Blogs and Stealing Content without Credit

Mortgage and Lending with Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA

I have started branding my blog posts with all of my identity information in the last paragraph, including name, phone number, e-mail, business and address because I am finding more and more of my blog posts showing up in “no host” sites as belonging to them. They are taking my blog posts in their entirety and re-blogging them without credit to the original author. That is stealing and it is a violation of copy write laws but how to enforce them.

I don’t have a problem with the sites that pick up my posts and then repost them giving me credit for the posting. That just gets me more exposure on the web. I think the people that do that are kind of lazy for not writing their own posts and using someone else’s work in a site that is just there to get Google Adsense money, but that is their thing. It is the ones that don’t say who they are and are just farming people coming into the site for Google Adsense and other referral income without credit to the authors that I really object to. For instance, I “borrowed” this picture from another website, but am giving credit to Agency Spy for their good work on this artwork: identity-theft-protection-whyI even linked the picture to their URL so they get double credit for it. Now this takes a bit more time than just running an RSS feed to your website, but it is the right thing to do. Interestingly, when I contact Google about the use of my material on sites with Adsense, the could care less, even though it wasn't supposed to be done. All they care about, it appears, are the click throughs. They suggested that I sue.

Well, that is my rant for today. If you would like to discuss this problem, or are interested in mortgage information, contact me, Fred Chamberlin, at 541-342-7576/541-221-3455 cell or e-mail me. Alpine Mortgage Planning is located at 1200 Executive Pkwy., Ste. 100, Eugene OR 97401. May your posts be safe, and I hope this one goes up on the automatic posting on one of those sites.

Comments (20)

Gordon Sloan
Group1 Real Estate, selling houses in Salt Lake City Utah - Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake Homes For Sale, Salt Lake Real Estate

Fred, I agree with your position on this, although so fat I don't think any one has thought enough of what I write to copy it.

Maybe some day.

Jan 21, 2010 07:23 AM
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Hey Fred.  You sound angry and rightly so -- people should take the time to do their own posts or else give credit to those they "borrow" from

Jan 21, 2010 07:25 AM
Christine Bohn
RE/MAX Professionals - Gainesville, FL
The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL

Fred - You are entitled to that rant.  I have seen this topic all over AR.  Some have attorney on a retainer to "go after" those sites. I guess now that your personal info is in a text type paragraph, then you will be able to spot the really lazy thieves.  If you posts have photos, put a link to your site there too.  It's amazing to hear & see all the cut/paste. 

Jan 21, 2010 07:28 AM
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Corie - They may be stealing from you without your knowledge. Be sure and set up Google Alerts so you can see it when it happens.

Liz - It is the "farmers" that really get me ticked off. Anyone that wants to re-post my material and wants to credit me, that is fine.

Christine - Thanks. I just can't see it is worth the cost of an attorney for this, but who knows?

Jan 21, 2010 07:37 AM
Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv
REISA - 317-663-4173 - Indianapolis, IN

It will always happen. Be honored. When I see it I'm first mad then I know that at least one person "heard" my message.


Jan 21, 2010 07:48 AM
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

In some ways, I am honored Tony, but in others, it ticks me off.

Jan 21, 2010 08:32 AM
Jason Graves
Linda Craft & Team - Raleigh, NC

Fred, I whole heartedly agree with you. As a former English Major I actually struggle with how incredibly lazy we get writing on-line. I actually keep a Sample Citation list on my desk so I can site works on-line when I do research. I'm terrible at it but I am getting better and it's important that we respect the property of others.

Something else to be aware of when you use someone elses work, etc... is stealing bandwidth also known as hotlinking. This direct linking to a web site's files like images and video. You can read more about it here:

Jan 22, 2010 05:46 AM
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Thanks Jason, appreciate the information.

Jan 25, 2010 03:29 AM
Brian Anderson
Peachtree SEO - Peachtree City, GA
SEO and Social Media Marketin

Fred - great post on a subject that riles me up as well!  Best of luck in 2010.

