Stolen content and the future of the site

Those of you who have been following me on Twitter probably already know by now that some idiots are scrapping my content (my RSS feed) and posting it on there website. I discovered this last night when I saw that a totally unknown site was always ranking higher than me in search results when my posts titles were used as a search query.As it turns out this site uses a wordpress plugin to scrap my feed, Engadget’s, BGR, Android Central and others and automatically strip the link then re-post it. Given that I’m smaller than the other victims I seem to be more affected in terms of traffic. This has apparently started in February and perfectly matches a steady slope in terms of search traffic and ad revenue that I have been noticing lately.

I unfortunately can’t do much though. The easiest way to stop this is to shutdown my RSS feed but this can’t be a solution given that I have thousands of subscribers following it every day. I also have to take all of the stolen content down so I submitted DMCA complaints at Google Search and Google Adsense and a copyright complain at the site’s host GoDaddy (haven’t heard anything back from them yet). Engadget also told me that they have forwarded the issue to their legal team. This can take a while and may or may not get the thief’s site to shut down.

Here’s the thief’s personal info: Update: Took down the thief’s personal info as he has finally agreed to take down all of my content and stop scrapping my feed. Let’s hope that it stays this way. Now it’s up to the other sites to take action if they see fit. I would also like to thank you all for the support and please don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any suggestion for the future of the site.

This is a tough situation for me. Contrary to what some people may think most blogs/websites barely generate any money. Sure I’m getting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month but this barely allows me to pay for the site’s hosting and my phone bill (principally because of the number of thieves and competing blogs covering the same niche who don’t link-back or make up rumors to get hits/traffic etc). I am jobless (for my french readers: je suis au RSA) and maintain MobileTechWorld because I love sharing my thoughts about Windows Phone, Android etc. There’s imply no way I can continue is this current situation. So if you have any idea on how I can get rid of the scrapper site or anything else that is on your mind regarding this situation don’t hesitate to post a comment. Thanks a lot.

  • CloneFrenzy

    Ironic that they have “Copyright © 2011 FoneFrenzy.All Rights Reserved” at the bottom of the site.

  • Morefog

    Would adding a brief description of the theft to each future RSS feed along with a link back to your site help?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Unfortunately the scrapper is stripping all the links from the html before posting so it would be useless. But most importantly I have to take the already stolen content down.

  • http://twitter.com/TroyGates TroyGates

    Really sorry to hear this. I hope you can resolve it soon. BTW, I use an ad-blocker, but I whitelist websites like yours that I enjoy and visit often to help support your effort. Most ad-blockers allow whitelists, you might want to do an article about it so that your readers can help give some support.

  • http://twitter.com/TroyGates TroyGates

    Looks like this is what appears in Engadget’s feeds at it shows on the thief’s articles they steal from Engadget:

    “(Article title) originally appeared on Engadget on (Date and Time). Please see our terms for use of feeds.”

  • Till

    Maybe try to mention your blog inside posts. Like “this is a report by mobiletechworld” or “this app has been added to the mobiletechworld must-have-apps list”. And maybe add a watermark to your images and videos. So people reading stolen content get aware of the theft and maybe even go to your site.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    All of my posts since early February are up there so most of the image have my watermark on them. But this doesn’t prevent the dumbest thing from happening: Google is ranking the stolen pages higher than the originals and that”s killing me.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    yeah they are stealing Engadget’s main feed alongside mine, Android Central and BGR (and some others).

  • Anonymous

    Get all of the victims together to submit a fonefrenzy sucks article once a day that only shows up in their rss feed. Regular readers would understand, and then the website would be spammed with fonefrenzy sucks articles.

  • http://twitter.com/FoneFrenzy FoneFrenzy

    We sent you a few messages via twitter. The feed agg was not correctly posting back links to your or anyone else for that matter. We have fixed the issue all the contact now links directly back to your site. We apologize for any inconvenience. You may contact me directly at fonefrenzy at gmail dot com

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    I don’t care about your lie (you are using a feed scrapper you moron and it’s even linked in your site’s footer). The fact remains: take down every single piece of stolen content (which essentially means your whole site) or face juridical consequences. and STOP aggregating MY SITE!

  • http://twitter.com/TroyGates TroyGates

    Your website is such a farse. Most of your articles have a “Read More” or “Expand to continue” at the bottom from the original website to see the entire article, yet you strip the link off and only have a portion of the original article. Stop being a thief and write your own articles instead of making money off of stolen ones.

  • http://twitter.com/FoneFrenzy FoneFrenzy

    I just took down the feed and Makrum and I have been in communication via email. The links were supposed to go back directly to the original producer of the content. For some lame reason, it shut itself off when an update was applied. We have complied with Makrum and removed all of MTW content.

  • Josh

    That doesn’t make you less of a scumbag, jerk

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sre-Harsha/664343238 Sre Harsha

    @TroyGates Thanks for the tip, I whitelisted MTW on my Ad blocker.

  • Anonymous

    So I just went to their site. It’s terribad. They have the same story 4 times in a row because they do no original content.

  • Anon

    Glad to hear it worked out for you, MTW.