A New Kind of Fake News Assault: 47 Sites (Including Zero Hedge) Steal an emptywheel Post

Update: Zero Hedge says the piece was sent in via their tips line, which led them to believe it was fair for reposting. They have agreed to take it down.

Update: I’ve taken off one more site.

A little over a week ago, emptywheel was damaged by a kind of fake news attack I hadn’t heard of before.

First, Zero Hedge stole my post, “On Disinformation and the Dossier,” reposting it without permission almost in its entirety.

From there, the 47 other dodgy sites listed below, mostly but not all Forex Trading sites, stole it.

The mass theft is all the more interesting given the topic of the post, arguing that it is increasingly likely Russia inserted disinformation into the Steele dossier to make it harder for the Democrats (and, perhaps, the FBI) to respond to Russia’s attack. Not even Zero Hedge, however, seems to have understood the post itself doesn’t support the either the pro-Trump or the FBI-abuse narrative.

We don’t have the bandwidth to chase down all these dodgy sites to issue takedown notices (and a goodly number of these sites are hosted in Europe), though we did try with ZH itself. But we are posting the following takedown language to make it clear we consider this theft, and to make public what happened.

Takedown language

It has come to our attention the websites listed below have made unauthorized use of copyrighted and protected work entitled “On Disinformation and the Dossier” (the “Work”). All rights have been reserved to the Work, first published on January 29, 2018. The protection so described has been actively and affirmatively asserted and noticed to the public for years.

The websites’ reposting is essentially identical, if not in fact identical and copied in whole, to the Work, and clearly used the Work as its basis, if not the entirety. A word-for-word comparison between the Work and your work reveals no difference between the two articles. That is telling.

As you neither asked for, nor received, permission to use the Work as the basis for your reprint, nor to make or distribute copies, including electronic copies, of same, we believe you have willfully infringed our rights under 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $150,000 as set forth in Section 504(c)(2) therein.

We simply cannot, and will not, allow our work to be so converted without knowledge, permission, control and consent by emptywheel.net and therefore affirmatively demand you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from any and all Emptywheel.net works as described herein, and all copies, including electronic copies, of same, that you deliver to us, if applicable, all unused, undistributed copies of same, or destroy such copies immediately and that you desist from this or any other infringement of our rights in the future.

Sites stealing the Disinformation post

Note: I don’t recommend you click through on any of these links, as I can’t vouch for the safety of any of these sites.

  1. URL: https :// www.zerohedge. com/news/2018-01-30/disinformation-dossier — Site: Zero Hedge
  2. URL: http :// earthsfinalcountdown. com/wp/2018/01/30/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: Earth’s Final Countdown
  3. URL: http :// ifttt.itbehere. com/2018/01/31/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: iftttwall
  4. URL: http :// www.tradebuddy. online/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: tradebuddy.online
  5. URL: http :// thedeplorablepatriots. com/2018/01/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: thedeplorablepatriots
  6. URL: https :// newzsentinel. com/2018/01/31/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: newzsentinel
  7. URL: http :// protradingresearch. com/2018/01/30/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: ProTradingResearch
  8. URL: http :// telzilla. com/zero-hedge/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: telzilla
  9. URL: https :// www.investingdailynews. net/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: Investing Daily News
  10. URL: http :// independentnews. media/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: independentnews.media
  11. URL: https :// www.wallstreetkarma. com/2018/01/30/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: Wall Street Karma
  12. URL: http :// stocktalkjournal. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: StockTalk Journal
  13. URL: https :// www.realpatriot.news/2018/01/30/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: Real Patriot News
  14. URL: http :// forex-enligne-fr. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forex enligne
  15. URL: http :// forexshaft. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: Forexshaft
  16. URL: http :// wallstreetsectorselector. info/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: wallstreet selector info
  17. URL: http :// theforexcenter. info/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: theforexcenter.info
  18. URL: http :// forexnewstoday. net/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forexnewstoday
  19. URL: http :// eforexblog. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: eforexblog
  20. URL: http :// options168. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: options168
  21. URL: http :// mypees. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: mypees
  22. URL: http :// top10brokersbinaryoptions. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: top10brokersbinaryoptions
  23. URL: http :// binaryoption. cz/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: binary option
  24. URL: http :// opinionforex-oficial. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: opinion forex
  25. URL: http :// entertainment-ask. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: entertainment ask
  26. URL: http :// binarybrokersblog. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: binary brokers blog
  27. URL: http :// forex-trading-profits. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forex trading profits
  28. URL: http :// leaveeunow.co. uk/todays-news-31st-january-2018/ — Site: The One Hundredth Monkey
  29. URL: http :// uroptions. net/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: uroptions
  30. URL: http :// forexpic. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forexpic
  31. URL: http :// costamesalibraryfoundation. org/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: costamesalibraryfoundation
  32. URL: http :// secretsforex. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: secretsforex
  33. URL: http :// forexrogue. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forexrogue
  34. URL: http :// whatisaforex. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: whatisaforex
  35. URL: http :// megaprojectfx-forex. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: megaprojeectfx
  36. URL: http :// construction24h. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: construction24h
  37. URL: http :// forex-4you. com/2018/01/31/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forex4u
  38. URL: http :// binar-experten. de/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: binarexperten
  39. URL: http :// tradingbinaryinfo. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: tradingbinaryinfo
  40. URL: http :// comparforex. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: comparforex
  41. URL: http :// forexoperate. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forexoperate
  42. URL: http :// pustakaforex. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: pustakaforex
  43. URL: http :// forexdemoaccountfree. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forexdemoaccountfree
  44. URL: http :// wordforex. net/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: wordforex
  45. URL: http :// forex518. com/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: forex518
  46. URL: http :// 4-forex. info/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: 4 forex
  47. URL: http :// fastforexprofit. com/2018/01/31/on-disinformation-the-dossier/ — Site: fastforex
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34 replies
  1. Willis Warren says:

