- When it's a game blog that pirates its content, of course. I'd been aware for a while (by checking Technorati, and from a couple of tip-offs) that there's at least one blog out there which just reprints GameSetWatch posts wholesale, but I was horrified to find out this weekend that several commenters/authors have started posting in these fake blogs, because they don't know where the story originated.

Specifically, Pro Game News, which also reprints content from Joystiq and Xbox 360 Fanboy, is the worst offender - I found GSW story subject William Volk commenting on the ProGameNews version of his story, as did Psychochild recently, ack! This is very not cool.

Another offender is TheGamerBlog.com - and sure, they just repost wholesale from RSS feeds, and I guess we should be flattered that they like GSW enough to nick our stuff, but enough is enough. Other bloggers should probably check those sites to see if they need to take action.

I've taken the first step of contacting the offending domain owners through their WHOIS contact info, and if I don't hear back soon, I'll presumably take it to the next step (ISP abuse contact and/or lawyers). [Also I'm hoping that this post gets reposted on the offending sites, which will be most amusing!]

[UPDATE: Aha, this post indeed makes it to the front page of ProGameNews. PGN, 'You are a pirate!'. Looking forward to hearing from you. As for TheGamerBlog, they wrote back pretty quickly, commenting: "TheGamerBlog has killed the autoblog feature. We were unaware this wordpress plugin was doing something wrong."

Looks like they're talking about a plugin by Elliott Back which is referenced here, it's called 'Autoblog', and it's explained: "This plugin is potentially dangerous: it converts xml into Wordpress posts. It could be used to run an aggregator site, or it might be used by spammers to push high-profit keywords into their blogs." Great!

And to be clear - 'reblogging' by referencing another site and linking to it is part of weblogs (see the Eyebeam reBlog or any linklog) but these automated scrapers - which both of the above mentioned blogs clearly are - are unfortunately lame attempts to make money from Google Adwords, etc, by just plain stealing content.]