Blogs & Websites That Copy/Paste Material From LoyaltyLobby: Case IHG PointBreaks List

55 Comments

Back in September, a LoyaltyLobby reader tweeted that there are some “titans” that appear to be using material from LoyaltyLobby to come up with their posts.

Blogs Websites Copy Paste LoyaltyLobby Content LL

Knowing that none of these credit card pimpers (pardon my language) would take two to three hours of their time by doing a manual rewrite of a PointBreaks list that IHG provided (only URLs – no property names), I decided to do an experiment.

Blogs Websites Copy Paste LoyaltyLobby Content

One of the hotels on the last PointBreaks list was called “Holiday Inn Express & Suites LaGrange, Georgia” and I decided to switch the name of the city to Lacrange and give Google some time to index the websites that just copy/pasted the entire PointBreaks list.

Blogs Websites Copy Paste LoyaltyLobby Content Websites

The results are quite interesting to say the least. There were 40 Google hits outside of LoyaltyLobby that had this Lacrange spelling.

You can do the same search by using search string “Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lacrange”. You must have the “ on the both end of the search and make sure that Google doesn’t execute the search for the correct spelling.

Conclusion

Well. Not really a surprise. If your website/blog mainly pimps credit cards, you probably won’t take the time of writing out the list because that would actually take some time and effort. Easier to just copy/paste it from someone else.

I certainly would have preferred spending that beautifully summer’ish late September Friday afternoon in Montreal sipping adult beverages on a terrace rather than fixing this IHG list issue, but I knew that LoyaltyLobby readers would appreciate it.

Referencing the list that I made and including a snippet would have been fine, but just copy/pasting it in its entirety certainly is not.

As I pointed out above, there is more than 40 hits for the list with the not so correct spelling of this city that I just made up, but I just decided to call out these two examples, as both operations are commercial on purpose and the authors really should know better.

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55 Comments

  1. And so what?

    Your articles are copies in one way or another.

    This all helps news get around.

    If you wrote unique articles I would agree.

  2. Hi John, I wished you changed the name of the hotel to LaCringe instead. This would have been more apt in shaming them. Lol.

    • All examples of that word on the screenshot you just shared are spelled “Lagrange,” not “Lacrange.” John is right.

      • It’s more likely that the other blogs were lifting from VFTW or H4P, which are much more prominent blogs than this one, neither of which claimed to have found the information on their own. Those blogs may not even have known this was the source.

          • The source is not Loyalty Lobby, but IHG. LL copied it. Gary credited both the original source of the list (IHG), and where he first saw the list (H4P). So kudos to them for crediting both!

        • But Jennifer vftw is nothing more than a cc pumping clown,most true frequewnt travelers have no need for anything he offers…so who cares?

  3. You have used Van Halens M & Ms policy on a smaller scale, John. If you have not heard, have a quick google search. I agree that John has every to be peeved about it. If they take his stuff then at least credit him and give a link to his site.

    • It’s not his stuff! It’s IHG’s. He originated nothing. Not the hotels, not the list. And the person that rewrote about the list and first heard of it from LL credited LL. There is nothing to be peeved about.

      • If you read the original post on the IHG community forums, there was no hotels listed… and if you re-read this post, you’ll see that he had to research the actual hotels.

  4. Your protests would carry more weight if you weren’t taking things that Gary and Lucky post all the time without attribution. When you’ve been called out on this in the past your denials ring hollow.

    Take a look at VFTW, he links to and credits Loyalty Lobby all the time. Calling him out on this is particularly bizarre, in the post in question about he credits Head for Points as his source for the list and shows the entire list as a quote.

    Flyertalk is probably the Head for Points source, and H4P is clearly Gary’s source. Now start crediting the bloggers you’re copying stuff from and you might get some sympathy. Here you just look petty and hypocritical.

    • Loyalty Lobby was the HeadForPoints source, the HFP article contained the below and included a link to Loyalty Lobby.

      A big hat-tip to Loyalty Lobby who manually added the hotel names to the list, as the blog post produced by IHG did not include them!

      • Loyalty Lobby is claiming that other blogs are copying him without attribution, implying that these blogs are trying to present themselves as the original source.

        The evidence he offers is that a misspelling on Loyalty Lobby shows up on other sites.

        But here we have Head For Points crediting Loyalty Lobby, and we have VFTW crediting Head For Points as the place he found the information. That’s the exact opposite of what John says is going on!

