Wednesday, September 09, 2009

WTF! Cease & Desist or Else ...

Friends of mine have been telling me that Pharma Marketing Blog posts are being reproduced on other sites without my permission. Worse still, the content is being modified in such a way as to hide the original source, which is me, John Mack.

One such site is here:

What's my strategy for dealing with this? Well, I left this comment on the above site (edited for daytime viewing):
What the f**k is my content doing on your site without permission? Not only are you ripping me off, but you are changing the content to hide its source. Cease and desist or I'll have my lawyers cut off your balls!

John Mack
Virsci Corporation
Editor: Pharma Marketing Blog
There! That should do it!

What?! You don't think that is enough?

Ripping off content is practiced by many of us on the Internet. Come on, admit it. But most of us include a link back to the source at least and do not modify the content. I freely distribute my content via RSS and invite you to pick up my RSS feed and post it to your site. But please do not modify it and have the decency to link back to the original source.

Even sleazy sites like the one above provide some benefit to me when it rips off my content. The links within my posts to other posts I have made bring new readers back here to the original source. I can't complain about that.

So, thank you, all you content crooks out there! But, you will be hearing from my attorney!


  1. Ah John, imitation is the best form of flattery you know.
    It's rude not to give credit where it's due, and even worse to take the credit for somebody else's content... but I think the true opinion leaders in this field are evident for all to see.
    Appreciating your regular and *original* content on pharma marketing!

  2. John,

    I faced a similar problem. These sites harvest the RSS feed. Cease-and-desist got me nowhere.

    I solved the problem by limiting the content of my RSS feed and requiring readers to visit my site for the full post. (In Feedburner, go to Optimize/Summary Burner for these settings.) I set the maximum length to 500 characters and added a teaser asking people click through to the site.

    Con: This will make it slightly harder to people to read your posts using RSS.

    Pro: It will effectively stop people stealing your content and also boost traffic on your site.


  3. Anonymous12:43 PM

    The site is obviously run by either a non-English speaker or a moron. It's unintelligible and reads really badly. Who would visit a second time anyway?

  4. Ah, then my "ballsy" comment will fly right over their heads!

  5. Yeah, they're just scraping your content automatically.

    You can tell they're doing that, because they've reproduced this post in its entirety...

  6. Yes, I hoped that would happen. However, they also seem to replace certain words to make it almost unreadable. What I need to do is include important stuff in graphics to get around that.


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