Ronnie Schreiber touches upon a situation that has long annoyed me, the practice of some web sites and blogs that blatantly rip off the content feeds of other sites. I don’t think I’ve ever gone as far as actually contacting the site to take the content they’ve filtched down, because I never made the connection that these thieves were profiting from my work.
Were it not for Google paying those sites for the ads that Google AdSense runs on those sites, they wouldn’t have a reason to exist and rip us off. AdSense specifically is based on site content, and those sites’ content is stolen. Google doesn’t care. The theft is actually on two levels. First, there’s the basic copyright thievery. Then there’s the traffic and ad revenue we don’t get because readers find our content somewhere else. Google is the “fence” that pays for the stolen goods. To keep this in an automotive vein, Google is the chop shop that pays the car thief to steal your car. Actually, that analogy isn’t far off. Many cars are stolen to order, the chop shops want specific parts from specific car models and car thieves supply them. Likewise, Google AdSense is looking for specific content, in this case about cars, and the content thieves supply it.
I’ll send you over to Schreiber’s site to read the rest of the entry, but you get the gist. Google’s AdSense program encourages content theft on a massive scale, and until it impacts their bottom line or threatens to put executives in prison, they are unlikely to change their practices.