When Written: Feb 2011
Whilst talking about previous issues, many months ago in issue 176 I wrote about the problem when searching for solutions to technical problems. You have probably experienced the irritation of finding the same article or forum postings on multiple websites. Now sometimes this is because the author posts the question to multiple sites, but when you get a posting with the same comments or the same answers appearing on multiple sites you can only come to the conclusion that some copying is going on, and you have to ask the question: which site owns to original copyright?
The other day it came to my notice that there had been a successful prosecution of the people who own www.allfaq.org by the web company Experts-Exchange. A scan of the summons is at http://www.chillingeffects.org/international/notice.cgi?action=image_87223. What the Vietnam based website AllFAQ was doing apparently was copying content from www.experts-exchange.com and passing it off as their own. Because of the success of this action, Google then removed AllFAQ.org from their search database. Now the question that is rumbling around the internet that whilst AllFAQ were guilty of screen scraping content from Experts-Exchange the copyright of these articles, according to Experts-Exchange’s own Term and conditions, belongs to the various authors and not to the web site.
Now it would be next to impossible for the various authors to organise and fund a similar action and so perhaps Experts-Exchange were acting on their behalf or was it because AllFAQ’s ranking in Google for any particular article was higher than the same article in Experts-Exchange (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Internet_Marketing/Search_Engine_Optimization_SEO/Q_26271117.html) ? Or is that being a bit too cynical ?
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton