Saudi Arabia: Why is Faris Al-Osaimi Taking Blog Content Without Permission?

Spaceweb

It is outright thievery when you learn that your carefully researched, written original blog content is appearing on other blogs…without your permission.

Faris Al-Osaimi is a Saudi national who makes the comment on his twitter site that he is “mastering the art of automated websites.”  He  obtained a degree in Computer Engineering.   In addition to twitter, he is active on numerous social media sites

Faris Al-Osaimi certainly gets the gold star for taking blog content without permission. He is not only taking daily content from my blog but also other well known Saudi blogs such as Blue Abaya, Susie of Arabia, Crossroads Arabia and Saudi Woman…to name a few.

All of us have notices on our blogs that our material is copyrighted and not to be copied or used without permission.

Although Faris Al-Osaimi is citing our blogs with each post he has taken, his blog has no copyright statement.  What that means is even though our individual blogs and material are copyrighted, his unscrupulous acts have opened up for anyone to easily grab content from others via his blog.  In fact, the way the content appears on his blog, it looks as if we are providing content to his blog.

His blog, Saudi Blogs, is hosted with godaddy.com and he is using wordpress as his blog platform application.  Complaints of his unscrupulous behavior may be made to copyrightclaims@godaddy.com

I encourage the blogosphere to gather behind me and the other bloggers whom Al-Osaimi is benefitting from and report his unscrupulous conduct.

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58 Responses

  1. What he’s doing is called ”scraping” and he’s probably using bots to do it. Nice way of misusing your knowledge… stealing other people’s hard work!
    Kudos for you finding out about this thief, nice bit of research Carol!
    I hope you can file a DMCA complaint with go-Daddy.

    Such fake sites need to be taken off line as they not only steal your content but also your audience, all by not doing any work for themselves, but purely by leeching off on other people’s hard work

    Let’s hope Go-Daddy will take this scraper site out asap!

    Now let me see if this post made it to his leecher site! 😈

  2. I also posted a question about this on http://www.quora.com so anyone who is a member of quora can see the question and respond there too.

  3. Not yet…
    And he doesn’t really credit you, he only puts ”by so-and-so” with no links to the blog it was stolen from. He makes it look as if you are all writing for his blog, instead of him stealing from yours!
    Despicable!

  4. I hope that this public calling out will have positive results.

  5. Such a LEECH!
    He has taken over 500 of my copyrighted images without my permission.
    I will send him a bill to follow!!

  6. Woehahahahaaa! It’s on there!
    😈

  7. I am writing a mail to Go-Daddy asking them to ahve a good look at this blog and your blogs and taking it out if they agree that the content is stolen.
    I cannot see how they cannot uphold your DMCA complaints. Never seen such blatant theft.

  8. What a shame.. hope he learns now and realise his sins

  9. This is what he is telling me on twitter, apparently he doesn’t think it’s stealing.

    Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos is this your site? http://saudiblogs.tomotiki.com/

    10h Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya its one of my projects yes.

    7h Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos are you aware of copyright laws?

    3h Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya the website doesn’t steal from blogs. It just displays what’s on the RSS feed and provides a link to the original post

  10. OH MY GOSH .. I just saw that this very post is now on his blog! I truly do not understand…this is too bizarre.

    On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 1:02 PM, American Bedu

  11. do you have to have a twitter account to speak with him? I don’t have twitter and don’t want one. But I wonder if this conversation should be passed to DMCA?

    On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 1:08 PM, American Bedu

  12. The danger of a scraper blog is that it deflects traffic from your blog to his blog. Worst case scenario: it shows up on the search engines before yours and deflects traffic to his own instead of to yours. This way all your hard work goes to support his blog not yours.
    It needs to be taken offline.

  13. I take it none of you have given him permission to use your posts? Layla, did you give permission to use your posts and photos?

