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Someone out there likes me! Well, enough to scrape my content. Beware of mdw-ntr.com

This post doesn’t have much to do with Egyptian Hieroglyphs, but it makes for an interesting story.

On a whim, I decided to check out Google’s Webmaster Tools. I don’t use the tools as often as I should, but I was interested in seeing who was linking to the site. One page stood out.

 

Content Scrape 1

List of the pages from my site that this site linked to.

 

This website linked to each of my lessons. Nothing particularly strange about that, but I decided to investigate.

I clicked the link to check out the site, but I found the page unavailable. A slight annoyance, but nothing big. I just had to use Google’s cached version. After opening the cached version, I found that the site copied a significant portion of my website. Not just a sentence here, a phrase there, but blatant, word-for-word copying. Here are a couple of screenshots from the cached version of the site:

 

Content Scrape 2

A screenshot of a Google Cache that shows part of the stolen content.

 

Content Scrape 3

Screenshot of stolen content.

 

The table of contents is a direct copy from here: http://www.egyptianhieroglyphs.net/egyptian-hieroglyphs/

The “Getting Started with Egyptian Hieroglyphs” is a direct copy of an older version of the page found here: http://www.egyptianhieroglyphs.net/getting-started/

The Preface is a direct copy from the page found here (at least they changed the picture! …and that bit about me): http://www.egyptianhieroglyphs.net/egyptian-hieroglyphs/preface/

The sign list looked familiar as well. It followed the same format as mine, and used the same abbreviations and style. I quickly glance through my sign list to find any errors and if those errors were transferred to the sign list at the other site. Sure enough, I found a couple. I forgot to add periods after the “Phono” and “Ideo” in P8 and P9, respectively. It’s so strange that the owner of this site did the same thing!

 

Content Scrape 4

Screenshot of stolen content.

 

Content Scrape 5

Screenshot of original content.

 

I’m not going to list every example because its pointless, and there is already sufficient evidence to show that this person is scraping my content.

The only thing I’m somewhat angry about is the fact that this person is charging money for Middle Egyptian lessons. Not just a few bucks, but $50. I can’t even begin to fathom how someone can rationalize this, especially if you consider what you receive for that amount:

  • History of the Egyptian Language
  • Language Phases
  • Types of Scripts
  • Direction of Reading and Writing
  • Pronunciation and Ordering
  • Sign Types and Transliteration
  • How to Look Up A Word
  • Sign Lists and Vocabulary
  • Grammar Basics
  • Breaking Up Words and Sentences
  • Numbers and Dates
  • Royal Names
  • Offering Formulas
  • Deciphering of Temple Wall Scenes
  • Review
  • Discussions On Taking Next Step – Intermediate Course

So, they are charging $50 for the amount of content found in about two chapters of any grammar book–a steal. And, the content may be an exact duplicate of what is freely found on this site. I don’t know for sure because I’m not about to shell out $50 to check. There is no mention of who is providing these lessons, or even a list of their qualifications. You are expected to eat the cost and hope for the best. There is no transparency at all. I hope no one falls for this scam.

If you want to pay money to learn the language, buy a grammar book–there are plenty of them:

James Hoch – Middle Egyptian Grammar – $39 – $52

James P. Allen – Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs – $37 – $42

Collier and Manley – How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition – $14 – $21

Here’s a link to the cached version, you can find the url to the site by clicking the links in the navigation: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://mdw-ntr.com/our-courses/sign-up/17-beginners