I gave up one of my domains a few months ago, the one relating to David Gemmell. I won’t repeat the domain here for reasons which will be obvious in a moment. Last night, I wondered wistfully if anyone had picked the domain up. A quick whois showed it had, and so I visited it in my browser to see what they were doing with it, hopeful it was being used to bring David’s fans together.
Sadly, rather than that, someone had basically taken my David Gemmell eulogy, and a brief bio, combined them as the only post on a WordPress install and stuck adverts between each of the paragraphs.
Maybe if it had been something less personal I would have simply ignored it, but that eulogy was very personal to me, despite me posting it to the web. It was still mine. There was no attribution on the post on the site in question, and although my eulogy finished with “I will miss you ….” the way it had been re-posted just to generate advertising revenue made it meaningless.
The whois entry didn’t give a contact e-mail address, so I tracked down the web host (same company as the domain registrar) and sent a polite e-mail to their support department, showing the original content on my blog, explaining that it was my copyright, and asking if they could please speak to the owner of the site.
In their defence, they replied in a few hours saying they would contact the owner, and this morning when I rechecked my content had gone. To be replaced by a generic Eco Advice post, interspersed with adverts. That same content is all over the web, including one site lovingly titled “ArticleSnatch”.
I sort of feel like writing back to the web host and saying the owner is doing it again, but this time they’re using generic content designed to convince search engines to send traffic their way, but frankly, I can’t be bothered. Now they’re not stealing my personal content, I can’t work up the enthusiasm to say much, and I guess the text they have used doesn’t belong to anyone specific.
Funny old world the web these days. A few years ago we were told you couldn’t run a site off ad revenue alone, and now some ‘enterprising’ individuals basically make a living delivering nothing of value with advertising thrown in.