If you have a blog and care about your content, you definitely need to read Om Malik’s post on Wholesale Blog Plagiarism. Apparantly Om Malik’s popular Om Malik on Broadband Weblog has been for a long time the target of plagiarism, otherwise known as splogging. Sploggers have been using the RSS feeds from Om Malik’s site to republish his content word for word on their site. The main purpose of this is to of course make revenue from the advertisements of the splog site. Although splogs and scrappers sites do sometimes improve the original website’s pagerank, the lost ad revenue may be more important to bloggers than any pagerank improvement. When it comes to Om Malik’s blog, his popularity I would think would make his content not really suitable for splogging, but obviously sometimes sploggers do not really think these things through I guess.
In general bloggers may need to start considering just how much is their content worth and if RSS feeds should be curtailed to only include post summaries instead of the entire post. But even then, scrappers can use any combination of Perl and PHP to copy any content they wish, so the war against splogging is not going to end by turning off RSS feeds.
The irony of course is that many bloggers see themselves as non-commercial entities that spread information for free, but the minute they realize that someone else is making money off their labors, the converstation takes quite a different tone. However, can you really blame them? In Om Malik’s case, the site’s content is a literal copy, word for word; this makes it not only plagerism, but outright insulting.