January 25th, 2007
Categories: Uncategorized

Thou Shalt Not Steal

 

I’ve been debating about blogging this for a while, but I will. This is my reasoning.

The argument against is that, well, it’s a bit religious. I’m not religious myself (well, I’m Agnostic. Largely because I like the theory behind it, and it’s a bit different from Atheism. It kinda covers a number of bases too), but I have no problem with religion. If you believe in something fine, just as long as we all get along, that’s cool. I fear that this post could’ve had offended some people’s believes. It is not intended to, but if it does, I’m sorry.

The argument for is that, well, I find it funny. This won it over.

Firstly, a bit of geekery. I have an RSS feed associated with this blog. It is for those of you who really can’t be arsed coming to this site. This is a good thing, as I’d rather you read about this via RSS than not at all, plus you never miss one of my fantastic posts.

There is a bad side to RSS feeds: Blog Scraping, basically bots take RSS feeds, put them on their site, pass it off as their own, and adsense it to buggery. They then wait for them to reap the rewards, whereas I don’t get a penny. It’s just one of those things though. Bandwidth is negligible and it’s very difficult to stop.

Anyway, a few days ago, I got a strongly worded e-mail from a group calling themselves “The Christian Promotion Group”, this is what they said:

Dear Mr Wynne,

Your website “The Gospel According To Rhys”, was syndicated by our RSS finder, and your content was put on our website, the Christian Promotion Group (Not linked, will explain why later). However, recently your blog has been less about preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and your interpretation of the Bible, but more about your personal life, and all the hate you preach in it. You are mis-interpreting the use of a holy word “Gospel”, and are using it for your own evil ways. Please may you return to your previous existance preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ, and renounce the life of sin you are living.

You may still be saved.

Jennifer Anderson
Christian Promotion Group

First of all. Since when did I talk about “The Lord Jesus Christ” on this site? Go on, short of the odd “For Christ Sakes”, I bet nowhere. Secondly, what’s this evil they talk about. I followed the link to their site, and was greeted by this. A simple wordpress theme, my post on Llangernyw, and tons upon tons of adsense.

I kinda trimmed it to stop you from scrolling forever, but you get the drift. It’s not pretty, is it? Not only are they using my blog to get money, but they are demanding that I change my blog content to give them even more money, using the guise that my blog is hate filled (eagle eyed readers can see that the post on their site is the one about Llangernyw, hardly “hate filled”). I suppose that’s akin to being robbed by somebody, then being told that you don’t earn enough, get another job, so they can rob you again. Usually these spammers keep to themselves, hoping you wouldn’t notice. This spammer made a fatal mistake, telling me.

I wrote an email back, which broke every law of spam-avoidance. However, the fact I had a personal correspondance meant I had a good chance of solution.

Dear Jennifer,

I’m sorry you don’t like my blog. However, if you had been bothered to read my “hate filled blog”, instead of just scraping it, you will see that it is instead a talk about a simple man going about his daily life. I love my family, have a few beers, have a wonderful girlfriend and generally pretty chirpy. My site is loved, and brings happiness to many people worldwide.

Your site on the other hand – is taking content from my site, and posting it onto your site without no reference to the original owner, plus a large amount of advertising, which is obvious generating you income, as you can afford to waste your time calling individuals on the internet “living in sin”.

Let me put it into words you understand, as I believe it was God – through Moses – said these words:

Thou Shalt Not Steal.

All the best

Rhys

Now, checking back a few days later, the website is down. I assume that’s a moral victory for me.

Update: Thanks everybody! So far the reaction has proved that I’m a bit of a sissy, and been a bit too careful about offending people. It is a funny story. Nevertheless, this post also shows an example of the frailties of the Google Adsense program. Have a look at the image again, and tell me, why is a “Christian” site advertising underwear?
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