I Hate to Bring This Up Again..

..but, once again, the dark underbelly of human nature has shown itself in my trackback pool..

Back in March of 2008, I went off on a little two-post rant about for-fee aggregators.  At the time, I said:

For awhile now, I've been aware that there are several sites out there which are reposting the RSS feeds from several Microsoft blogs, including this one, along with advertising which they have sold.  I'm not going to post any URLs, because I don't want to drive any traffic in their direction.  I have seen no original content on any of these sites..  all I've found is an effort to gain advertising traffic from search engine hits on our content.

That sucks, but it's not something I've felt compelled to speak out about before now.  It bothered me, but it didn't make me angry.  I only bring it up now so that you'll have context when I say that this week, I heard about another website that has taken this "entrepreneurial spirit" to the next level.  This makes me angry.

It took almost a year, but another morally ambiguous type has surfaced (like last March, I’m not going to publish the URL, but I will share it with any interested parties who contact me privately).  This one has cut-and-pasted at least one piece of my content, included some pretty well-focused ads for SQL Server-related services (implying my endorsement of these services), and including the name of my blog (which includes my name) in their URL, yet again implying my endorsement.  While their post implies authorship of my copyrighted content (it’s attributed to admin), they at least provide a link to the original post.

As I said last year, if I intended for anyone to be making money directly from these blog posts, I’d be taking steps to ensure that the money-making someone would be me.

I like giving this stuff away.  Beyond the modest company branding on the site, I want you to get this stuff for free, without advertising.  Moreover, I intend for this to be the case.

So, in response to this latest troll, I’ve decided to add a footer to each new post here from now on.  I apologize for the aesthetic and performance impact this will have; I’ve done my best to minimize these.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments..  am I being oversensitive?  Is reposting, reaping profit from, and implying authorship of my copyrighted content truly the sincerest form of flattery in 2009?


UPDATED 18 February 2009 for grammar.

this copyrighted material was originally posted at http://blogs.technet.com/wardpond. 

the author and his employer are pleased to provide this content for you at that site, and via rss, free of charge and without advertising.

the author welcomes and appreciates links to and citations of his work.  However, if you are viewing the full text of this article at any other website, be aware that its author does not endorse and is not compensated by any advertising or access fees you may be subjected to outside the original web and rss sites.

Comments (3)

  1. Jimmy May says:

    Ward, I, too, have been annoyed by folks copying-&-pasting my content.  I know a couple of *individuals* who’ve actually taken my content–egad!–as their own.  Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery, eh?

    However, misrepresenting content such as you have now described does indeed take things to a new level–a very low level.  I endorse your actions.

    And I hope you don’t mind if I plagiarize the idea. 😉


  2. Jim F. says:

    Not in the least, to either of your questions.  That’s not flattery — that’s thievery.  Worse, if somebody gets ripped off and wrongly accuses you, it could be a financial/legal mess even though you’re innocent.

  3. Jonathan Kehayias says:

    I don’t think you are wrong at all for doing what you are doing.  Unless you gave them permission to reproduce your content, they have infringed on your rights, whether its legal or not.  

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