    Wow.  Zerohedge was outed by a right wing lunatic “streetwise professor” back when they were pimping the 99% protests.  Since then, streetwise has gone pure pro trump and denies any Russian influence.  He’s seriously a HUGE douche, but he outed Zero before anyone else I’ve found.

  2. Pete says:

    I actually saw that post and pointed it out in one of the EW threads around that time.  I had NO IDEA it was stolen by ZH.

    That troubles me because up until now I have found ZH to mostly be worthwhile – using a heavy filter especially for the comments.

    Quite unlike here where the articles are ALWAYS top notch and the commentary is almost as good especially with tough but IMHO even-handed policing from bmaz and likely others.

    And, for that, you get another donation from me.  My pleasure.

    Pete

      • Willis Warren says:

        I had originally pegged ZH as a douchey libertarian site, anti fed propaganda.

        I continue to be amazed at the overlap of the Russian agenda and the libertarians.

          • matt says:

            Kochs family fortune was made in Stalinist Russia.  They are the leading drivers of Libertarianism in politics, media, and education, and I’m sure the Koch brothers have a soft spot for the land that made their dad rich.

    • Les says:

      Except he left out the progressive media sites, such as Democracy Now and Mother Jones, which also tended to be sympathetic to the Occupy Movement and on the various US Middle East wars during the same period from 2009 to 2014.   That changed sharply after Ukraine, Russian entering the Syria war, and 2016 election as has much media coverage.

  3. Trip says:

    Off topic, but Navalny Links Kremlin to Trump Campaign Aide Paul Manafort
    Spoiler alert: He doesn’t exactly provide proof, but innuendo based on oligarch behavior.
    Mostly focuses on Deripaska and bribes with oligarchs, plus yachts and prostitutes. Name dropped: Victoria Nuland.

    https://themoscowtimes.com/news/navalny-claims-proof-kremlins-ties-to-trump-campaign-aide-paul-manafort-60442

    On topic, ZH hunts down any info which seems to paint a vibrant picture for their cause. I thought they had some good articles, but that the commenters were repugnant, however, it lost any credibility, with the story about emails on Weiner’s laptop and the ‘impending arrest of Clinton’ (Pizzagate evidence).

  4. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Bad guys at ZH.

    At this time, you get the following error:

    “You are not authorized to access this page.”

    That does *NOT* mean it is taken down.
    It Is just administratively blocked.

    If it was really taken down (404), the message would be:

    “The requested page could not be found.”

