Are You Reading This On

*updated at 1150ampst with new email from ‘Dave’ at bottom. My site has been removed-has yours?

If so, find a way to click back to MY blog and be very aware they have syndicated this content without my consent.

MANY of you are being syndicated. If so, take action now-Email and tell him to REMOVE YOUR FEED IMMEDIATELY, and feel free to mention I sent ya.

Here is the email exchange with ‘Dave’ and I-

From: Erin Kotecki VEST <>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:15 PM
To:,, Aaron <>
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers

Hi my name is Erin Kotecki Vest, owner of Queen of Spain blog.

I’m concerned about what appears to be my site’s feed streaming into BlogNetNews. It is a)taking away traffic from me and b)not sending anyone back to my page. I see no links back to my blog. I have no indication of any hits from your service. I also am not sure I recall opting-in, although I see the last correspondence I have from you is dated 2006.

I’m going to have to ask you remove Queen of Spain Blog’s feed immediately.

Erin Kotecki Vest

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 21:57:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
From: “David Mastio” <> Add Mobile Alert

We certainly aren’t taking traffic away from you. Click on any headline or the “…” after the excerpts of your posts and you will appear on your site. (compare that to trying to get to a blog when it appears in a section front of technorati (here for instance: )

You can find an archive of what posts are getting the most clicks here:

I don’t know whether any of yours appear there. Anyway, there is no place on our site where anyone can read your whole posts, people always have to click thru.

I’ll remove you from the site when I reopen the database in the morning, but I hope you’ll reconsider.

Dave Mastio
We Serve Blogging

Remember to visit our advertisers

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 19:21:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: “Erin Kotecki VEST” <> Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers

Your click thru is frames, correct? Or your has something going on?

You’ve essentially syndicated my content. I am not being paid for this syndication. I am not being compensated for this syndication. There are others upset as well. We work hard to protect our brands and keep readers on our own sites, not yours. If you were writing an article on parenting and linking to me occasionally, that’s one thing. But instead you’ve syndicated my feed and used loop holes to abuse my community. Even some indexing sites have the courtesy to only use headlines in order to be genuine in their want to drive traffic out.

You are exploiting, plain and simple. You are not part of our community, you are simply here to capitalize on this community.

Expect emails from about everyone else on your blogroll in the parenting and politics communities.

I appreciate your quick response and thank you in advance for removing my feed and the feed of everyone else who asks.

I hope that if your business is sincere you extend an olive branch to the communities you are pillaging.

Erin Kotecki Vest
@queenofspain on twitter

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 10:04:27 -0400
Subject: Re: Something new for parenting bloggers
From: “David Mastio” <>  Add Mobile Alert

We do not do frames and I’ve just been on the site, the redirect is working just fine.

If you can tell me what browser and os you’re using, I’ll ask our programmer to check if there is a compatability issue.

If you can forward to me the email you recieved or the URL to the site you saw that gave you the idea we are exploiting anyone. I can give you many examples of how BNN is far more blog friendly than lots of other sites that are out there.

You’ll be removed shortly.

Dave Mastio
We Serve Blogging

Remember to visit our advertisers


  1. Good luck with that.

    I hope to hear that he has removed you tomorrow. I’ll keep watching to see.

    One of the things about most aggregators I respect is that they don’t monetize their sites.

    This is just making a profit off of someone else’s work.

  2. He certainly is getting ad revenue from your content being listed on his site. I don’t give a shit what somebody else does (technorati, etc), the issue is what HIS site does.

    Don’t hold your breath, thinking he’ll remove your feed. Or that it will stay removed, if he does.

    I’d count on his whining about ‘first amendment rights’ or some bullshit next.

  3. I clicked thru off your twitter link, and then from the Blognetnews link to here. Did it show up at all or is something weird going on with the redirect?

    Please keep us updated if you are removed or not. I’m curious to see how this plays out.

  4. All I can say is WOW.

  5. Whoa, I am totally checking this out and thanks for the heads up. Look forward to your updates on this and thanks again. Much love, xoxo-pm

  6. Love the title sassy mama! 😉

    (ToThink on Twitter)

  7. BlogNet news strikes again, eh? My local blogging ring wasn’t too happy to know their feeds were being scraped either when this broke a couple weeks ago. It’s happening to a lot of bloggers.

