Issuing a DMCA take-down notice to Google over splogger

 by Martin Belam, 7 January 2008

For some time now the content of currybetdotnet has been routinely ripped off by a set of 'splogs' using Blogger as a platform to promote their pr0n sites. They've been converting the Feedburner email alerts you can subscribe to into regular entries on their sites.

currybetdotnet content on splogs

Whilst I've certainly got nothing against legal types of adult content on the internet per se, I am somewhat reluctant to have my name and content associated with it, and to run the risk of incurring search engine duplicate content penalties for my hard work, off the back of their hard splogging.

Since it started in the middle of last year, I have repeatedly flagged these splogs using the Blogger reporting mechanism, and tried to unsubscribe them from my email alerts, all to no avail.

The final straw for me came when I saw that Dan had been locked out of his perfectly acceptable Fabric Of Folly blog on Google's suspicion that he was a spammer, whilst my real spam cases have gone unnoticed for 6 months.

So, over the weekend, I have taken the next step, and sent Google a DMCA take-down notice over the splogs for the copyright infringement appearing in their search index and cache.

To give Google some credit, they very clearly outline the steps and the format required to make a DMCA complaint about them indexing copyright infringing content.

However, I don't want to give them too much credit here, because one company is involved at every step along the process of re-publishing my content on a splog.

The content comes via Feedburner. Feedburner knows my email feed is being used in a strange way, as it consistently notifies me of 'Uncommon uses' of my feeds, which includes these splogspot domains. It doesn't offer me the chance to block them, or anything useful like that, but it does at least let me know it is happening.

Uncommon uses on Feedburner

Feedburner is owned by Google.

The content is then re-published using Blogger. It clearly breaches the terms and conditions of use of their platform. Not only are these splogs siphoning off and re-publishing my articles (and still serving the images directly from my server), they are mixing in the content from another couple of blogs, and re-directing their homepage banner directly to porn sites rather than what should be the blog's homepage. I have repeatedly flagged the three domains as unacceptable content. No action has been taken.

Blogger is owned by Google.

Google's web search has happily indexed this stolen content. The fact that it includes the same easily filterable chunk of HTML based on the Feedburner unsubscribe message sent out on the foot of every Feedburner email alert used to power splogs in this way does not get them excluded from Google's index. The fact that is hosting 3 identical sets of articles, all of which link extensively to, and pull their images directly from, itself does not get them excluded from Google's index. They are now sometimes being linked to by automated trackback systems on other blogs and one of these porn-promoting domains is now ranking just outside the top ten for my vanity searches for my name and blog name.

Google is owned by....well, you can see the point I'm making here.

I shall see whether this DMCA notice approach to getting the offending content removed is any more successful, although I can't say that I am holding out a great deal of hope.

Anyway, I shall have to get off my righteous copyright infringement high-horse, as I've got some some British TV and a couple of albums to download via P2P...ho hum

1 Comment

I just received an email from Blogger saying they have removed the content I complained about. It took a month, but at least it has now been resolved. Although I'm sure, Hydra-like, there will be more splogs to take their place soon...

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