Scraping | Searching For And Copying Content

I am sure when you hear the term ‘scraping’ you are thinking more along the lines of a cooking utensil:

or what you do when you need to clean down the edges of a bowl while baking.

But, what I am referring to here is blog scraping. I have been meaning to do this post for some time, as there are a few of my friends who are not sure what the term actually refers to. The reason I have chosen to do this post now is because I want to participate in this month’s Vinatics, but I feel uncomfortable using a recipe from a blogger, when I know that blogger scrapes content.

Before I get into more about scraping, take a look at this Jamie Oliver post. And once you have done that, take a look at the photo here (EDIT: 2012 this link no longer works as the page has been deleted) – page down a bit and look at the date. (the one of the brownie)

Blog scraping is the process of scanning through blogs, searching for and copying content. Scraping is copying a blog that is not owned by the individual initiating the scraping process. If the material is copyrighted it is considered copyright infringement, unless there is a license relaxing the copyright.

A blog scraper who gathers content that is copyrighted material is considered in violation of the law. Blog scraping can create problems for the individual who owns the blog. Scrapers can copy an entire post from an independent blog or blogs. The duplicated content will usually not include the author’s tag and/or a link back to the author’s site. However, most blog scrapers copy only a portion of the content that is relevant to their splog (scraped blog) topic.

Additionally, scraped content can appear on literally any type of splog or RSS-fed site. This means an unsuspecting individual could find their creative or copyrighted material copied onto a site promoting pornography or similar type of content that may be offensive to the original author and his/her audience. This may be damaging to the original author’s reputation.

sourced and edited from Wikipedia

So, I now hope you have a better understanding of what scraping is. I would take it a step further for food bloggers and say that any time you use someone else’s recipe, and don’t link back and acknowledge the person it is scraping. Further, changing one element of a recipe even though it makes it your own, should not be done without acknowledging from whom the original idea came from.

I have had several occasions where my recipes have been scraped and/or copied. Some have had one element changed, not an ingredient but an actual cooking process and each time I have seen my recipe scraped the regard I hold for that person as a blogger has gone out of the window.

The recipe I have used goes to show you we can all be ignorant of some issues. I don’t read recipes so that I can maintain my originality, but it just so happens that the brownie recipe that appears in Lavender & Lime is the same as Jamie’s. Sticking with that recipe, take a look now at this post. Link removed due to site no longer existing). Do you notice something? The recipe is a direct copy from Jamie Oliver and the photo has been scraped. My comment to the blogger:

1 Jul 2010, 16:53
Reply | Edit | Delete
Hi Dominique – I assume this is the recipe from Jamie Oliver? Also, did you use an internet photograph? Was just wondering?

was never replied to. It is the reason I did not use her recipe as given in the Vinatics challenge – who knows who I might be copying?

Please, be sensible and sensitive and link back when you copy or adapt a recipe

For more on copyright and ethics, click here

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