Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 18, 2019

Bloglovin’ stealing my content, and why RSS will only have summaries only from now onwards…

I’ve just discovered that Bloglovin’ has been copying my entire posts for their so-called Reader – which is an unambiguous breach of my copyright.

I don’t usually mind people reblogging my posts, as long as they’re not doing it solely to draw people to their sites, and as long as they comply with the ASA (Australian Society of Authors) rule about 10% (see the yada-yada in the RH sidebar, down at the bottom.)
But I object very strongly to third parties copying my reviews in total. Presumably, they are doing this to make money, out of my content.

I’m not the only one: Ashley at Nose Graze doesn’t like it either, and I’m adopting her solution which is to change the settings on my blog so that RSS feeds only access a summary, not the entire post.

That might inconvenience some readers, I’m sorry about that.


Responses

  1. That’s pretty low of them!

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    • I don’t know how they get away with doing things like this, but Google Books copying everyone’s books without permission was just the start of it, I suppose.

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  2. I’m astonished and very sorry you’ve experienced such unprincipled cheating. Ros

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    • They’re probably doing it to lots of people and we just don’t realise it!

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  3. Annoying- and presumably illegal

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheeky.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lizzie and Booker talk on it too, And Winston.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And Heavenali

    Liked by 1 person

    • They probably have lots of us.

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  7. I had never thought about this issue before but I see how this could be a problem especially if you wave to have traffic visit your page. I use Bloglovin’ for all my blog visiting but I always click on the link to the blog itself. I may adapt your solution for my own blog.

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    • I think it would be a problem for sites that are monetised. I only have a low level affiliation with Fishpond and it doesn’t matter to me if people buy their books from them or not. But publishers send me books because (I assume) they know the blog is widely read, and from time to time I’ve been asked about my stats. If people don’t visit the blog, then my stats will drop, no doubt about that. But though that could become a problem, it’s mainly the principle of the thing.
      But for people carrying ads or monetising their blog in some other way, it could actually cost them money if people don’t visit the blog.

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  8. I have never been to Bloglovin’, and never will now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s just an RSS reader… as per WordPress Reader, Feedly, NetVibes etc. I’ve been on it for years. Don’t have a problem with it and seem to get quite a bit of traffic from them.

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    • If you read the link to Ashley’s post, you will see that Bloglovin started out as an RSS reader, and it worked as all the others do, just posting a short summary and a link to the original. But that’s not what it does now. According to the article, it harvests the entire post, and (until it was ‘fixed’) it had its own URL not yours and was claiming to be the original source of the content and Google directed searches to their URL not the blog’s – and presumably Bloglovin’ got Google rankings not the blog owner. If people commented or shared from their site, they were sharing Bloglovin’s version, not yours. It has become a blog platform, not a reader, and you can’t opt out of it. Try finding anywhere on the site to contact them, or find out where they are – good luck!

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  10. How interesting. You should be both annoyed and flattered they think your material is so good. I ramble too much in my posts to be worthwhile to others . We get photos stolen from time to time. It’s just not on.

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    • AH yes, I bet you do too… I know from when I was teaching that the kids routinely stole photos off the web. I used to teach a unit about cyber safety and internet copyright to Year 5 & 6, and they were quite open about it (stealing music and videos too). The materials I used included a clip of girl talking about how she felt about having her stuff stolen, but it didn’t have any impact on the kids’ behaviour that I could see. They think that anything online is theirs for the taking.

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      • Generation X and later believe in sharing rather than ownership so their attitude to copyright and proprietary info is rather different.

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        • Sharing is a nice idea. It’s mutual generosity. But the participants decide whether to share or not. If they prefer to retain ownership of what they have created (perhaps because it’s how they make their living), taking it without permission is stealing.

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          • Spot on – one of the challenges for companies and institutions is that the generation doesn’t understand when something cannot be shared – it could be financial information, info about new products, or about other employees. Makes governance very difficult….

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            • They don’t understand the simple economics of it either. After two CDs produced commercially, The Spouse produced his own CD featuring his jazz orchestra, The Australian Cotton Club Orchestra, and it was napstered. $10,000 down the drain. Would he ever put his own money into making another CD? of course not. It’s a shame because the CCO made great music. I myself stopped creating resources for teachers of Indonesian when I discovered that not only were teachers photocopying them, they were blatantly sharing their photocopies with other teachers as well. Would I spend more of my money publishing Book 4, even though I knew teachers were desperate for more resources? I’m not that silly.
              I think the people who steal intellectual copyright think they’re stealing from big, faceless corporations (as if somehow that makes it ok). But with creative products, often they’re not, they’re stealing from individuals who’ve invested their own money in creating the product. Many of us just give up because it’s not worth our time and effort with no recompense.

