Early this morning, Tamura Jones tweeted a link to a new splog called Family Tree Gazette. I went and checked and immediately recognized two blog posts that I’d just read in the past few days. This person was simply copying other people’s blog posts onto his blog without permission or attribution. He did have a link back to the original blog, or back to a Google feed of it in one case, but that doesn’t make it much better. A couple posts had the author’s name at the bottom, but only because they were actually included in the blog post. How many bloggers sign their own posts? Well, I guess I’ve seen a few who do.
Among all of his various advertisements that completely fill up the left sidebar, he included a link to a Facebook page. It has one fan, no doubt just the owner. So I left a message on the page.
His response was:
The purpose of this site is to aggregate news from a lot of different sources. Each post has a link back to the original story. We are not claiming that these posts are ours. Also, on the sidebars we have links to many other blogs and other resources.
Such a quick reply from someone who just steals other content. I commented again and the next response was:
This is a news feed, I don’t “copy” anything. If you subscribe to a Google news feed, you automatically receive each story in the feed, and Google doesn’t ask permission to feed any of the stories. Same with a Google blog feed (which is where these posts come from), Google doesn’t get permission to feed these stories. It would be plagiarism if I was claiming that these posts were mine, but that’s not the case, there’s a link to the original story at the end of each post. The bloggers that I’ve talked to about this like it because it gets new people to visit their blog.
So, he thinks he’s a Google news feed? No, Google doesn’t ask permission, but the blog owner gives permission for news readers by turning on the RSS functionality. Funny how there isn’t an RSS feed link anywhere on his page, including in the footer, where WordPress usually has a link by default, even though he’s claiming to just be a news feed. I guess he wants you to visit his site to load up all the ads instead.
Also, I wonder which bloggers he’s “talked to”. I’ve never known a blogger, or the NY Times, that wanted their story printed in its entirety, without permission, without attribution, on someone else’s blog that was full of advertisements.
Looking a little more into the site, the domain is registered to Roger McClannen, so I would assume the comments are from him, but there is no way to be sure. Facebook pages don’t tell you who administers them. I don’t see the conversation on the page now. His top menu, besides the Google ads, has options for Pages and Categories. There are no categories, but the pages just link to more affiliate links on Google, Amazon, and eBay. There is no About or Contact page, so the only apparent way to contact him is to go to the Facebook page or look up his domain registration for his email.
When I searched for his email, I found that he also runs a site called Froomb, which apparently is just another coupon site.
Also, when I first commented on his Facebook page, I accused him of plagiarism. I never actually mentioned copyright infringement. It was early in the morning. I wonder if his responses would have been different?