    The two error messages come from the same ZH server.

    ZH has some ‘splaining’ to do.

    Besides their less than forthright response so far, it is likely the other sites are for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

    So, if, say via FB or twitter, ‘word’ gets out about stuff in the article. Users ‘search’, and instead of finding the original article here, they go to a suspect site.

    I’m not going to try the others, but my guess is this setup could lead to malware attacks.

  5. harpie says:

    That’s a pretty limp response from ZH for plagiarizing Marcy’s work and putting Durden’s name on it. I wonder why they left out the bits they left out.

    [And thanks SLF for the explanation at 2:12pm.]

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Durden is a handle for many people.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_Hedge

      Former Zero Hedge writer Colin Lokey said that he was pressured to frame issues in a way he felt was “disingenuous,” summarizing its political stances as “Russia=good. Obama=idiot. Bashar al-Assad=benevolent leader. John Kerry=dunce. Vladimir Putin=greatest leader in the history of statecraft.” Zero Hedge founder Daniel Ivandjiiski, in response, said that Lokey could write “anything and everything he wanted directly without anyone writing over it.” On leaving, Lokey said: “I can’t be a 24-hour cheerleader for Hezbollah, Moscow, Tehran, Beijing, and Trump anymore. It’s wrong. Period. I know it gets you views now, but it will kill your brand over the long run. This isn’t a revolution. It’s a joke.”

      Dr. Craig Pirrong, professor at the Bauer College of Business writes that “I have frequently written that Zero Hedge has the MO of a Soviet agitprop operation, that it reliably peddles Russian propaganda: my first post on this, almost exactly three years ago, noted the parallels between Zero Hedge and Russia Today.”

  6. David says:

    Unfortunately by listing all of these sites on your respected site, you boost them all in Google (and probably other) search rankings and help validate them.

    • Rayne says:

      I doubt it will be enough to do much for them but link backs can be fixed pretty handily and quickly. Right now it’s more important that these sites receive a pingback notifying them of this post.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Emergency Marcy!

      Force Break those links. See above where I described to Trip how to force break a URL.

      All 48 need to be broken immediately.

      If Google crawls this page tonight, yes, as David noted, it will not help the situation.
      (may already be too late)

      BMAZ, it does not matter if anyone clicks on them. If a search engine crawler sees them, it is worse than random people clicking on them.

      Rayne, the sites in question do not care if this site knows of their machinations.
      They flat out do not care.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        Marcy, even though probably too late, and search engine crawlers have already seen, I would force break the 48 URLs anyway for two reasons.

        1. You don’t want readers to potentially be attacked from one of the sites.

        2. Search engine may actually be smart enough to notice newly broken link and flush old data.

      • Rayne says:

        Dude. Chill the fuck out. Those sites aren’t suddenly going to earn a bunch of cash from elevation, or instantly become credible resources for breaking news. We’re not going to discuss the site’s technical operations any further on this matter, either.

      • bmaz says:

        Listen, I was away earlier, but Rayne is right – Chill the fuck out.

        Contrary to your seeming belief, we have been around a while. We can take care of ourselves. Thanks.

        • matt says:

          I’ve seen Marcy on Democracy Now, and she is wonderfully articulate and professional, captivating actually.  Jim and Ed seem to be cool and thoughtful intellectuals.  However, the comments made above by Bmaz and Rayne to someone who is trying to help just seem rude and ignorant.  Especially because SLF is right, putting up those links on your site can damage your search metrics.

          I think you owe SLF a “thank you” not a “fu*k you.”

          • SpaceLifeForm says:

            It’s all good. Marcy fixed.

            Ironically, yesterday I did check one of the links, because it caught my eye. I checked it because the name did not imply forex.

            This site (which had most of the article BTW), actually did contain a link back to the original article here. Link was named ‘Via EmptyWheel.net’. Still there now.
            Maybe they went overboard on fair-use, but at least this particular site did link back here.

            httpX://leaveeunow.co.uk/todays-news-31st-january-2018/

            But the ZH link has not changed at this time.

            It is still administratively blocked, it is not 404.

            httpsX://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-30/disinformation-dossier

            And now that Marcy did forcebreak the URLs,
            note that only 6 of the 48 sites use https.
            42 use plain http which is a big red flag.

