Last week, I covered a controversy involving the well-known hip-hop site Global Grind. The controversy, originally reported by my friend and Copyright 2.0 Show co-host Patrick O’Keefe, had become something of a large-scale controversy, especially in the rap and hip-hop community, garnering many mentions on popular blogs and Twitter accounts.
In short, what O’Keefe accused Global Grind of doing, and the site later admitted, was scraping content from various sources, including one of O’Keefe’s blog, and publishing the content to Google. Since Global Grind had been accepted to Google News, the scraped content appeared there as well.
However, today I have an update on the case. After a week of the firestorm, it seems that Global Grind has not only stopped scraping, but has also removed all old scraped content from its site and stopped using its frame for outbound links.
All in all the news is extremely good. Though it is upsetting that Global Grind engaged in these practices in the first place and didn’t respond to O’Keefe’s initial, private, inquiries on the issue, it is clear they are taking the right steps now.
Currently, on their home page, all the stories pulled from other sources, of which there are only a few, cite just a few words and link directly to the original source, without the frame. Only one story contains more than an acceptable level of copied content and, judging from the way others were handled, it seems that it was likely an error made by a staff member, not a change in policy.
So, for now, this case seems to be largely resolved. Though I am still hoping for further changes from Global Grind, including a public statement on this issue and a designation of an actual DMCA agent, the major issues have been dealt with.
Hopefully this case will serve as a warning to other sites that may try a similar tactic, bloggers and Webmasters do notice and are not happy about this kind of infringement.