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Cover image for PSA: Your dev.to post will most likely get stolen by this blog with no link to the original source or other form of credit.
Elias Brange
Elias Brange

Posted on

PSA: Your dev.to post will most likely get stolen by this blog with no link to the original source or other form of credit.

When investigating the SEO of my own blog I stumbled upon my own article, copied from dev.to to the "blog" https://lzomedia.com/.

The blog seems to gather articles from different webpages, and for some of them it includes backlinks to the original source. However, for dev.to posts, there is only a footnote at the bottom of the page stating Source: Dev Community. No link to the original source. No canonical URL. No name. Nothing.

EDIT: The blog owner even seems to be a member of this community...

lzomedia image

Some examples

lzomedia:
https://lzomedia.com/blog/how-i-automatically-generate-grocery-shopping-lists-with-trello-aws-lambda/

original:


lzomedia:
https://lzomedia.com/blog/add-a-smart-back-to-top-button-to-your-blog-%f0%9f%91%93%f0%9f%94%9d/

original:


lzomedia:
https://lzomedia.com/blog/steps-to-delete-aws-resources-ec2-vpc-using-ansible/

original:


lzomedia:
https://lzomedia.com/blog/what-does-your-dream-work-setup-look-like/

original:

Discussion (12)

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ryan profile image
Ryan • Edited on

This is sadly true of pretty much anything you publish anywhere online. Someone sets up a scraper bot in order to copy a lot of random junk to their website. This gets them a non-zero amount of SEO which can be monetized (ads, selling backlinks)

Cost: $0 and maybe an hour of time
Reward: More than $0

Solution: None really besides playing whack-a-mole with host/registrar abuse contacts.

Of note: These scrapers often copy the HTML wholesale (to avoid breaking rich content) which means they XSS themselves πŸ™ˆ

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curiousdev profile image
CuriousDev

Regarding XSS it could possibly be used to punish them.

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eliasbrange profile image
Elias Brange Author

It would be fun if it automatically picks up articles from here, and somehow managed to copy this post.

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eliasbrange profile image
Elias Brange Author
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wiseai profile image
Mahmoud Harmouch

Same here. I have also noticed that this domain name and another one that goes by style-tricks stole and spun all my articles without asking for permission whatsoever.

Examples:

Original

Stolen

style-tricks.com/the-complete-guid...

Original

Stolen

style-tricks.com/textual-the-defin...

I mean, it is pretty obvious it was stolen since it doesn't make any sense while reading it. Hahahaha.

Now I am wondering: how to report such activities? Do we need to hire a lawyer of some kind?

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phlash909 profile image
Phil Ashby • Edited on

Thanks for the heads up - boosted for visibility, although I'm not sure what action can be taken.. the domain owner is somewhere in Romania, hiding behind Cloudflare.

Domain Name: lzomedia.com
Registry Domain ID: 2061027781_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.godaddy.com
Registrar URL: https://www.godaddy.com
Updated Date: 2020-09-23T07:16:51Z
Creation Date: 2016-09-22T05:21:44Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2022-09-22T05:21:44Z
Registrar: GoDaddy.com, LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 146
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: abuse@godaddy.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4806242505
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Domain Status: clientUpdateProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientUpdateProhibited
Domain Status: clientRenewProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientRenewProhibited
Domain Status: clientDeleteProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientDeleteProhibited
Registrant Organization: Dev Web
Registrant State/Province: Iasi
Registrant Country: RO
Registrant Email: Select Contact Domain Holder link at https://www.godaddy.com/whois/results.aspx?domain=lzomedia.com
Tech Email: Select Contact Domain Holder link at https://www.godaddy.com/whois/results.aspx?domain=lzomedia.com
Admin Email: Select Contact Domain Holder link at https://www.godaddy.com/whois/results.aspx?domain=lzomedia.com
Name Server: MARK.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
Name Server: ZARA.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
DNSSEC: unsigned
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eliasbrange profile image
Elias Brange Author

The owner does however seem to list his name, email and phone number on the page.

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naveennamani profile image
naveennamani

I too recently stumbled upon this blog, and also some other blogs too. Atleast most of them have a link to the original article, but this blog was just there to steal the content. As other pointed I've read the TOC to see if I can complain or ask to refer to the original article, but the TOC itself is a joke. And I found no other way to stop my content from posting there, so I'm making sure in my next articles to include some link to my personal website and GitHub repo.

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booleanhunter profile image
Ashwin Hariharan

This is really sad. My own articles have been plagiarized on numerous occasions.

You may want to check this site too school.geekwall.in/. It's one of the sites notorious for copy-pasting content with no attribution or backlinks.

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arikaturika profile image
Arika O

His TOS are a joke too:

"Unless otherwise stated, Lzo Media LTD and/or its licensor own the intellectual property rights for all material on Lzo Media Websites. All intellectual property rights are reserved. You may access this from Lzo Media Websites for your own personal use subjected to restrictions set in these terms and conditions.

You must not:

Republish material from Lzo Media Websites
Sell, rent or sub-license material from Lzo Media Websites
Reproduce, duplicate or copy material from Lzo Media Websites
Redistribute content from Lzo Media Websites"

I don't know what can be done in these siuations but I suppose it happens pretty often.

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eliasbrange profile image
Elias Brange Author

Didn't even notice that. That's ironic! :)

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kamil7x profile image
Kamil Trusiak

I found my post there too. GoDaddy's abuse email returns autoresponder with link to Abuse Report Form, but it doesn't seem to have any proper option to select. I ended up talking to customer support