Ippon Blog Plagiarism With Moves Like A Judo Blackbelt


  • Are people constantly ripping off your content?
  • Do you feel powerless to defend your copyright?
  • Is the battle against plagiarism taking up more and more of your time?

Maybe you are going about things the wrong way and should take some inspiration from Judo…

What is Judo?

Literally “the gentle way,” this ancient martial art (it’s origin is from jujutsu) makes use of the opponent’s strength to overcome him, thereby making it possible for a David to throw a Goliath. Kano Jigoro (the founder of the Kodokan style of judo) developed the art into what is now an international Olympic sport.
Cheddar Judo Club

The conventional approach you will see recommended on multiple blogs is you send the site owner email, issue a DMCA or report the site to Google Adsense if they are monetizing your content.

Unfortunately that is fighting an uphill battle that you have little hope of winning as the hydra can always grow new heads and many sites using your content don’t attempt to monetise it directly.

Active Syndication

Similar in concept to article marketing, I actively encourage the syndication of my blog content by licensing it as GPL.

If you understand how article syndication works you could look on rss syndication with permission or without as a form of article marketing.

You can benefit from the duplicate content that is scattered over the web as seeds of knowledge.

How To Benefit From Legitimate Syndication & Splogs

  • Include lots of internal links within each of your blog articles – these can be manually inserted, or in the form of related links and tags at the end of each article.
  • Ensure there is a link to the permalink of your article within the article content
  • If someone asks for permission to syndicate your content, request politely that they include a link to each original article, and not to your domain in the credits.

How To Include A Permalink In A Feed?

I do it currently with a hacked version of my Disclosure Policy Plugin but probably a simpler solution for most people would be to use one of the following.

  • Better Feed – this includes both %%posttitle%% and %%posturl%% options so you can add a SEO friendly permalink to your RSS feeds.
  • Sig2Feed – Can be used to add a link back to your site, but that could be easily modified to include a permalink.
  • ©Feed – provides support for adding a permalink to your feed
  • Various Other Feed Copyright Plugins – Almost all feed copyright and advertising plugins can easily be modified to include a permalink to your original article

Rather than fight plagiarism, learn to use it to your advantage.

Quite often the sites using your content without explicit permission are gaining search engine traffic, but it is also likely that that is search traffic you wouldn’t have received anyway.
By providing links through to the source of knowledge, a percentage of that traffic you wouldn’t have received will be led back to your blog.

In the time you spend fighting plagiarism, and more often than not reading about it, and worrying about it, you could quite easily have written more content on your blog which will please your readers, encourage more legitimate links to your site, and ultimately gain you more additional links from all forms of syndication, whether they have explicit permission or not.

Picture Credits

Note: I don’t know of the best solution to include post permalinks within the content of RSS feeds on platforms other than WordPress.

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  1. says

    Yes, this is annoying. I believe there are a fw systems around that allow you to systamticaly identify content stealers, but do you really want to spend all of your time phoneing up people who have stolen your content?

    One idea I cam up with to try and combat this was to use JavaScript so that when someone tries to copy text from your page the text that is copied is reveresed of scrambled. Hopefully that would put most people of, but any programers who really want to steal your content will probably realise whats going on.

    You could always go back to the days of those old right click disabling scripts to stop people who don’t realise that you can just go to edit copy.

    • says

      Sploggers are getting your content from your feed, or from Technorati, so that doesn’t really help.

      Google Reader can be used to refeed to splogs and who in their right mind is going to block the most popular feed reader?

  2. says

    Excellent article on the topic, but one thing I wanted to point out though is that it doesn’t take long to deal with plagiarism once you know how to handle it. If you take the time to have your stock letters ready, it never takes more than fifteen minutes on your end to handle a case.

    Something to consider when dealing with this complicated issue. Sometimes, much of the time even, it is worthwhile to after content theft.

    • says

      Johnathan I am glad you appreciated the alternative view on the subject. I honestly think people get a little riled up about it thinking these sites are stealing all their traffic.

      They might be stealing some traffic, but at the same time they also send some you wouldn’t otherwise receive.

      If I took 15 minutes to deal with every blog that is syndicating my content without explicit permission, it would probably take me more than a week, and I would loose literally 1000s of backlinks (though poor quality)

      There are actually people making large amounts of money exploiting splogs and MFA scrapers.

  3. Alex says

    Great post. I really enjoy your writing. By the way, I run a big Article Directory and if you have some articles for distribution, you are very welcome to post them in the appropriate category.

  4. says

    Andy, the entire premise of your post is to benefit from the links within the content that is copied by others. But I have faced situations wherein someone has happily copied my content and taken the trouble to remove all the links from within it. What do you do of such people then?

    • says

      I am fairly confident that most of my articles wouldn’t make much sense without the links provided although I am sure that isn’t universally the case.

      A significant proportion of my content is unique ideas and research, and what stands out most is when real blogs I read pick up on those ideas without any kind of link, discussing subjects as if the subject is some kind of universal truth, but with no real experience in the subject matter.

      As a rule I generally ignore that as well. I have grown a thick skin, and I know from article marketing that this happens all the time.

      Even with sploggers 80:20 applies – in many cases they are more likely to link to you for a pingback and a chance of a link, but have the link with nofollow. As far as Google is concerned that is the same as if they hadn’t linked to you at all.

      If you are a large site, and can afford to outsource chasing people down, you might take a different approach, but for most it is better to just use it as an additional weapon.

  5. says

    One potential thought then, why not use a Creative Commons License on your content and give the implicit OK for anyone who wants to use your material in such a way. I do not find such use terribly offensive myself, so long as I am linked and attributed, I have mentioned that on my site and have an appropriate CC license.

    Any thoughts on that?

    • says

      I much prefer GPL, that allows people to modify parts, add commentary or maybe change a heading with a lot more freedom

      I should point out that your feeds do not contain any license information, and the lack of contact information could make you liable to fines up to $500,000 NZD, which is approximately $350,000 USD.
      Your content is commercial, and I am sure it gets transmitted by means other than RSS, such as email subscribers


      I have been writing about Feedburner being somewhat of a legal liability for some time, though users will subscribe to stuff using their own methods, and could quite easily still hit a spam button.