  8. Oh, and another reason Dave Mastio can suck it? Because my own (yes, irrational and out of proportion) need to lay out his shitheadedness but good distracted me from other, more important material I’d meant to write about. Now I’ll have to catch up on sleep before that’s possible.


  9. GAWD this guy gets around!! St.Louis bloggers JUST did this whole thing with him last week.. I swear – we did a blog blast and Jaelithe gave the best rundown ever –

    We (the entire blogging community) will previal over this dude- *did you hear my cape flapping in the wind when I said that? SWEET!

  10. Hey, you now have the top 2 on the “most clicked posts” in the parenting category.

    Are you shocked (shocked, I say) to find that he hasn’t done diddly squat about removing it from his site? Hell no! Now you’re one of his bigger money makers.

  11. We’ve been dealing with him in St. Louis for awhile and a couple weeks ago area bloggers “tangled” with him. He flat out refused to remove and stop using my and others’ content at first (and my federally registered trademark) until overwhelming public outcry (it also didn’t hurt that I consulted with my attorney to examine my rights ). He misinterprets Fair Use. Anyone who believes that it’s Fair Use to take someone’s content solely for the purpose of driving their ad revenue needs intellectual property law 101. I’m thrilled that you’re speaking out about it. The more people who speak out, the more people will know about these sorts of “splogging” practices.

    (He Googles himself daily apparently, so if he hasn’t commented yet he will.)

  12. There’s really something funky with the redirects on the links that do eventually go to the original site.

  13. (He Googles himself daily apparently, so if he hasn’t commented yet he will.)

    He’s already tried to comment on my post on the same subject, however I’m letting it sit in the mod queue for awhile. May or may not send it through, and from there I may or may not respond to him. In any case, I hardly owe him the platform. 🙂

  14. As Dana mentioned, we did a Blog Blast in St. Louis recently when BNN put up a new regional site. There were rumors Dave Mastio was planning to partner with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to display our scraped content on the newspaper website, too, without permission, which made people even angrier, because, if the newspaper wants to “leverage” local blog content to prop up their struggling website, most local bloggers feel the newspaper ought to be dealing with bloggers directly and offering to compensate us for our work. One might argue that journalists, of all people, as writers themselves, ought to be respectful of others’ intellectual property, but obviously many in the newspaper industry seem to think the rules don’t apply when it comes to blog content.

    But the local public outcry seems to have put the kibosh on those plans.

    I wrote a massive four-post series on splogging v. aggregation as my contribution to the blog blast that starts here:

  15. Oops just noticed my lady Raquita already linked to me. She wrote a good post on this, too. You should check her blog.

  16. The constant comments that have been left on other people’s sites who have cried out on this issue focus on a loose interpretation of Fair Use, and the argument really hangs by a thread. Fair Use is for academic and non-profit use only, as many bloggers point out in their responses. I have yet to see a lawyer weigh in on the conversation, but I am dying to know what someone in the intellectual property field really thinks about it.

    Also of note: Mastio, a former presidential speech writer and newspaper reporter, is working with traditional media to aggregate the blogger feeds. Is this a vain attempt to scramble for the readers and ad dollars traditional media is loosing? I always have to think, who is really benefiting from this when we know it is not the blogger being syndicated. If there really was a benefit to the blogger, then BNN would be able to sell it them without such a ruckus and fight…

  17. I’m part of the St. Louis group who all probably had Mastio scratching his head wondering how we managed to group together against his practices so effectively. That said, the man is not easy to shake off. He appears everywhere, comments everywhere, and refuses to back down from his standard “but I’m helping you” line (with no apparent care that we don’t want his type of ‘help’).

  18. I’ve had a few battles with Vancouver aggregator sites that skim content, don’t link back, then pack their sites with ads so they’re making money off my content. Even after asking them to remove my posts they took an air of “why would you want to do that?” and pretty much got offended that I would ask them to remove my content… that they were stealing… without my knowledge or consent.

