This blog be yankin'
July 13, 2011 4:26 PM   Subscribe

This "dissertation writing services" site has reposted a lengthy dissertation-related blog post of mine in its entirety (original post by me). What can I do?

More info: The content of the entire thing (which is a summary of 1/2 of the introductory chapter of my dissertation) has been reposted on there with no byline or notification, and only a small link back to the original content. I haven't received any contact asking for permission. There's an email to submit "reviews" (, where I'll be sending a "please take this down, thankyouverymuch" message in a minute. Somehow, though, I suspect I'm not going to get a response.

More generally, what options do bloggers have in these instances?
posted by LMGM to Law & Government (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If they're in the States, you can likely write a DMCA takedown request. wikipedia link. If they're elsewhere, you'll have to figure out what the relevant law is.

(Try running a whois on the website if you're not sure of their location)
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:34 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is SEO spam. Report it to Google so that they'll be dropped lower in Google's index.
posted by grouse at 4:39 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had a similar issue the other week, and the answers in this askme TOTALLY helped. I did everything suggested, including submitting something via the Google spam reporter site mentioned, and Internet Justice was quickly accomplished!
posted by mothershock at 4:39 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Send email to Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit). If it tickles his fancy and he posts about it, the sheer embarassment may get them to remove it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:24 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yes to what people have suggested so far--but *before* you do it, think about the sequence.

I'd ask the website to remove the offending text *first*, telling them that if they do not, you'll report them to Google and that will hit their search status hard.

*Then* if they don't reply (and perhaps even if they do), report it to Google.
posted by yellowcandy at 7:14 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, folks! All of this is really useful. The WHOIS lookup sends me to a Colorado address, and the IP address ( points to Liquid Web, Inc. I just sent a "remove, or I report you to Google and follow up with a takedown request" message. We'll see where that takes me. I'll be posting a post-mortem on my blog in a while, which I'll link to in the comments here, for those who are interested.
posted by LMGM at 9:07 PM on July 13, 2011

Please consider just reporting it to Google anyway. They are making the web worse and you have the proof. Google wants to know. There's no reason to wait.
posted by grouse at 9:16 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yowza. I CC'd the ISP in the e-mail (Liquid Web, Inc.), and in less than an hour the entire domain was down. The whole site was filled with similarly copied content, so maybe they decided the thing was one big DMCA minefield and decided to suspend the whole thing.

More info as this develops.
posted by LMGM at 10:09 PM on July 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Dammit, spoke too soon. is down, but the sub-domain is still up, and the offending post is still up. Alright, let's see where this goes…
posted by LMGM at 10:37 PM on July 13, 2011

The way you describe it, they seem to be implying that you're one of their customers, and that they wrote your dissertation for you. That seems defamatory.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:40 PM on July 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: +Chocolate Pickle: Oh yes. I included a mention to possible a libel/defamation suit in the letter that I sent. As a scholar, that sort of thing directly impacts my career.
posted by LMGM at 10:46 PM on July 13, 2011

Response by poster: ack. transpose "possible" and "a" in the last sentence for FTFY-Grammar-Satisfaction
posted by LMGM at 11:01 PM on July 13, 2011

Response by poster: Update! I got an email response from what appears to be the site manager, saying, “Oops, sorry! We deleted it now.” The author also admitted that the website gets its content by scraping RSS feeds, so I'll be modifying my RSS feed to only publish summaries. In any case, the offending post seems to have been deleted, although I’ll be checking in periodically to see if the text reappears.
posted by LMGM at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2011

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