I’m an idiot (and a thief) for publishing this!

CopyA strange title for a blog post, I know… but read on and hopefully you’ll understand what I’m doing. Like many other bloggers in the same situation, I’m fed up.  People are continually copying and pasting posts – often automatically – from this blog (and countless other blogs) on to sites of their own. It’s lazy and, perhaps more importantly, it’s theft. If you are currently reading this text on a site that is not A Luxury Travel Blog (look at the URL at the top and see if it starts https://www.aluxurytravelblog.com) and does not link to the site, then you might like to let them know your thoughts. If you’re a blogger that is tired of seeing the same old tricks, may I suggest you also expose these people in a similar way?  Just use the subject line “I’m an idiot (and a thief) for publishing this!”, add a short post akin to this one that links to your own site (and to this entry if you don’t mind acknowledging the source of the idea!) and hopefully we can expose this problem further.  You’ll be surprised at just how much your post gets re-published without your say-so.  Lets find out how many idiots and thieves are out there! At the moment, Google does not do such a great job of sorting out these sites, unfortunately.  My last blog entry was an interview and, when searching for a phrase from that interview, I currently get just one result – not this site but an AdSense revenue sharing site.  In short, people are copying material across on to there in order that they can make money from the AdSense and Kontera ads associated with it. Hardly fair, is it?  Anyway, rant over.  I hope other bloggers will join me in exposing these sites.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. I’m right here to join you, Paul. I’m absolutely fed up of idiots and thieves stealing my content.

    On a similar subject, a friend of mine found a lot of his images had been stolen and hot-linked to. He changed the URLs of the images for his own pages and replaced the hot-linked ones with a new image saying “I am a thief and I stole this image from xyz.com”.

    But back to the content theft thing, there are so many scraper sites out there that as soon as you publish anything you can find it on loads of other sites.

    I’ll do anything I can to move this campaign forward with you.

  2. That didn’t take long. The post has already been duplicated at traveldealsreview.net/travel-vacations/i%E2%80%99m-an-idiot-and-a-thief-for-publishing-this.html

    It has automatically stripped out the link within the body of the post, and I notice the word ‘travel’ within ‘A Luxury Travel Blog’ links to their own site.

    They do at least acknowledge the source of the entry at the end of their post (which is better than some) but the link is not underlined, so it’s not obvious. And why would anyone click through when the entire text has already been duplicated?


  3. If you look more closely at that site, you’ll see they’re running Google AdSense. I wonder if Google might be interested to know about the content theft.

  4. Yes, that’s certainly worth doing. A DMCA to the hosting companies is probably in order, perhaps.

    In the meantime, here’s another idiot (and thief) for you:


  5. Intresting results from https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&num=100&q=%22i'm+an+idiot+and+a+thief%22&btnG=Search&meta=&aq=f&oq= this morning…

    #1 is yousaytoo.com/i-m-an-idiot-and-a-thief-for-publishing-this/148733

    Entire article taken, no link to ALTB (even the body link is removed)

    #2 Kay’s Not Delia blog entry mentioned above

    #3 A link from this blog’s Twitter account

    #4 exetertraveljournal.blogspot.com/2009/11/winter-wonderland.html

    No apparent mention of the phrase on both the current and cached copies (?!)

    #5 cityspur.com/tag/luxury-travel/ (links through to cityspur.com/2009/12/17/a-luxury-travel-blog-%C2%BB-special-feature-gwel-an-mor-cornwall-uk/ )

    It’s at least just an extract and does link through to ALTB

    #6 incityhotels.com

    No apparent mention of the article now and no cached copy but it looks to be a site that engages in blog scraping.

    #7 traveldealsreview.net/travel-vacations/video-britains-best-views-roseberry-topping-yorkshire.html (with link through to traveldealsreview.net/travel-vacations/i’m-an-idiot-and-a-thief-for-publishing-this.html )

    Entire content reproduced wtih body link to ALTB removed. There is at least a link at the end of the article (although not underlined and by then the entire thing has already been read so not much point in clicking anyhow…)

    #8 definitivecaribbean.blogspot.com/2009/03/barbados-sea-turtle-project.html#uds-search-results

    No apparent mention of the article and nothing in the cache.

    #9 29travels.com/travelfeeds/

    No objection to this as it’s merely linking to ALTB with the title as anchor text.

    #10 aluxurytravelblog.com/…/special-feature-gwel-an-mor-cornwall-uk/

    Hurrah! We finally get a mention! Even if it is linking to completely the wrong post (the entry that came after this entry)

    #11 jordy.pixnet.net/blog/archives/20091115 – Chinese site

    #12 a forum that happens to mention the same phrase but is unrelated

    #13 travelerscompany.com that links to travelerscompany.com/i’m-an-idiot-and-a-thief-for-publishing-this where the whole article has been copied but no link to the source provided (other than the link I sneaked into the body)

    So… what should we make of all this? Well, one thing for sure is that Google doesn’t seem to be very good at handling it. There’s a number of sites there that do link to ALTB and yet the vast majority rank above. Surely that’s not right.


  6. I think we should have a name and shame site for all these travel content thieves.

    It is so frustrating – a very similar thing happened 2 weeks ago on my site by 2 articles being pasted together and posted as an article that was scraped innumerable times and a No1 ranking for a particular pastime in abruzzo disappearing before my eyes.

    Sadly/thankfully the lazy company owner hadn’t read what she had paid a very poor blogging service for, so all references to the locations in abruzzo were way off target and her company ended up looking indirectly ridiculous for all those that knew the local areas she was describing – but that is the problem we don’t write for those that know the areas already!

    I appealed directly to her and she has managed to get the blogging service to withdraw all but 2 of them from various sites . I also wrote to Google’s DMCA but nothing back yet..

  7. In number 9 I have Seen Yousaytoo Mentioned as a Member I have Noticed that links are Being Removed and I think I will Have to Stop Publishing My BLog their. I Had a Suspect Scrap Bot on my Site and Found out It was My Ad Manager

  8. Terrific idea! I’ve had content lifted from my blog and website and I recently even had an Asian cruise line steal my logo! They just changed my site’s name for theirs. That took weeks to work out. Ugh!

  9. How do you even find out when your stuff has been stolen? It seems to be such a widespread problem but I don’t know if any of my content has been pinched.

  10. Get over it. There is nothing you can do. I know it for a fact since I had 2 sites completely duplicated. Plus, people are using RSS feed these days, which does not help you here…

  11. its unbelieveable what some sites will do to get content and i don’t think this is a problem that will go away any time soon i suspect it will only get worse. i also find it amazing the people will lift some of the reviews i write and then use on sites that pay them for reviews – some people would not get a brass neck at a bonfire!

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