Poaching Blog Posts
I was just about to write a different article today when I noticed a strange pingback on one of my older articles (I’ve now deleted it). It looked like a self-referential link from another one of my posts but I didn’t remember making it. Anyway, I followed the link and found a site called MMOFire.com and, low and behold, it was full of other blogger’s posts.
Let’s not be mistaken about it. This isn’t a normal blog linking to a few other blogs, it’s a blog completely comprised of other people’s articles, taken without their knowledge or permission. It’s a new site, only registered on the 21st of June and all contact details (either on the domain look-up or on the blog itself) are unavailable.
I was pretty pissed off to say the least. I have absolutely no problem with people re-distributing my posts so long as they acknowledge me and asked first. This site did neither of those and to anyone who stumbled upon it it would appear as if they had been written by that blog as there is nothing to indicate it’s being pulled from a feed.
It then occurred to me that this must be a common enough thing and there must be some way of doing something about it. Fortunately I found a post by World of Matticus that had been poached by the site and saw that he had added a “security” signature to his RSS feed (clever devil!). A few minutes later and I found a nice simple Wordpress plugin called RSS Footer that lets me do the same. I checked some other blogs I follow and seems like it’s not an uncommon practice as obviously they’ve encountered this before.
Chances are that if you run a MMORPG blog, your articles are being poached by this site. It seems to have an absolute ton of stuff from everywhere on it. I’d highly recommend adding a security footer to your feeds and if anyone has a better solution than else, please let me know.