Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Reporting an Adsense Violation

I've found a website that I believe is scrapping rss feed content and using generic searches to post a couple lines of content to their site. And seemingly from their source, they have a Google Ad up. This site seems to carry no original content.

Is this in violation of Google's Adsense? If so, where do I find that text to include in my email to Google?

Should I just drop it given that three clicks away is my actual site?

thanks for helping educate me on this process.

This Post was written by McAuliflower from Brownie Points Blog.


Kalyn Denny said...

I find things like this that are scraping my feed quite regularly. This is what I do:

Click on the link that says "Ads by Google".

From the drop down menu, choose "report a violation"

I write: "This is not a legitimate blog, just a site stealing content from other sites to create a place to host ads. They should not be eligible for Google ads."

I don't leave my e-mail address, but you could.

I don't know if this is the best way to deal with this problem, but it's easy and it seems to work because they disappear from Technorati within a few days after I report it.

It's definitely annoying, even when they are providing a link back to your site eventually. Love to hear feedback from others if there's a better way to address it.

Anonymous said...

I recently found a site that was stealing my content including photos... I sent mail to Google to report the violation.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be that easy. In the original mail, I sent the link to the blog, the link to my content, etc. But, I got mail back from Google saying that now I have to do more to prove that it is my original content and that I am potentially opening myself up to a law suit by accusing another site of this.

Now, I know it's my, and only my content... so I don't really feel like it's much of a risk. But, I will say I was surprised by the mail from Google.


Anonymous said...

Actually, not to spam the comments, but here is the letter... I thought others might be interested:

Thank you for your note. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the text of which can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office website: and other applicable intellectual property
laws. In this case, this means that if we receive proper notice of
infringement, we will forward that notice to the responsible web site

To file a notice of infringement with us, you must provide a written
communication (by fax or regular mail, not by email) that sets forth the items specified below. Please note that pursuant to that Act, you may be liable to the alleged infringer for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that you own an item when you in fact do not. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether you have the right to request removal from our service, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.

To expedite our ability to process your request, please use the following format (including section numbers):

1. Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed upon. For example, "The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on"

2. Identify the material that you claim is infringing upon the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above. You must identify each page that allegedly contains infringing material by providing its URL.

3. Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).

4. Include the following statement: "I have a good faith belief that use
of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law."

5. Include the following statement: "I swear, under penalty of perjury,
that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed."

6. Sign the paper.

7. Send the written communication to the following address:

blah blah blah...


Andrea said...

I have a similar site scraping my feed, but they show the entire text of the post, not just a preview. I reported them to Google for Adsense violation and included my URL, the URL of one of the articles that had been scraped, and my email address, and I got the exact same letter as Lara. I'm not well-heeled enough to hire a lawyer so I feel like my hands are tied.

Kalyn Denny said...

Andrea, I would try reporting it through the google link like I do and see if it helps. I do it repeatedly sometimes until I don't see that site pop up on Technorati any more.

Also, I wouldn't hesitate to contact the site directly and tell them you will be reporting them to Google. That alone might be enough to get them to leave you alone.

Andrea said...

Thanks Kalyn. I used the link like you mentioned, and I still got the letter. Gonna have to try contacting the website owner directly. I've seen other food bloggers' content on there, so here is the URL in case anyone else wants to check it out.

kitchenmage said...

This sort of reminds me of the Serious Eats thread a while back. I am thinking that maybe we should collectively write up a horrifying piece of legalese and post it at our sites. One that includes things like "if you pirate this content, you agree to amputation of a leg to facilitate the addition of a wooden leg; second offense gets you a hook on your dominant hand; third we permanently attach a dead parrot to your shoulder.

WTF ever happened to Google's whole 'don't be evil' stance that they now have a form letter that, in effect, threatens valid copyright holders? Oh yeah, right, they started making sh*tloads of money from copyright infringement.

Kalyn Denny said...

Well yes, KM, except it is my impression that when I leave those anonymous comments saying that it's not a legitimate web site and that they are stealing content, it seems like the sites close down, which I assume means that google is withdrawing their ads. The distinction (I believe, I'm only guessing at this) is that it's a completely different thing (legally) for google to stop allowing a site to have ads than to prosecute them for copyright infringement. That's what you are asking them to do when you report it to them as a specific copyright violation as opposed to a general "this is not a legitimate web site" type of complaint.

That's why I purposely don't leave my e-mail or say that I am the person they are stealing content from when I leave those comments. I want them to think that people who see their ads on a site are thinking "Gee, why would google allow a site like this to have ads."

It's a subtle difference, but one that appears to work for me, otherwise, why wouldn't I keep seeing those sites linked to me over and over when they scrape the feed each day? Instead, when I report them (sometimes a few times, with slightly different wording) I never see them show up on my links again.

BTW, they have now made it so you have to click through a few options before you get to the place where you type in a direct comment. Next time I do it I'll try to remember to write down the steps so I can report it here.

Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

thanks for the comments - I'm slowly going through all this.

Google's response stinks like someone not wanting to 'look a gift horse in the mouth' (cause after all, they make $ off of scrappers).

Paying close attention to the details of hosting ads and hosting other's content has gotten a bit sticky in my head. :P


Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

Here are the google instructions for a filing notice of infringement with them.

Their page wraps the issue in the context of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The steps outlined here sound more legally binding and shouldn't cause Google to move the burden of proof regarding originality to you/us like they did in their previous reply.