  14. Terrible. And definatelly a violation of copyright law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog_scraping

  15. I hope that GoDaddy looks seriously into the information and data I have provided and takes appropriate action.

    On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM, American Bedu

  16. If it was just a one off it would be ok. I found one of my wife’s bird pictures on a Palestinian blog once (I kid you not). If he created a news feed with summaries it would be fine. Given that he went to school in the US he has to know what he was doing it wrong. When I worked for AT&T some years ago, we had a huge discussion of how to post information on both external and internal sites. It is just wrong. Again if this were a one off by an amateur it would be ok, but this guy is a pro and he is trying to make money off all his work. Where is the the holy hand grenade of antioch when you need it?

  17. I’ve looked around and he is doing multiple sites, included cooking blogs from the US, that I assume have never given him permission. He is an a**h***.

  18. He is certainly a predator and I appreciate anyone who can help in exposing what he is doing to innocent bloggers who put much time and effort into their original content!

    On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 2:30 PM, American Bedu

  19. Jerry,

    I am in contact with godaddy. Now I’m not an expert on these kind of techie matters but if you can send me data about the cooking blogs and other stuff via FB email, I’ll certainly forward it on to what I’ve already provided to godaddy.

  20. Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos there is no mention of the source and you have made it to appear as if the bloggers are writing for your site.

    Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya i will remove your blog. But are you aware that all online RSS readers do the same as http://Tomotiki.com ?

    Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos actually, they don’t, because you’re posting the entire post with images and all on your site.

    Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos you should remove ALL blogs. At least ask permission first!

    Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya its clearly an aggregator.. And I’m sure the post title links to your post and mentions the post’s writer.

    Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya put your site rss feed into reader. Google. Com and watch giigle steal your posts. You dont understand RSS syndication.

    Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya the easy solution is that you modify your feed settings and all your posts will disappear by themselfs. YOU CONTROL IT.

    Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos look you know what you’re doing is wrong, so why are you trying to make it sound like something else?

    21s Layla ‏@blueabaya
    @farroos the problem is that you’re trying to make it look like we’re posting on the site. Also your other blogs, ever heard about scraping

  21. Faris Al-Osaimi ‏@farroos
    @blueabaya do you know how to modify rss settings? Yes or no?

    Layla
    @farroos do you know what is right and wrong, yes or no?

  22. Layla explain to him he doesn’t understand ”scraping” and why that is copyright infringement.
    And Carol told me Go Daddy suspended the blog pending investigation into the DMCR complaint. So now he can explain to GoDaddy why he thinks his scraper site is the same as an RSS feed.

  23. I’m not a techie but if I understand correctly, he has signed up via RSS feeds to the respective blogs and has the posts automatically placed on his web site. ): ): ):

    On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM, American Bedu

  24. Yes, you can actually add a footer to your RSS feed which would show up every time a post gets scraped and tell people to come to your real blog.
    You need to be a bit techie for this and I know nothing.

  25. You should be able to edit the hearder.php file and remove the rss links. (At least in wordpress, I don’t use blogspot so I don’t know what they do.)

  26. Aafke & Jerry,

    You both could be talking Greek now for as much as I’m understanding.

    On Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM, American Bedu

  27. It’s not Greek, it’s Geek
    :mrgreen:

  28. What I meant is that you can add an HTML allowed Footer to your RSS link that links to your site or post with the title of your blog as an anchor text. So when your post gets scraped you will be sure there’ s a good link at least back to your real blog.
    You can use an RSS footer plug which WordPress provides but they say it’s an old one.
    If I have time (not now) I could look into it.
    But it doesn’t change the fact that a scraper site is always bad.

    It is also a good idea to add a link to your own blog right in the first sentence or two, that way if somebody clicks it they automatically get sent to your real blog. I do think that’s an easier and effective option.

  29. Good news folks, it appears godaddy.com has blocked his sites. Since he was using godaddy to host they were able to block this. He can move all his stuff to another server and change where his domain registry points to but that takes time and a little money. I assume he is a cheap cuss so perhaps this will put the kibosh on him.

  30. Dear American Badu and everyone who commented,

    First of all I’d like to apologize for any misunderstanding.

    I’d like to explain a few things if I can.

