How To Stop Splogs From Getting Rich

Splog: it sounds like a newly-discovered amphibian or a bodily function, but it’s really just a description of a “spam blog” that makes money from content lifted from legitimate sources.
Don’t get us wrong: there’s a clear difference between bloggers—who, if they’re good, quote selectively from their chosen sources—and sploggers, who scrape content wholesale from big organizations simply to get rich off the ad revenue. And until now, the only recourse content providers had against sploggers was to send individual cease and desist letters. Not an easy task when there are possibly tens of thousands of these blogs out there.
Yesterday, Reuters, Politico, the Magazine Publishers of America, and more, announced the formation of the Fair Syndication Consortium, which will go after not the spam blogs themselves, but the ad networks that make the sploggers rich.
TechCrunch writes: “For any post or page which takes a full copy of a publisher’s work, the Fair Syndication Consortium thinks the ad networks should pay a portion of the ad revenues being generated by those sites.” The revenue that could come of this could be as much as $51 million.
The issue here is getting the ad networks to agree; after all, does AdSense care what their ads are being served against? One could conceivably argue that they should, but it’s not clear that they do. More than demanding money, it might be better for publishers to convince the ad networks to change their Terms of Service to block unfair usage. If the sploggers can’t make money stealing content, they’ll quit.
What do you think? What’s the best way to combat this problem?



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