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FairShare content usage

Give FairShare your RSS feed and they'll go looking for content theft. If they find any, they package the info about the offending websites into an RSS feed that tells you the percentage of your text that they copied, the number of words, whether or not they included a link back to you and (most important, as we'll see in a moment) whether or not they are running ads using your content.

The ad usage is what FairShare is ultimately after: they want to convince ad networks like Google et al. to pay some percentage of earnings back to the owner of the content.

No doubt the scraper sites who plague all of us don't like that idea, but those of us whose content gets scraped would love to see that happen. It's probably unlikely, but there's no harm in trying and there's certainly no harm in being aware of who is stealing your pages. Of course knowing it's yours and proving that you are the original author are two different things, but if this idea ever got any traction I'm sure that could be worked out.

In the meantime, I'm finding the usual assortment of fair use, questionable use, and outright thievery. Note that because this works from an RSS feed, nothing stops you (well, nothing stops me, anyway) from constructing another "feed" of older, high popularity pages that you want FairShare to examine. A lot of the stuff that people copy from me is older posts - perhaps the patina of age makes them more attractive or (more likely) perhaps the content thieves feel that older posts are less likely to be noticed. Those older posts also have the advantage of being easy to research - you can see what keywords cause them to get good position, you can see how fresh Google's cache is (that's yet another indication of popularity). The smarter thieves cherry pick rather than drive off with truckloads.

So, it's a good idea to sign up for this. You may find that nobody is stealing anything - that would be a little depressing, wouldn't it? But even if that's true now, it doesn't mean that you will remain unsullied. Let FairShare do its thing and maybe you'll catch someone in the act.

See also Copyright and plagiarism

Tony Lawrence, FairShare 2009-05-21 Rating: 4.0.

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© Anthony Lawrence

Thu May 21 23:25:49 2009: 6390   MartinMalden

Hi Tony,

Thanks for pointing this out - what an excellent service..! I really hope it does take off - although no doubt the nefariously minded will find other ways to do their stealing.



Sun May 24 23:25:16 2009: 6400   JonathanBailey

I agree about FairShare. I've worked with Attributor, the company behind it, in the past and was very excited when they first told me about the FairShare project. It's a huge step forward for bloggers that want to track their content. I don't find that much with my feed (not too many stupid enough to scrape a copyright blog) but, like you, I find a mix of reuse.

As far as the consortium goes, I'm like you, I'm not optimistic it will work, but hopeful and want to support it. The idea seems fair and apparently Google is doing something similar with the NYT already.

Could be an interesting couple of years...;

Sun Jun 23 19:36:49 2013: 12147   TonyLawrence


The url still exists but it doesn't look like they are involved with plagiarism any longer.

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