So many topics, and a bit of a rant…

by zydecopaws on May 25, 2011

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I’m going to ramble a bit while you gaze upon the chicken I had for dinner. This wasn’t NSFW chicken, but a variant that used Simply Marvelous Pecan rub and Big Butz Original sauce. This was as good as the NSFW chicken, but I couldn’t come up with a catchy name for it. It was served with a fresh rosemary version of trashbag potatoes that didn’t turn out quite as I expected. This was likely due to using the bottom of a bag of lump charcoal; the pieces were pretty small which restricted the airflow in the BS Keg and created a lot more smoke than desired from chicken fat drippings. And for those that like pictures, here’s another.

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I suppose I could also blame things on the distraction that occurred when some guy with a freezer in the back of his van pulled up in the driveway and wanted to sell me some meat. He distracted me from tending the fire. And I bought some beef from him as it looked pretty good and was a great deal. If it doesn’t kill us and tastes good, I might even write a review about it.

Speaking of reviews, I was originally intending to write a review on an iPhone/iPod/iPad app called GrillStar for tonight’s post, but got distracted by some other happenings that I feel the need to speak about. I’ll save the GrillStar review for a future date; for those that can’t wait for a review, go check out the one Larry from The BBQ Grail wrote a couple of weeks ago.

My biggest distraction tonight was following up on an issue I stumbled across quite by accident last night. A site that shall remain nameless (I don’t want you going there even by accident) was copying my blog posts in their entirety on their site and calling it “news”. They didn’t properly attribute the posts and were in clear violation of my CC license in that their site exists for no other purpose than to get advertising click-throughs. I say that as further examination revealed that there were no original posts on the site that I could find other than the first “Hello World” post. Which isn’t very original, if you think about it. Every post was a blatant copy of some other blogger’s post with what little attribution there was hidden in the small print at the very bottom of the page.

Long story short, I alerted Larry from The BBQ Grail about this (actually I asked him for his opinion on what he would do, and it turned out some of his content was there without his permission as well) and together we sent cease and desist letters to the site owner. The content has since been removed from the site and their Facebook page (which pointed to their site, not ours for our content). Well, all but one on Facebook. Looks like I still have some work to do…

Now some of you might be thinking that this would be good publicity for the site since there was a link to my site at the bottom of each post. Au contraire; an examination of Google Analytics showed that I got exactly one referral from the site in question in the past year. Before that, their site wasn’t active. On top of that, people were commenting on their fan page in Facebook about my posts. Of course, there were no responses because I had no idea that the comments were there, and the site owner had no way to respond as they appear to be pretty clueless about what we actually do.

I suppose I could go into a long rant about theft of intellectual property, question the ethics and thought processes of someone that takes content that isn’t theirs and tries to make a few bucks off of it without providing any additional value whatsoever, and doesn’t even have the decency to ask first if it is ok to use my content. But I won’t.

However I will issue a warning for any others out there like him that I will take the steps necessary to protect my content. I don’t mind others linking to it, writing reviews of it, commenting on the blog (although the comment spammers are a story all by themselves for another day), or even taking excerpts of it to put on a BBQ news/blog/articles reference page. I don’t ask for much, but at least have the decency to have the click through to the full article show up here where the content originated. Or at least ask me if you aren’t sure what you are doing is allowed by my CC license.

And you should know if it is you I am directing this at. Here’s a clue: if a link to your website doesn’t appear somewhere in our links or on our site, then this may be directed at you. If you go to our site, select all, copy, then paste into your own site and we haven’t spoken first, then I am definitely talking to you. If you use a bot to do a similar activity to the one just described, then you fall into that same category.

I do this for the fun of it, but that doesn’t mean someone else is free to profit from it just because I have chosen not to do so at this point. I may change my mind in the future, and that is my prerogative. Until then you might want to consider asking nicely first if you aren’t sure what you are doing might piss me off.

And I know how to find you; you aren’t as anonymous as you might think, even if you don’t publish contact information on your site. Rest assured that I will follow up as necessary to protect my content.

Finally, it turns out I have lots of friends that use social media. They all seem to share my viewpoints on this topic, especially as they all have their own original content that they value. Next time I might decide to not be so nice and go ahead and name some names.

I’m sure they will be more than happy to spread the word…

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