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  11. Oh my, I am very shocked to read this. Absolutely shameless! I can imagine how angry and disappointed you must feel.

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    • It’s just like when I discovered that slabs of my book Indonesia had been used in a school text book without my knowledge or permission. IMO it’s morally wrong to steal other people’s work, it’s the same as stealing their property.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am so very sorry to hear that this has happened to you! Such behaviour depresses me no end! I had a similar thing happen to me with my book and I’ve never quite recovered from the shock.

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    • What happened, Annette?

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      • Don’t want to give details in public, Lisa.

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        • Fair enough, of course. I shouldn’t have asked, apologies:)

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  13. I’m sad this has happened to you Lisa but sadly many people have no qualms about stealing other people’s work and I’m amazed you discovered it because I wouldn’t know whether people copy my photos etc.
    I often see that people have clicked on a photo and as we have discussed before when a particular post has a high traffic number, I assume it may be school kids with an assignment on a particular poetic form etc. Unfortunately, too many people consider what’s published on the Internet is free to copy whether a site is selling stuff or not. Even so-called respected news sites are cutting and pasting stories from all over the world – pathetic really.

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    • You’re dead right, it is pathetic.
      But I’m a bit more forgiving when it’s school kids. I have a number of very popular posts which are all set texts, and I feel sorry for the kids in a way because all their teachers must recognise the plagiarism by now because it’s been going on so long!
      But commercial operators making money out of my content, that’s a step too far…

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  14. When did the change from being a reader feed to a blog platform happen? I used to use Bloglovin as my reader but got hugely irritated that I couldn’t click on a link and go to the actual post on the website so I could then use the url to add into Twitter. This was about two years ago. I stopped using them then,

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    • I don’t know, Karen. By the sound of what you say, at least two years ago…

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  15. This happened to me for over a year, then I locked my blog to private, and discovered one person had set up a link, through the first likes on my page, and exported everything I wrote to bloglovin, where she is listed as “number one (reblogging to 1100 readers) fan. I got help from bloglovin to block her and take down the site.

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    • Well, that’s interesting… what an appalling way for her to behave. I’m pleased to see that Bloglovin’ helped with a solution, I’ve got a bad impression of them because they don’t have any contact details on their site (always a bad sign, it indicates a lack of accountability IMO) but it sounds as if on this occasion they did the right thing:)

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      • I had to bug them enough that they Had to pay attention. (Nothing evil, just persistance.)

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        • *chuckle*
          #Musing It might be good to know how to do evil to an anonymous corporate with no physical presence in the world, other than the piles of money they’re making out of other people’s work…

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  16. Such shabby behaviour brings out the Disgusted-of-Tunbridge-Wells in me. It’s not sharing; it’s theft of intellectual property. We have laws against it, yet victims seem to have no recourse. I’m sorry that it’s happened to you, Lisa, and can imagine only too well how you feel.

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    • Ah, that’s a reminder! What was the name of that woman who was our very own version of Disgusted? Constance Somebody… she lived down in Gippsland, and she was like a barometer of the times.
      My goodness, I wonder what she would have thought of Twitter…

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  17. RSS reading is a way of keeping up with many sites because otherwise you would have to visit them all, and that could take all day. There was a time when everything – including Facebook and Twitter – had RSS feeds. It’s not about stealing content as much as it is getting everything coming to you, instead of the other way around. I’ve always been for it.

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    • That being said, Bloglivin’ seems to have crossed the line. It’s the nature if technology, though, and I do know there are many RSS apps that get full content from partial feeds. You could turn your feeds off, but then somebody else may “scrape” you.

      It’ll always be something I suppose :)

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      • True, the days when there was a sort of common decency about not stealing other people’s ideas seems to have vanished. But I checked BL the other day, and (presumably because I changed my settings) now they are only taking a partial feed.
        They’ve certainly never responded to my complaint, which considering their product is making money out of my content – and other content that they’re taking without paying for it – is rather rude…

        Liked by 1 person


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