Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life

Something.ie are a crowd of thieving muppets

March 21st, 2008 · 20 Comments · Blogging

If I want my feed aggregated in an Irish political hub then I’ll sort it – Something Marketing (based in Eastcliff House, Glanmire, Cork) nicks posts of prominent bloggers for their own hubs and makes it look like the posters have contributed as part of their ‘community’. The terms and conditions and privacy policy sections of the site are blank – no surprise there then.

To make it very clear I don’t contribute my posts to this commercial enterprise and don’t receive anything for their inclusion. I’m dammed if someone is going to get google ad clicks and whatever else for my post to line their own pockets and pretend they’re doing it for the good of ‘the cause’. There’s some sort of business directory that they’re charging for and allegedly free space for NGO’s and other groups to publish on their something.ie page whenever they publish to their own page and the point being??

For the record the political hub/aggregator I currently participate in is Politics in Ireland. If there are other attempts at community that are not involved in making cash and exploiting bloggers then feel free to contact me for my feed/thoughts/comments. I’m all for sharing the love…consensually!

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20 Comments so far

  • Damien Mulley » Blog Archive » Something.ie are thieving from bloggers.

    [...] If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my site using a feedreader or email. Thanks for visiting – Damien.See Suzy’s post on Something.ie ripping her off. They also rip off Politics In Ireland and were ripping off Limerick Blogger too and I think they’re stealing content from others too. Making money off the backs of people without respecting their IP is not on. Digg it! | Reddit | Del.icio.us | Stumble Upon | Google [...]

  • Dan The Man

    Put pressure on Brian’s host. Claim copyright infringement etc..

    domain: something.ie
    descr: Something Marketing Ltd
    descr: BODY CORPORATE (LTD,PLC,COMPANY)
    descr: Corporate Name
    admin-c: ABV751-IEDR
    tech-c: RIH12-IEDR
    renewal: 02-February-2008
    status: Active
    nserver: NS1.NOVARA.IE
    nserver: NS2.NOVARA.IE
    nserver: NS3.NOVARA.IE
    source: IEDR

    person: Brian McAuliffe
    nic-hdl: ABV751-IEDR
    source: IEDR

    person: Register.ie Hostmaster
    nic-hdl: RIH12-IEDR
    source: IEDR

  • Red Links 21/03/08 : Alexia Golez

    [...] Something.ie is using content from all over planet Irish Blogging without permission. [...]

  • Sabrina Dent

    I’m confused. Of course I don’t want anyone to do anything with your posts that you don’t want to allow, but this is a really common repurposing of RSS feeds.

    I personally prefer opt in aggregation like IrishBlogs.ie, but my stuff turns up in all kinds of places. As long as:

    a) they are using an abbreviated version and not the full feed, and
    b) they are clearly attributing the content to me, with a link to the original post,

    I’m fine with it. There’s a compelling argument to be made that when I release content on a platform called Really Simple Syndication, I can expect that my content will indeed be syndicated. If I found this use unacceptable, I would not use RSS.

    In contrast, I have successfully filed DMCA take down notices against sites republishing my entries in their entirety, with graphics, and no attribution at all. That infuriates me; it’s clearly theft.

    Having said that, before I grab myself a reputation as Spammy McSpammyPants, I would personally NEVER aggregate feeds and republish them on any site I was involved with without express permission from the author.

    However, if being on this site bothers you (which I completely get) if you want to ping me I can help you block Something.ie from pulling your feed.

    When in doubt, beat them to death with superior technology.

  • admin

    Oh I will be onto you about that Sabrina – I’ve just been marking all their trackbacks on IrishElection.com as spam but I think Cian would be into making sure they can’t pull the feed their either.

    I of course want people to read my posts and in my non techy head see RSS as important for this – in terms of technorati, irishblogs.ie and various readers that people use to know when I’ve posted. It’s the fact that Something.ie are trying to build a commercial community using the text and that of many other bloggers that gets this cranky dyke tonight. There have been other Irish SEO/marketing companies leaving comments on my blog recently and I’ve caught them ;)

  • squid

    Those fuckers are scraping stuff from Dunphy PR and attributing it to me!
    http://something.ie/limerick/2008/03/22/mayors-appeal-to-bring-back-airlines-shamrock/

  • squid

    Suzy

    I posted something you should see but a keyword seems to have auto-binned it. check your spam for comment from me.

  • I do not, and never have, contributed to something.ie « In The Little Smoke

    [...] post info By Francis Categories: Blogging and Personal Not one to go jumping on the band-wagon here, but a post on mulley.net, and mamanpoulet.com relating to the website something.ie prompted me to write this after having a cursory look at the site. [...]