Feb 03, 2010 04:55 PM
Connie Hall
All Brokers Real Estate - Portland, OR

You can sue all you want, I think the bigger problem is finding the people. Most of these people use fake companies and post office boxes, very hard to track down.

Feb 04, 2010 10:20 AM
John Fiorelli
Premier Realty - Richmond, VA
REALTOR Richmond, VA aka

Here ya' but what about the copy/paste feature... People can do that all over the place...

I saw a blog I wrote on a realtors website in my area... Copy/paste to there on page!!!

John Fiorelli, REALTOR 
Recruiting Director
Marketing Consultant
Century 21 Signature Realty
2800 Buford Rd. Ste 204
Richmond, VA 23235
Direct: 804-908-2046
Office: 804-330-4222
Fax: 804-330-4249

Feb 06, 2010 06:27 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I hope by "borrowed" you mean you got written permission from the owner of that photo because photos are subject to the same laws as the written word. I find my content swiped all over the Internet. If it's a big name media source, I make them remove it. If it's a small-time agent, depending on whether they attribute the content and link to me, I might not. Unless it's a piece where I'm getting a lot of hits, then I make them remove it. If it's a link farm, that can actually hurt your SEO, so you'd be wise to try to get that content released. But bottomline, nobody can publish anything that you write apart from an RSS feed without your permission. So go get 'em, Fred.

Feb 08, 2010 05:04 AM
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Brian - Thanks, I know it is something that many of us have a problem with.

All Brokers - It is really hard to find out who is behind most of the link farms and stealing sites. Just irratating as hell.

John - A lot of people have no shame or sense of right and wrong.

Elizabeth - You are right but I am not as angry if someone gives me a link back.

Feb 08, 2010 07:28 AM
Karen Richards
Keller Williams Realty Allen - Allen, TX

Hey Fred If you are getting that much of your content "borrowed" perhaps you should start hyperlinking key words in your copy back to your primary site?

Feb 08, 2010 03:00 PM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I've stopped counting how many times I've had my stuff used by other sites without my permission for profit. I've started sending lawyers there way now and hopefully I can start getting paid for my work they are using.

Feb 11, 2010 10:46 PM
Tricia Jumonville
Bradfield Properties - Georgetown, TX
Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense

There's a difference between plagiarism (using someone else's work and putting it forth as your own without crediting them) and copyright violation (using someone else's work without permission, period). Similar activities, only slightly different, both illegal, just different laws.

If you use someone else's photo without their explicit permission (in writing), you're guilty of copyright violation, which is just as bad as plagiarism.

Remember, both are all about permission.  If you seek, and get, permission from the copyright owner (usually the original author or photographer or other creator), you're good to go.  If you DON'T get permission, then don't use it, because it belongs to someone else.  Simple, huh? 

Profit doesn't matter, by the way, except that it's easier to get damages if they've used the material in some commercial way.  That they may have damaged YOUR ability to get profit from the work is sufficient.  (Actually, profit doesn't relate to whether or not the law has been violated at all, but it does matter in court.)


Feb 14, 2010 06:55 AM
Abraham Valentino
SOLARIT® - San Francisco, CA
Founder CEO SOLARIT®, iMetros, Nummus®

I think it is a great idea to post your info on each blog

Feb 18, 2010 08:57 PM
Marvelous Mary Novak
REMAX Platinum - Howell, MI
CDPE Sells MI Real Estate

Copy and paste is just plain wrong--stealing!  But what do you think if someone reads your blog article and revamps it to a specific circumstance or real estate situation to a particular region?

Feb 25, 2010 03:12 AM
David Krichmar - Legend Lending - Sugar Land, TX

So True Fred.  It is very frustrating.  I think if someone wants to just copy it they should at least rewrite it in their words and add to it.  show some creativity. 

Feb 25, 2010 04:24 AM
Fred Chamberlin
Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA - Oak Harbor, WA
Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant

Tricia - Good information.

Bay Area - Thanks.

Mary - I don't have a problem with someone using my idea and then personalizing it, it is the total copy that irratates me.

Dave - Right you are.

Feb 25, 2010 05:27 AM