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Blog pirates on the horizon!

The rise and rise of blogging as an online phenomenon has relied heavily on the ability of social nature of blogs - as each blog links into one another or as larger blogs link to and report on stories breaking on smaller specialist blogs. But while linking and references may be the lifeblood of blogging, there's a submerged undercurrent of blogs and Web sites looking to get something for nothing, sailing the high seas of the Blogosphere with a view to plundering hard working Blogs for what they can in order to build up page views and Google page rankings.

We at the Download Squad noticed this recently when one of our readers not only decided to cut and paste one of our posts into their blog but, also linked to his blog from the comments section original Download Squad post. While we're flattered at the attention, and impressed at the initiative it was still a little rude. All of a sudden we realized that it had all the hallmarks of a Blog Pirate, a fly by night operation that swoops in, cutlasses blazing, to lift off a treasure trove of stolen blog posts to their Google adsense infested pirate lair Web site.

When we started to look into the phenomenon of Blog Piracy, it was like sailing through the blue waters of the Caribbean circa the 17th century - suddenly the Blog Pirates were absolutely everywhere. Googling recent posts from Download Squad likewise turns up a host of blog pirates, such as the so called Software Online Guide (which looks more like a homage site to Download Squad than an actual blog) these folks are cutting and pasting for fun and profit, but probably without that much of either.

Looking across the waves at our sister site Engadget, it didn't take very long at all to come up with a host of Blog Pirates that had ruthlessly plundered its wares. Take for example the recent story 'Microsoft envisions invasive approach to targeted advertising' the story was reproduced word for word plus images and 'file under' references on both and, the only thing that was missing was any mention of either Engadget, or Darren Murph – the guy that actually wrote the post to begin with.

Blog Piracy can take a number of forms: sites such as TopWebStuffs try to look like to have an RSS reader interface to transplant entire Download Squad articles onto their 'aggregation' site, except unlike an RSS reader, you only get what they give you, not what you subscribed to read. Other sites such as seem to be set up to plunder anything that comes through on an RSS feed.

Don't get us wrong, we're always keen to see our work being linked to or quoted, but m'hearties it would be fine to be sure to see some of those tharr golden links in exchange for all of our hard sailing.

Tags: blogs pirates, BlogsPirates, download squad, DownloadSquad, engadget