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Debra Mastaler Makes Lemonade

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Debra Mastaler lays out a copyright infringement primer all nicely wrapped in a story to help the knowledge go down. At the end she offers an alternative backlink payment solution, Turn Stolen Copy Lemons Into Link Lemonade, where applicable.


The piece stands very well on it's own - well worth the read. However, a few additional points from my own 'do unto them what they do unto me but twice as hard for twice as long' rule.

* I touch all the bases when issuing a DMCA:

---the website registrant

---the website host

---several SEs.


* because I strictly regulate, i.e. mostly block and bounce, bots, the Way Back Machine and the 'plagiarism checking tools' are not an option. However, few of you should have that problem. Instead, I have embedded telltales that can be directly searched, among other features.


* Debra mentions the value of including dates in the content. This is especially easy with blogs and well worth doing as a usability feature as well as documentary one. Not using that publishing format, as an initial defense I utilise the Dublin Core meta data header tags including:

<meta name = "DC.Creator" content = "iamlost">

<meta name = "DC.Date.Created" content = "2011-02-17">

<meta name = "DC.Date.Modified" content = "2011-02-17">


If you prefer the standard HTML meta tags provide Author, Copyright among others.

<meta name="Author" content="iamlost, iamlost@cre8asteforums.com">

<meta name="copyright" content="Copyright 2011">


I also include a blanket footer copyright 'spread', i.e. Copyright © 2002 - 2011, which is NOT likely to be technically appropriate usage but has become standard usage.


Note: none of the above 'proves' anything legally because it is easily altered BUT every little bit helps.


* Debra mentions dating screenshot postings. A very good practice I recommend following. Every page that I upload gets 'shot', imprinted with a timestamp, and stored. Further I log every upload automatically.


* Debra contacted the infringer. I may do that where the infringement is minor, however, where the scraping is broad, i.e. as in Debra's example: almost all of the content from my training pages, I don't bother, immediately shooting to sink.


In the proactive prevention area besides what is mentioned above:

* I utilise <meta name=”robots” content=”noarchive”> so there is no SE public facing cached page to scrape.


* perhaps the greatest 'unknown' site scraping activity is via Google Translate. Remember that the same content in different languages is NOT generally viewed as duplicate content. Of course I block (return 403) any user-agent with translate, transcoder, or babelfish in the string. And known translation IPs are blocked.


I know that many people have little problem with allowing scrapers to re-publish their content without permission because many leave the absolute link strings in place. This is a personal and business model decision. I prefer to mess with their day and income.

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I wonder if there is a wordpress method. Problem with dates is that I often republish older articles after updating them a little, which would look like a new article to most people. Changing a date in a CMS could make the original 5 year old article suddenly look like it was published tomorrow. Which is why I do not put dates on my pages and do not use the date URL permalinking method either.


Will look into "created dates" in WP. Must be there... I hope.


although I have moved a lot of stuff about, and that throws much out of the window.


For the on DMCA I did, I did give dates for all the formats of the article in question (I think 4 URLs were covered since its birth about 4 years ago). But only proof was a spreadsheed log I keep for changes and the dates in the old static html files.

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