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Monday, June 20, 2011

Old News & New Beginnings


Dear Fashion Trend Guide readers,

You may know that in March, I discovered through a Google image search that azhotgirl.uni.cc, eblogzone.uni.cc, and zing9x.com have violated copyright laws and stolen years of blog content from me. All of my hard work, research, graphics, photos, etc. have all been stolen and placed on a splog, or spam blog. Classy! These splogs are also stealing my bandwidth, wiping my links to redirect to their own sites, and stealing my high-ranking search engine results. Thousands of lost visitors, lost ad revenue, an unwanted association with questionable Asian spam sites, and decreased page rankings are the result. So it's as if I don't exist! Over four years of hard work, all stolen from me, and what can I do to stop it?

I have done all of the things that lawyers and bloggers advise to prevent content theft: filing DMCA complaints, filing complaints with Google and their advertisers, contacting the web host, contacting the domain name registrar, sending cease and desist letters, naming and shaming them, and so forth. The bottom line is that the thieves are using sophisticated technology to steal from "445 blogs in 27 categories" (see where I circled in hot pink below) and obviously, they are not making their contact information available. Nor is their web host, Sakura Internet (located in Japan) responding to my multiple emails regarding web abuse.

Rather than provide these splogs with more blog and keyword content to automatically scrape, I'm going to beat them at their own game. You can see the conspicuous red warning notices that I've been including on my blog for some time now, and these are to deter thieves from stealing. Yes, they ruin the appearance of my blog, but in my case, they are there to send a bold message. The same goes for a copyright notice on each and every one of the photos that I take with my own cameras. I'm not going to apologize to my readers, my advertisers, or anyone else because none of this is my fault.

On a positive note, this experience has been valuable in teaching me a lot about internet and the law. I have learned a lot of technical information, and can now provide lots of advice to anyone else who is a victim of content theft. The bottom line is that sometimes, you simply can't do anything to stop it from happening. If your blog is unlucky like mine, then it's been marked as a target for sploggers with an "S" for "come steal content from me."

I don't know how long it has been happening, but my guess is that azhotgirl.uni.cc has been stealing from me for years. I only just discovered it. Now they are redirecting their Fashion Trend Guide imitator site to some random video site, probably because they got word that I'm onto them and will pursue them relentlessly. Bad things happen to good people, but in the end, good will win out over the bad.

Along that note, I have started a new blog. I won't link to it in this post, because the thieves will wipe that link and then probably try to steal from that blog as well.

So look out for a banner in my sidebar soon to redirect you to my new blog. Here's to new beginnings, new content, new splog countermeasures, and new opportunities! Cheers!



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