But first, what is the definition of copyright? From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something
Basically it means if I write and publish an article on my blog or my website, and someone copies it without my permission and republish it elsewhere, that person has violated my copyright. It does not matter whether or not they gave attribution to me as the author, it's still a copyright violation.
It's heads up time again. Another splogger has hit the genealogy community. According to techtarget.com, a splog (spam blog) is a fake blog created solely to promote affiliated Web sites, with the intent of skewing search results and artificially boosting traffic.
Blogarama has many genealogy blog posts on their site - mine included - without permission.
Thomas MacEntee first brought this to my attention with his post Splog Alert – Blogarama Violating Copyright
When I went to the site and checked my name Olive Tree Genealogy I found twenty-five (25!) of my articles and images posted without my permission. That's called copyright violation.
Heads up to the genealogy community - if you have a blog, you may want to check to see if your articles have been copied without permission. Here's what to do if you are a victim.
1. Contact Site Owners
Trying to contact the site owners of Blogarama doesn't work because they have carefully made sure there is no contact information on their site. Their WhoIs information shows they are a private registration so there is no information to be found there.
2. Contact the Host of the Site
I wrote to enom.com, who I thought was their hosting company, with this email:
To whom it may concernYou are the hosting company for blogarama.com
Blogarama.com is using my copyrighted material (writing and images) without my permission. My blog is http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.comEnom.com very quickly replied, stating they are the domain registrar for Blogarama, but not the host. They advised me to ping Blogarama for the IP address which would allow me to find the name of the host. I did that and found that their host is cloudflare.com. I sent them my email outlining my concerns.
http://www.blogarama.com/blogs/513127-olive-tree-genealogy-blog shows a list of 25 (twenty-five!) articles and blog posts taken and republished without my permission. There may be more. Kindly see that blogarama.com remove *all* my blog posts and articles from their site or shut them down completely.
UPDATE: Cloudfare informs that the actual host server is Linode.com so please direct your complaint email there
3. File a Policy Violation Complaint with Google
I also filed a Policy Violation complaint with Google since Blogarama has Google ads. Google will pull their ads if a site violates their rules so at least I can hit Blogarama in the pocketbook with my complaint.
4. File a DMCA Complaint
You can also file a DMCA Complaint The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that helps stop copyright infringement on the Internet. There is a DMCA generator you can use if you are not sure how to do this.
I'm very happy to announce that those 25 articles I wrote that were republished without my permission, have been removed from Blogarama! It didn't take long. I also don't see Google ads on the site anymore so another win.
UPDATE: Two more bloggers have had their articles removed after taking these steps.
If you want to learn more about copyright in the USA and Canada, see US Copyright Office and Canada Intellectual Property Office