Just in the last fews day, a Livejournal parasite "aggregator" group called ohnotheydidnt (ONTD) posted in full articles ripped from the Washington Post, and another from the Washington Post. The Guardian, NY Daily News and CNN, the HBO website, a full spread from Tattler, Cycle News, Rope of Silicon, the Associated Press, and the LA Times, and LA Times (again, along with all the photos), six pages off Entertainment Weekly.com, and Entertainment Weekly again, this time their cover story. MovieCity News. and the NY Times. and the NY Times, again. and TV Squad. and the Chicago Tribune. and E! and Variety. And Forbes. The AP. And more AP. and even more AP.
The list goes on and on and on. On many cases, the authors and names of the publications were removed from the text.
I tested the word counts on almost all of the above. In every article tested, ONTD had posted the articles IN FULL. In many cases the names and publications were stripped out. And in all cases only a small link to "source" was inserted at the end of the full story.
ONTD used my work to surpress traffic on my site here and drive traffic to their site.
On July 21, ONTD pirated my Sons of Anarchy feature and posted the article in its entirety on their site. Furthermore, the site stripped my name and the name of this publication, Multichannel, from the my article. The only indication of source was: a small, one word link named "source" at the bottom of the article that led to my blog post.
For weeks, when entering the words "Sons of Anarchy" in google search, my article on ONTD came up near the top of google search. My blog here on Multichannel only started to appear on google search after ONTD was forced to remove my article.
This parasitic behavior is, of course, is a blatant violation of Livejournal’s terms of service. I contacted Livejournal last weekend and my Sons of Anarchy story was deleted from the ONTD group. But, unfortunately, my work sat there for three weeks gathering hits for ONTD.
Furthermore, it’s clear after lurking for just a couple of minutes on ONTD that this group is a big, potential liability for Livejournal. The vast majority of posts on ONTD are articles stripped from other publications in full.
What Livejournal, a blog tool, might try to claim but doesn’t get - this isn’t a youtube situation. This is a Napster.
ONTD was established in 2004 (according to their Lvejournal page) and they are apparently operating with the blessing of Livejournal. It’s hard for me to believe that Livejournal was not made aware of TOS violations previous to my notification.
I further notified Livejournal that there were potential problems with this group. I would like to hear from Livejournal why they have so far failed to ice this site until the problems are cleaned up.
But ONTD lifts the copyrighted material of working journalists with abandon, and seemingly the ONTD mods are fully aware. "Don’t hotlink." they say in their rules section, "we’ll reject your post if you do." or "Any post that doesn’t have a direct source risks rejection."
So, they are reading andmoderating.
Did ONTD have permission and/or pay for the right to reprint the articles culled from the aforementioned publications? Very doubtful. They certainly did NOT have my permission, or clearance, from Multichannel to simply steal my story.
"NO posting from the following web sites: X17, Gigwise.com, Celebrity Baby Blog, Celebrity Babies, Celebutopia, or WireImage," they say.
oh. interesting. I wonder if those organizations complained in the past to Livejournal Abuse about ONTD practices.
"Any questions, concerns, hate mail, love mail, ‘why am I banned?’ discussions, monetary donations, or legal threats should be sent to email@example.com."
Really? Here’s something. I want to be compensated by ONTD for my work. If ONTD did not have permission to post their stories, I also want the following writers compensated: Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday. Washington Post’s Alex Baldinger. NY Daily News’ Larry McShane. LA Times blogger August Brown. EW’s Adam B. Very. Rope of Silicon’s Brad Brevet. NY Times’ Alesssandra Stanley. LA Times’ Lynn Smith. TV Squad’s Brett Love. Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan. Entertainment Weekly’s Clark Collis. E!’s Kristin. Variety’s Michael Fleming. NY Times’ Margy Rochlin, and every other writer who has been ripped off, damnit.
I don’t think the old line publications really, truly "get" how these sites are siphoning traffic from their website in the worst possible way. If they paid attention to google search and watched the patterns, they might be very, very concened.
It’s one thing to post a few grafs and then give users a link if they want to read further. That’s called "collaboration." but ONTD isn’t working within the true Internet spirit of collaboration and win-win. They siphoning traffic AWAY from site and keeping it there. I
P.S. livejournal is now owned by the Russians and ONTD appears to have a Russian mirror site.