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Author Topic: Download sites and Copyright, sort of...  (Read 3938 times)

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Offline kat

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Download sites and Copyright, sort of...
« on: November 18, 2014, 12:44:56 PM »
One of the most annoying and frustrating aspects of running a site like KatsBits is the time it takes to deal with other websites that scrape content and offer it to their own visitors for download - note that there is a distinction between a site providing content that's scraped from other sites and one doing so based on content uploaded by users (either the content authors themselves or others uploading files with or without permission). Except they're not even doing that, providing a service to users (which is what the originating site would likely have been doing).

Unfortunately what these types of file download sites actually do in fact is scrape content and offer it as a means to divert or hijack website traffic, visitors and potential users/subscribers from the original content authors site to theirs. Multiply that across thousands of other sites whose content has been scraped and these file download sites end up hijacking a significant amount of traffic from a lot of people.

Even worse is the fact that this diverted traffic is nearly always heavily monetised though on page advertising and paid access subscription services (that typically bypass adverts), not just one or two, but dozens that flood the page making it difficult to see where the actual download link is to the content a visitor might be after such that they induce 'fake' clicks - clicks that occur when a person thinks they're clicking a download link when they're actually clicking an advert designed to look like a link.

It's a pretty despicable practice, and very few of the people using such sites seem to really care, at least when it's not drawn to their attention - out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

For content authors this is a problem because it means indirect revenue streams, the very income that enables content to remain free, dries up. This leaves sites very few options, including the use of pay-walls or other means to charge for access. This is difficult to pull off though, especially when a site might have been providing free content for some time, and it often goes against the principles many site owners may have originally had in mind when content was originally made available for use.

So what's the answer?. Consider...;
  • if you need to download something take a moment to check, as best as possible, you're accessing the file(s) or material from the original source.
  • if you see content on another site you think shouldn't be there, drop the content author a note (if available) to let them know - they'll take it from there (don't contact the site hosting the iffy content because only the Copyright owner can sort these sorts of issues out).
  • inform other people you know that you suspect a site might be distributing materials without permission so they should check they have the correct permissions to be using those files (a file being freely available doesn't necessarily mean it's free, as in no cost/restrictions, to use).

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Download sites and Copyright, sort of...
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 11:58:38 PM »
i'm sorry to hear kat, that you have to waste time dealing with those parasitic sites, i had no idea there were that many of them. are they all english language based?

Offline kat

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Re: Download sites and Copyright, sort of...
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 02:09:37 AM »
In terms of what you see on the page they usually are but the sites themselves are often hosted in Asia Pacific Countries with domain names typically registered in the USA - usually GoDaddy. That makes dealing with them more problematic because the domain registrant details are for the individual responsible for the domain and not necessarily the site. It's one of the way they get around being culpable as mail gets sent to the domain owner and not the sites hosting company so they can say they never received any messages.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Download sites and Copyright, sort of...
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 10:27:12 AM »
understood, i think.

 

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