Navigate/Search

Petard. Own. Hoist.

(Updated below)

Caught this tidbit from the WordPress news headlines – how to defeat sploggers, blackhat SEOs, and other kinds of content thieves by feeding them their own special RSS feed. If they’re going to use RSS to steal content, feed ’em crap, like, oh, their own WHOIS data or George Carlin’s words you can’t say on television (or whatever).

Good stuff. The code in the article will only work with WordPress, but in theory the concept could be (easily?) extended to other platforms. Also, it won’t work if your feed is being picked up by a service like FeedBurner, so YMMV. Still, any little thing to put some sand in their lube, eh?

19 Jul 06 6:58A PDT Update: Jonathan Bailey, the author of the linked piece, stopped by last night and pointed out that there is code in the article that utilizes the .htaccess file, which would work regardless of your blogging/forum/image gallery/other content-related software. He also pointed out that none of these solutions will work on the free ‘turnkey’ sites such as WordPress.com, Blogspot.com, or any other fully-hosted services that keep the blogs inside pretty secure sandboxes.

4 Responses to “Petard. Own. Hoist.”

  1. Jonathan Bailey Says:

    Just a heads up, I do have code in the article to manipulate a .htaccess file. That should work on any blogging platform so long as the owner has the ability to edit the file. That usually requires a paid hosting account.

    Once again though, that won’t help with anyone using Feedburner. But then again, it’s much harder to discover scraping without Feedburner. It’s kind of a choice between being blind and protected or vulnerable but aware.

    Thank you very much for the link, I’m glad that you enjoyed the article!

  2. Jonathan Bailey Says:

    Just a heads up, I do have code in the article to manipulate a .htaccess file. That should work on any blogging platform so long as the owner has the ability to edit the file. That usually requires a paid hosting account.

    Once again though, that won't help with anyone using Feedburner. But then again, it's much harder to discover scraping without Feedburner. It's kind of a choice between being blind and protected or vulnerable but aware.

    Thank you very much for the link, I'm glad that you enjoyed the article!

  3. protected static Says:

    Yeah, I saw the .htaccess stuff – chalk it up to late-night writing on my part.

    In recent months, I’ve had some content stolen by a couple of so-called SEOs. Filing a DCMA complaint made me feel… icky, but it was having my work used to boost a splog that really pissed me off.

    One ISP yanked the page with my stuff (but left the rest of the splog up), one ISP ignored me entirely, and one sent me back a “you didn’t jump through all our hoops to make a DMCA complaint” form letter… The other ISPs were in India and Russia, so I didn’t even bother with a complaint.

    The cloaking idea looks like a perfect way to just sidestep the whole DMCA can of worms.

  4. protected static Says:

    Yeah, I saw the .htaccess stuff – chalk it up to late-night writing on my part.

    In recent months, I've had some content stolen by a couple of so-called SEOs. Filing a DCMA complaint made me feel… icky, but it was having my work used to boost a splog that really pissed me off.

    One ISP yanked the page with my stuff (but left the rest of the splog up), one ISP ignored me entirely, and one sent me back a "you didn't jump through all our hoops to make a DMCA complaint" form letter… The other ISPs were in India and Russia, so I didn't even bother with a complaint.

    The cloaking idea looks like a perfect way to just sidestep the whole DMCA can of worms.

Leave a Reply