Monday, April 20, 2009


There are many pitfalls to writing a finance blog. Among them are deflecting comments from irate readers who (like most of us) have lost money in the financial markets recently, and are looking for somebody else to blame for their misfortune. But nothing irks me more than the wholesale plagiarizing of my blog. This is the one issue that makes me want to throw in the towel, and quit blogging for good.

Let me be clear on what plagiarism is not. If you copy a portion of a blog post (1-2 paragraphs), but attribute that the author (usually with a link to the original post), that is not plagiarism. In fact, this is generally encouraged among bloggers who appreciate incoming links. However, I have recently discovered a website that reproduced my last 6 posts on PFStock, verbatim. This website is a stock market blog written by somebody named "Allen". And, he has stolen credit not only from me but also from a several people that I recognize as stock market bloggers.

The way that I discovered this fraudulent website is mostly by chance. I recently wrote a post that I linked to a post on Smarty's blog, Growing Money. When I reread his post, I noticed that someone else had linked to his blog post with a topic that was very similar to mine. I wanted to see what the other poster said, and I clicked on the backlink to discover my own post reproduced on the plagiarizer's website. This blogger was even too lazy to edit the links.

Anyway, to deal with the issue, I found out the Email of the website owner by using the WHOIS Lookup for domain name servers at Network Solutions. I also also found an Email address for his web hosting company. Armed with this information, I drafted an Email that looked something like this:

Dear Sirs:

It has come to my attention that a website run by you has been deliberately plagiarizing material from my blog PFStock ( ) without my permission.

I demand that you immediately cease and desist this activity, and that you remove from your website all of the stolen material. If you fail to do so, I will seek further action against you and your company.

PF Stock

After sending this Email to the plagiarizer and his web hosting company, another exchange of Emails ensued. Finally, I got the plagiarizer to remove the stolen posts from his site. I also noted that if I ever catch him plagiarizing again, I would take legal action against him.

Like I said, plagiarism is probably the one issue that really makes me want to quit blogging. Hopefully, this will be the last time I have to take such measures against people copying my blog. But somehow, I doubt it.



lulugal11 said...

Get ready for many more like this. I found a few people copying my content because they copied things I had links in and they triggered trackbacks to my site.

In a few cases, my readers emailed me to tell me they found my posts on other sites and still others I found through searching for more on a topic I wrote.

Some of my content scrapers were even running ads on my content so I reported them to Google as well.

Smarty said...

Hi PF Stock,

I have also noticed there are many plagiarizers through trackbacks. It alarmed me because the contents are totally copy-and-paste and it has no mention of my articles. And the plagiarism sites are usually very simple and new, with no peronsal touch to it.

I'm glad that you have sent an email and scare them off, but unfortunately the Internet makes plagiarism too easy and it's difficult to catch all of them.

By the way, what are some legal actions that we can take against them?

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Hi.. for people who copy post.. warn them sternly..

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