This morning I found a rather weird pingback on this site. Weird because although the pingback appeared in the comments to the article I’d written about Steve Jobs resignation from Apple, it was a pingback to yesterday’s Friday FOSS Week in Review article. Being the curious sort, I clicked on the link and was taken to a site called TheoryReport, where I indeed found my Friday FOSS Week in Review article.
The article was posted in it’s entirety, but with two small differences. First, Joe Lovrek is listed as the author of the post, with no mention anywhere that the post was copied from FOSS Force or that it was written by me. Also, seemingly random words are inserted into the post, in an obvious attempt at keyword spamming for the “benefit” of search engines. The page contains Google Adwords, so the idea is evidently to garner some free clicks without having to work at actually creating content.
A quick whois search quickly identifies the site as being owned by Mr. Lovrek. I also found that he has “claimed” this blog on Technorati, offering the following description:
TheoryReport.com is comprised of several technology writers who joined together to release the latest news here first before anywhere. This was done to stop the monopoly of content on the internet by various vendors for profit.
Given what I know now, this description is nothing if not laughable.
This owner of this site is a thief. Not only is he stealing content from sites like FOSS Force (while making the content unreadable by the insertion of keyword spam), he’s also committing fraud against the advertisers who unwittingly advertise on his site through Google Adwords.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that small sites like ours can do to combat this sort of problem. We don’t have lawyers, nor do we have the time to begin letter writing campaigns to notify search engines and advertising agencies – nor is it evident that such actions would do much good.
What we can do and what we will do is let our readers know whenever we find such thieves. We will not link to their sites, for that would only help their search engine rankings, but we will give our readers enough information to easily identify the offenders.
Those of us who write for content sites spend hours plying our craft. Most of us are more than willing to share under some agreeable copyleft license. No professional writer I know, however, is willing to give work away to this kind of scumbag.