Skip to content

Reflections of a working writer and reader

 

 

MyLot Stealing Blog Content

I received the following (edited) email from myLot.com on the 18th April:

We are excited to inform you that myLot.com is now syndicating John Bakers Blog on our website!
Our editors have handpicked your blog based on the interests of our members. myLot is already syndicating your blog, http://johnbakersblog.co.uk/, on myLot.com. If you would like to continue syndicating your blog on myLot you have nothing further to do. If you would like for us to stop syndicating your blog, kindly respond to this email and let us know.

I replied immediately and asked them to remove my content from their site. They did not reply and continued to use my content. I emailed them again the next day, and again the day after that.

myLot have still not acknowledged my emails and they continue to upload the contents of my blog on a daily basis.

My first thought was that myLot were using a morally dubious inertia selling technique, something I had to opt-out of to stop them using my work. But since they don’t respond to my emails and continue to use my work in spite of knowing that I don’t wish them to, then they are quite simply, thieves.

17 Responses to “MyLot Stealing Blog Content”

  1. MC says:

    I had the same problem with a number of sites. It’s the reason that I’ve set my RSS feeds to display summaries and not entire posts.

    jb says: Hi MC. The way myLot works that wouldn’t solve the problem. However there are other solutions . . .

  2. What do you intend to do, John?
    I had my content from a a couple of posts, stolen by one other site as well. I happened upon it by chance.

    jb says: I’m still thinking, Susan.

  3. Minx says:

    How rude.
    I see they are based in Gloucester. Shall I go round with a few of the boys?

    jb says: Oh, Yes, Minx. You know how to make an offer a guy can’t refuse.

  4. Brian Hadd says:

    What thief wants publicity right? Hopefully myLot gets sued maybe?

  5. John, as I just read that post I noticed a quote from Sylvia Plath on the right hand side. Had she lived to see today’s world on the net, she might have amended her thoughts to this:
    “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is someone else taking a fully comprehensive long term lease on your work without your permission.”

    I hope they listen to you and respect your wishes soon. Otherwise I’d be tempted to take up Minx’s kind offer…

    jb says: Hi CFR, and thanks to both you and Sylvia for the support.

  6. Shawn says:

    The service provider that hosts your site may be able to help you block accesses to your site originating from mylot’s domains. Assuming these people are just lazy and careless content thieves, as opposed actively premeditating content thieves, it may be that simple to block them.

    jb says: Thanks, Shawn. I’ll check it out.

  7. Jerry Prager says:

    Cyber thieves executed by a vigilante writer, and it takes the right kind of detective to solve the crime, perhaps one driving a Saab with a rent in the roof and the bonnet blackened by larch pitch dripping from the trees that line the drive, hundred year old conifers planted by the grandfather of a missing girl., whose mother works for MyLot when she’s not selling pencils door to door from the front seat of her boyfriend’s Swedish auto. Cyber back alleys and porn queen girl friends and organized crime geeks and content addicts gibbering away by the dark screen of their Black Google search engines, while the Saab is slowly covered by larch pitch and the pencils go unused.

  8. ninglun says:

    Our editors have handpicked your blog… sounds like a Readers Digest special offer, doesn’t it? Maybe Our editors have handpicked your pocket…? I too limit RSS to summaries, and also to only the past 3 posts.

  9. john baker says:

    —–Original Message—–
    From: John Baker
    Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:03 AM
    To: myLot Blogs
    Subject: Re: Your blog is now syndicated on myLot.com!

    I have now asked you four times to remove my content from your site, and you have neither removed it nor acknowledged my emails.
    In the absense of any response from you I’m now putting together a DMCA complaint for Google instead.
    Sincerely
    John Baker

    Reply: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 16:23 PM
    Sorry for the delay, your content has been removed. However we are working on fixing an error. The error is when you access your blog on myLot, it is still showing up.
    We are working on a fix for this and will have it implemented as soon as possible. You will be notified when this error is resolved. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Best Regards
    myLot

  10. john baker says:

    From: Mylot.com
    25th April 2007 17:04PM
    All of your content has been removed from myLot.com. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Best Regards
    myLot

  11. Is the proof in the pudding, John? I hope so.

    No sign in their response that they think this is more than a one-off, so other bloggers beware and take note, I say! I will, for one.

    But is this the way the net is to progress? Forgetting any real credit to an author and respect of copyright, until a shot in the foot comes back?

    I caught a link to my blog last week, which came from naymz (or similar in name). This one looks a bit like MySpace and MyLot and similar but includes a specific section, presumably if you choose to exhibit it, for “sites recently reviewed” (or similar description).

    What’s the plus? Well, you can get a better undertsanding of the net user who has visited your site. The downside? Where is the user’s privacy?

