Unsubscribing from a blog stealing my content

 by Martin Belam, 30 October 2007

One of the curses of blogging and providing an RSS feed is spammy content thieves, ripping off your stuff on their 'splogs', risking that you get a 'duplicate content' penalty from search engines, and just trying make a quick buck off some advertising on the page.

Ripped off currybetdotnet

I've recently noticed that this site has fallen victim to it - alerted in a couple of ways. First of all Feedburner listed a strange looking blog domain in the 'unusual uses' part of my stats page for the currybetdotnet feed.

Feedburner warns me about the spammer

I also have vanity Google Alert emails set up, which ping me if they spot phrases like 'Martin Belam', 'currybet' or 'currybetdotnet' around the web. They also starting bringing me back links to this domian.

Following that up, I found a Blogger site that has been running for some time, which mostly just links to downloads of pr0n movies, but then occasionally chucks in one of my articles to make it look less spammy. Thus you get a lengthy article from me, followed by a post called something like 'Obsessed with Breasts' or 'Lesbian Sex Orgy'.

On closer inspection - of the blog, not of the pr0n movies I hasten to add - it turns out that the pr0n content is also ripped off from another source.

And how do I know?

Because bizarrely they've opted to build the content by subscribing to the Feedburner powered email feeds of this site - with all the unsubscribe gubbins intact at the bottom of each post.

Feedburner email unsubscribe details on the spamblog

Which is a slight flaw for the spammer, because it means that by simply clicking on the 'unsubscribe' link that they've helpfully provided I can, at least temporarily, stop them receiving my content to re-publish.

A screenshot of me unsubscribing

A quick bit of research turned up this useful article - What you can do when your content gets stolen - which since the site was hosted on Blogger, helped me know where to report it as spam with Google. There is still some of the duplicate stuff in the search indexes at Google and Yahoo! though, which is irksome to say the least.

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