  • Gerry

    Or you could give them what they want. Go to their site and click on a few Google Ad Links. Each day. Get your friends to do the same. When half their hits result in Google Ad clicks then Google will ban them from having ads again.

  • JC Skinner

    I had an interesting flurry of mail with these thieves. Let me share it with you:

    I said:

    Something called the Politics hub on your website http://www.something.ie is taking copy from my blog Skinflicks without attributing it to me, the author.
    This is the first and last warning I will be issuing on this matter. As is clearly stated on my site, any breach of my copyright will be dealt with by
    my legal representatives.
    I am therefore requesting that you take one of the following two steps which would be acceptable to me:
    Either remove all of my copyrighted content from your site and do not publish any more of my material on your site in the future, or properly attribute the material as being copyrighted work of JC Skinner, including a
    link to the original material on my site. Use of my content by third party sites like yours is restricted to quoting therefrom only. I do not grant you permission to use my material beyond quotation under the legal terms of
    \’reasonable use\’, and if you continue to do so, I will seek payment and damages.
    I expect your immediate response in this matter.
    Yours,
    JC Skinner

    Then they replied a day later:

    Hi JC,

    we’ve picked up your posts via the RSS feeds from PoliticsinIreland.com
    Due to the nature of their feed, the original url is not included and so as
    you point out we incorrectly attribute the content to Politics in Ireland.
    That said, the link on our site does take you to your website and we have in no way attempted to describe the content as ours.
    In order to prevent your content appearing on our website via the politicsinireland RSS feed we will have to drop the entire feed, which we will do today.
    Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
    regards,
    Brian McAuliffe
    something.ie

    So that would look like problem solved to me. Amazing how effective the threat of legal action can be, sadly.

  • Bock the Robber

    I’m inclined to agree with Sabrina. They’ve been using the first few lines of my posts, but not the whole text. I’ve been known to go crazy when people reproduce entire posts, but in this case, they’re just using a sample and I’m not sure if it bothers me too much.

  • JC Skinner

    They were aggregating my work also. So I sent a nice abrupt email reminding them that I reserve my copyright and state so on my homepage.
    Then I offered them the choice of paying me or retracting all my work from their site, otherwise my lawyers would be involved.
    The next day I got a polite apologetic email saying they were removing the politicsinireland feed which was causing our work to show up there.
    Problem solved.

  • Brian McAuliffe

    Firstly, let me apologise for syndicating your content without your permission. As per your request, we have removed the post.
    That said, I would like to point out that,
    1. We only published a brief extract of your post
    2. Clearly labelled you as the author
    3. Linked through to your website for the full post.

    We have in no way attemped to create any impression that we were the authors or owners of the content. As Sabrina points out, if you use a platform called Realy Simple Syndication then you can expect your content to be syndicated.

    Had we republished your post as ours then you could rightly have described us as ‘thieving’ and mulley and others would have been justified in stoking up the fire on their blogs.

    What annoys me most about this is that I feel that many of Irelands most respected bloggers have jumped on the story without realy taking a look at what was going on and more importantly, denied us the right to reply by failing to publish our comments on their posts.

  • Brian McAuliffe

    Firstly, let me apologise for posting your content on our website without having first requested your express permission. That said, I’d like to make the following points.

    1. We only published an extract of the post.
    2. Clearly labelled you as the author.
    3. Linked through to your website for the full post.

    It was never our intention to try and describe your content as ours and I don’t believe others would have been confused into thinking so.

    Like politicsinireland.com, our intention was to aggregate various content from around Ireland. It happens all the time, places like CNN and WSJ do it and I don’t believe it is correct to label us as ‘thieving’.

    What bothers me most however is the fact that the story was picked up by other Irish bloggers and thrown around without any real analysis and we were denied the right to reply. Our comments (and apology) on well-known blogs remain unpublished.

    As Sabrina points out, don’t be surprised if people syndicate your content when you use a Platform called Really Simple Syndication.

    As Skinner points out, a simple email could have sufficed.

    Again, please accept our apologies.

  • » Damien Mulley is stealing our content Ireland | something.ie

    [...] Recently, we syndicated this article published by mamanpoulet. Disgusted that we would use her RSS feed to syndicate her content she email us and asked us to remove the content, which we did. Then she published this which was picked up by Damien, who chose to blog about it. [...]