    I find this very interesting in the way the net, and use of, is developing. Is nothing sacred (or copyright) until someone shouts out to protect their privacy or copyright?

    If you’ve said something on the net and someone has quoted you in the published media (but with an online link and no notification, even with a credit) is that good or bad? (Something I’ve experienced recently.)

    Are blogs now considered gutter fodder, just waiting to be exploited?

    The good will be captured, but it’s more than a shame when the authors of these, blogs or sites, and a blog is a website, have no say in proceedings.

    Anyone who posts to the net, in any format, deserves respect for their efforts and work. Those who ignore this, deserve the rule of the law, international or otherwise. For the posters, any time we do this, we take a risk. We may proclaim to publish under copyright, creative commons license or nothing; but understanding the nuances of the basics of law will always elude some net users and opportunists.

    They can try, but my word is my word and John’s word is John’s word, and there is at least one law to support that.

    Potential thieves, take note.

    jb says: Splogging is a problem and perhaps it’s going to be up to the likes of Google to deal with it effectively. The temptation is always to increase page rank so your advertisers will pay more. Ranking authorities really need to penalise sploggers heavily, heavily enough so that there’s nothing in it for them.

  12. lordwarwizard says:

    Hello,

    I am a user at myLot and thought I would drop my 2 cents regarding this issue.

    You may not be aware – but this blog syndication thing is something new to myLot that came with its recent revamp. Instead of allowing users to start discussions and reply to those of others only, they have now included blogs as an option – so users may comment on the blogs and get paid like they do for normal responses to discussions.

    I understand your frustration. To you, your content is being used without permission – I agree that this seems to be the case. In fact, this *is* the case since you had to opt out instead of in.

    You also mentioned about the several emails you sent that did not receive any reply. Regarding this, I have to put in a word of fairness. The thing is, I doubt myLot has read your emails yet. Even for myLot users, we frequently joke among ourselves that if we get a reply from myLot, we should go buy lottery.

    I have sent myLot more than a few mails and I am one of their users. Still, only a handful of my mails gets replied and among those replies, some took as long as 3 months.

    Though I disagree with their presumptuous way of using your blog, you can be assured on 2 things. One, I believe that when they do read your emails, they will remove your blog as you requested. Two, myLot isn’t really profiting from your content. This blog feature that was introduced is not popular among users. Very, very few users are actually commenting on blogs and (no offence) no one might even have noticed yours there. I tried to check to see if there were any comments on your blog content, but I have difficulty even locating your blog’s whereabouts.

    I have a question though. If I subscribe to your blog via a RSS reader such as Google Reader, might I not still be able to get your content free? I honestly don’t get the difference between the two. At least your content is being acknowledged at myLot so if someone likes what he sees, he might even become a regular visitor at your site.

    Once again, I like to emphasize that I do not agree with how myLot is using your content without permission. My take though is that they are not really profiting from it, and your request will be seen to as soon as they read your emails.

    jb says: Hi Lordwarwizard. The problem is simply that they use other people’s work without permission. They were profiting from my content, and everyone else’s that they use without permission, because content attracts visitors and visitor count is what they use to attract members and advertisers.
    I don’t have advertisements on my blog because I don’t believe in advertising. If I don’t support it myself, I certainly don’t want to support it via MyLot or any other blog.
    Inertia selling is thoroughly discredited. I don’t understand why I should have to put myself out to stop someone using my content. On that basis alone I would have refused them permission.

  13. lordwarwizard says:

    Oh no, now I feel so stupid. I don’t know how I misread the email from myLot. So, they have removed your content. Good then!

    I am outta here, good day! 😉

    jb says: Good day, Lordwarwizard, and thanks for the confirmation.

  14. lordwarwizard says:

    Yea I do agree. It is not correct to take it without having your permission first. Oh well. Good day!

  15. mylot member says:

    I am also a member of myLot, and in all fairness, the editors of myLot accept submissions from blog owners for inclusion of an excerpt of their blog to be posted on the site, with a link to the original, of course. It appears as if one of your readers submitted your blog, and the editors of myLot approved it to be acceptable to be on the site. It looks like, since this happened, myLot is now requiring that blog owners prove that they are indeed the owners of the blog.

    jb says: They didn’t use excerpts with me, though. They used the whole post, and whole posts going back over the last few months.

  16. Suresh Gupta says:

    I was a member of mylot but my user ID was blocked by them when I reached the minimum payout limit. I have sent them many messages to tell me the reason for such action. But they do not reply. Taking such a drastic action without even telling the member and then not replying to his messages is against the principle of natural justice.

    You are lucky that they replied to you. But I am not that lucky.

  17. victorinox for men says:

    I really like what you guys are usually up too. This
    sort of clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve included you guys to my blogroll.