Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Content Theft

It is deeply upsetting when you find that someone is stealing the content from your blog without having asked your permission, and even more upsetting when you know that they are harvesting that content continually using a bot so that they can make money from advertising.

It happened to me before and I managed to resolve it though it wasn't pleasant to have to have a ding-dong match with an Irish bozo who laughed at me for being stupid enough to have a Creative Commons License. (I changed the kind of license.)

Now it's happened again. This is the blog and although I haven't checked very far back, every single post I've put up here has appeared there. Other bloggers from elsewhere are getting ripped off too. And none of their work is being credited to them.

This post will no doubt be swept up and put there too, which is why I'm writing it!!!

I only discovered by accident this time that my posts were appearing elsewhere since his blog is hidden from Technorati. I strongly advise other bloggers to do regular checks by googling keywords from their posts.

Update :

A response from Tushar Mathur ... who says he is not the person stealing from my blog, but a victim too :

Everything Finance said...

Hi Sharon,

This is Tushar Mathur.

The website http:goodpfbooks.com is NOT my site.

A few months ago I was approached by the owner of that site via email asking for a link exchange. I agreed to that.

Now I see that he doesn't even have my link anymore. So I have also removed his link from my blog.

I have also sent him an email about removing your content.

Can I please request you to remove your post about me? Since its not true.

I'm a credible Personal Finance blogger and well respected.

My content gets stolen all the time. But now I have put mechanisms in place so that every post automatically gets my website link and copyright info.
Many big Financial companies contact me to review their products.

Thanks for listening,
Tushar Mathur

March 24, 2009 9:32 PM

Update (25/3/09) :

My content has been taken off the blog, which I'm relieved about. The perp (whoever it is) still continues to scrape posts from other blogs, and I'm sure there will be other unscrupulous people along doing the same.

Nother Update :

The owners of the Book Lovers Guide blog have realised that their work is being scraped by the same person. (Thanks Chet for spotting this.)


Anonymous said...

yes!! u finally found him!!! what an a**!!! have you contacted him?

-Jee Wan-

bibliobibuli said...

yes, sent a cease and desist message by email, filed abuse reports w google ads and his internet provider. to be followed by a lawyers letter if needs be.

Nisah Haji Haron said...

Oh yes, Sharon. Please do so. We need to teach him and all others who intend to do same, a lesson. A straight case of a copyright infringement indeed!

Baronhawk said...

Dear Lady Sharon,

It would seem that I am not the only one that is riding onwards on a knightly crusade.

I dub thee Dame Sharon, Knight and Lady of the Order of the Quill. Pursuant of the blog content thief.

I do bid thee all the best in thy crusade against this ungracious ingrate.


Sir Hazlan.
Knight of The Quill

Amir Muhammad said...

Sharon, give his bot a good spanking!

Satima Flavell said...

What a bastard. I'm with Amir:-)

Damyanti said...

yay! This post has turned up on his blog, serve him right!!

For his sake, I hope he wakes up, and apologizes soon.

Chet said...

Oh, this is hilarious. Does he have an auto "steal" machine or what? And does he read his own blog?

Damyanti said...

This is a scraper, chet. This guy has a program through which he automatically copies content out of other sites. Probably only checks his adsense account from time to time, cos the rest is automated.

He needs to wake up and check his blog, and soon :)

bibliobibuli said...

yes it is an auto steal machine, as damyanti says.

it's hilarious that this end up on his blog too!!

it could get worse for him!!!

Anonymous said...

I dont't think Google will listen to you, because it seems that your blog is penalized. You don't have a page rank at all.

Anyway, its good that you caught him.

Anonymous said...

He's removed Sharon's blog posts. They were there this morning. Tushar - shame! Shame! Shame!


Anonymous said...

Tushar Mathur is using Widget Box to promote his stolen content and then driving traffic:
So, when he puts any (stolen) article in his blog then it gets good rank in Google search thanks to Widget Box. So, please complain to Widget Box here:
and the email to complain is: copyright@widgetbox.com

bibliobibuli said...

anon - i have no evidence to take to widget box now my posts have been taken down. i didn't save the pages ...

i believed it wasn't Tushar last night but i don't see how the blog could be registered to him with his address etc unless it really was. this would be such serious indentity theft that he should be thanking us for unmasking it and going straight to the police! instead he just sends an email and the posts are taken down.

i don't believe this. i think we got our man! and he didn't have the balls to admit it.

Damyanti said...

Sharon, this was Tushar Mathur and he IS a content thief.

I saw the registration details as well at whois yesterday.

He may be a "respected" software developer, but a lot of them think nothing of going and making money on the internet using dubious means.

I would suggest your post go right back, so whenever someone does a google search on this guy, the post comes up.

The blog coming on top of the first page when you google his name (I checked yesterday) might have been the biggest motivation for him to remove his stuff.

katztales said...

I have just found my work on


I think they've taken this from NST feeds. I have written to Raidah to tell them my work is syndicated and copyrighted. Will share the response they send me.

I have had this problem before because the paper feeds are sometimes not managed properly. When editors change, printing and copyright agreements go out of the window!

bibliobibuli said...

it is so worrying ...

checked the site but couldn't see any posts there at all ...

BorneoExpatWriter said...

