I guess this is Peter Grant’s blog now

He’s not writing anything on it; in fact, he doesn’t seem to be contributing anything at all. But he has created a blog that siphons off every single thing posted on Freethoughtblogs and reposts it on his personal site.

I’m generous with the content here — lots of people have asked to repost individual entries, and as long as they give full attribution, I’m fine with that. But sucking up all the content of a whole bunch of sites and dumping it to your own? Not cool. Not cool at all.

We also make this easy for people to do, because we allow full content in our RSS feed. You like that? Well, we could change it if it continues to provide an easy entry for parasites. You might want to let Peter Grant know that his efforts could induce us to tighten up what we publish on our feed. Maybe you’re one of those people who just love abbreviated RSS feeds — be sure and thank him if that’s the case!


  1. says

    You are indeed generous with your content, and that’s something I admire. I also eagerly give attribution, but I keep it light so people don’t think I just get everything from Pharyngula. Now on to learning how to turn the website back on again after the SOPA protest shutdown…

  2. carlie says

    Given what a jerk he’s being about it, it would be funny if every FTB blog ran only posts with the title “peter grant is a ” with the rest filled in creatively for a few days.

    As long as each had a disclaimer that it wasn’t the eminent biologist Peter Grant.

  3. krismaglione says

    Nooo! The RSS feeds have already been marking the last 25 entries as read every time I update for the last few days and driving me mad. Don’t make them worse! It’s easy enough to scrape sites for content without RSS, a lot less easy for users to aggregate their blogs without it.

  4. says

    Peter Grant:

    It was never my intention to upset anyone. I am only trying to promote atheism, skepticism, freethought etc.

    My my. You give douchebag a whole new meaning, Mr. Grant. So, it never once ran across that pea brain of yours that stealing the work of others could possibly be upsetting? Amazing.

    If all you truly want is to promote atheism, skepticism, free thought, etc., then I imagine you could come up with your own original work to do so, rather than choose to be a pimple on the arse of the atheist, skeptic and freethought community.

    Your so-called reasons for being a lazy, stupid thief have the validity of a weasel fart. If you had any actual desire to promote our community, you’d start with doing the right thing (just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, remove all the stolen material, then stop stealing), then distancing yourself greatly from the atheist, skeptic and freethought community, as you’re a lousy example of a decent human being.

  5. says

    It wouldn’t be very hard to program your web server to redirect all his requests to conservapedia or something, if he’s using the same IP address for all his queries.

  6. MFHeadcase says

    Marcus Ranum @13

    You are an evil, evil man, would you happen to be single and/or poly as well as bi or gay?

    I am actually more or less straight, but would make an exception.

  7. DLC says

    Dude. just stop posting the whole articles. use linkbacks or something instead. or even . . . gasp!. . . write your own commentary on the articles posted here.

  8. heavymetalyogi says

    A couple of years ago I found that a couple of blogs were stealing my content word for word. I wouldn’t have found out if they hadn’t copied and pasted everything. Everything including my creative commons license. When I searched my name I found it. It sucks.

  9. chakolate says

    Um, isn’t plagiarism still against the law?

    The good ladies at alt.support.menopause shut down one website whose owner just took our words and posted them as her own.

    Can’t PZ do the same?

  10. MFHeadcase says

    Oh, there are plenty of legal remedies, hell they could DMCA his ass, though even mentioning that option makes me want to spit.

    Ed, PZ and the rest are going with the reasonable route first, pointing out their copyright, and the fact that the douchebag is violating it.

    Lawyers are the next step, one that would be unnecessary of the shitstain had any sense.

  11. Midnight Rambler says

    It wouldn’t be very hard to program your web server to redirect all his requests to conservapedia or something, if he’s using the same IP address for all his queries.

    This is, after all, how goatse became widespread.

    Incidentally, I’m pretty sure that Tumblr would get caught up in just about any new anti-piracy law, even one that fixes the problems of SOPA. Pretty much every Tumblr I’ve seen is composed of >90% copyright infringement, and most are 100%.

  12. Stardrake says

    Uhhh–The “Free” in “Freethought Blogs” does NOT mean “free for me to put my name on”. I mean really, now……

  13. richcon says

    I for one read your site through the RSS feed, and it’s awesome that you’re putting full feeds out.

    I read the full stories in RSS, and then if I want to leave a comment or check out a video you embedded I’ll click through to your actual web site.

    Sites with abbreviated or nonexistent RSS feeds get much less of my attention.

    Thanks for making them available!


  14. skephtic says

    Over react much?

    I happen to love RSS feeds, and if you are providing full text feeds, that is your own fault. You are already providing that service to people so you can’t blame peter grant for any lack of page views based on his repeating the RSS feed. How is that different from people reading it in their RSS reader? If he’s stripping your RSS feed ads out, then I think you have something to gripe about.

    Grant sounds like a dick, so I don’t plan on using his feed. But I do like the http://planetatheism.com/ feed that has been up and running for a while and is, presumably, completely unrelated to Peter Grant. And you know what it does? It gets me to click on the articles–even the ones that aren’t truncate–because I want to join the discussions like this one. If you provide a community–not just text–people will come to your blog and give you page views. And you do.

  15. says

    @ skephtic #25

    Planet Atheism is run by Dehumanizer which has this tagline next to its Planet Atheism listing: “Planet Atheism – an aggregator of atheism-related blogs. Why not add yours, too?”

