that advert you get on almost every DVD about why it's wrong to make pirate movies.
You can imagine I was just a tiny bit annoyed when I came across a motoring website yesterday, The Fast Cars, which featured an article about the author's reflections on their 1990, Mariner Blue Mazda MX-5. A lot like my very own, 1990, Mariner Blue Mazda MX-5.
Among the other articles featured on The Fast Cars was a piece on how the new Volkswagen e-up! has an amusing name which sounds a lot like a Northern English greeting - amazing really, given the site's based in the Far East and I doubt the author has heard of Lancashire, let alone visited it. Yet what really irked me was when I saw an in-depth article on Henry Segrave and his connections to Southport, plus the same images I'd tracked down for a feature in GR8Life magazine.
Yup, you've guessed it; weeks of research and effort for a lengthy motoring feature is being used, without my permission, on an Indonesian-run motoring website.
Anyone who blogs will be familiar with this practice - it's called 'content scraping' - which involves owners of unscrupulous websites taking your hard work, without asking you, and reposting it on their own sites. In my case, articles which have been written for Life On Cars have been taken and tweaked without my say-so, the pictures, even the ones where I've negotiated their use, copied and pasted, and the hyperlinks removed for ones which suit their own use. To add insult to injury the token link to Life On Cars credits this website as "a strange picture source". Charming!
I have written to the owner of The Fast Cars pointing out the obvious - that using content and pictures taken from other peoples' websites without their permission is theft, that I'd like the offending articles taken down with immediate effect, and that I'd consider legal action if they don't. While it's flattering that they'd want to use content from my blog and highly amusing that they make such a hash out of rewording it, it is still a breach of copyright that does down the hard work of motoring journalists across the UK.
Sorry this entry hasn't been terribly motoring-releated, but I'd love to know if you see any Life On Cars articles - indeed, articles written by any pukka UK motoring publication - which is being used this way!