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Blogshares or Bogshares?

Posted by Rick · September 26th, 2004 · No Comments

Someone sent me some links, notifying me of the possibility that other websites were using my blog content contrary to both my licensing and my interests.

My license here is a Creative Commons license that, among other things, does not allow for commercial use of my content. (Commercial licensing would have to be negotiated with me outside the Creative Commons license. Note that not all areas of my website are under the somewhat lenient Creative Commons license and instead remain protected by “normal” U.S. copyright law. Because of the abuse, I have removed my Creative Commons license so that all doubt is removed about how my content may be used; going forward, new material is only subject to U.S. copyright law.)

One such website is literally stealing my entire blog. They have a page up that contains all the content of Unspun™, but strips out all my links that are intended to benefit me and replaces them with their own advertising scheme. Thus, my blog is used by them to bring them revenue.

Call me silly (they certainly are, if they think my blog is a revenue-generator!), but if my blog is capable of generating any revenue then it seems that I, the creator of the content, the one who does all the work, should be able to benefit from that. Instead, some of the potential has been re-directed to them; and in essence, since people can go there to read the exact same stuff they can read here (because, as I said, it’s simply a wholesale theft of my content), they use my work to compete against me!

I’ve written them a “cease and desist” letter and they, so far, appear to be cooperating in that they’ve agreed to remove the content (although they also so far claim to be unable to find where and how they’re using my content, which, until they take it down in compliance with my request, may be found here). We’ll see. If not, well, the nice thing about being a law student is you learn how to deal with such folk.

Another link submitted was from something called Blogshares. I had heard something about this site before. It’s apparently some kind of game site. So far, it does not appear to me that they’re actually infringing my rights, although they are misrepresenting my site.

Near as I can tell, it’s fairly poorly-maintained, with many broken links and pages that indicate it’s still under construction or undergoing revision or, well, just broken. Even their Terms of Usage page has problems (last I heard, “redacted” does not mean “deleted because we don’t want you to read it or because we haven’t figured out what we want it to say here”; it means “edited” or “revised,” as when you modify something and then re-publish it [ “redact.” Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (26 Sep. 2004)]).

On top of that, they’ve got the name of my blog incorrect in their listing and have failed to respond to my queries about it.

So, today, I joined the Blogshares website, in an attempt to poke around — partly, I’ll be collecting information for potential legal action (I say this for those who may come here from Blogshares, although they’ve otherwise failed to respond to queries). Partly, I’ll be trying to figure out what they’re all about. Thus, you’ll see a “blogshares” logo on the lower left-hand side of my main page. It’s part of an attempt under their “rules” to “claim” my blog, in hopes that it will further finding out what they’re about.

If, of course, they’re on the up-and-up and there are no legal issues then, well, I might actually get interested in their game. For now, I’m trying to figure out why something so obviously broken should be attended to in the first place.

If anyone knows anything about Blogshares and why I should, or should not, care about them, please feel free to comment here.

Meanwhile, thanks to the reader who pointed out the copyright- and license-infringing activity.

Update: Making this entry had some impact on Blogshares. I’m guessing that’s because of the pings making a new entry generates to various websites, like weblogs.com. After making this entry, I returned to Blogshares and it showed me as the owner of my blog (isn’t that amazing? I actually own my own blog!). This allowed me to correct the name of the blog as listed there. I still don’t know what this is all about, though.

Categories: Blogs & Blogging


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