    1- The website for Saudi blogs is now offline until everything is clear with the bloggers.
    2- Mr American Badu should have asked me to delete his blog and I would have gladly done so as soon as I can
    3-the website Tomotiki is an RSS reader and Mr American Badu has made his RSS feed contain all the content of his blog posts. If the RSS has only excerpts of the posts, then only those excerpts will show up on Tomotiki.
    4- if Mr. American Badu disabled the RSS feed then all his recent posts will disappear from Tomotiki automatically.
    5- It is very easy to configure or disable your RSS feeds.
    6- The RSS syndication system, by definition, makes content available to RSS readers.
    7- there are many popular website that does the same thing. Here is an example from Google: http://www.google.com/reader/i/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Famericanbedu.com%2Ffeed%2F?hl=e You can see the same content there as well. Exactly the same content.
    8- bottom line, you are in control of your RSS. If you do not wish your content to be available in RSS readers ( example: Google Reader and Tomotiki) you can disable it yourself or you can make only the first few words available.

    Again I’m sorry for confusion. I’m waiting for your signal to make my website online again.

  31. Why should Carol disable her RSS? Some people follow her via RSS. Your blog was not an RSS feed, it was a scraper.
    You have studied this, you know what you are about.
    You are the one who should stop misusing real bloggers RSS feeds to make scraper sites.

  32. I think a DMCA is in order here.
    If you want to run a blog I suggest you write your own content.

  33. Fares,

    You created a scraper blog with your blog with the intent to copy content from my blog and other well-known Saudi blogs for your benefit. This is unethical and infringements of copyrights.

    I was very pleased by how promptly GoDaddy.com took action when I brought your blog to its attention. Should GoDaddy.com also be made aware of your definition on the use of those who offer RSS feeds?

    You should be using the RSS feed to -read- my blog. Not have it appear as content on your blog.

    I am not the only blogger you have exploited either. We have all taken time, energy, thought and much effort to provide -original- content for our readers. In fact, this blog has become one of my motivations in my long time battle against metastatic cancer. Therefore, I do not take lightly to what you have done to me –or the other bloggers.

    I have no reason to give you a “signal” to make your website with scraped content available online again.

    Carol Fleming Al-Ajroush
    owner, American Bedu Blog

  34. I love how the guilty party blames the victims rather than accept blame for his own actions.

  35. Fares, you can’t compare Google reader to your site. Google reader is indeed a reader, but your site steals the whole content of the blog and makes it look as if Carol and our other friends are writing for your blog. You even use a blog template by WordPress.

    Anyway, why not leave it up to GoDaddy to decide? If Carol is wrong and your claim of being just a reader is right than GoDaddy will allow the site to run. Or are you afraid that if GoDaddy has a look at both sites they will decide that the DMCR is valid and at least this one of your scrapers will be down?

    RSS feed is to let people subscribe and read it easily, that’s what it’s for. It’s a convenient option for your readers. It is not an option for thieves to steal one’s content.
    Like you have done.

  36. Aafke-art,

    Google should stop misusing real bloggers too?

    The misunderstanding here is the definition of RSS. By configuring the RSS, the blogger can control all RSS readers.

    Also, my first point in my comment was that the whole website is now offline until the situation clears.

    If American Badu likes, I will have a telephone conversation with him to explain the RSS protocol and how he can prevent his content from showing up in RSS readers.

    This is a list of 10 popular RSS readers similar to Tomotiki that can display the entire content of this blog: http://web.appstorm.net/roundups/top-10-web-based-rss-readers/

    It is a normal thing. Why is it normal? Because the blogger is in control. For example, I can have my RSS feed show only titles of my posts and links them to the original post directly. I also can have my RSS shows the first paragraph (a teaser) and the reader must visit the blog to read the rest. I can include an image or not include an image.

    Once again I must mention, the website will remain offline until Mr American Badu gives me the signal to put it online.

  37. American Badu can we have a calm voice conversation. I’m sure we will look back at this and laugh one day.

  38. I have to apologize Fares, I was of the understanding that you were knowledgeable about this.

    Let me explain this to you in simple bullit points:

    1 – your scraper site is blocked by GoDaddy after Carol (who is a ”she” btw) filed a DMCA complaint against your scraper site. You did not take your scraper site off line out of goodwill, it was taken offline by your host without your consent.

