Blogging and Copyright

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A number of people have raised concerns lately about Tygpress.com posting bloggers’ copyright content without permission.

Here’s a bit of detail from Tygpress.com.cutestat.com:

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This site is based in India.  They registered their domain name through GoDaddy, but the site itself isn’t on GoDaddy’s servers.  DigitalOcean is the Domain Name Server (DNS), which means their directory connects the IP address with their domain name, but the site itself is still based in India.

Copyright law varies from country to country, but generally any content that you publish is under your copyright automatically.  You can further assert this with a copyright notice, or you can use a Creative Commons License type that delineates the type of use that you allow.

Pursuing copyright infringement is based on the laws in the country where you and your content are based, not where whoever is taking your content is based.  The U.S. has some of the strongest legislation with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).  It allows for sites to be taken down because of copyright infringement.

However, the U.S. can’t directly enforce what happens in other countries, so they rely on other countries to cooperate.  That’s where things can get dicey.

Web scrapers wander around the web and “scrape” up content.  A positive incarnation of this is search engine crawlers.  A not-so-good version is sites like Tygpress.

I first came across this when I discovered a Sri Lankan site was scraping content off a Medium.com publication I had an article in.  Presumably they were trying to bulk up their sites with content to increase the chance of someone coming along and clicking on an advertiser link.

Because these sites are scraping published content off your website, just like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines do, WordPress can’t stop it, because the content is already live for the public to access.  And it’s not actual people doing the scraping; it’s automated bots.

So what about DMCA claims?  Well, with a site based in India, it comes down to whether India is going to force hosting providers to take down sites that are scraping copyrighted content.  My guess is that the chances of that happening are slim to nil.

Does this suck?  Absolutely.  Is it going to stop?  Highly unlikely.

In the end, it comes down to making the choice that’s right for you.  You can restrict access to your blog, but that ends up making things more difficult for your readers.  You can file a DMCA complaint, but evaluate for yourself whether that’s going to have an effect on a site in India.  Only you know what’s the best fit for your blog.

Ah, the joys of the internet.

 

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47 thoughts on “Blogging and Copyright

  1. Brendan Birth says:

    Thanks for making me aware! I just noticed that my Mystery Blogger Award post was published on Tygpress. And that other posts of mine are there too. I will really need to think about what to do. I will probably read the posts of other well-respected bloggers (you being one of them, of course) before figuring out next steps.

      • Brendan Birth says:

        Thinking about things more, it’s not a quick and easy fix, but ultimately, it won’t harm me much even if there is no fix. I stand to lose $0 from this (I don’t earn income off of blogging). It’s still extremely problematic though. I’m surprised that WordPress (at least in my comments) is not actively pursuing this though, because it’s WordPress blogs that are being victimized here.

  2. LittleFears says:

    Good post, Ashley. It does suck, but like many artists, writers and photographers have had to accept before, once it’s on the internet, it’s probably going to get copied. Folks can’t let this stuff stop them.

  3. Laura Benjamin says:

    Saw this on Little Fears and had to stop by to thank you! There is no level too low for some people. I suppose we ought to be flattered, in a way, that our content is good enough to steal. Whoopee.

  4. Shelley says:

    I linked here thanks to Little Fears. Thank you for sharing this Ashley! I noticed this past month that my old Blogger blog had been visited by India. Sigh…

  5. yashayupanchakarma says:

    Verey nice topic my content is also publiushed by tygpress.com by mentioning my name. I had not taken that seriously as my details were there. But in my buizy sheduled did not took follow up of that. But one should take the permission that is truly correct.
    You have done detail investigation of the case & thanks for educating us.
    Thanks & Regards
    Dr. Mangesh Pandurang Desai

  6. Blinks Africa says:

    You may assume the site obscure, but really people do read them. I say this from personal observation (of the music niche in Nigeria and indeed Africa as a whole). In my experience, sometimes the plagiarists rank higher than original posters, on Google. And this I consider the ultimate tragedy. Maddening.

  7. Brendan Birth says:

    I’m probably speaking for a lot of bloggers when saying this, but I am incredibly thankful for what you did. Your post clearly caught fire, and I can’t help but think that your post played a major role in shutting them down, whether it’s temporary or permanent. (In case you haven’t noticed, they’re shut down.)

  8. jomz says:

    I visited the site, and found a big 404 in there with this written in:

    “Tygpress.com is temporarily out of service due to technical issues. will be back soon…
    Tygpress.com was created with an intention to create a blog search site , but due to some techical issues, full contents of respective sites were being displayed instead of just excerpts as intended. We thank the complainants for bringing this issue to our notice and We are extremely sorry to the content owners.”

  9. RDoug says:

    Nice write up. I saw a link to this over at littlefears.co.uk/2019/08/03/the-mass-duplication-of-wordpress-blogs/

    Just went to tygpress and saw this notice posted:


    Tygpress.com is temporarily out of service due to technical issues. will be back soon…
    Tygpress.com was created with an intention to create a blog search site , but due to some techical issues, full contents of respective sites were being displayed instead of just excerpts as intended. We thank the complainants for bringing this issue to our notice and We are extremely sorry to the content owners.”

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