Yesterday evening Black Web 2.0 was invited to an online chat conducted by Patrick O’Keefe of iFroggy Network and Johnathan Bailey of PlagarismToday.com regarding the practice of “Content Scraping.” Patrick recently discovered that Global Grind was copying all of his articles in full, submitting them to Google News, and displaying them in on their website. After contacting Global Grind regarding the content scraping and not achieving favorable action, Patrick hosted an online chat to discuss the practice of “Content Scraping” and why it is illegal.
What is Content Scraping
Content Scraping is a computer software technique of extracting information from websites. Some content scrapers will only copy an excerpt from the content and include a link. However their are tons of websites that simply copy the entire work without providing links.
Why Content Scraping is Wrong
Content Scraping is in violation of U.S. Copyright Laws if the scraper did not receive express permission from the Copyright Owner to use the work. The U.S. Copyright Act clearly states: any person who exercises the exclusive rights of a copyright owner, without the copyright owner’s express permission, is an infringer of copyright. 17 USC sec. 501(a). Some Content Scrapers will give credit to the author or link back to the original content. However, giving credit is never a substitute for asking express permission to use the work. I discussed this issue here.
Content Scraping also enrages original content producers because scraping can result in loss traffic which in turn results in lost revenue. It is argued that content scraping confuses search engines because content appears in two or more places on the web. As Patrick states on his blog,
“Because my content is in two places, search engines can get confused and this can lead to my original article having to compete with the scraped article for traffic.” He goes on to state that “Less traffic also means less revenue, directly impacting my quality of life.”
Considering the huge traffic numbers of Global Grind’s and other sites like, it is easy to understand why Patrick and other author’s of original content are furious their traffic is being scraped.
Copyright holders have to hold Content Scrapers accountable for their actions. Copyright holders can file DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) take down complaints with the search engines against the sites like Global Grind. Also sending Cease and Desists notices may be effective. If these actions do not produce results, Copyright holders may have to band together and file Copyright Infringement Lawsuits to prevent their content from being stolen.
Please leave comments as to whether you have been a victim of content scraping.