I was helping a client a week or so ago and they are using the WP RSS Aggregator Plugin for WordPress.
One of the features in their Pro version is “Feed to Post” – which they describe as “an advanced importer that lets you import RSS feeds into posts or custom post types. Populate a website in minutes (autoblog). This is the most popular extension.” Inside the plugin is a setting that gives the website owner a choice to use the original author of the blog entry or switch it to the author associated with the website.
The client has opted to replace the original author name with their own author name, import the full post and add a line at the bottom that reads “This article was first seen on _______.”
There are quite a number of RSS to Post plugins that work in a similar manner, not just the one the client is using. I went on a hunt to find a plugin that would stop that activity. I found Copyright Footer RSS plugin that states, “Add easily your own copyright at the footer of your RSS feed posts. It improves the SEO and avoids content scrapers to steal your posts.” I am not sure if this will work when the posts are being imported to another blog, but it certainly deserves looking at.
Last last year or this year, I remember seeing on Twitter where a blogger was using this plugin or one like it. She was pulling in posts from a number of well known individuals and it was spotted by another person that I follow. Their tweet went viral within our small hashtag community and before I could blink – the website had been taken down.
Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.
Question: Is this stealing? Is this Plagiarism? What do you think? I’d love to read your opinion!