Bloggers and bludgers

Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands in the Russian Far East are amongst the most amazing places I’ve been. Read all about my journey there on this blog or here together with the readers of The Star in Kuala Lumpur; and here and here again.

Annihilate, annihilate...

Annihilate, annihilate...

Hold it right there! Quoting selectively for the purposes of review is an accepted practise, but these last two links lead to scam ‘blogs’ which lift other people’s published work to pad out a blog that exists only as a platform for advertising. Dead giveaways include the lack of original content and the inability to leave a comment or to make contact. Digging deeper, I’ve established that the first web host will consider complaints from aggrieved copyright holders, but such complaints can be lodged only by fax or by mail to an address somewhere in Texas. The second web host is Google themselves, who are more approachable.

This rampant abuse of copyright is the bane of online publishing. If I am to sell my work, I have to acquiesce in seeing it published online alongside the print versions of newspapers and magazines.

Even the big newspaper houses operate these ‘content farms’, recycling material which they first published – and paid for – years ago. Here is one of many drone web pages which pull together a grab-bag of third-party content to anchor a raft of advertisements. And who’s behind it? None other than Australia’s own Fairfax newspaper chain – but it took me most of an afternoon on the phone to some very defensive people in Sydney to get to the bottom of it.

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