    Hopefully you win this one and that this brings more awareness to content theft which is now running rampant around the internets.

  19. Yikes! I hope you’re successful in getting it removed – I’m off now to find out if I’ve been scraped!

    Visit me @

  20. I just LOVE his last line in his signature:

    “Remember to visit our advertisers”


  21. “I can give you many examples of how BNN is far more blog friendly than lots of other sites that are out there.”

    So, let me see if I understand this correctly. If you’re more “friendly” it’s ok to steal?

    good to know.

  22. It’s the Girls Gone Wild of the blog world.

    Joe Francis: ‘They were showing their boobs anyway, I just put it on video so I could sell it on late night TV for millions of dollars. Nobody’s getting hurt.’

    Dave: ‘It’s on your feed anyway, nobody’s getting hurt, I’m just making some ad money off of your work.’

  23. thanks for the post. i hope to read some more.
    Best regards from Sebbi

  24. interested post about traffic. i think is very useful

  25. Curious, why haven’t you registered and indicate that people need to comply with the Creative Commons licensing. I utilize it on my site:

    The requirements are written, reviewed legally, and are available in any language… so there’s no mistaking how someone’s content should be treated.

  26. These fuckers have gotten another blog of mine, and their site now has no contact info on it. I’ve emailed but I don’t have high hopes for it being acted on.

  27. Blog Net News adds 25% to my hits according to Google analitics.
    I like the service.

  28. Um, just a thought but have you considered turning off your rss if you don’t want people to get your feeds? Or blocking his domain? Why have rss if you don’t want people using it? If I, a total stranger decides to use the rss to follow your posts in my browser because I find them interesting, is it so outlandishly impossible that perhaps another websites readers might also find them interesting and be curious about them when they visit their particular ‘favorite site’ (I use that term with some hesitation – it’s crap, but that’s not the point). The thing is, all it could possibly do is bring traffic to your site. What’s the problem – unless you want privacy?

  29. Looks like they’ve been hacked.

  30. My dealings with Mastio revealed that he is a fraud and his website is off the wall. We had one website in CT that had 3 comments and maybe 2 articles and was ranked highly that week. The CT editor was manipulating the rankings so that her site was ranked highly on a weekly basis. I disengaged when he started putting up ads on my site. Today out of curiosity I tried to bring up BNN and is wasn’t there .

  31. BlogNetNews is now out of business, in part, due to misguided folks like you who could not comprehend the fact that BNN helped introduce and direct new readers to blogs that they would otherwise NEVER click on, or read.

    There will soon be a replacement for BNN and the rest of the blogging community will be happy to get increased feeds via their service.

    After reading your correspondence with the former BNN editor, I am not sure if you lack technical knowledge, or just do not have the capacity to grasp the overwhelming positive benefit of having a gateway product (like BNN was) available to encourage new readers to try new blogs.

  32. Actually, Clariese, I participate in many services and feeds that direct new readers to my blog that do not include scraping my entire feed without my permission or lifting entire posts. But nice try.

  33. Global Information Far this offshoot


  1. […] Are you reading this on :: Queen of Spain – know what happens when you scrape Erin’s site? .. Well she gets down right pissy … you go girl … […]

  2. […] righteous (and now righteously pissed off) mommyblogger, Erin Kotecki-Vest (a.k.a. QueenofSpain) found her own material being reproduced. (It is, indeed, in honor of Erin, who frequently issues rants about persons who can and should […]

  3. O'Flaherty says:

    Another problem with and how to benefit from BlogNetNews…

    Queen of Spain has brought to a head all of the problems with BlogNetNews because they are scraping her content without permission.
    Erin has successfully had her feed removed from BNN (good on you for doing it!) but, the more I think about it, the more…

  4. […] Are You Reading This On Content theft? […]

  5. […] fought back by asking Are You Reading This on in which the thief apparently wasn’t linking back to her site or giving any kind of blatant […]

  6. […] See posts here of other bloggers having difficulty with the scum who goes by the name of Dave Mastio: […]

  7. […] Are you reading this on :: Queen of Spain – know what happens when you scrape Erin’s site? .. Well she gets down right pissy … you go girl … […]

Speak Your Mind