    2 – RSS is an option for ones readers to subscribe and easily read new content. An RSS reader is not a scraper. But your Tomotiki is a scraper. You steal the complete copyrighted work of basically all the top-bloggers on Saudi Arabia and display this without permission on your scraper site.
    There is no reason why Carol should deny her regular readers who use he RSS feed legitimately just because a pirate turns up who mis-uses the RSS feed illegitimately to steal her work.

    So now you know.
    This must come as a bit of a shock to you as you had no idea that what you did was stealing but it really is. ”Scraping” and the illegitimate use of RSS is actually mentioned in this blogs copyright page.
    On the ”About” page if you want to read it.
    I take it for granted that you will now tell your host Go daddy that you made a mistake and that you will not fight the DMCA.

  39. The entire content of this website is copyrighted to Carol Fleming and should never be reproduced/copied to another website without written authorization from the owner. Websites that are scraping content in the form of RSS feeds, bots, or manual methods will be reported to their web host with a DMCA take down notice.

  40. I voluntarily came here and commented. I apologized. And made sure the site was completely down as soon as I could.

    I never said I took down the site by my hands. I was happy to see it ofline. i was going to take it down myself if it wasn’t offline.

    Making people angry and mad is not one of my hobbies.

    I was shocked by the negative reaction in less than 24 hours. I thought that by explaining the RSS protocol, bloggers will understand. That google reader and Bloglines and MyReader and Tomotiki all have the exact same content of this blog word by word letter by letter image by image. But I was wrong again, no one understood.

    I will contact my hosting and ask them to disregard my counter notification. The site will remain offline forever. I hope that you will see this as a sign of good will. And maybe you will someday understand that I meant no harm.

    Carol, I wish you a quick and total recovery from cancer. I’m sorry for your pain.

    Faris

  41. @Faris,

    Quit the arguing Dude.

    RSS feeds is a method for bloggers to provide a service to their readers and make it easier to get content. Yes technically you can use it to setup your blog and use their content. However, it is not intended to allow people to violate copy rights.

    It is unreasonable for you to expect the bloggers to discontinue a service like RSS which is helpful for their readers, based on the fear that you or others will use them for unintended purposes. What is reasonable is for you not to do such content theft in the future. Learn the lesson, that content is the property of the owner of the site and republishing it without asking for consent is unethical.

    You also should learn the lesson that an apology would not be considered sincere, if you follow it up with arguments blaming others. You blamed google, the owner of the blog for not contacting you first, the RSS technology, the readers of the blog, bugs bunny and the tooth fairy, etc. A simple apology that goes like this would have been sincere:

    “I was wrong for using your content without permission” Full stop, no deflecting.

  42. Faris,

    While we probably will not agree in regards to intended use of rss feds I am pleased by your decision to not want your site restored.

    If you ever choose to create a blog again I hope it will be done with original content you have written.

    All the best,
    Carol

  43. People plagiarizing from blogs are pathetic neanderthals.
    People blog to express their views and thoughts, its meant to be an expression of your free thinking. And those who plagiarize probably have no brains.
    BTW there is a specific demography which shamelessly indulges in plagiarism.
    Or shall i say Mukh mafi haiwans

  44. PS mukh mafi haiwan translates to Brain Less Animals in arabic 😉

  45. Thank you Carol. I’m happy that keeping the site offline pleased you. Now may I ask that you remove my details and picture please. And if you can, respectfully, edit out all the swear words in the comments ( cheap cuss, a-hole, haiwan, animal), including this comment.

    Thanks again.

  46. Oooh! Bad luck! What’s done’s done, read the blog rules.

    Is this a new trend I didn’t know about? Selfish people writing on blogs and then demanding to have their comments removed?

  47. @aafke, they don’t realize that unlike in Saudi where “they can slam a fatwa on criticism and have the person locked up for speaking their mind” that in blogsphere people are indeed free to voice their opinions…

  48. Ahmed and Aafke, I only I asked to remove my details (education etc..) and swear words. Guys calm down..

    Oh my god..