    Wouldn’t the whole problem here be (if P.A. were the site being addressed on this thread instead of Peter Grants’) — wouldn’t it be the case that no one with any authority to do so took the action of adding Freethought Blogs to this aggregator/republisher?

  16. rajeshshenoy says

    Reminds me of this pick-pocket that my friend chased down and nabbed a few years back. While being taken away by the police in handcuffs, he looked at my friend and said, “If only you had asked me decently, I’d have returned your wallet”!!!!

  17. Ichthyic says

    You are already providing that service to people so you can’t blame peter grant for any lack of page views based on his repeating the RSS feed.

    actually, they can.

    there is nothing that says that Grant needs to make all his RSS feeds into a fucking public website.

    that website allows people to visit it without seeing the adfeeds.

    it’s quite straightforward, really.

    People seem quite upset. What is the harm in this exactly?

    see the above, and also you were answered in more detail over on Ed’s blog.

  18. says

    People seem quite upset. What is the harm in this exactly?

    Well, the harm is that it has annoyed Ed and PZ.

    Annoyance is not a big huge honking deal, but it is some nonzero harm.

  19. Ichthyic says

    just stop posting the whole articles. use linkbacks or something instead

    I just checked his site. It looks to me like he is trying to modify it to do just that.

    at least some of the articles posted there now are excerpts instead of whole texts.

    hopefully, that will be the end of the problem.

  20. speedweasel says

    skephtic said,

    You are already providing that service to people so you can’t blame peter grant for any lack of page views based on his repeating the RSS feed. How is that different from people reading it in their RSS reader?

    Its the difference between:

    1. You watching CNN in your living room and;
    2. You stripping their branding, editing out the advertisements then *rebroadcasting* CNN to the entire continent, presenting it as your own TV channel.

    Are you disingenuous or just stupid?

  21. davem says

    I use the RSS feeds, and I sometimes read the articles in the RSS reader, or if I want to see the comments, here at the blog.

    The RSS feed is borked – the comments after each article are all the same, mixed, jumbled from all the current threads, not just the article in the feed. Needs fixing, please.

  22. thunderbird5 says

    From Grant’s place at http://atheistfeed.blogspot.com/2012/01/copyright-violation.html?showComment=1327176796981#c9141084974087798986

    in reply to Ed Brayton calling him out:

    “I might have considered truncating the feeds from my side if I had been approached in a more respectful manner, but now, after receiving threats, I feel less inclined to ”

    He’s saying he would possibly have given a little more thought to it if we’d kiss his arse whilst he did so.

    He knew exactly what he was doing with all this – trying to boost hisself with lazy, rip-off, cut n’ paste jobs and when he got caught whining that all he was doing was “promoting atheism, skepticism and freethought”. The querelous, injured tone of ‘it was just my innocence and good intentions gone awry’ is pathetic.

  23. skephtic says

    The solution to all of this pearl clutching is pretty simple, limit the FTB RSS feeds to the above the fold material that appears on the blog home pages. That is a good natural truncation point for both the home pages and the RSS feeds, and will encourage both RSS news feed users and readers of RSS aggregate blogs to click through for the full content (in addition to all of us who click through to read the comments).

    Simple. No panty twisting needed.

  24. Midnight Rambler says

    Actually, Cooks Source was even worse – the person there was publishing the pirated articles in her own magazine with ads, and so making money off it herself. And on top of that, she complained about having to edit the “poorly written” articles she pirated…

  25. davidstarner says

    heavymetalyogi, I don’t understand. If you’re using a Creative Commons license, you’re giving them permission to copy and repost your blog word-for-word without notification. There might be technical errors in how they copied the license notification, but they aren’t doing they weren’t permitted to in your case.

  26. Chris Booth says

    My first reaction to the headline was along the lines of: “Peter Grant is going to do some guest posts in Pharyngula? The Peter Grant, of Peter and Rosemary Grant fame, the Galapagos finches Peter Grant? Cool!”

    Then I read PZ’s post and followed the links.

    Now I am wondering if this person has also appropriated Peter Grant’s name.

  27. says


    There are different levels of Creative Commons licenses – it doesn’t automatically mean free for all to use. Perhaps heavymetalyogi had decided on one of the more restrictive options? Which makes someone’s reuse of if it inexcusable.

  28. davidstarner says

    There’s six standard Creative Commons license, and they all have the property that someone can redistribute the works unaltered noncommercially.

  29. says

    It’s possible that heavymetalyogi was making a very cute joke.

    When I searched my name I found it.


    Everything including my creative commons license.

    Share Alike.

    But in any case, davidstarner is right.

  30. Sir Shplane, Grand Mixmaster, Knight of the Turntable says

    See, I’m totes ok with copyright infringement when it’s directed at megacorporations, or if you’re downloading some songs that would net the artist .000000000000001 cents of royalties for your purchase if you actually bought it. Hell, I could even argue that it’s a good thing, as it effectively functions as a form of wealth redistribution.

    But copying a bunch of blogs that were published for free by a group of random not-billionaires? Kind of a dick move there, Pete.

  31. says

    Just got a sudden surge of Pharyngula posts after noticing and re-activating a timed-out feed. PZ, did you really block your Yahoo Pipes? I didn’t thing you were that uptight.