Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Google Ad-Sense makes no sense!

Despite the fact that all blog contents are copyright protected, all the posts from my other blog (minus images) are being progressively scraped and stolen by a website with the base domain name of eeryu.com, which is:
  • registered with NetFirms ( http://www.netfirms.com ),
  • masquerading as the Hostgator start-up guide ( the URL minus page extensions presents this page which when you click 'contact us' reverted to http://www.hostgator.com ) and
  • which continues to include Google Ad-Sense adverts on all its pages.
I have now been reporting all instances of copyright violation to Google Ad-Sense Abuse - with references to the specific URL where the offence occurs and the URL of where the content has been lifted from - for over 48 hours. This is the response I get.
If you have reported a possible AdSense policy violation, our specialists will evaluate your report as soon as possible. However, due to the volume of reports we receive, we are not able to respond to reports individually.
I'm not surprised they get a huge volume of reports - because it appears to me that they do absolutely nothing - so we have to go on reporting it. The offending website still exists and it still has Google Ad-Sense adverts on it. Yesterday it included an advert relating to the work of Andrew Wyeth and has "Wyeth" targeted as one of the categories that it scrapes content for! Isn't that sad?

I'm annoyed by what is happening to my blog particularly as a I plan to produce a book using the blog posts as the base material. Which means I'm also mad enough to be filing away all the records of notifications to Google for reference later. Isn't there something about the 'safe harbor' provisions not applying if material is not taken down straight away?

If you've got Google Ad-Sense on your blog just bear in mind that you are subscribing to an organisation which, based on my experience of the way it works, appears to me to stimulate and foster spam blogs which steal material from other people's blogs. To add insult to injury, it now appears that they also find it by using Google Alerts!

And don't forget that there are lots of other better advertising set-ups out there. Check out what other people do - people like Charlie over on Lines and Colours for example - see the link in the right hand column. (I'm not including his URL in this post as it will get picked up by the spam blogs which are scraping for all references to Google!!!). He uses www.blogads.com which look a much better set-up to me. I do know I actually enjoy looking at the ads on Charlie's blog and it's also the only ads set-up which has ever got near to tempting me to take the plunge!

Anybody with experience of serving a DMCA notice out there?

Links:
  • Google Ad-Sense - don't sign up before you have checked out the search engines for reviews of abuses of Ad-Sense - and check out options for advertising which don't generate theft
  • Google Ad-Sense Abuse - write to adsense-abuse@google.com or click on the adverts and then follow the prompts to comment and then identify the website as committing a violation
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4 comments:

Adam said...

Katherine

this sad sorry story with pirating & google is typical of how google rough rides over the meek & the mild.

you might also try:

1, writing to matt cutts (google top pr man). he has a blog somewhere. there you'd probably get some advice anyway.

2, deliberately get your blog banned from google serps so that no one can find you to steal from you. (??) maybe run five or six copies of your own blog to get it scrapped by the duplicate content filter - which would zap your page rank to zero.

3,get revenue from ad sense yourself (cant beat them, join them), so that the thiefing eriks are priced out from carrying the best ad sense

4, only partially publish your blog here & have a private blog where the full articles are published. use paying admissions?

5, find the lawyer who is taking on ALL ad sense abuse cases, & go with him/her, which is probably the bets way of standing up to giants such as google.

i kind of like Ed's idea about taking a screen shoot of your pirate scrappers & sending them to the advertisers themselves.

Katherine said...

Here's the message they don't put anywhere else on their site. Really helpful considering I don't have a fax and my snail mail will need to go airmail - for so many infringements I've now lost count.
___________________________
Thank you for your note. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website: http://www.copyright.gov/) and other applicable intellectual property laws. In this case, this means that if we receive proper notice of infringement, we will forward that notice to the responsible web site publisher.

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.

To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following format (including section numbers):

1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon. For example, "The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on http://www.legal.com/legal_page.html."

2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above. You must identify each page that allegedly contains infringing material by providing its URL.

3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).

4. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law."

5. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

6. Sign the paper.

7. Send the written communication to the following address:

Google, Inc.
Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043

OR Fax to:

(650) 618-8507, Attn: AdSense Support, DMCA complaints

Regards,
The Google AdSense Team

Adam said...

Well, that seems worth doing. But anyone with abit of life exprience will normally go along way to avoid a law suit. IMO , however I wouldn't think that a scrapper would respond with a cross-border liable case.

Google just forwarding your notice will achieve what? It does seem that they are avoiding their responsibility of placing Adsense publicity on a duplicate content site. But with so many sites on the web... how can a machine tell which is what? Anyone can change the posting date on our host, google blogspot. So 'first served must be the orginator' is not as clear cut as that .

Look again at bruce mc envoy's copyrighting at handprint.com

Maybe you might try a spam report via google sitemaps & google then applies thier duplicate content filter... which clearly isnt working in this case. The sitemaps spam reports are eventually read by a human employee of google.

End of the day is that internet is a confusion & chaos of binary culture, that is very difficult to police. Look what it's doing to the music industry. Moral ? Maybe you should get a monthly column with an art magazine & publish your top-star content there first. Shame that all this can hinder the creativity that the web & blogs can generate.

Bon courage.

dianeweb said...

I appreciate your letting us know about this kind of issue. I am new to all this, but I am trying to learn as fast as I can.

Today I read your blogroll policy because I have a lot of respect for how you run your blog.

I first saw a cluster map on your blog, so from there I learned how to get one on mine.

I think it ia great idea that you are going to publish a book - your blog is a great resource.

You are one of the sites that I go to as I figure out how I want to keep tweaking my own blog.

Thank you!!
I hope you don't mind if I put my blog address since I am not a blogger blog. I know I like it when people leave their blog address in posts on my blog.

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

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