I'm impressed with all this detective work and fascinated by it too; it's larger implications are disturbing for all of us who have work posted on the internet -or others have posted on our belaf but for their benefit. A how-to article on education that I wrote 15 years ago for The Star is now being sold by a site that specializes in how-to articles. Even a short story posted by a literary magazine in the US gets credited to another Robert Raymer living in the US (seems there's quite a few).

People can mine all this stuff and put it on their own blogs and websites and financially benefit from it...Sort of sucks, doesn't it! So if we can start taking them down, great! Keep up the good work!

Chet said...

Another book site has discovered that their posts are appearing on goodpfbooks.com and written a post about it, which has now appeared on the "copycat" site.

The way things are going, soon there will be no more posts on the "copycat" site!

And to make things more interesting, goodpfbooks.com is now listed as being registered to a company that also appears as the registrant for another of Tushar's sites, and using Tushar's address!

If only he would just own up and apologise, he needn't be spinning this web that will soon choke him for sure.

Anonymous said...

I fail see how a site could be registered to someone with full details of address, email etc just because of someone exchanging links. My gut feeling is that our friend Tushar Mathar is not telling the truth. (And don't be so naive as to fall for it, Sharon.) And even if he is, then I am afraid that he needs to take full responsibility for the situation and call in the police to sort out this case of identity theft.

The most moral thing to do is to take the blog down and stop stealing content from other bloggers to make an easy buck. I doubt if anyone is going to get an apology though.

Although he presents himself as legitimate businessman there's no way I would want to do business with him.


katztales said...

If you go to http://www.raidah.com.my and put my name in the search bar, you'll find 18 of my articles there - in bloody PDF!!! So they've actually taken the trouble to retype my work.

I checked for Liz and Erik's work but they don't write techy stuff so they're not in there. Anyone else here who sells to the NST should check this site though.

bibliobibuli said...

who is the blog registered to? if you don't know, hire chet to be your detective - she's a total whizz. missed her vocation as a spy.

but really it is up to the paper to take action.

i noticed that many of my star articles travelled round the world!!

bibliobibuli said...

i wrote them an email too, Ellen

Chet said...

"missed her vocation as a spy"

aka kaypoh or busybody!

Researching Malaysian domains not as interesting as the foreign ones.

Chet said...

Looks like he's completely taken down every post and turned the site into an online bookstore!

Amir Muhammad said...

Probably stocked with stolen books!!

katztales said...

Well I got a reply from http://www.raidah.com.my

"Dear Ms Whyte,

Sorry for the delay in responding to your email. With regards to your articles, we have purchased those articles from NST in 2007. I am not aware of any time constraint on the publication of those articles. If there is, please let us know and also we would appreciate a formal notification letter from NST."

This is not the first time this has happened. The NST just assumes all rights and sells stuff to third parties all the time. Such poor practice! The Star is much, much better about this. They are very careful and apart from a slip or two where my stuff went onto their web site by mistake they've been great.

I'm going to let this raidah thing go. I can't afford the time to go to the NST, dig out who did what and when etc. Especially as the editors I was working with have now left for other companies. It's just not worth it.

But I've been inspired to write to the Perak Department of Veterinary Services again about the 10 Katz Tales articles they copytyped from the Star and put on their site.

katztales said...

OK, this message from Raidah:

"Ms Whyte,

Thanks for information. Please be assured that in no way do we want to resist or hold on to something that we do not have right to. Most probably we misunderstood NST when we purchased articles from the Tech & U column back in 2007. We will be glad to remove them from our database, there is no issue about that.

Please accept our apologies on this matter."

So I've said this:

"You know what, forget about it. My deal with the NST started 13 years ago when Lim Chong was editor. Since then there have been various people in charge, and each time we've had an issue like this. I'm one of the very few freelancers who syndicates and whenever there is a change of guard, the new people are never told what the deal is.

You're being nice about this, and you paid for them in good faith, so keep the pieces and share them via your web site. But please don't add any more!


bibliobibuli said...

good, i'm glad its' resolved, Ellen. at least it begins to make people more aware that writers have rights too.

Anonymous said...

Actually, now this is a very interesting topic. If they steal all your content, and refuse to remove it, what can you legally do to get them to remove it?

bibliobibuli said...

anon - well this guy is in the US and i probably would have had the right to file a DMCA against him. (US law gives much more protection against the theft of intellectual property)

but it would have been enough for me to just get his advertisers to pull their ads so he wasn't earning money from my writing and i don't think that would have been difficult

YTSL said...

Sorry to hear about your case of blog theft, Sharon. Unfortunately, I too have fallen victim on more than one occasion -- with people "stealing" my photos as well as text.

One annoying case I recently discovered: someone recently copied an entry of mine word for word. That person did credit me (YTSL) but provided no links to my blog or anything. While not technically completely blog theft, it still deprives me of blog visitors who could maybe get to know other pieces of my writing, etc. :S

bibliobibuli said...

you have to be so vigilant now *sigh*. did you get the person to take down the entry?

Chet said...

I had an article of mine which appeared in the Pandas International newsletter translated and published in a Chinese blog. A friend told me about it and I got her to write to the blogger to make some corrections to the translation and to acknowledge where she took the article from. The blogger complied with the request. I'm happy the article got a wider audience but would've appreciated being told about it, or at least have Pandas International acknowledged for the original article.

YTSL said...

Hi Sharon --

No, I didn't. I'm afraid I was so disgusted I couldn't bring myself to even get in touch with that individual. :S