Finding Garbled, Illegal Copies of Your Articles Online? You’re Not Alone!

Print Friendly

AN EMAIL I RECEIVED THIS WEEK:

They say any publicity is good publicity. Now, I’m not so sure. An excerpt from The Champagne Taste/Beer Budget Cookbook has appeared in lots of places. Last week, it was sort of published in (an online Kosher “magazine”). That’s strange for a couple of reasons. My book is not about Kosher cooking and the excerpt offers two quite non-Kosher pork tenderloin recipes.

No harm, no foul. That would be fine if that were all there was to it. Something terrible had happened to the excerpt. It was hopelessly garbled. The word and phrase substitutions looked like something that had been poorly translated into another language–presumably Hebrew–and then poorly translated back into English.

I have e-mailed the editor with a copy of the original material he should have presented. I still haven’t heard back from him. No acknowledgement, no apology, no fix to the publication.

What would you do?

Woody

MY RESPONSE:

Hi Woody,

What you’re experiencing is a common scam occurring in increasing numbers online.

You need to report that website to Google (see below). They are likely copying text illegally from other sites, rewriting it (so they can claim it’s not copyright infringement – though it still is), and then posting it online, hoping one person in a zillion might click on their site and then click on one of the Google Adsense ads appearing there.

The exact same thing happened to me but it involved an interview with me that appeared online. They text was rewritten / garbled to the point that it made me appear to be a complete, incoherent moron with no grammar or spelling skills. Whoever rewrote the interview in that way then posted that interview, along with numerous ads, on countless websites. I spent weeks trying to track down the source but was only successful in having the owners of some of the websites remove the interview.

Here’s how the scam works.

Somebody gets a Google Adsense account and puts up a fake website (or two, or a few). They fill it with garbled articles they’ve stolen from elsewhere. They do this to avoid claims of copyright infringement (though it’s still copyright infringement) and to avoid detection from people who search for illegal copies of their original articles online.

The scammer than adds specific keywords to the garbled article to get search engines to pick up their site. If somebody unknowingly ends up at the site filled with garbled garbage, they just *might* click on one of the Google Adsense ads and the website owner might make a few pennies.

The only way to shut these sites down is to report them to Google. It doesn’t happen instantly but Google is good about terminating Adsense accounts that are blatantly abusing the system.

Go here:
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/request.py?contact=violation_report

Click on: Other placement or behavior violation (describe below)

In the description box, type something like this:
This site is pulling content from other websites (they stole some of my content), garbling the text (rewriting it in a way that makes it incoherent), and inserting specific keywords, all in an effort to fraudulently draw in unsuspecting web surfers to click on their Google Adsense ads.

NOTE: If you click to report them for a copyright violation, that will only result in their ISP removing that specific page from that website. Your goal here is to have Google terminate their Adsense account (so they’ll stop doing this to you and others) so use the method above to accomplish that.