  • aidanf.net

    What’s acceptable when aggregating RSS feeds?…

    A few days ago Damien Mulley and Maman Poulet posted that Something.ie was stealing their content. I didn’t pay much attention at the time but at first glance it seemed like they were complaining about their RSS feed being syndicated. RSS feeds a…

  • Food for thought: On Aggregating RSS feeds

    [...] When you see a good idea or an important discussion you mention it. I came across this post, What’s acceptable when aggregating RSS feeds?, at aidanf.net. The post tells us of debate that involved Damien Mulley, Maman Poulet and Something.ie about aggregating RSS feeds. By the preceding links all point to posts debating on the issue. It debate between the three is interesting because in a sense its a case of what a blogger or bloggers feel about their content being syndicated. The debate though only figures as a introduction to the actual topic of the post. And it is what is and what is not good RSS aggregating practices. [...]

  • Chris

    You really need to look at how they are syndicating your content, (and I mean technically, not just how it appears on their site).

    If they are using your feed to create their own static content, then that can be construed as Copyright infringement and reported as such. And by this I mean recreate your content without accrediting the true author(s) and source. i.e. Making it appear that the content is theirs and theirs alone.

    If that is the case, then you can report them to various organisations, Google being one of them if they are also using your content to drive traffic to their site.

    But be careful about thinking it can drive traffic to their site rather than your own. Google for example, are quite good at working out where the original content comes from.
    Also, if the external site is using a Dynamic script to output the content of the feed, (such as Java), then Google won’t even see the content on their site.
    (You can use a site like copyscape.com to check for sites that are stealing your content).

    But unless you have instructions on your site has to how and where your feed can be used (i.e. something like “the content on this site can be used but not for profit”), then there isn’t much you can do legally (since you are quite openly providing a feed which is designed to be syndicated by feed readers and web sites as they see fit).

    What you can do though is add one line to your web servers .htaccess file and block their ‘crawlers’ from fetching your content.
    (In fact one trick is to not only block their ‘crawlers’, but redirect them to a specially made feed, that contains lots of stuff they don’t want to use. Depending on how evil you want to be, determines what content you want to put in their ‘own’ feed file).

    You the blogger / website owner are responsible for your feed and also how people use it.

    On my customers sites I tend to create several feeds:

    1. A digest (first n characters or summary)
    2. A complete feed with embedded adverts.
    3. A password protected feed (with no adverts).

    A website cannot modify the content of the feed, because that infringes my copyright, so if someone wants to display the full feed, they have to display my adverts, OR, they pay me a fee and I give them the password protected feed.
    Websites don’t tend to show my full feed because it makes me money and not them.
    But they will display my ‘digest’ because that provides a service to their own readers, but it helps me in giving me a source of inbound links. (9/10 those inbound links won’t help my PageRank because they are hidden by NoFollow OR by dynamic content generation such as Javascript which search engines cannot read).

    The reason why you publish a feed is to allow other people to use your feed in order to bring new traffic to your site.
    Whether it be your visitors reading your feed in their favourite feed reader, or whether it be some ‘random’ website putting your feed on their site, it brings traffic to your site.
    You cannot pick and choose which site can and cannot use your content.
    You can only choose HOW they use your content by the selection of a suitable ‘licence’.
    You only have “Maman Poulet © 2008 All Rights Reserved.” at the bottom of your page template, but the “All Rights Reserved” doesn’t actually carry any legal weight, because it’s on your web page, NOT your content which is on a different URL. You need to have something like a Creative Commons Licence or similar.

    Good search engines know where the original content came from, so the external site ‘should’ gain no “keyword” gain from using your content, unless, they specifically set up their site to do so, which again, is in violation of your copyright.
    A simple email to the search engine will alert them causing that site to be penalised if found to be true.

    But to repeat one thing I said above, if you don’t want something.ie using your content, and they refuse to take it down, then block them at your web server.

    I can guarantee you 100% that you content will be syndicated on much worse sites than this one. Not only that, your content will probably be appearing next to some dodgy porn on a site based in Russia. The only way to combat this type of abuse is by banning the ‘crawlers’ and ‘scrapers’ from being able to access your web server. Sending an email to a web site that is using your content and asking them to stop is about as effective as a chocolate fire-guard.

    I tried to keep it short (and failed), but there is a lot more to this discussion than I’ve mentioned above, so feel free to drop me an email if you want any more information or tips on how to combat this.

    Regards

    Chris

  • bluire

    Something are a crowd of stealing muppets is very apt.

    Why would anyone want to make their website look like windoze bubble land? It is just too ugly for words!

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