Monday, January 21, 2013

I didn't think it would happen to me...

The examples of copyright infringement of which I have heard tended to come from more active blogs with much larger followings, so I felt somewhat secure in my relative obscurity that the same thing likely wouldn't happen to me. Well, I was completely wrong.

Naida over at The Bookworm kindly pointed out the plagiarism when she realized that her posts, too, had been copied onto the blog Critical Bookworm. She also discovered the term for this particular form of plagiarism: blog scraping. The owner of the plagiarizing blog "scraped" every single post off our blogs from when they began in 2010 until mid-November 2012. Every. Single. One. Giveaway posts, personal posts, IMM/Mailbox Monday, reviews - everything. Just copied and pasted, even retaining all the same formats and embedded html codes.

Just look at the screenshot of their November feed. You can tell from the titles (counting from the top down) that posts #1, 7, 10, 14, 16, and 17 are mine; the rest are Naida's, unless there's yet another blogger who's been scraped as part of this.

Of course, we've reported the problem to Blogger. I'm not sure how long this scraping site has actually been up; even though the post dates match up to mine, the time stamps are somehow usually several hours earlier than when I actually posted. Also, for a blog that looks like it's been around since 2010, there are no comments and no way to follow posting. Weird, huh?

The lesson here? Just check up on plagiarism once in a while by running the text of reviews (or other posts) through Google. It might not find all forms of plagiarism, but it will detect scraping, especially since scraping blogs show up first in Google results over the scraped blogs. And, just as a warning, if you have a non-book blog, the same person who runs the plagiarizing Critical Bookworm has many other blogs listed on his/her profile, some of which also appear to be scraped.

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