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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Moto-blogging piracy

 Source:  MS Office clip art!!!

Moto-bloggers are a great bunch and it's almost like family, either sharing thoughts and banter on line or meeting up in person.  In the two-odd years that I've been blogging, I've met some truly wonderful people as a result and have a long list of people I'd still love to meet!  There are some fantastic blogs out there, inspirational and enriching in terms of both technical enlightenment and human values.  Wouldn't have missed any of it for the world with the friendship, support and encouragement which everyone freely gives.

However, I've just come across the first ever moto-blogger who doesn't display the values that the rest of us cherish.  My great mate Roger happened to spot my recent post on motorcycle communications equipment on another blog site.  There was no acknowledgement of source, it had simply been lifted in its entirety.  Like most bloggers, I don't have the slightest problem with people using original material, photos etc if they think it will add anything to people's knowledge or enjoyment. When it's happened in the past; there has always been attribution of source and in some instances, I've been contacted beforehand.  Just the normal courtesies we all observe.

The offending website belongs to a chap called Sajjad who incidentally subscribed to my blog in recent times. This is his blog: My Way to Ride .

A note was sent to Sajjad mentioning the lack of courtesy and no response was received.  I wrote again now asking that the post be removed. Exactly the same result.  I then had a very quick look at a few more of his posts at random and it would appear that he writes no material of his own, lifting both other blogger's material and that of commercial sites.  In addition to my own site, the quick look revealed that he'd also taken an article from fellow Kiwi Bandit Rider and one of the recent female rider profiles from the Helmet or Heels blog, to name but two.

Sajjad clearly doesn't have a lot between his ears as it's really easy to find the original sources.  Just to test the waters to see if I was being overly sensitive, I contacted the owner of one of the commercial sites which had been plundered, Mike le Pard at Total Motorcycle.  Mike thanked me for pointing it out and said that Google were extremely vigilant about breaches of this sort, and gave me this LINK

The link  covers the reporting of  abuse of all kinds and is easy to use.  After following the instructions, an automated acknowledgement came back with the warning that it may take some time to investigate.  Heck, a few hours afterwards, I received an email saying that it had been dealt with and my content removed.  How's that for service, even if it may often take a bit longer!!!  I'd imagine that if there are more complaints, Google may close the site down, especially as it seems to be entirely comprised of other people's material and has no original value of its own.

So there we are.... many thanks for Roger's eagle eye, Mike's advice and swift action by Google.  We now know that if there's someone out there plagiarising or abusing others, there's something we can do about it!

32 comments:

  1. Thanks Geoff for the heads up! I've made contact with Google. Hopefully this guy will be taken down.

    Ride safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A pleasure Pam! I've not come across anyone like this before and was worried whether I'd over-reacted. However, "real" bloggers put so much effort into their work that it seems insulting at the very least not to have it acknowledged.

      Best wishes.....

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    2. Google has taken my post off that blog! I don't mind sharing, but there's a right way to do that. Thank you Geoff for the heads up.

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    3. Google removed the post from that site! Thanks for the heads up Geoff!

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  2. Geoff:

    I know my videos show up on other sites but they are left intact, and point back to my channel. I have also noticed posts but again, they are complete and include my header. they are not snipped

    glad you shut him down

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

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  3. Hi Bob!
    No problems with your experiences in the slightest. Haven't shut him down, simply had my post removed but with his level of offending, it probably won't be long!

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  4. A most satisfactory outcome in the end Geoff! You should of seen the look on my face when I found it. Nice to see Google doing something about it so quickly!

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    Replies
    1. Rog - hahaha! Did you think that I was ghost-writing? Thanks again for spotting it and yes, I'm really impressed with Google. It'll be interesting to see what happens over the next little while.....

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  5. Good find guys, this is what makes a moto-blogging community a family, knowing we have each others back. Karma will find these spammers and thieves.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Brad,
      The concern for one another and interest in one another's activities are exactly the things which make it such a strong international community. I'm a strong believer in Karma!

      Delete
  6. Thanks very much for this and the earlier email Geoff. I have just visited the link above and made my complaint. I also mentioned that his blog is made up entirely of copied material and should be shut down.

    I just hope he doesn't just switch providers. Hopefully Rog will keep playing watch dog for us!

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  7. I hate skeezy people who do this sort of thing. Ugggh! Glad you notified the Internet powers that be. There is bouncing stuff off each other, sharing ideas and community, but then there are people who cheat and are frauds and they need to know there are limits, boundaries and rules. Glad you caught this.

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  8. I'm with Troubadour on this one. Good find Rog, just what good mates are for. Thanks for the info Geoff.

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  9. Andrew
    No worries mate, as Brad says, it's up to us to watch each other's backs. I went back in a few hours ago and found another post of yours but poor Mike from Total Motorcycle seems to have copped the worst of it; there's heaps of his stuff there.

    Dar,
    You and me both. I looked at Sajhad's personal profile. There's nothing about bikes, just a big rant about his parents which speaks volumes!

    Steve,
    Yep and Roger's a real gem eh? I'll buy him a beer :-). It really stands out when you find a bad egg as everyone else is so darned thoughtful and supportive of each other.

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  10. thanks for the info geoff! i wonder if we can get the blogsite forced offline for fraud?

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  11. Why on earth would someone just blatantly copy and paste content like that? I mean, what really is the point.?

