A few days ago I was contacted by Alexandra Campbell, author of the blog "The middle-sized garden", asking if I was aware that my blog was being "scraped". This is the term which is used to mean that someone is stealing material from a blog or website, and publishing it on their own blog or website. The thieves often change some of the wording of the material in an attempt to cover their tracks, or to try to avoid accusations of plagiarism. This is what has happened to me. Some of my articles have been published on a website about healthy living. They have been partially and very crudely re-worded, but there is not a shadow of doubt that they are originally my work. Even the photos still show my "Marksvegplot" watermark!
Alexandra has put together a very comprehensive and clearly laid out article about this subject, and what you can do to avoid it and /or recover from it. I think all bloggers should read her article, so here's another link to it: Is someone stealing your blog and what to do about it.
The offending website shows a contact email address, which I have used to send them a message asking for my material to be deleted, but I have had no reply (hardly surprising, in my opinion). I have also posted into the Comments section of a couple of the reproduced blogposts, but since comments are moderated, the guilty party can just choose not to publish them. At least they will now be aware that I have found out about their misdemeanours!
Following Alexandra's advice, I looked up which organisation is hosting the website to which I have referred. It is PDR (Public Domain Registry). They have a Complaints page on their website, which I have used to flag-up the scraping. Hopefully they will investigate and eventually make the offenders take down the illegitimate content. I would stress here that is it not just me that is affected - several others are, and between us Alexandra and I know many of them so we have been passing information around between us. We reckon that if PDR get several complaints about the same website, all at once, they are more likely to act.
In the meantime, maybe it is time to use Google Alerts to set up some regular searches and notifications of terms I frequently use on my blog, just to see where else they appear...