Feed Scraping Saga

After having been alerted by Kathy Jentz of Washington Gardener magazine on Sunday night that my posts were being used on other sites, I was a bit upset. I understand--they're just using my freely-available feed, which I hadset to "Full," providing the entire text and images. (I now have it at "Short," which allows only 255 characters in the feed.) But these scrapers used my feed in such a way that it appeared that my knowledge, permission, and effort were involved in posting my content on their sites. Having a blogroll or feed widget is one thing--concatenating bloggers' posts in a structured format that makes it look like original blogged content by these bloggers (especially when pictures are scraped, too) is something else entirely.

I was only scraped on two sites that I have found: The Garden Depot Inc. and Hikool. Other blogs such as Garden Rant, All Andrew's Plants, This Garden Is Illegal, and Plant Zone, as well as others that I follow, were also scraped on these sites.

I alerted Andrew from All Andrew's Plants that I saw his posts on Hikool, as well, and he put together a great post that helped me a lot. Susan Harris, my local Garden Ranter, also helped me after I e-mailed her. She let me know to bug the sites' hosts--Garden Rant was scraped by The Garden Depot Inc. blog.

I have yet to fill out any DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) forms--Hikool removed my posts after I left a comment on about 20 of them, as Dave suggested. Hikool does not have contact information listed on their site, so commenting on my own post was the only way to get ahold of them. They did respond promptly via e-mail in what I consider to be a pleasant manner. Whoever responded ("Hikool Staff") suggested I have some wording saying that I don't want my feed used for commercial purposes and that if someone is reading this post not on my own blog, then whoever is hosting the content is guilty of copyright infringement, which I think is a great idea.

I don't want my feed used for commercial purposes and if someone is reading this post not on my own blog, then whoever is hosting the content is guilty of copyright infringement.

I am still waiting on The Garden Depot Inc.'s blog to remove me from their feed scraper. The Garden Depot Inc. is a garden-supply company based in California, so they actually have contact information on their main site. On Sunday, shortly after I found out about the scraping, I e-mailed this guy Blake, who I take is the owner, but I have not heard back. I have contacted the site's host and am preparing a DMCA form for them. I called and spoke with someone at the company this afternoon. He didn't know the company had a blog and told me that "We hired some guy to do our Internet for us." I told him that the guy is stealing content from other bloggers without their permission. The guy on the phone said he'd look into it and we hung up.

Currently, my posts are still up on The Garden Depot Inc.'s blog. So are Susan Harris'. I'll call this "Blake" fellow again tomorrow one final time before filing copyright infringement paperwork.

Something to look forward to in the week ahead. And for y'all, I have an indoor update in the works!

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3 Responses to Feed Scraping Saga

  1. Not only that - but they also scarped your post here about being scraped - LOL!

  2. Kenneth,

    There's a couple of posts on dealing with scrappers on GardenBloggers.com Haven't updated the blog in a bit so they should still be on the home page when you get this message.

  3. Although I am not aware of this happening to me, I did find one of my posts on a web site in India.


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