One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

BLOGGING THOUGHTS

YO MOTHERF*&%^$ Stop Republishing My Content

26 Comments 2058 views

There aren’t many things that make me curse but scrappers are one of them. Geesh these people have a lot of balls. They swipe your content, images and display it as their own under other domains.

You can try to contact them but I doubt you’ll get a response. You can try to contact their hosting company, but many don’t give a crap. In my 6 years of blogging I’ve tried it all and my content still gets stolen and republished without my permission on dozens of sites.

I wrote about one technique where I place a link at the bottom of all my posts that link back to my site with a simple message that says…

"If you are not reading this on Roni’s Weigh OR your RSS reader then it has been plagiarized!"

It’s a simple thing to do that at least lets any readers find my real site if they stumble on the content. However, Jim left a comment and pointed me to a fabulous second line of defense that prevents the scrappers from being able to display images from your server.

Here’s a site that’s been swiping my RSS feed for months… (Note: I refuse to link to them)

Yup, that’s me in the hulk hat. That’s my content. My words. My thoughts all STOLEN from my RSS feed and displayed on this jerk’s site as if it was theirs. They never asked. They just took it.

I tried contacted them multiple times and received no response. So I added them to my black list. My black list is a collection of sites that I will not allow to display my images. Instead I use the technique Jim turned me on to and replace all instances of images with this little gem automatically.

That’s right. If any one stumbles across this site they don’t see me in the hulk hat they see this HUGE red flag that the site they are on is bogus.

I’ve done this for a few months and without fail in a few weeks the site notices and removes my content. Call it a subtle hint. ;)

To do the automatic image swap you need to edit your .htaccess file. This isn’t something you can do through wordpress. You have to FTP to the server and edit the file directly. It’s not difficult but I can see it being overwhelming for those that don’t fiddle much. Note: Check with your hosting company, they may have an .htaccess editor in your control panel as well.

Your .htaccess should be in the root of your wordpress installation. Make a copy of it for back up purposes just in case as there is some code in the file WordPress uses to function correctly.

Once you find your .htaccess you can edit it in any simple text editor. Here is the code in mine…

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+.)?fitnesspayoff.com/ [NC]
RewriteRule .*.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://roninoone.com/resources/hotlink.jpg [L]

Basically what this says is if a request comes from fitnesspayoff.com (the site pictured that is stealing my content) then replace any images with this one… http://roninoone.com/resources/hotlink.jpg which happens to look like this…

All you would need to do to use this code is edit the domain information for the site stealing your content and the URL of the image you want to display instead. S the genric is…

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^http://(.+.)?DOMAINTHATISSTEALING.com/ [NC]
RewriteRule .*.(jpe?g|gif|bmp|png)$ http://URLOFIMAGETODISPLAYINSTEAS/IMG.jpg [L]

It’s as easy as that!

Ahhh it pays to know a little code. :)



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 26 comments so far.

    Chris Pugh

    December 20, 2010

    love it! I’ve often wanted to do this to content scrapers but have never had the guts. htaccess is a powerful tool :)

    Sana

    December 20, 2010

    BURN! I love this :)

    Jaimie

    December 20, 2010

    This is awesome!

    Deanna - The Unnatural Mother

    December 20, 2010

    That is FANTASTIC!! Good for you for strapping on some balls and protecting your good name, and work!!

    Rob Scott

    December 20, 2010

    This happens no matter what you do, I’m afraid, but its a good idea to put an advert into the text (at least say “stolen from domainname.com”) so you get something out of the attempted image theft!

    Also, switching RSS to “summary” instead of “full” on WP is a good idea – it at least stops the scraper from grabbing too much info just using wp o matic (that’s a plugin that pulls in to wordpress auto viw RSS).

