Thursday, 6 August 2015

Echoes (Or: some hijo de puta has copied all of my writing from this blog)

Here’s the situation.
    While looking at the stats for the blog earlier in the week I noticed a referring site I hadn’t seen before. I clicked on the link only to be redirected back to my own blog – but the URL ended .fr rather than I tried googling the referring URL and discovered my own blog posts listed in the search results – but the phrases ‘Nobody Knows Anybody’ and ‘Rebecca’ had been replaced by the phrase ‘Film Exhibition’. In addition, an email address was visible in the descriptions that you see below links in google search results. This concerned me because it wasn’t a replacement of existing information (I don’t have an email address visible on this blog); it was an insertion.

    So I asked about it on the Blogger forum – the discussion can be found here - and also asked someone at work with more experience relating to websites. None of the responses gave a positive spin on the matter. This morning I clicked on the original referring URL again and this time it didn’t take me to my blog, it took me to a site that has wholesale copied 4.5 years of my blog posts. The website is here.

Spot the difference

    Actually ‘wholesale copied’ isn’t accurate because certain things are missing – namely all links that identify me by name. So in the copy of this recent post about my interview with Miguel Llansó, the link to the East End Film Festival is there but the link to Eye for Film (which is where the interview is published – with my name at the top) is not. Likewise, from the right hand column the links to my PhD thesis and my writing on other sites (Eye for Film, Big Picture Magazine, Mediático, Spanish Review Film Club, and Take One) are all absent. My twitter avatar is still there, but in the place of my twitter account as the point of contact there is instead the email address that I could see in the google search results (no, I haven’t emailed them).
    I don’t know the intention of the person doing this. I can’t see what they gain from duplicating my writing. Will they duplicate this post (replacing correct phrases and getting rid of links)? Who knows. For the time being I won’t be posting anything further on here – I can be found on twitter until then.

UPDATE: This post appeared instantly on the copied site - as you can see, the same phrases are replaced and the Eye for Film link is missing UPDATE: I have done something to rectify that (but not the others as yet - presumably because those links only appeared in the right hand column and not within actual posts - which tends to suggest that a bot is involved and the programme doesn't tell it to disable those links at the moment).
UPDATE 2: The forum thread has been updated, including a comment that I should remove the links to the 'pirated' site as I'm just giving them traffic - so I've removed the links (but the address is visible in the search results photo above).

My follow up post can be found here.