            • bmaz says:

              No, Rayne did that because of your relentless bitching. And, FYI, we had already addressed the issue before you decided that YOU ought to run things for us.

              We have been here quite a while, and long before you came along. The initial suggestion was one thing, the relentless flogging another. We will take care of ourselves, and already had before that post even went live. Without your insistent help. Thanks.

  7. Rapier says:

    I was unemployed in 09 and since I watch the markets, but rarely trade them, I had ample time to see ZH when it started. It’s editorial policy was no editorial policy and so it has always been.

    Well eventually they did grasp an editorial policy of posting every conservative hack around. Publicity Hounds. Guys and gals who don’t mind that they are ripped off.

    In the beginning they did stuff on the corrupt nature of the markets. They had tons of stuff on High Frequency Trading, Michael Lewis sort of beat. They had other good stuff. I held my nose for awhile. Now I just wince when I see them linked.

    Then too, the two unassailable gods at ZH are Ron Paul and .Friedrich Hayek. This is not good company.

  8. Evangelista says:

    bmaz and Rayne and everybody else having conniptions,

    Chill!! Chill!!

    For heaven sake, let SLF and Willie W and all who want to rave-hyperventilate along with Marcy rave-hyperventilate!

    Marcy’s ‘Disinformation’ article was pay-the-rent garbage. A pull on the ‘Degenerate Russians Despicably Diningenuate, Duplicitously Deviate, Deliberately Dissemble to Dem Schill Steele to Screw Screwing of Screwy Election!!!’ bell-rope.

    Things must be really rough at EW for Marcy to be bouncing her head against the stratosphere for this kind of issue. Look at the event; you can see what happened: Some Prop-or-Not-style hound-the-hares Bill-Browder’s-Buddies “We hate Russians because their Putin screwed i[ pir screwing their country” Anti-Russia propaganda group read Marcy’s pay-the-rent no-legitimate-proof-perceived-required article for the pure-gossip-‘n-garbage article it was and shotgunned it to in-slots of a probably Prop-or-Not provided list of possible disseminator sites, who picked it up as the providers’ provided content and ran it as provided-and-so-available-to-publish.

    Do you see any attribution to Marcy or EW on the ZH header Marcy copied? Or, if you go check, in archives, on the ZH post of the header? No. You see “Tyler Durden”, a character from fiction, that means, on ZH, “Provided Anonymously” without byline.

    That means ZH did not get the article by link or with link or attribution, because when they do they attribute and link. Go review the ZH site’s real conten instead pissing down your legs in hysteria at content you don’t like, or gossip horror-stories you read and believe for your love of fainting.

    For those who cannot bother to do any research themselves, ZH is a financial information site. The content they post that is not finance-related is addenda, fill, Sunday-funnies, a cross-section of current hysterias waving this that or another sector of the inter-web. Accusing them of stealing that kind of content, especially when the piece is the kind of pure gossip-and-innuendo foreign-to-fact-checking intellectual embarrassment that Marcy is complaining was took is like accusing someone of stealing dandylions or crab-grass from the cracks in ‘your’ sidewalk.

    Marcy would have done a lot better for herself to have written to ZH and any other not pure propaganda site posters of the stolen article to ask for a trace to the article-stealers, who did the stealing and who ‘fenced’ her content anonymously, or as their own free-and-available to dupe other sites to repost it.

    • Rayne says:

      Your comment proves you are over your head on the topic of U.S. copyright violation and Fair Use. Find another site to plague, E.

    • matt says:

      I’m not a fan of ZH, but Evangelista is right about the fact that they could have taken a submission from a contributor that stole your article.  Maybe you could acknowledge that, instead of attacking yet again.  May I suggest a quick study of the topics of Conflict Resolution and Interpersonal Communication?

      • Rayne says:

        First, read the note at the beginning of the post. This site has had dialog with ZH and the post was removed. This situation has been addressed.

        Second, do not encourage Evangelista who is known for concern trolling combined with the added fillip of obstructing conversation by way of excess commentary.

        Thirdly, your point about community management is taken but unneccessary. Please stay on topic.

Comments are closed.