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Friday, June 08, 2007

Voncigars: shame on you blog thief!!

Voncigarpic If you have a blog, I'm sure you've had your stuff stolen by blog thieves who take contents and photographs from other bloggers and present them as their own. I don't usually write about it every time one of my posts is stolen, because writing about these thieving blogs and and linking to them would surely increase their page views –from the pitiful twenty or so a day to thousands. But I found a particularly onerous one today, and I think a public shaming is called for on this one.

These vampire blogs are the bane of a blogger's existence. They are far too stupid and unimaginative to have their own content, and must get by with stealing other people's work. The marginally less annoying ones disguise themselves as aggregator blogs, but –unlike legit aggregator blogs- they often take post contents without permission and use dubious and obscure credits and link-back.

This particular one I just found, Voncigars, is much worse. This guy took my post on Paco Meralgo, a tapas bar in Barcelona, and reposted the pictures and shamelessly edited the post texts into his own voice –so that it appears that he himself was the one who visited the tapas bar, ate the meal, and wrote the review. All that with not a mention of Chez Pim as the source for anything on that post.

From the look of his blog, with texts and photographs done in so many different styles, I bet that this wasn't his first time. He might have stolen from you even. You might want to check out his archives.

I left a comment on his blog calling him on this outrageous theft, and told him to take the post down. These guys are often cowards when caught, so I suspect he'd get rid of that post soon. No worries, I've saved a copy as evidence. If you can't see my stolen Paco Meralgo post on his site from the link, here's the PDF copy of it. I've also saved a PDF of the Google Search Result page from my query "Paco Meralgo" which led me to this thievery in question in the first place.

I am going to report him. If you found that he's poached contents from your blogs you should report him too. Gather all your evidence, not just links to the stolen content but PDF of the page(s) too, and report the theft to the blog service provider (in this case Blogger). You can trace the ownership of the domain by searching here –the guy is stupid enough to be listed.

I'm also going to report him to Google. The best way to deal with these bloody thieves –even better than public shaming- is run them out of existence. Reporting them to Google and requesting that they are excluded from the search engine will do just that. If the tree is not on Google, you won't hear it fall.

Also, if the thieving blogs or sites run Adsense –which in this case it doesn't- you can report them to Google to have their Adsense removed. Cut off their income stream, that'll teach them. (Thanks to Elise for that link.)

Voncigars For more information on what to do when someone steals your content, check out this excellent post on Lorelle VanFossen's blog. (Note to thieves: See that link out to Lorelle's blog? That's a proper way to refer to someone else's contents. Try it sometimes!)

By the way, there's a picture of him –or some dude purporting to be him- on his blog, wearing pimp sunglasses and with a cigar stuck in his mouth. And you know what, sometimes a cigar is NOT just a cigar.

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Edited to add:
Ha! I knew it. His post on Pierre Hermé's macarons contains some texts and a picture poached from Clement's blog, A La Cuisine. The funny thing is the picture he lifted wasn't even of Pierre Hermé's macarons but one of Clement's own creations. What a dolt!

You really should all check out his blog to see if he's stolen from you too. And then report him. We'll run him out of existence and make an example of him!!

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Edited again to add:

Perhaps there is no end to this? In his post on Aubert Chardonnay, his tasting note reads "...is the real deal; Pale gold with a tiny greenish tinge, slightly opaque, showing real great body. Powerful nose of rich butter and sage upon opening; notes of butter and citrus in the glass. Absolutely marvelous!"

That comment was lifted word for word from this tasting note on Cellartracker by a user called Quequeg, who said "This is the real deal; pale gold with a tiny greenish tinge, slightly opaque, showing real body. Powerful nose of rich butter and sage upon opening; notes of butter and citrus in the glass. Absolutely marvelous!".

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