.com/content/vmware-io-queues-micro-bursting-and-multipathing

http://networkvirtualization.com/content/tap-vsphere-pvscsi-performance-separate-vm-boot-and-data-drives

Let’s see…content from my site, Chad Sakac’s site, and Rich Brambley’s site, all syndicated on their site without any clear attribution back to the original post—except for a very small link near the bottom of the article. If you hadn’t been looking for that link, or if I hadn’t told you that the articles above were written by me, Chad, and Rich, respectively, would you have known? And those are just the authors I recognized! How many more are there that I don’t recognize?

To whomever is running NetworkVirtualization.com: if you are going to syndicate content, you need to provide proper attribution. Otherwise, taking someone else’s content and allowing people to believe that it’s yours is called plagiarism, and it’s wrong.

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  1. Carlo’s avatar

    That ‘site’ does not produce ANY original content. It is all ‘scraped’ from other sites. :(

  2. Alan Renouf’s avatar

    I hate it when that happens, string them up !

  3. Chad Sakac’s avatar

    Argh – I hate that. Copy, link, syndicate – all good – it’s out there to share, but if you syndicate, please attribute.

  4. rbrambley’s avatar

    Scott,

    Thanks for posting about this. I believe in share and share a like, but networkvirtualization.com has gone way too far on this. Throw me a bone and let me know they like my posts, ask if an article/post can be reposted in entirety, and by all means, clearly indicate who and where it came from.

  5. Dmitriy’s avatar

    Scott, most readers of this blog are probably with you on this one – plagiarism is totally outrageous. I assume they are making money off of AdWords. Not sure how well it works, but maybe this page can help – http://www.google.com/dmca.html. Reporting it to Google so that the offender is removed from the search results, will [hopefully] take away their revenue stream.

  6. Derek’s avatar

    Thanks for posting this Scott. I hope they correct the scrapes to attribute the original authors or are removed from Adwords or other revenue streams

  7. Vladan’s avatar

    You take your time to build how-to articles to help other people and someone just scrape it….. Maybe the weapon against is to do a what is called “deep linking”. You link to another article inside somewhere of your blog.

    Then If someone scrape all the articles and do not take your deap links out, you gain even more visitors…. -:). You make it more difficult for the guy doing this… -:)

  8. David Lee’s avatar

    Would it help for people to complain to the advertisers on that site, like Mainline Systems?

  9. Duncan’s avatar

    thanks I see my content coming back as well…

  10. RobSF’s avatar

    On the plus side, this post introduced me to Chad’s blog, which I had somehow missed. So that’s one more (legitimate) subscriber to his RSS feed! :)

    Good luck with the offender. Share-and-share-alike is good. Lack of attribution & credit is not good. I hope it’s an honest mistake, and they’ll do the right thing….

  11. rodos’s avatar

    Dam, they stole my content too!

  12. Brett’s avatar

    I agree, from a moral/ethical standpoint, you should be credited with your work. My first thought however was that if you put content out then you have to expect someone else is going to use it. I mean that’s kind of what you want right, for many people to read it. But I now see that you have the copyright links setup on your site and although the guy provides a link back to you, he doesn’t mention your name, which should be pretty easy to do.

    I didn’t notice the creative commons stuff on your site originally because I consume all your content through google reader. Which brings up another question, if you agree that without the copyright someone can legally, however immoral it might be, use your content and I consume and redistribute your content from a reader that doesn’t show me it’s copyrighted material, is it still copyright infringement?

    I did find this post, which I hope is the original author or I’ll look really foolish for including it, that might help others.

    http://mohitaneja.com/blogging/how-to-copyright-and-protect-your-blog-content.htm

    Oh and Scott, thanks for all your insight, I enjoy reading your blog.

  13. Derek Morr’s avatar

    Scott,

    Have you considered putting a Creative Commons license banner on your sidebar? That would clearly tell other your intentions.

    -derek

  14. slowe’s avatar

    It is the responsibility of the publisher to ensure that the material he or she is publishing does not infringe upon someone else’s rights. Even if the people behind NetworkVirtualization.com see the content only through a reader, it is still their responsibility to ensure they have the right to syndicate content.

    Just to be clear–I have no problem with syndicating my content, as long as proper attribution is provided. A small, easily overlooked link is not proper attribution.

  15. David Davis’s avatar

    Hi Scott,

    I have helped to manage a large content site and part of my job was tracking down all the copied articles and getting them removed. It is a real PITA so I know what you are going through.

    Any reputable ISP will take disable their whole site based on just a handful of complaints so that is what I hope will happen here.

    The right thing to do is to use the DMCA, as Dimitry pointed out, and contact their ISP. I didn’t usually waste any time with the site owner.
    Sometimes you will get an obscure ISP in somewhere like North Korea (I guess they have ISP’s there), as an example, who just plain doesn’t care. Hopefully that isn’t the case here.

    It’s incredible how some of these site operators are so dumb that they think they can copy entire articles and they won’t be noticed – like they have never heard of google alerts or copyscape.com.

    Don’t let it ruin your day – it is rampant on the Internet and, likely, google will just penalize them for copied content anyway so they are just hurting themselves.

    -David

  16. Vinf’s avatar

    Mmm, yeah I’m on there too :(

    not cricket.

  17. Brenden Bryan’s avatar

    Keep up the awesome work Scott. Don’t let the bad people get you down. Karma is a bi***.

  18. Blips’s avatar

    Your site is being syndicated on mydesknews.com like many other visualization sites. All links are kept original, clicking on the header or comments link will direct back to the syndicated site.

    In my opinion it is not stealing content, what do you think?

  19. slowe’s avatar

    I would suggest you follow the same guidelines laid out by Rich Brambley in this post:

    http://vmetc.com/2009/06/27/if-it%e2%80%99s-not-blog-syndication-or-aggregation-then-it%e2%80%99s-stealing-and-aggravating/

    Based on my review of your site, you do identify the author underneath the title, but the title links back to the RSS feed, not the original item. Deep links to the original site are preserved, which is a positive. I would say it’s not stealing, but you could do a better job of republishing content by making sure the title links back to the original content, not the RSS feed.

  20. dhylton’s avatar

    looks like someone might have taken action; here is what i get when attempting to view the first link you posted:

    Access denied
    You are not authorized to access this page.

  21. rbrambley’s avatar

    Scott, and all,

    Eric, the owner of networkvirtualization.com, has professionally responded in a comment on my post.

    http://vmetc.com/2009/06/27/if-it%e2%80%99s-not-blog-syndication-or-aggregation-then-it%e2%80%99s-stealing-and-aggravating/#comment-11876584

    I’m glad to see his positive reaction, and it appears our efforts have resulted in a desirable outcome for all.

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