How to deal with websites who exist only to put ads inside copied content

Every now and then, I come across websites that don’t contain anything original. All their “pages” are verbatim copies of original content found online and copied automatically without permission, just to fill it with advertising banners. When I find such a website copying stuff I wrote, I send them the email you can find below, and I must say it normally works very well, and quite quickly too. You’re welcome to reuse it whenever you find a website of that kind. Actually, I strongly encourage you to do it, to help make the Web a bit more useful for everybody.

Dear WebSucker,

I see that you are one of those people who routinely violate copyright NOT to share, but just to make money without working.

I refer to the fact that lots of “your” posts are only INTEGRAL copies of other people’s work, that you copy here ONLY to fill them with your ads.

As an example, here are some of “your” posts that are complete copies of articles from other websites, NONE of which gives permission to do what you do:

  • Title of first copied post
  • URL of the copy
  • copied from: URL of the original article
  • Title of second copied post
  • URL of the copy
  • copied from: URL of the original article
  • Title of other posts…

You are damaging the readers of those articles, without any reason than your bank account. There is no need to make copies, as all those articles are completely readable online for free anyway. Besides, in practice almost nobody who reads a full copy will go to the original website (1). Therefore, people who only read your copies will lose all updates, discussions, related articles and so on that are on the original page, and often won’t have an idea of who the real author is.

Oh, and of course there’s the fact that by intercepting readers you make those websites, which made those articles available only to make money through ads, lose some of that money.

The right thing for you to do would be to immediately remove all that content and stop copying. Yeah, sure, I have noticed that you covered your ass with a full blown “DMCA policy”, procedure for takedown request and so on. Personally, I won’t waste one minute on that stuff. Why should I, when it would be much quicker and simpler to send one email with all the links above, and any other similar ones on your website, to:

  • the staff of all the websites that first published them
  • Google, Amazon or whoever you advertising providers are, since I’m fairly sure that, whoever they are, their terms of use include immediate account suspension and no payments for whoever engages in certain practices
  • your hosting provider, whose policy is (point 6.2 of their terms and conditions): “The client undertakes not to publish content that may violate the rights of third parties” (2)
  • the companies mentioned in the banners I saw on your website, who will surely be delighted to know how they wasted their money on negative publicity, and will surely want to thank you for that

I’ll come back to your website in a week or so, to decide what I should do.

Be well, Marco

  1. IF he’ll realize there’s an original somewhere else, which is far from granted considering how little you care to make it clear with your formatting and lack of attribution
  2. Those are the actual conditions of, the hosting provider of one of the copying websites I found oline. And yes, that website is offline now.