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Leggo My Brand…o, Overheard on Twitter #4

This is a slightly different approach the the Overheard on Twitter – let us know what you think. The last few brought up the concept of branding, and this time we wanted to take a look at brand theft.

brand theft
Photo by Jef Bettens

You have worked very hard to develop a brand that conveys not just what you do, but for whom you want to do it. Your brand is you, it’s personal, it’s your special baby.

Then, just as you become popular – they take all your hard work, and make it their own.

They Stole Your Content

As if spam comments weren’t bad enough, now some people see fit to just outright steal your content by scraping your RSS feed and republishing it.

@QueenofSpain fought back by asking Are You Reading This on BlogNetNews.com?

Well, it turns out BlogNetNews really is trying to run an honorable site.

“It is alleged that BNN does not link back to your blog. This is, bluntly, FALSE. It does link back. If you click on the title of your post, it redirects to your site. If you click on the name of your blog, it brings you to another BNN page that shows blurbs of your blog’s most current posts. Click on one and it takes you to your blog.” – Nolanotes

There are ways of preventing content theft:

pchere pchere Stop RSS Feed Scraping with AntiLeech WordPress Plugin https://tinyurl.com/38anns 11:24 PM March 27, 2008 from twitterfeed

They Hijacked Your Profile

There’s a new kind of identity thief in town – are your profile doors locked and secure?

Sam Harrelson samharrelson I’m a MySpace spammer: https://tinyurl.com/yrpxyt 07:40 PM January 28, 2008 from twitterrific

Patricia Mayo mayobrains @samharrelson It’s really unfortunate that it is so hard to control one’s image on those sites, especially where it’s so imperative for pros 07:46 PM January 28, 2008 from web in reply to samharrelson

Sam Harrelson samharrelson @mayobrains No doubt. Personality hijacking (in a prof sense) should be criminal when it comes to social networks. 07:48 PM January 28, 2008 from twitterrific in reply to mayobrains

They Snatched Your Domain

From an earlier interview with Todd Mintz:

To most domainers, domains are “online real estate” and domaining is the practice of investing in “online real estate” with the expectation of earning a nice ROI. Now, there are rules that honest domainers must follow and one such rule is not to violate somebody’s trademark in any domain that is registered.

Deliberate cybersquatting is clearly wrong…however, the great majority of domain purchasers don’t know much about trademark rules nor do they know the penalties for violating them. Instances like the one involving The Simpsons Movie occur mostly out of ignorance and such people, even if their intent was to profit from their actions, must be separated from the “professional rogues” in the industry.

There are literally hundreds upon thousands of people who have been victim to domain theft in one form or another. Just last year Wiki.com was caught in a mix up, and in three years “cybersquatting” has increased almost 50%.

The only way you can prevent this from happening to you is by keeping up with all the new tricks they’re using to steal your domain.


If you haven’t taken the time to develop your brand yet, realize this simple fact – something is only worth being stolen if it is valuable. Your brand holds an immeasurable amount of potential.

Go ahead – build a brand worth stealing!


  1. James Chartrand - Men with Pens

    Ahhh, perfect usage. So that’s what the link was for! Thanks for returning the link favor – cheers!

  2. Dave Mastio

    Thank you for the effort at correcting the errors in your original post, however, you’ve left out some important facts.

    Queen of Spain admits in her post that I contacted her about the launch of BlogNetNews.com/Parenting back in 2006. She says she does not remember whether she opted in or not. I don’t either.

    Regardless, she knew exactly what we were doing because either she opted in or we wrote her an email telling her. When she asked to be removed, we removed her within 24 hours.

    There’s no either way about it. If you want to teach about social media, I suggest you teach a couple things … read what bloggers actually write and then check out the facts for yourself before you rely upon them.

  3. Charfish Charlie

    Great post! Wish I’d written meownself. Thanks for the inclusion and thanks for pushing the branding issue. It disappeared for a while, and now it’s back in fashion – right where it should be.

    Take care!