Content Curation – Lowdown Theft or Legitimate?

Content Curation – Is itTheft or Legitimate? OK, so the latest, greatest thing for making money online is “Content Curation”. What is Content Curation exactly? 

Well … the people who sell you the training courses and plugins for content curation will disagree, but basically, “Content Curation” is a fancy name for simply stealing content directly off other people’s websites and using their hard work for your own personal gain. it is used by those who either are too lazy or who do not have enough knowledge to product their own content.

This became personal for me when one of my clients phoned me last week. She was very, VERY upset. She has a blog that she is very proud of. Although it is only a little blog, she is working hard on getting things right and setting it up as an authority site. She spent about five hours crafting one single post a week ago, researching, taking her own photos to put on it and finally publishing it.

Content Curation

Content Curation – Theft?

Three days later she found her post had been copied word-for-word onto someone else’s blog. There was a line or two of their own text at the top and another couple at the bottom. And of course the token link back to her website – which apparently makes it alright – NOT!!!.

She also found that her own article on this other website was ranking above her in Google for the very long-tailed keyword she had found. Most of you will be able to imagine how she felt – furious, angry, and fighting mad.

Her site of course had a copyright notice in the footer, which appears on every page so she believed what this person was doing was copyright infringement. And of course, she was quite right.

She contacted the website owner who had published her work, asking them to remove it as it was copyright material. She was replied to and spoken to as if she was a child: “I am using the “content curation” method of blogging and it is quite legal … blah, blah, blah.

The fact that this person did not remove her material immediately was reprehensible. She replied back that if it was not removed she would start DMCA takedown notice proceedings, and she sent some links so the person would know what she was talking about. Her content was at that stage promptly removed.

What is the DMCA?

Content Curation content theft

Protect your website’s content

For those not in the know, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a way of enforcing copyright infringements. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act lets the copyright owner notify ISP hosts and others service providers that a client of theirs is displaying stolen, copyright content.

This notification is called a DMCA takedown notice. It requests that the stolen material be removed, disabled or discontinued by the service provider(s).

As I am not too legal savvy, check out the DMCA website for yourself, there is very interesting reading there, including examples of dmca takedown notices and how to issue dmca takedown notice.

But in a nutshell, as I understand it (and put very simply) is that the DMCA protects ISP, Hosting and other service providers from prosecution under the Act, as they do not know of what is being hosted on their services by their clients.

HOWEVER, once a provider is notified of any copyright material, they then DO know and will act upon this information simply to protect themselves. And from all accounts they normally act very swiftly.

How many DMCA takedown notices would need to be instigated before a Hosting provider terminated a clients hosting account – do ya reckon?

DMCA enforcement with takedown notices is a very cheap, efficient and effective way to challenge copyright infringement and have your content removed. If the site owner does not comply, they are highly likely to lose their hosting service. A DMCA takedown notice, supported with a protection badge for your website, makes protecting your content easy and economical.

How To Have DMCA Protection Displayed On Your Website

By registering for free at DMCA.com you are able to get a DMCA protection badge to place on your website. Membership gives you access to one free DMCA takedown per year if you need it. There is also plentiful information on how to issue a DMCA takedown notice yourself at their website, including sample takedown notices.

You can also choose the “pro” option, which of course involves a fee, but gives you a lot more options. It is very simple to go the free route, it is just a matter of creating an account, choosing your badge and placing it on your website. Takes only a few minutes.

Website Protection Pro

 

So, I have just added a DMCA protection badge to the footer of my own website and if you scroll down to the footer and click on the link, you will be able to see the lovely DMCA copyright protection certificate for my website. If you are reading this soon after I publish this post, you may not see the certificate as being verified yet because it does take a day or two.

What do you think about content curation?

So what do you think about “Content Curation“? Is it an honest and legitimate method of blogging – or is it simply stealing and copyright infringement, riding off the back of other peoples sweat?

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Comments: 7

  1. Arthur Technological Computers April 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm Reply

    Hi Lisa, I will be sharing this post of yours around because I know of a few people who are getting their content “curated” recently.

    Content curation is a really crappy way for people to try and make money online. It is probably OK with using news site and the like – but to copy material straight off of little peoples websites is shitty IMO.

    cheers
    Art

  2. Sherri in Auz April 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm Reply

    Thanks for the insight into the DMCA protection badge. I have been stung by damn curators too and had no idea what to do. It is pretty upsetting to see your work being just grabbed willy-nilly for free so other people can make money off it.

    How can these people live with themselves – no shame?

  3. Donna Paladino April 6, 2012 at 1:01 am Reply

    Well, I pretty much agree with what you have said. There is a big difference in WHERE the content is taken from.

    If it is someones blog, then IMO the blog owner should be contacted and asked for permission to publish their work Prior to it being curated onto another site.

  4. Chris April 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Of course it is lowdown theft,what else could it be.
    Glad you described it for what it is, I came to your website looking for someone who shares me the use of the word “stealing” to describe this behavior.
    I found that many times google will act in some way against it simply by using their spam report form. Usually by deranking the site eventually sucking dry any earnings they aspired to make. Seems like google will be flooded with DMCAs for the months to come if they dont act swiftly and agreesively towards this new hungry bear called content curation.
    Can’t wait to see how this upcoming battle royal between Google’s Panda vs Content Curator bear will turn out.

  5. Lisa Webb April 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm Reply

    Thanks for commenting guys. Seems like everyone has a different opinion on the different forums – those that are actually using curating think it is great – of course LOL.

    I use curating myself to some extent on a few different blogs I own, but I do only use public domain type sources.

    I personally do not want to see posts from my own blogs re-published elsewhere on other blogs. And certainly not without anyone asking me first. They can get their duplicate content from somewhere else, as far as I am concerned.

  6. Shirley June 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm Reply

    Well, I think content curation is a fine and legitimate method … however, the practice you are describing I wouldn’t call “content curation”. Just as you named it, it’s theft pure and simple. This new bandwagon so many people are jumping onto is giving a bad name to what used to be respectable.

    To truly do curation, a curator would choose (very selectively) articles of interest to their readership. Then they create an original article that amounts to a review of the other article. (No, copying the whole thing doesn’t count. Would you ever see a book review where they just copied the whole book? In the same token, a proper book review doesn’t give away the ending.) The curated article would possible contain some quoted material, but I think it should have three original paragraphs at least to one paragraph quoted.

    A site like that would have some use to the reader and would also be helpful to the sites referred to. An example that comes to mind is Lifehacker.com. I suppose we’ll have to come up with another name for that practice, since these rip-off clowns have ruined the concept of “content curation”.

    • Lisa Webb June 10, 2012 at 12:37 am Reply

      Thanks for the comment Shirley. I certainly agree with you. Curation done with care and done well is great.

      Sadly the blog post stealing thing is spreading, because it is a quick and free way to get decent content, but I find it to be not a very good experience for the site visitor. You get a copied paragraph or two, then a link to the true article.

      I have had recent experience reading blog posts where they are “curated”. You get to read a little bit, you just get interested and then they tell you to go to another website to read the rest. I found it to be extremely annoying and I left those websites for good.

      Lisa

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