Google AdSense + Google 'fair-use' = bloggers ripped-off

When money is at stake, imitation is generally the most insincere form of flattery.Google AdSense is fueling massive rip-offs of bloggers’ content, to the financial benefit of Google and at the financial expense of bloggers.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

When money is at stake, imitation is generally the most insincere form of flattery.

Google AdSense is fueling massive rip-offs of bloggers’ content, to the financial benefit of Google and at the financial expense of bloggers. Google is well aware that its multi-billion dollar AdSense business is supported by deliberate content usurpation schemes with bloggers’ original content often the target.


The Google AdSense FAQ, itself, underscores the easy appeal of AdSense revenues to copyright infringers:

What is copyright infringement?

If you have a question about whether what you are doing is copyright infringement, you should consult with a lawyer. Generally, copyright infringement involves making a copy of someone else's work without their permission. For more information on this Act, please refer to the U.S. Copyright Office

What is your policy on copyright infringement?

It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). For AdSense publishers, if we receive a notice or otherwise have reason to believe that your site is infringing, we may terminate your participation in the program.

How do I report a copyright infringement by an AdSense publisher?

If you believe that another site is illegally copying the contents of your site, you may send a (DMCA) notice of alleged infringement.

Here is a screenshot of an entire post of mine taken and published at Google's Blogger yesterday and monetized to some third party's benefit:


Here is a screenshot of a "fair-use" snippet of the same post taken and published at a phony blog and monetized to some third party's benefit, and to Google's benefit, by Google AdSense.


Google’s Matt Cutts points to Danny Sullivan’s “25 Things I Hate About Google” (2006 edition) as required reading. Below are items 15-17:

15. Put the brakes on self-serve AdSense. We knew AdSense was on its way to replacing Amazon's affiliate program for generating crap content when the first "earn millions on AdSense" guides came out. A search for adsense on Google even gives me an ad for someone selling over 100 "adsense ready" content sites that people can buy. Is this what you want to fund? An economy where everyone and their brother and sister shoves up the same content, which you then index, which is essentially the same thing? I know the self-serve program has helped you dominate the contextual space. But you fuel so much junk! Can't you be more selective? Give more money to the people who are really working to produce information rather than just ad revenues.


16. Stop giving away Blogger for free. It's just full of junk. Junk, junk, junk. If you let anyone have it with no barriers, surprise, some are going to take it and do bad things with it. Problems With Splogs & Time-Based Searching covers how you've reinvented free home page spam that sucked in the 90s. Why are you allowing it again now? Charge people even a token amount ($1 even), and that will be a big barrier. Who's going to ding you for charging a $1 start-up fee that you can levy through Google Payments? If you must give away for free, find a better, more trusted mechanism to partner with schools or others. Or make all Blogger blogs banned from being spidered for the first 30 days and open them up after that upon review. If that's not perfect, then figure something else out. But do something.


17. Act fast on copyright infringement at Blogger. The worst thing about Google Blog Search is that it makes it even easier for me to see who is stealing my content. And many of them are doing it via Blogger. If I have time later, I'll document the Byzantine process it takes to inform you of copyright infringement. Then after a week, you eventually ask for a lengthy DMCA request to be filled out. I don't have time to do one of these every five minutes that you allow someone to infringe my content without barrier on your service. Have some humanity. Use some common sense. Have someone actually look at what your told. In about 30 seconds, you can generally tell the crap site reported for stealing is indeed a crap site you should remove. Shut them down under a terms of service violation rather than running for cover and helping no one on the DMCA route.


ALSO SEE: "Google speak on copyright: content owners beware"
"YouTube, Google: multi-billion dollar "fair-use" risky bets"
"Google: Web friend or Web foe"

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