Buddha Give Me Strength

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It doesn’t matter what you do or how well you do it, if someone thinks they can make a quick buck off of it they will steal it. After a year and a half of blogging I think I’ve found my groove and I really enjoy writing about and sharing my experiences, stories and pictures of Thailand. Sharing to a point that is.

Over the last two months I’ve noticed an increasing trend in regards to Thailand, Land of Smiles and it’s the one thing about blogging I don’t enjoy…Content thieves. Some of them have no clue that it’s wrong to steal your work and other know it’s wrong and blatantly do it anyway. Last week I came across a blog story and it seemed really familiar, and of course it was because it was mine! So I clicked through to they blog and found the last six months of this blog. In the past week alone I have found two more blogs that did the same thing as well as stealing other peoples content.

I’m sure a lot of people don’t see blogging as any kind of work but trust me there is a hell of a lot of my man hours poured into this blog and it sucks to see people stealing full posts and pictures. Anyway I just thought I would share exactly how I deal with it so if any of you find someone stealing your content you’ll have a good start.

1. Do a Whois lookup on their domain. It will tell you all the relevant information such as where the blog is hosted, nameservers, and e-mail addresses of the owners. Occasionally you will find that the domain registration is private but you will still be able to find out where the blog is hosted and you can contact the host.

2. Never just send an e-mail. Being nice and asking a thief to remove your content isn’t the way to go. Send them a Cease and Desist letter ( through e-mail is fine). You need to be very specific about the content stolen from you and cite the content on your site as well so there is no misunderstanding. You need to tell them there are ramifications if they do not comply and lastly you need to give them a time frame in which they must comply.

Sample Cease and Desist.

To whom it may concern:

It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my
copyrighted work from http://thailandlandofsmiles.com. I have reserved all
rights in the Works, published on various dates, [and have registered
copyright therein]. Your site has published these articles of mine in
their entirety from my site http://thailandlandofsmiles.com. The following
articles are the ones in question:



As you neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work nor to
make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, I believe
you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq.
and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth
in Section 504(c)(2) therein.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all
infringing works derived from my Work, and all copies, including
electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to me, if applicable, all
unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately
and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in
the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you within
7 days of this email indicating that you have fully complied with these
requirements, I shall take further action against you.

Very truly yours,

Thailand Land of Smiles


This is a cease and desist I found on the web and it works very well. Nine times out of ten I will get a favorable response within a day. Of course some people will be upset that you didn’t just e-mail them and ask nicely…to that I say, and very bluntly, Fuck You. You didn’t e-mail me and ask nicely if you could steal entire articles along with pictures. As you can see below this is the latest reply I have received.

Mr. Talen:

I didn’t know I was infringing on your copyright by aggregating material
from your website, as you DO have an RSS feed agregation option. This is NOT
an infringement on your rights if you publicly and outrightly allow for RSS
feeds to be published from yoru website.
Nonetheless, it is certainly not my intent to pick a fight where none need
exist. Indeed, I believe the matter could have appropriately been handled
with a simple request to remove the material without the legal jargon. I
would have removed whatever offending material you claim was on the website.

In accordance I will see to it the material is removed but it IS
ironic that your letter in which you ask your material be removed is a
copied letter written by someone else, and you are infringing on a copyright
letter requesting the same thing.

If you don’t like people stealing from you don’t steal from other people.

Thank you.

Where to begin? First of all the content thief has no clue what a copyright is or how RSS works. He mistakenly believes that because I offer RRS feeds for those people who would like to read my content in a reader that it is fair game….it’s not. It is part of this blog and holds the same exact copyrights. Then he goes on to be more stupid…it speaks for itself.

There is absolutely no reason to be polite to anyone stealing your content! So don’t be nice! You worked too damn hard on your blogs to let other people steal your work, slap it on a new blog and add adsense to it.

3. If you should not hear back from the thief you need to send another e-mail stating that you will now take further action by sending DMCA requests to not only their host but to the major search engines as well. The host will contact the thief and or remove the content…and in many cases remove the blog. Google, MSN and Yahoo will de-index the offending blog once they do their due dillegence making sure you are in the right. DMCA requests will need to be snail mailed or faxed to the appropriate entities.

5. Lastly, hit them where it hurts. If you are getting no responce to repeated requests about removing your content go after their adsense account. Google hates splogs and content thieves and as soon as they find out about them they cancel their accounts.

Some may say this takes too much time and a friendly e-mail will suffice. Maybe thats true…for you. What about everyone else they are stealing from? Do what I do and they think twice before stealing anothers work. I don’t know about everyone else but I’m proud of my little blog and I’ve worked too damn hard for some asshole to just steal it.

Each entity you send a DMCA request to has their own procedures so if it gets to that stage you’ll need to look them up. I’ll post a link to Googles DMCA procedure below.

Google DMCA

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7 Responses to Buddha Give Me Strength
  1. Theresa
    March 3, 2009 | 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this post, Talen. I agree with you that you do put a lot of work into this blog, as I do with mine. I’d like to think that your approach has taken a rapist out of the market for stolen intellectual material!

    Theresas last blog post..Living Ethics: Tracing it Back to When it Began

  2. Mike
    March 3, 2009 | 9:46 pm

    Talen firstly thank you for your help yesterday and secondly for providing the information above.

    I hope our thief has learned his lesson and simply doesn’t move to another soft target.

    Anyway back to what we like doing-blogging.

    Mikes last blog post..A New Broom Sleeps Clean in Thailand.

    • Talen
      March 3, 2009 | 9:56 pm

      I doubt he has Mike…the letter above is from our friend.

  3. martin in bulgaria
    March 4, 2009 | 4:13 am

    Hi Talen,
    The ‘Kick Butt’ system you suggest is the only way! Stealing is criminal whether it’s money of composition. You need to make these theives feel guilty as hell!
    It won’t solve the problem I know, but this particular thief will think twice about dong it again.

    When I found my stuff being stolen, I was far to polite. If it happens again I will ironically take a leaf out of your book!

    martin in bulgarias last blog post..Living or Surviving in Bulgaria?

  4. brodie
    March 4, 2009 | 11:39 pm

    try http://thailandlandofsmiles.com/

    it searches for copies of your page on the web.

  5. Chris
    March 8, 2009 | 6:58 pm

    I sympathise, same thing happened to me. A USA web site stole whole pages of copy from our NZ commercial web site and at the time we couldn’t do much to stop them. They still have all the copy I have written and making money out of it. Even stole our questions and answers page.

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