    Good job you guys for finding it and complaining. I hope that he does get shut down, but unfortunately people like that will have another site up before long.

    Come on Karma........

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  12. Now you see why I post mostly stuff that only the cat comprehends fully!

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  13. Mrs M!
    Well, his website is looking progressively thinner. We may be able to get him shut down with the aid of some of the commercial site owners who have been shafted.

    Brandy,
    Yeah, you've got to wonder about his motivation when there isn't a shred of original material. People like that may well have another site but it'll show up again. Fortunately, they are very much in the minority.

    Nikos,
    Ah, that will explain why our cats have to translate for me :-)

    Andrew and Pam,
    I noticed this morning that there's still some of your stuff on his site. If I wrote it down correctly, Andrew - yours is 24th April and Pam, you have 2 on 9th/10th May respectively.

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  14. Great post Geoff. Not the first time for you either, IIRC. I seem to remember a year or so ago that you had some pics of the Triumph getting new tyres stolen and used by a magazine.

    I suspect that people who are doing this sort of thing are planning to commercialize their site and make a few dollars from it. I've had two separate unsolicited approaches from folk wanting to purchase advertising on my blog and have declined on both occasions. I'm an amateur writer, doing it as a hobby and if I provide a few moments of reading to friends and fellow bloggers. I don't want to burden them with advertising, there's enough of that elsewhere and it's why I like the blog o sphere so much!

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  15. Cheers Jules!
    Yeah, NZ Motorcycle Trader Magazine published a photo of the laser alignment rig being used on my Street Triple. At least they had the good grace to apologise and send me a carabiner helmet lock plus a year's subscription to their mag. Funnily enough, they stopped sending me the mag after 3 months but it was a crap publication so I was quite happy!

    I think a few of us have had approaches of the sort you mention. I'm like you though, it's just for a bit of fun. To be honest, I tend not to read blogs which carry a lot of commercial content as I find them off-putting.

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  16. Thanks again Geoff and others who let us know that Sajjad was lifting my material as well; glad I could help with the link and like Geoff, we did get our material pulled from Sajjad's Blog (only to find out there is even more there we have contacted Google to pull...again, thanks Geoff for the heads up).

    I've been running www.totalmotorcycle.com now for the past 12 years, like Geoff, I do it for the love of riding and helping others. And unfortunately, like Sajjad, I find those to take my content without permission. Glad to work with Geoff and others to help stamp this ugly tide.

    Keep up the great work Geoff!

    Mike
    Total Motorcycle Founder
    http://www.totalmotorcycle.com

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  17. Hi Mike,
    Thanks so much for the feedback. It certainly does sting when what we do for love and a certain amount of effort gets abused. Best wishes for a further 12 years of trouble-free writing - a great website.

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  18. Just found and requested the removal of another of my posts which he copied. Also noted a number of other copied posts there including some from Helmet or Heels - if someone knows how to contact the blog owner please do.

    Slightly annoyed that an email to Google stating that the entire blog was copied from articles elsewhere and that it should be taken down in it's entirety only got the response that you have to go through the reporting process for each occurrence - annoyed that I had sift through pages of his blog to find it...might just have to reply back to that email...

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  19. Andrew
    I left you and Pam a message to that effect further up the blog responses! Yeah, we'll have to see if it can be closed right down.

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  20. Hi Geoff, I'm sick of the advertising and I'm no longer linking to blogs that have advertising. This has been further reinforced by the current TAC ad, which been roundly discredited, popping up everywhere. mcnews.com.au and several print publications have refused to run this ad.

    I've also followed up with google info as I've become concerned that my pics could be used (as yours were). Info on this page

    and I've now added a copyright notice proforma that Google / Wordpress recommend to the sidebar of my blog. It's a bit defensive I know, but I also know how crappy it feels to have your intellectual property stolen!

    © tarsnakes.com.au and tarsnakes motorcycle touring, 2008 - 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to tarsnakes.com.au with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jules!
      Thanks a lot for that mate, I'll have a look at it in detail over the next 2 days. As you infer, it's a real shame when it comes to this because of a few ratbags. I'll see if I can do some thing similar on the sidebar.

      Today has been a great day - Jennie and I have just got back from a bit of fishing. Got our limit of 18 snapper in just over 2 hours!!!

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    2. Just another note guys you may want to put a water mark on all your photos with your webblog name on it for some more protection. It won't stop people from stealing your pics, but they will have to crop them and then reuse the pic or if they are lazy then you'll see straight away they used your pic from the water mark.

      It might make them think twice if they have to do more work to make a post look like they own it. I use photoshop to watermark my photos.

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    3. Cheers for that Steve! I have thought about it but hadn't reached any solid conclusion. Interestingly, I see that the the offending website hasn't been updated since a number of bloggers and commercial website owners complained to Google. Well done to Roger for alerting us in the first place!

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  21. Replies
    1. Yep, best day we've had for a long time. Jennie's off on a Mediterranean cruise tomorrow so I'll have eaten them all by the time she gets back :-)

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  22. Bad news that he did it, good news that Google acted so quickly. Last year, somebody ripped off and copied my entire blog and riddled it with a virus - what a wanker!

    Whats the point in people like that?

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    Replies
    1. Gary,
      I didn't know about your circumstances - that's terrible! I guess that's an example of the difference between true enthusiasts and plain bad people.

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