Scraping The Scrapers With Feed Footer WordPress Plugin

This is an update about Ankesh Kothari’s RSS Feed Footer WordPress plugin. The plugin allows you to add messages under all your new blog posts in your RSS feed. While the number one use of the plugin would be to sell RSS ads, I’ve found another great use for it – sending a message to all those lazy asses who try to scrape my RSS feed.

Because I offer a full feed RSS, it’s very simple for a scraper to take the feed and reproduce the information onto another site. Scrapers are really the lowest form of Internet life. They don’t want to put in the work it takes to build a successful site so they just steal the works of others by scraping their feeds. There are even get rich quick scams that will sell this type of service.

To help prevent some of the damage scrapers do to my blog, I’ve used the Feed Footer plugin to add this message at the end of the post:

Attention: Unless you are reading this from a RSS reader, you are reading a scraped feed. This site has violated copyright laws by stealing the content of John Chow dot Com. Please let us know where you read this so we can take legal action against the scraper.

The above message only shows up in the RSS feed (subscribe to it if you want to see it) – you will never see it on this blog. However, that message will show up on a scraper blog because they steal content with RSS. Once the scraper read the above message in ever new posts, he’ll think twice about keeping the feed up. If he keeps the feed up, hopefully someone reading the message will alert me so I can take more action against the scraper.

You can download the Feed Footer plugin here or read more information about the plugin here. Ankesh did a great job on this plugin and I sent him a pitcher of beer for writing it.