In the last week, I’ve needed to file copyright complaints on two different spam blogs. Both were reprinting, in full, the entire content (full posts, pages, etc) of this blog without permission or a link back. Both had slapped ads all over the content so they were profiting off something that wasn’t even theirs and listed no credit so they were essentially claiming my work belonged to them. Now it’s happening again on another site and I can’t see to find a way to report them. (The other two were on Blogger so it was easy to report them to Google.)
I’m… annoyed. Especially since I think I know what the problem is.
See, a lot of bloggers set their RSS to just be a set number of word excerpt instead of the full blog post so that they get more traffic since the people who subscribe still have to click through and read the post on the site. I completely understand where they are coming from and why they do that but, personally, I don’t ever want to do that. My take on it is, if you are willing to commit to this site enough to subscribe to the RSS feed for every single post, you deserve to read the whole thing without the annoyance of clicking back to the blog. I’m not calling out anyone who does a limited feed, I’m just saying that’s how I feel about it. I will never do anything other then full feeds if I can help it.
But I noticed that on these spam sites, mine is the only content they have in full. Everyone else’s stolen content is truncated, Feedburner style. So they’re basically just pulling my RSS feed and using a plugin to auto-post it to their blog. If this was just the excerpt, I would be somewhat OK with it as people would still need to continue reading it on my site, but it’s the full post. I’m don’t make more then pennies on this site but, damn it, I worked hard to write that content and I don’t want someone else claiming it as their own or profiting off of it. This was never an issue before and suddenly it’s happening left and right.
The simple solution would be to change my RSS feed to just an excerpt but I really don’t want to do that. The other option is to just ignore the spam blogs and hope they go away but I afraid that not doing anything to protect my copyright sets a bad precedent.
What’s your take on full RSS feeds versus truncated ones? What do you recommend I do about the spam blogs? How would you handle this issue?