  49. Huh? What? I am not calm? Dude, I am so cool I need to put the heating on to keep my house from freezing up…

  50. Faroos, I am one of the Moderators for American Bedu. Moderators do not discuss on any part of moderation. But in view of your being new to the blog and the special circumstances and Carol’s wishes I am making an exception for you to explain the American Bedu policies.
    We are acting on Carol’s instructions. Being aware of Carol’s wishes and views for her blog we try to act as she would do.

    Carol is at the moment undergoing Chemo and is absent from the blog.
    As per her instructions I have removed your photo and some of your information.
    I have also taken a close look at all comments on this thread and the swearwords you mentioned. While sailing close to the mark they are within the bounds we allow.

    It is the policy of American Bedu not to remove posts. Nor do we remove comments unless in violation of the blog rules.
    You can find the blog rules here: http://americanbedu.com/2012/07/08/the-yearly-reminder-of-american-bedu-blog-rules/

    Any further requests have to be made to Carol, but please keep in mind that Carol is not going to be available and needs her rest.

    Moderator

  51. @faroos,

    cheap cuss isn’t a swear word and a**h*** has asterisks so it is already edited. If the moderators wish to removed my comments, its ok with me. I apologize if anyone is offended.

  52. I don’t know what ”cuss” means so I looked it up, it means ”boy or man”, and, ”irritating guy”. It’s not a swear word.
    ”Cheap” hum, Farroos, ehm, you did take all of Carols posts and did not pay for them so the combination is an accurate assessment. Isn’t it?

    farroos, While sometimes Bedu is a warm and cuddly place, on other times, when spirits rise, we all have had to deflect the nasty comment or less than positive assessment of our personality here and there.
    I have no doubt you will rise to the occasion. Just imagine your are a duck and the words fall of you like water drops from a duck’s back. It works for me.

    How about a nice interview? I am sure Bedu would love to do an interview with you. You can explain your views on internet and blogging. Your experiences while studying abroad, and your experiences in Saudi Arabia.

  53. @aafke,
    my comment about cheap came from my emails to Carol. I said “I assume he is a cheap…” Godaddy.com is basic economy hosting so I doubt that anyone who chose this service would quickly move to something much more expensive. I was a bit incensed about the incident, I hate seeing my friends hurt and I was intemperate.

  54. Well, Jerry, I have no problem with your comments.
    So I guess this is where we go all fluffy and warm and cuddly….

  55. Good luck Carol with your treatment. I’ll pray for you. This is my last comment. Adios.

  56. Shukran Alek for your prayers, Fares. I am a strong believer in the almighty power of prayer. I also wish you all the best.

    On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM, American Bedu

  57. Keep up the amazing work you’re all doing (love your blogs!) I know it’s frustrating to work this hard only to have someone outright steal from you—but an enlightened reader can truly see the authentic author. And more importantly… God sees everything! 🙂 Good luck and know you have your readers support!

  58. I have been in Saudi Arabia for almost 10 years and have worked with them intimately, teaching and working with upper middle-class and upper class Saudi females. I’ll tell you this: Faris Al-Osaimi’s comments reflect PERFECTLY the attitude of many middle & upper-middle class Saudis, which is this:

    “The world is mine. It is there to serve me. If I can get away with it, it’s alright. Anyone who gets in my away is an annoying person who must be dealt with or gotten rid of. Anyone who disagrees with me, the problem is with him or her. Anyone who is of not of social consequence (i.e., not a true Saudi) is of no consequence.

    It is the attitude that many Saudis were raised with, growing up with people serving them and appeasing them their entire lives. It’s not 100% their fault, but it doesn’t take away the responsibility to change their attitudes and beliefs. Unfortunately this attitude doesn’t work everywhere and Faris has had a taste of this. Unfortunately for Fari, it does seem as though he still doesn’t get the message, poor chap.

    This is not to say that all Saudis are like Faris. There are all kinds and most have very good qualities. The older generation also worked hard to build up the country, though they’ve had a tendency to spoil their children, which is what we’re now seeing in this article scraping case.

    At the end of the day, it’s a good country and I wish it the best.

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