Is stealing the highest form of flattery?

by , Feb 23, 2007 | 9:03 am

Was perusing some poker blogs the other day, and I ran across a few interesting sites:

Hmm, hey…wait an minute…what the f…?

As it turns out, these sites use RSS feeds to post the latest poker blog entries from a few selected sites in their entirety, and (at least with respect to pokerati) do so without permission. What’s worse, they appear to be at least attempting to turn a profit on them.

Admittedly, I know very little about the interworkings of internet technology, and to be sure, I understand that RSS is generally a very positive thing. Bu this strikes me as thievery, plain and simple. Am I wrong? Or maybe we just need to adopt something similar to CNN’s terms of use with respect to RSS?

18 Comments to “Is stealing the highest form of flattery?”

  1. Pauly

    I feel your pain, Big Randy. Aren’t Texans under Texas Law allowed to shoot thems sons of beetches in the back or somethin’ like that?

  2. Haley

    Two avenues to pursue: one goes through the domain-ownership anonymizing services; the other is through the thieves’ affiliate links. If you want to protect your property, you have some work to do.

  3. Bundas

    I say It’s Wrong but what the hell do I know!
    Id take them to Court if I were you.
    I cant help you in this court case as I’m continuing my court battle to prove that I’m the Father of Anna Nicole Smith’s Baby.

  4. Short-Stacked Shamus

    Do what the really, really big, respected poker sites do. Shoot a video catching the aforementioned bloggers in the act of entering your RSS feed info into their sites’ pages.

  5. Lance

    Not the first time this has happened. A few months ago I read an extensive series of blog posts from someone in the poker community fighting exactly the same kind of thing. She went after the domain owners and threatened lawsuits, etc. Did a good job of clearing out the copy-posting sites from using her blog as content.

  6. Fresh Princess

    Pauly – Yes, but only today because today is Go Texan Day.

    Everyone else – I agree. Litigation is your only recourse at this point. Online Copyrighting laws are few, new & obscure. We are chartering in unregulated territory and it seems it will only get better with suits. Unfortunately.

    However, I think your post is a great start.

  7. DanM

    Hey, you know what … I LOVE to sue people! I think we are on to something here.


    Hey, how are you doing?

    Owner of here. Honestly didn’t believe this could cause harm to your site or yourself, or any of the other sites from which i’m syndicating feeds from, in any way, but i was sure sooner or later the site might pick up some heat.

    On each and every article or post that’s syndicated from a third site there’s a link stating clearly the ownership of it, and a link to the site on the nav menu. Thought that might be enough for the real owner.

    If you don’t want this to happen anymore, most blog softwares have in their admin an option to make the rss feed shorter, not full as you display it at the moment. Just a heads up, so users can still check their feed readers and know what’s going on.

    On the other side, rss feeds are intended in a first instance to be shared around sites.
    It’s not in my interest to hurt anybody, so if you want i’d gladly remove everything from Besides that, i also believe it might be a good chance to discuss the aspects of rss feeds and sharing, i’ve seen many bloggers along time concerned about the intelectual property of their feeds.

    Hope everything can come to a good solution 🙂


  9. beans

    i just found a website with some interesting software that helps monitor ripped content… sentinel. i’m curious to see how it works, since this problem is getting to be widespread.

  10. Ed

    Re: Pocket Bombs

    But you are specifically manipulating the feeds and adding your affiliate links into other people’s content. Are you going to compensate those bloggers with a cut of your revenue? Of course not.


    To Ed:

    You’ve got a valid point there, i gotta admit that rewriting words to links may be a dirty trick. The site was intended to be merely a test on an autoblogging software and nothing else. Mainly pursuing new traffic avenues. So far it receives very few daily visits and hasn’t generated any income.

    But, let’s put it this way: by creating an rss feed of your content, the deliberate purpose of it is to distribute it among readers, sites, users, etc. Blog directories, blog readers and such may not fall into certain misuses of feeds but still bank from them (contextual ads, banners, paid advertising, a feed on a certain subject means content, no matter where it comes from or its quality).

    As a first step to a better understanding i have removed all ads and phrase relinking, and such from the site. I honestly believe it does not hurt anybody this way, nor inflicts any rss copyright laws. I may be a little in the dark in this last subject anyway.

    Thanks for your time and please excuse my english,

  12. beeelzebubba

    hey pocketboobs—
    Be a man grow some BALLS either apologize or don’t; but don’t be a pussy and hide behind your lack of originality and overall laziness.The public has turned to blogosphere to find real content no longer found in traditional media content and now you want to recycle and regurgitate that as well………

  13. FoolsRun

    Do a search on those who link to you and then enquire as to the nature of their intent. If you find it to be bad, IP BAN, otherwise continue. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve handled this rather well.


    Be polite, please. I’ve came here and exposed my side of the matter, so keep that grungy verborragy for yourself.

  15. The Fat Boy

    Actually, as a site like that gains popularity and pagerank, his site gets indexed more and more, and all of those incoming links become gold. As your site’s PR increases, you can demand more from advertisers, and your site becomes more profitable.

    You can and should truncate your RSS feeds. That way, people using RSS readers (as individuals) can read a paragraph of a great story, and then come to your site to see the rest. More traffic, more impressions, more eyes on your page, more value to your advertisers.

    And when people are stealing your feed without your permission, their readers have to come to your site to see the rest of the story. More traffic, and if your site is good and sticky, a new fan!

    You old media guys need to really look into the benefits of this stuff.

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