Yesterday, I received a GigaAlert that a British ham’s website contained a reference to “KB6NU.” I’m always curious about these links and clicked over to the fellow’s website.
What I found dismayed me a little. He not only had a link to my website, but had completely taken the text from one of my posts and re-posted it on his website. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad if it was just some ham who thought my post was interesting and wanted to share it with others. This guy, however, was trying to make money with his website, and had both advertising and an online store. Basically, he was stealing my content to attract hams to his website so that he could then sell them stuff.
I emailed him, asking him to remove my content. In reply, I got the following:
Firstly, any content that appears on my site is NOT “taken” from your site, i have feeds taken from QRZ.COM amongst others that get posted automatically to my site if they contain certain keywords. I’d never even heard of you or your blog until i received your email.
As iv’e never taken or copied anything directly off your site, i’d have to delete the feeds i have set up from other sites, which i’m NOT prepared to do. I notice that one or two of said posts actually promote a book youv’e written, so you in effect are getting FREE publicity ANYWAY !
I SUGGEST YOU STOP BEING SUCH A GROUCH and get over yourself. Your email hardly promotes the “spirit of amateur radio”. By the way if google has you at #1, it’s because your content and links appear on MANY MANY sites.
In order to delete these above mentioned feeds, many many other posts would be omitted and/or deleted from the automated feed system i have set up on my site, so as previously stated, i am NOT prepared to delete my feeds.
So, not only was he stealing my content, he was doing it automatically. And, I’m not the only one he’s stealing content from. He’s stealing content from many of the more popular amateur radio bloggers.
My reply to him was:
No matter how you’re getting my content, you’re still stealing it, and you’re stealing it from all the other bloggers as well. I would suggest that stealing is also not “in the spirit of amateur radio.” Putting links on your site is one thing, but reposting entire posts is copyright infringement. It’s as simple as that.
One of the things that bugs me the most is that he somehow feels that he’s not responsible because it’s the software on his site that is copying my content. I know that web hosting companies take a dim view of copyright infringement, and I’m considering contacting them about this.
I haven’t yet gotten a reply to this message, but I thought I’d throw it open to you. Am I being unreasonable here?