Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CloudFlare's ScrapeShield spots single line of text copy/pasted from my blog

Some months ago CloudFlare launched a service called ScrapeShield that's designed to protect web page content from content scraping. It's a free service and I enabled it on this blog. The ScrapeShield report shows where my blog content has been copied around the web.

It doesn't get copied very often, but just the other day there was a great example of how ScrapeShield spots taken content: I wrote a popular blog entry about Mars Curiosity; someone saw it and wrote their own version taking a single line of text from my blog. ScrapeShield caught it.

My article was Curiosity Rover writes Morse Code of JPL everywhere it goes and a web site owner obviously read it and added this section to an article called "Five awesome things about Curiosity":

That's not the photo that I used, nor is that the text I wrote, but the caption under the photograph is a copy/paste of the title of my article. How am I sure? Because when they copy and pasted, they copy and pasted one of the beacons inserted by ScrapeShield.

ScrapeShield inserts multiple page beacons of different types to spot manual and automatic page scraping. In this case just a single line of text was enough to know that the content came from this blog. Sadly, the web site did not link back here so people could read the full blog post.


bbot said...

Yeah, but that only works if people are dumb enough to copy the 1x1 gif. Not just copy, hotlink.

Unknown said...

Nice Post!!

Unknown said...

Nice one!!