The Never-Blue Lizard People Do Not Recognize Human Copyright "Laws"

Irksome

When I wrote this post advocating for a non-partisan approach to defending thuggishly threatened speech, I was happy when people started to link to it, because I believe its message sincerely and forcefully.

I was happy, that is, until I noticed that a large number of the links were coming from scrapers — sites that simply copy an entire post verbatim, with or without attribution.

Take conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' site InfoWars, which scraped my post wholesale, though it at least preserved original links and attributed it with a link. That's clearly not fair use. I tried writing InfoWars Editor Kurt Nimmo, politely requesting that they transform the post into a reasonably limited quotation and a link, so as to respect both my intellectual property rights and good blogging etiquette. I never got a response. Perhaps that's understandable. Folks at InfoWars are busy. Day by day, they are the tip of the spear, seeking the irrefutable proof that Lizard People faked the "Moon Landing" to create the illusion of a genuine space program, whilst actually preventing humanity from encountering That Which We Are Not Meant To Know. This month they are very busy fact-checking this so-called private space mission, which is actually being filmed on a sound stage in Burbank. If you look carefully you'll see a number of the participants were washouts from second-string reality shows. And InfoWars is this close to a blockbuster story about how local craft services people have been delivering a suspicious amount of live bugs to the soundstage. So they're busy — too busy to create original content, too busy to refrain from thievery, too busy to respond to emails.

I considered sending them a DMCA notice, but I may hold off just a bit. My wife has informed me that I have reached my quarterly quota of unbalanced people I may antagonize. She's concerned that I might get snatched off the street and stuffed into some sort of Patriot's Terrarium or something.

I also got scraped by a blogger named Chris Roubis, whose blog falls into the general classificaion of "sites with advertisements about how fluoridation threatens babies" or "sites with post categories involving the terms 'UFO' and 'Chemtrails.'" As much as I like attention, this seemed like something of a disappointing comedown, venue-wise. InfoWars is heavily trafficked, and has higher-class advertisements advocating use of colloidal silver, not posts about babies, who after all are not independently productive members of society. [Interesting Fact: Lizard People, who are naturally green, are genetically incapable of turning blue, whatever disguise or glamour they are wearing. Therefore widespread use of colloidal silver is an excellent method of identifying Lizard People. This is also why it is imperative that someone fund a live-action Smurfs movie.] Anyway, I left a comment at Chris Roubis' site, but a week later it's still in moderation. He's busy too, I'm sure. So is Radio Justin, who also scraped me shamelessly. I tried listening to Radio Justin to see if he's hold a symposium explaining his principled reasons for ripping off my content and not answering my complaint about it, but after a while a got sort of depressed by the weepy Donna Summer tributes and tuned out.

Anyway, I guess I should be happy. Silence and stonewalling, ultimately, are preferable to enraged, vaguely threatening, and semi-literate justifications, which is what I got the last time I complained about a scraper. Counting blessings!

Last 5 posts by Ken White

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Jess  •  May 31, 2012 @11:27 am

    Plagiarism may be the sincerest form of flattery, but wholesale copying of content is nothing more than proof that the copier lacks both ethics and the intellect to write anything original. J. Croft ended up looking like nothing but a colossal douche-bag. Sadly, I’m sure he has plenty of company.

  2. Ansley  •  May 31, 2012 @1:06 pm

    "She's concerned that I might get snatched off the street and stuffed into some sort of Patriot's Terrarium or something."

    Can't. Stop. Laughing. Picturing. It.

  3. Robert Hewes  •  May 31, 2012 @1:08 pm

    I've been looking for publicity for my website lately — maybe scraping a well-read blog will get it for me? Hrmm, the Other McCain has gotten lots of traffic lately — maybe I'll target him?

    Is there any agreement on what is good netiquette for quoting other blogs? I've quoted up to a full paragraph (with attribution and "RTWT") — is that acceptable?

