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Plagarism - who is copying my pages?

\"Page I came across a little banner like this one when I was doing some gentle browsing this morning, and (as I'm interested in this whole copying of content / plagiarism business!) followed the link. Turns out to be a rather nice little engine which you can give one of your own URLs and have return a page of links where text that is - err - remarkably similar - may be found. The site is at www.copyscape.com

Giving it "a whirl", I'm surprised (and slightly flattered and slightly scared) to have found quite a few copies of things out there. The first page I tried - my article on Python threads - came on on four other sites, including one from a cheeky chappy who had posted it as if it was his own, but he was asking for forum help as it wouldn't work for him. He had only gone and named it after a standard Python module - which is actually an easy enough mistake to make and a hard one to spot, but he's not got too much sympathy from me. I wrote as follows:

xXxxxxx,

I'm flattered ... the code you've posted here comes straight off my own website ... now why didn't you ask me when it wouldn't work for you?

You'll find a full page describing the application [here] and you'll note that I've called the two examples of that page alive and kicking so that they don't get confused with standard modules.

The second page I tried - my explanation of MySQL joins and left joins also came up on four other pages ... including some blog articles from people who really should know better. I'm NOT going to give them the oxygen of publicity by giving you links here, and I feel slightly cheated that some of them are letting the reader assume that they're the original author.

I tried a third page - my one on linking three or more tables and once again a screen full of possible copies. Some of the copies are of the complete article, others just of snippets of the code ... but never the less, rather naughty. To one person, I penned the following:

Sxxxxx, that three way join looks very familiar to me - in fact identical to the one that I wrote at http://www.wellho.net/solutions/mysql-left-joins-to-link-three-or-more-tables.html .

They say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", so thank you for using it. And I'm happy for you to keep it there if you'll just add a link back to my site. Many Thanks.

I tried the engine out on another page - something rather more obscure called Clean my plate but keep my wine bottle, but I got an message that told me The maximum of 5 searches per month has been reached for this site. For more searches, please sign up for a Premium account. That's fair enough, I guess - I had been wondering how their financial model worked. Should I wish to, I do have a work-around which I don't think they would want me to publish, but I have been able to re-assure myself that the copying doesn't go right down my site!





As a footnote, pages on the http://www.wellho.net site are protected by the copyright statement that's here. There's a plain English precise of it there too, which says:

This means that if you like one of our pictures or descriptions, you may NOT simply take a copy of it and place it on your web site, nor may you add anything to your web page which brings up one of our pictures within your page, and makes it look like your own work. To take our material in such a way without asking us is theft.

However we do like our pictures to be widely seen and we encourage you to ask if you can use them - we'll usually say "yes" provided that you provide a credit / link. See www.wellho.info if you would like more details.
(written 2009-01-02, updated 2011-02-18)

 
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Telling Google which country your business trades in
Some other Articles
Moving a directory on your web site
Required Request
Pettifog and forum boards away from public view
Telling Google which country your business trades in
Plagarism - who is copying my pages?
Search Engines. Getting the right pages seen.
Review of 2008
LinkedIn - Thrice Asked, and joined.
Background to the TransWilts Train Fiasco
How much does a train service actually cost
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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