        At best John has a whiny claim that Gary should have credited him instead of the site where he read the list of participating hotels.

        But he calls out specific blogs, including Gary’s, when it’s been demonstrated that Gary cited a source and did not claim to have come up with the list on his own. Clearly an apology is owed here, and not to LL.

        • If I remember my academic career correctly, you still have to credit the original source, not the author who included it in subsequent research.

          While this is surely not academics, I would think the same courtesy applies.

          • Even so, by ACADEMIC (and not blog) standards you’re saying Gary got the attribution wrong (by acknowledging where he saw the information, not who originally put the information together).

            That is completely different than LL’s claim that the information was taken without attribution, more or less claiming that he found it himself — which he said in the original post he did not.

            LL’s charge is blatantly false. It’s a serious accusation, specifically calling out this blogger and disparaging him for something he clearly did not do if you simply bother to read his post. Will LL apologize? We’ll have to wait and see how honorable he wants to be about all of this.

          • Jennifer, the only charge that is blatantly false is yours. LL never claimed the information was taken without attribution. His issue is other bloggers copying and pasting his work. Here is what LL wrote: “Referencing the list that I made and including a snippet would have been
            fine, but just copy/pasting it in its entirety certainly is not.”

          • Copying the entire list verbatim and providing attribution is NOT fair use, and it is illegal. If that practice was acceptable and legal, then The Washington Post could take a New York Times article, reprint it, and say, “This originally appeared in the New York Times,” without getting any agreement or payment from NYT.

            Fair use would be posting a snippet or a partial screenshot and sending readers to the LL website for the complete list.

          • Is that a joke? Loyalty Lobby isn’t the original source of an IHG list. IHG is. So no one should ever have to credit LL for IHG’s public info. They should have to credit IHG, which Gary did.

            I have read this, and the comments, and fail to see an issue except the aggressive tone of this blog. Gary backlinks to LL when sourced, and backlinks to HFP, because there’s where he got the info.
            Gary got from HFP
            HGP got from LL
            LL got from IHG.

            Gary credited both HFP (where he read about the info), and IHG (the original source). Kudos Gary! Kudos.

          • No, if the subsequent research produced novel and useful results, then you have to credit that research directly. If the IHG list had been useful, VFTW would have copied it directly. It was not useful, LL added analysis to make it useful, and that new list is deemed original work.

    • Attribution is not the problem. A ‘hat tip’ or an attribution is not sufficient when another blog takes the entire list and pastes it into their website, because that does not drive traffic to LL website. LL added significant work and analysis to the IHG list, and that analysis and clarity is his property. He posts it on his website and gets advertising money when people click and stay on his website.

      Say ABC decides to take a public source material (e.g. the Illiad) and they make a miniseries out of it. They can’t copyright the “the Illiad” but certainly they can copyright their miniseries. That is the same thing LL did. He took an unfriendly and labor-intensive source material provided, did his own work and analysis to turn that into a new and useful list for his readers, and published that list under copyright.

      Instead of LL getting ad revenue from the work he did in compiling the list to make it useful, VFTW takes that revenue, and improves his own website stats because people stay longer on the page. At most the ‘hat tip’ is a bit of advertising for LL, it’s not driving direct traffic to LL’s website. And a professional blogger should (and almost certainly does) know this.

  5. “As I pointed out above, there is more than 40 hits for the list with the not so correct spelling” This is the second blog entry tonight where the author can’t tell singular from plural. Reminds me of why I don’t normally read blogs.

    • The author’s first language isn’t English; that considered, he’s doing a fantastic job. Give him a break, lady.

  6. Good approach to the issue. Facts are can not be copy written but you can still seed the lists and ask for credit from the legitimate publications. Your site is full of great information there is no reason for other sites to not turn their readers onto your content.

    • What this article doesn’t say is that the blog that originally used his list, did indeed credited him. Kudos to that blogger for saying where he/she first heard the content. And those that later used the second blog credited them. Kudos to them too. Since LL was not the author of the list or the hotels on the list, that person should be obligated to credit the original source and where they heard about it… and neither was LL.

  7. I do read and enjoy LoyaltyLobby for its original content and I think it’s ok to call out the copy&paste crowd.
    If you accuse LL of copying, at least provide some facts and don’t just throw the accusation out there. if it’s not worth your time to post the evidence, as he did, you have no credibility!