  4. Ken  •  May 31, 2012 @1:12 pm

    As far as etiquette — as opposed to law — goes, I think that a clear and prominent attribution link is essential, and that more than a couple of paragraphs is excessive — especially if that's substantially all of a post.

  5. Grifter  •  May 31, 2012 @1:15 pm

    "Silence and stonewalling, ultimately, are preferable to enraged, vaguely threatening, and semi-literate justifications, which is what I got the last time I complained about a scraper."

    But the vaguely threatening, semi-literate justifications, and your replies, were entertaining! As a newer reader, I'd love to see it live, as opposed to "watching the VHS" if you will, from a year ago…

  6. Ken  •  May 31, 2012 @1:15 pm

    Though it really depends on length of the source post. If it's a two-sentence joke and cutting it ruins it I can see, etiquette-wise, quoting the whole think with prominent attribution. If it's 30 paragraphs I can see quoting multiple paragraphs — particularly if you intersperse quotes with commentary.

  7. Robert Hewes  •  May 31, 2012 @1:17 pm

    Thanks, that makes sense. And if I may be so bold to ask, why haven't you invited the offending bloggers to a lovely session of taint-snorting?

  8. Ken  •  May 31, 2012 @1:19 pm

    You don't break out the good china for a pizza party.

  9. Matthew Cline  •  May 31, 2012 @1:35 pm

    It's David Icke who's about the lizard people, not Alex Jones.

  10. darius404  •  May 31, 2012 @2:00 pm

    Matthew, you should know that this is exactly what Alex Jones WANTS you to think. It serves the purpose of putting the lizard people off his trail.

  11. AlphaCentauri  •  May 31, 2012 @3:08 pm

    I notice that when InfoWars posts are based on articles from professional news organizations, they just quote a paragraph and then end with a link to "Read the Full Article."

    I suspect that instead of sending a threat of a DMCA takedown, those organizations sent Kurt and Alex an invoice for the annual subscription to their news service that is required to have the right to republish their articles with attribution.

  12. TPRJones  •  May 31, 2012 @4:42 pm

    You may want to consider altering how your RSS feed works. As it is it feeds the entire article, which means all a scraper has to do to rip you off is republish your feed. If you changed it to the headline and maybe a couple of hundred characters at most of the body text, then scrapers using your RSS feed would only get that part from then on.

    I read through RSS, and sometimes I like something enough to click "share" which reshares the entire thing since that's what was in the feed. Should I stop sharing? I don't want you to think I'm intentionally ripping you off.

  13. Chipsa  •  May 31, 2012 @5:45 pm

    I like the setup of the RSS feed, however. I can avoid actually hitting up the site until I want to comment or read other's comments. Could stick an attribution somewhere in the middle of the RSS feed's article, such that they couldn't automatically snort it without manually pulling it out.

  14. John David Galt  •  May 31, 2012 @7:01 pm

    If you choke a smurf, what color does it turn?

  15. G Thompson  •  May 31, 2012 @8:32 pm

    Day by day, they are the tip of the spear, seeking the irrefutable proof that Lizard People faked the "Moon Landing" to create the illusion of a genuine space program, whilst actually preventing humanity from encountering That Which We Are Not Meant To Know.

    So basically they are stating that Voldemort is a Lizard that is never blue, living on the moon? Awesomeness!

    And Ken, your wife is very correct.. The US Surgeon General (not to be confused with the mayor of New York) states that dealing with any more than three loons and/or batshit crazies per lunar (or is that loony) month is dangerous to your health.

  16. perlhaqr  •  Jun 1, 2012 @7:17 am

    Galt: Eventually, black.

  17. Rliyen  •  Jun 1, 2012 @8:58 am

    Re: Croft.

    I had completely forgotten about that incident, so I doddered over there. And I saw that he's still a-scrapin', but with MOAR HUBRIS, because he has the following.

    He claims no copyright on any articles scraped, but he wants you to do the following if you take them:

    1)You reproduce in entirety 2)Link to xxxxxxx.blogspot.com (not giving his "blog" the time of day) 3)Accredit authorship to J. Croft

    So he's TOTALLY not an author to these articles, except where he claims he is.