    But its a great technique to alter the htaccess for image hotlinking – just watch out with Google Image search though- you might get panned by Google as they also hotlink stuff – it is possible to allow certain referring URLs in a whitelist though…

    Dave Grotto, RD

    December 20, 2010

    Simply put, you are my hero!

    roni

    December 20, 2010

    Rob – I ONLY do this to the domains I catch. It’s not a universal swap out so google will not be affected.

    Ruth

    December 20, 2010

    I’ve helped a few people do that…it’s so much fun! :)

    Brittny

    December 20, 2010

    WOW! I bet that is so frustrating, Roni. There’s a thin line between flattery and downright plagarism. They def crossed it and I’m glad you figured out how to stop them! MERRY CHRISTMAS :-)

    Di

    December 20, 2010

    Roni, I LOVE this! We used to have this problem on another site we had and my husband set a similar thing up. No idea why I didn’t think about doing it on my blog.

    Rob, the only problem with altering RSS feed to summary is that people, like me, then don’t subscribe. I choose to use RSS feed/reader as it’s quicker than visiting individual sites. If sites don’t publish the full feed I don’t visit and I unsubscribe, sorry but there it is. I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this!

    roni

    December 20, 2010

    I agree with Di. I’m not punishing my readers because some jerk is stealing my content. I will always publish full feeds on RonisWeigh.

    Ryan @NoMoreBacon

    December 20, 2010

    Yep. Genius.

    What else is there to say?

    I need to do this with askfitnesscoach.com in the worst way. Our stuff gets scraped soooo often!

    Gules

    December 20, 2010

    Whata fabulous idea! I doubt anyone would want to steal my stuff but always good to know. Great post!

    Melissa-Shrinking Jeans

    December 20, 2010

    SWEET. You rock!

    Miz

    December 20, 2010

    what melissa said.

    Rebeca

    December 20, 2010

    Nothing makes me unsubscribe faster than summary posts… I have limited time for blog reading so if I then have to click over I have to decide whether or not it’s worth it, and most of the time it isn’t (although, I would for you, no lie)…

    That being said… I LOVE this… it makes me LOL and is exactly what I need… some a-hole once emailed me to tell me that he loved my photograph and was selling prints of it… I think I was supposed to be flattered

    Alyssa

    December 20, 2010

    I think this guys is stealing all of your stuff… just type in “roni” in the search box on his site and all of your recent posts come up.
    What a dumb-a$$

    Way to stand up for youself :)

    Reinaldo

    December 20, 2010

    Amazing!!! *stands up and applause* He he he

    Darleen

    December 20, 2010

    I cannot believe this! Wow what – hum you said it with new image :)
    It would be an honor if asked and deal worked out, but to simply scrape???
    Go get ‘I’m Roni!!

    Shauna

    December 20, 2010

    I sent that website a message telling them to post their own content and “leave RONI ALONE!!” He even posts your webcasts! Maybe it all your fans bombard his inbox, they will get the hint.

    Dev

    December 20, 2010

    This is epic!! I love it :-) FYI ~ I just checked out the bum’s website (did a search for “Roni”) and the Yo MF badge runs all the way through it, along with the tag line about being plagiarized. Wonder if it will shame this guy into pulling your stuff? One can only hope.

    Kat

    December 20, 2010

    LOVE IT!

    LesleyG

    December 21, 2010

    Ugh, how frustrating! But good for you for striking back! That is a great technique!

    Mel

    December 28, 2010

    This is freakin’ AWESOME! Thank you for teaching me the basics. Now…to try to make it work from my end. :-)

    cgbaran

    March 29, 2011

    Thanks. I have same problem and that is how i found your post. I will use it immidiately:) thanks really really thanks…

    lsmiller221

    October 27, 2011

    My husband had this problem with a guy who used his images as background images for his MySpace page and he was hot linking. So my husband renamed the image and put the new name in his HTML documents, then created a new image with the old name. The original page was badass and macho so he turned the whole image a Pepto Bismol pink and put text on it sayin “I love puppies and kittens and my boyfriend”. The hot linking stopped rather quickly.