Physician-Desk-Reference weirdness

This is really strange, and I wonder if anyone can help me figure it out.

Scanning my Technorati watchlist (vanity: it tells bloggers who is linking to them) today I noticed quite a lot of links from a site called "Physician-Desk-Reference", which is apparently not associated with the actual PDR that’s used as a source of last resort when looking up medications.

Looking at the site it occurred to me that I’d seen these posts before, ALL of them, as I’d written them.  This site is reposting my posts with about a 5 day delay, then linking to me as "more" at the end of the entry.  I have no idea why anyone would do this.  The contact info on the front page is blank, so I cannot ask whoever set this up.  (I didn’t and this isn’t an inside job if you’re wondering).

Here’s a screenshot of one entry there:


The PDR rips off GruntDoc

So, help a blogger out.  Why would anyone do this, and what should I do about it?  It’s not really ‘objectionable content’ from the Blogger standpoint (my writing style and topics notwithstanding), so I haven’t reported the site to blogger.  Let me know why someone would do this and what, if anything, I should do about it?


  1. That is really strange. It’s like some kind of ghost of you out there.

    The kicker will be to see if this post gets reproduced.

    OTOH, how can we be sure that THAT blog isn’t the real gruntdoc, and you are only a facsimile? (:

  2. someone is doing that to my posts too. wonder if it’s the same person. one way readers can tell it’s not you is that it’s missing the links within the post. it’s just annoying

  3. They’re stealing your work to sell something, most likely ad-space. They’re scraping your RSS feed. The idea is to raise the number of views and the Google page rank, then start selling ads. It’s happened to the poker bloggers before, and I expect the same thing will happen to any other specialized blogging community. You should ask Blogger to close them down.

  4. Wow. That’s really weird.

    It seems like whoever this is just copies your posts without attribution, other than the “more” links back to your blog.

    It also seems like you haven’t licensed him to do this. I’m no expert, but this guy is probably in violation of copyright law.

    I’d send an email to Blogger with your screenshot and tell them that one of their customers is copying your posts without attribution and without permission, and ask them to shut him down. I don’t know how angry you are about this, but it would really piss me off. It’s fine for people to copy my posts, but they’d better acknowledge that they’re mine.

    As for why anyone would do this, I don’t know. But I’m sure it has something to do with spam. Somehow.

  5. It is fairly common practice for many bloggers to get an “inspiration” shall we say from someone else’s blog, and many will chop out a bit and include it, sometimes even chop out quite a lot.
    This is typically accompanied by an acknowledgement of the source and a link. It seems that some bloggers would have little say without searching others blogs for ideas.

    This pretty clearly crosses the courtesy line, and probably worthy of a complaint to Google, the owner of Blogger, where P-D-R has his blog. I looked for some guidelines/rules at Blogger, but cannot see that they have a formal statement on this issue.

  6. I have to say, though, this adds a whole new layer of intrigue to blogging.

  7. I don’t see a Creative Commons license here on your blog, and I think you should put up the code and badge for the license of your choice. Post the code, then inform Blogger and Technorati about this plagiarism.

    OTOH, all Blogger will probably have on the guy is a name, which may or may not be truthful. The best you can do is publicize that you’re aware of the copying and that he shouldn’t show up in in your ED with a femur fx. :-)

  8. Thanks to all, and I will be reporting him.

    I had a CC license on my MT blog, and let it slip when I moved over to TypePad. Does anyone know if that actually helps, or is just a feel-good for bloggers?

  9. Copyright law is a little complex, but as I understand it, everything you write is automatically copyrighted, and may not be reproduced without your permission, even if you do not have a copyright notice associated with it. However, if you do have an explicit copyright notice on your work, it gives you some more legal leverage if you actually decide to go after anybody. It also protects you from well-meaning but ignorant people who think that anything without an explicit copyright is in the public domain.

  10. On the on the one hand, I’d be flattered if I were you. On the other hand, this twit is probably violating your copyright. I explicitly claim copyright on my blog with a note that says something along the lines of “all content copyright 2004-2005.”

    The only thing I think you could do is to complain to Blogger.

  11. If PDR-guy is just plain stupid or naive he needs to be confronted on this. If he knows what he is doing then he needs to be blocked. Unfortunately, Blogger provides the perfect webapp to steal content (no IP to blacklist). I would contact Google/Blogger and see at least if they would facilitate someway of contacting this guy — so you could find out his intentions. As has been pointed out, this smells like SEO positioning to generate ad revenue down the road (there are many examples of this).

  12. I think one thing you could do would be to make one or more comments in the copied articles, to let “him” know you’re on to him.

    I see that his moniker is “Spam Checker”, perhaps a clue that this is a bogus site by intention. His profile is blank, so he has no investment in this blog (which I guess we could have figured out by his lack of desire to come up with his own content).

    But why?
    Reminds me of a joke I saw maybe 30 or more years ago in Reader’s Digest:
    A Texan and an Englishman are sitting beside each other on an airplane.
    The Texan quips, “You know, you could fit all of the British Isles inside the state of Texas.”
    To which the Englishman replies, “But to what end?”

  13. I strongly suspect ‘his’ blog isn’t monitored, at all. If it was, he’d try to fix the broken links, etc. I’d hope.

  14. I am not familiar with Blogger, but if this site is running on apache you can use the .htaccess file. Put this file in the directory where you rss-file resides. For more information on .htaccess file read this.

  15. If you have a problem with the use of your work, you need to take action. It appears that the site in question is a blogspot page and that, in turn, is run by Google. That’s actually pretty good news because Google is very reputable when it comes to removing copyright infringing material.

    My advice, if you can, send the guy a cease and desist letter. I have some samples linked on my site if you need them. If that fails, contact Google about the copyright violation, sending them a DMCA notice.

    I’ve handled over 200 cases of plagiarism and, trust me when I say that this is the best way.

    Just email me if you need any help, I’ll gladly do what I can. It might be a few days before I can reply due to extenuating circumstances. But I’ll do my best.

    Take care and good luck!

    PS: Have you considered adding a footer to your RSS feed? I know it wouldn’t help in this case but it might be worthwhile…