  18. Narad  •  Jun 1, 2012 @7:11 pm

    If it's any comfort, Age of Autism recently linked to a 24Medica scrape from Natural News that changed authorship without citation and which in turn wasn't really all that explicit about being only a minor rewrite from… Alex Jones.

  19. Mark  •  Jun 3, 2012 @2:37 pm

    There have been 1 or 2 times where I used an entire article in a posting. They were very short articles, and I did attribute first the blog who pointed me to the article plus a link to the original. Usually by making the article in question a link.

    Is that type of linking/attribution allowable under Fair use?

    Mark

  20. J. Croft  •  Jun 5, 2012 @12:59 pm

    I see you and your fan club got nothing better to do than whine about articles used under fair use-articles thrown up free on the internet.

    You want attribution. So do I but you don't see me reaching for the DMCA boilerplate lawsuit you undoubtedly have stacked like cordwood next to your desk…

    Tell me, how does it feel to be so insecure? How does it feel to be a flaming little punk ass who has nothing better to do than try to screw with people just because you have a microscopic set of genitals and a law degree? What's it like to have a pack of faggy mooks who can't even give a proper insult?

    "MOAR"… nice misspelling.

    Think I'm going to be paying more attention to your blog. Think I'm going to have more fun with your articles-like HERE: http://freedomguide.blogspot.com/2012/06/gwah-gwah-ken-of-poophat-dot-com-whines.html

  21. TPRJones  •  Jun 5, 2012 @1:04 pm

    "articles thrown up free on the internet … reaching for the DMCA boilerplate lawsuit you undoubtedly have stacked like cordwood next to your desk…"

    Okay, two things wrong here. First is that just because you can get to it online doesn't mean it's fair game. For example I can see episodes of TV shows on NBC.com, but that doesn't mean I have the right to then turn around and republish that with my own ads attached. If you think that's true, I urge you to go and do that and see how that works out for you.

    Second, if you think this guy is eager to reach for a DMCA, you clearly don't read the sites you rip off. Fighting shitty uncalled-for DMCA harassment is one of the things they do around here. The difference here is not that now it's him being ripped off, the difference is that what you are doing a) isn't in fact fair use, and b) is fully deserving of a DMCA form.

    I don't think he's likely to actually sue you, but if you keep being an ignorant asshole in his comments like you just did, he in fact might. Just to shut you up.

  22. Ken  •  Jun 5, 2012 @1:07 pm

    Thievery is typical, but frothy pride in thievery is not.

  23. Dan Weber  •  Jun 5, 2012 @2:04 pm

    I think his second post is actually clear because it's satire. Poorly done satire, but still.

  24. Ken  •  Jun 5, 2012 @8:48 pm

    He's referring to us as "Poophat." I'm wondering if I should be making fun of him. He may be in middle school.

  25. Scott Jacobs  •  Jun 5, 2012 @9:00 pm

    I almost want you to sue him just to watch you make him cry in court…

  26. Joe  •  Jun 13, 2012 @7:37 pm

    Wow I completely overlooked this one .

    Interesting website traffic stats.

    Popehat.com = Alexa Traffic Rank:186,664 Traffic Rank in US: 33,938 (approx. reach 25 million)

    J. Croft’s freedomguide.blogspot.com = Alexa Traffic Rank:2,835,093 Traffic Rank in US: 691,618 (reach approx.. 400,000)

    So essentially J. Croft’s blogsite rates only slightly more interesting than watching grass grow. The reality is J. Croft is just a jealous whiney ass who is just angry that he is not as successful on his blog as Ken so he feels if he re-posts Ken’s content he will (1) magically increase traffic to his silly little conspiracy site – hasn’t happened – the 30 day view trend for his site is actually DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY , (2) hurt Ken’s feelings by insulting him – not likely or (2) make himself look all super smart and important – so VERY not likely.