OTA re-transmission

Dale H. Cook radiotest@plymouthcolony.net
Wed Jul 2 08:42:09 EDT 2014

At 07:18 AM 7/2/2014, Richard Chonak wrote:

>When you retransmit a message that someone was giving away for free, how does it hurt them?

I have a number of original PDF files on my site for genealogical researchers, and the site is free. A number of commercial sites, known as scrapers, have grabbed my files and posted them on their sites. Their goal is to get those files listed in the search engines higher than the listing on my site, attracting eyeballs to their site rather than mine, and profiting from the advertising that they sell. That hurts me in three ways.

1) Copyright laws protect me, and notice of copyright, notice concerning my ban on redistribution, and notice of the fee that I charge for the use of my files by a commercial site, are given on those pages. The unauthorized use of my files by a scraper violates my right to control my intellectual property. Some of those files have required very many hours of work spread out over a decade or more. Under US copyright law the scrapers have no right to use them without my permission.

2) They are profiting from my work without paying me the rate stated on the pages that hold those files. That hurts me financially as my site costs money to put online and they are not compensating me for their use of and profit from my work.

3) Those files are enlarged and corrected regularly. Someone who gets one of my files from a scraper site often gets a version that is months out of date and may have uncorrected errors. That is a disservice to the visitor, but the scrapers care nothing about the content, only about their profit. I have learned about some scraper sites from people who ask about my "out of date" file (one of my email addresses is given in each file).

Is this much different than what Aereo was doing?

Dale H. Cook, Contract Engineer, Roanoke/Lynchburg, VA

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