    • I can prove it. LL copied this content from IHG, and is not claiming to the originator of this list, even though it’s IHG’s. No one should be crediting LL.

      If I wrote a book on space and learned about neil degrasse tyson and his theories from Wikipedia, I wouldn’t credit wikipedia, I’d credit neil degrasse tyson. At best, LL aggregated content, like wiki would. But that’s hardly a matter here.

  8. Your blog is probably the best in the category and most exhaustive. I’m not surprised. I used to be a frequent visitor to boardingarea, but i think it’s worth spending time on your website alone than to go to 15 different sites.

    Keep up the good work, the best FF blog there is !

  9. Wow! That’s nuts. Can you copyright things in your blog? I guess it’s public info but still that’s pretty much stealing. I really appreciate your blog and will keep sending you my scoops 😀

      • This is not IHG’s list. IHGs list was a bunch of URLs that do not include the property name. LL went through, clicked each link, found the property name and location, and typed it into a single list. That exact list is his intellectual property, and he can copyright that.

        As he pointed out, fair use would have been posting a snippet and linking to his blog post, but I guess that diverts traffic away from Boarding Area, so it’s a no-no.

      • I think it is quite obvious “D” is involved with another site, it has been stated about the naked URL’s numerous times and he still persists and / or does not understand the concept! Keep up the good work John!

  10. I’m told that those who steal are very paranoid about being stolen from.
    This blog is very well known for seeing something from someone else and then reposting without a hat tip or any outbound backlink at all. Very well known.

    And what is the big deal here? No one is stealing intellectual property in this case. You copied and pasted the hotel names, and they did too. What difference does it make where it’s copied from? IHG could accuse you of copying and pasting, but we’d all say it’s not a big deal because it’s just a list of hotels. Somehow it’s not okay when another blogger does it.

    It’s really no big deal. Had you done any research or found something not public, that would have been a plagiarizing issue. It’s not, because they aren’t your words… you copied and pasted them yourself!

    Also, Gary Leff’s blog is a lot bigger and it seems more likely that they copied him who copied it here.

  11. Rrrrr… sorry, I am late to the party. I just googled and now only one other blog shows up. Can anyone reply with a list of the other blogs?

    As an aside, I find it interesting that so many people in the comments section have tried to undermine Mr.Ollila by pointing out that all he was doing was “copying and pasting” from the original IHG list. The problem is…. you’re missing the point of the whole article. He did an experiment to see if it was true that other blogs were copying his material. Obviously, his experiment succeeded in not only showing those who might be plagiarizing, but also those who come to comment sections and respond like a 5 year old who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

  12. I do this experiment periodically by changing spelling of places from the original hotel lists. Having my work copied and pasted is annoying, even with attribution, since it often means the hour or more I put into organizing a list is simply copied by other bloggers to display on their websites.

    Rather than incorrectly spelling IHG hotel places and names, I usually correct the spelling of the mistakes that are generally found in the original IHG lists posted.

  13. It is so obvious that D and Jennifer Dunn are the exact same poster. Neither bothers to read the article and both try and gloss over the facts with straw man arguments! LL spent the time to get the hotel info and deserves credit for his work.

  14. Jennifer – you really need to get a life, take a few Xanax and chill. If you can’t read where the details were simply copied and pasted you also need to make an eye doctors appointment. Or maybe you just need to get l@’d ….

  15. I’d be frustrated if I did work and other people copied it. I think the argument being advanced is that everyone should have to spend the same amount of time compiling their own list.
    I understand the frustration. It’s sort of like your boss taking credit for all the work you did .

    • Or that they can use his list, but in a way that drives traffic to his site. Like giving a brief screenshot/snippet and then linking to his page. That way people have to visit his page to see the entire original list, and LL gets the pageview and time-on-page statistics and the resulting higher ad revenues.

  16. I tried to post this last night, but was writing/reading on my iPhone (4s) and the blog was really slow and loading strangely…
    The point isn’t whether credit was given…. it’s that John manually typed the list. IHG had naked URLs, not a list that was easily readable by a human. So, anyone who copied his list stole his hours of work to clean up the list. You can’t just steal someone’s effort without asking them and say, “hey thanks” and think that’s ok. It’s not. Like John said, you can give a little blurb, and link to his actual post. (in defense of those who thought it was about giving credit, I did the first time I read it through as well. Then I came back thinking… yeah but they HT’d… read the LL post again and realized that wasn’t the point. It was the stealing of actual work.)

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