Ripoffs
(i came, i saw, i took,
veni, vici, abstuli?)

I have long thought that there should be more sites like GR, evaluating teachers from a thousand points of view, etc. Even without commenting, "selection" itself, choosing whom to list, will create a subtle evaluation criterion, with a thousand choosers determining an overall evaluation. One thing that will skew this though, is the mechanistic nature of some of the "choosing." 

I speak here of copying and pasting. In the course of updating links, trying to find replacement sites for the inevitable migrations, from perennials whose enthusiasts disappear, to wannabes who could never get it together, to real teachers who just move or update their sites for whatever reason, i have encountered sites that do nothing but list teachers, supplementing their lists with categories clearly taken from my listings, eg (O), (S) etc, or snippets of comments, done in such a mishmash way as to be totally worthless. This is done without acknowledgement, and apparently for whatever ad revenue (shurely meagre!) they can scrounge from visitors to their essentially worthless presentations (sans context, links, alphabetical order or even sometimes sense) .

There ARE exceptions, one being one of the first i found, using just my Buddhist pages as a RELEVANT adjunct to Buddhist info they were already presenting. 

So here they are:

1. Supermercado Espiritual, a blog nominally in Spanish, whose only Spanish components are Headings, eg Sistema de Creencias (followed by a long pilfered list in English) and 1500 Gurús del Gurugú de la A a la Z (followed by my complete listings as of 2007).

2. GanaPatioCCult.com/, Indian site, the C stands for Cargo. They purport to offer info on all things relating to Hinduism, festooned with ads for American hotels. The "Hindu Guru" section is 100% derived from GR, being a directory organised by my categories, each category having a page
listing however many they bothered to choose (with no obvious criteria, eg only two in the Humour page and nine on the New Age page. Each individual guru's "page" consists of name, rating if applicable, aka, though often missing or truncated, and the first fifty or so characters of my description, even of the major gurus of actual interest to the wider Indian public, such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, with no links leading anywhere save the ad links. Can this be of any value even to them? Will anyone click on their ads or read the page for more than a second? Totally worthless, i'd say.

3. YouAreThat.com is more general-market-oriented but offers exactly the same material (down to the same two Humour wallahs -- in fact even the same page numbering system) as Ganapatioccult above. As YouAreThat was the first to be noticed, back in Mar 2006, one suspects that in fact Ganapatioccult has ripped off THEIR ripoff of GR rather than GR directly. Ha ha!

Back when i found them, i wrote about the discovery in GRF:

Most of the entries are abbreviated and somewhat mishmashed but aside from misspellings, eg "Advaitva," there is no original text. But they claim copyright ("Copyright ©2004 You Are That.com. All rights reserved") via another apparent shell outfit with little contact info. They do not link to me nor acknowledge my original work in any way except incidentally when, in an entry, they have copied whole a link to another page in my site.

It is a commercial site, with lots of Google ads and links to other directory- type sites they run, like http://www.findillinoislawyeronline.com/, etc.

The "host company" is CGS Infotech, with contact addresses in Delaware -- i never noticed before there is an "aware" in Delaware -- and Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. Contacting them via net is only possible using a form for applicants for their "services," which include webhosting and search engine placement (neat little trick, their hundreds of nominally independent "sites" point to your site and make it look more "popular" according to the Google algorithm).

Given the paucity of information about them and the short list of contacts, it looks like a shell operation with just a couple of principals, trying to develop a web angle, of which youarethat.com is a tiny, botched fragment. Actually this site looks more like a labour of love than findillinoislawyeronline.com, say.

4. Secretia Another Spanish bloggy site which turns out, like Ganapatioccult above, to be ripping the ripper; in this case, Supermercado Espiritual above. It has far more content but everything in the Supermercado page is here, dated four months later. Also gone much further in that there are approx 130 versions of this material in Secretia, in pages with different languages and apparent themes, eg Numerology, Reiki, times Hungarian, Thai, etc. The Sistema de Creencias section actually has translations into the other languages, save the Spanish title, but the 1500 Gurús del Gurugú de la A a la Z (followed by my complete listings as of 2007) is unchanged. This notwithstanding that there appears to be lots of other "original" -- copied from who knows where -- and relevant (thematic) material in, say, Bulgarian, on, say, alchemy, also on the page. Bizarre!

5. SanchezDrago.com Spanish forum, with entire contents of Supermercado page above posted by ostensible author, "Sé y Haz."

6. UrbanDharma.org The first, the "original" and most thematically coherent and respectful copycat, they took the entire contents of my three Buddhist-themed pages, with bumpf and then-functioning links (in 2003) as a kind of real Buddhist directory. They did have the grace to acknowledge where they got the material. Just noticed now: the second column of the Tibetans page is missing, they only go up to Lopon. Oh well, probably no one ever missed it.

Skip ahead / update to 2010. 

7. SriKrishnadas.multiply.com
Sri Krishnadas has joined the ranks of the pilferers, a effort peculiarly again in Spanish and apparently regarding only my Indian Masters page, entitled Diccionario Enciclopedico Vaishnava #3, with lots of ads before you get to even see the page. There is a significant difference which sets him apart from the run-of-the-mill copy-paster: the page is copied whole with SGRS at the top, the whole bumpf, and functioning links, and even a functioning link to my Indian Masters page, so a great leap forward in copying. 

8. Nonspiritual.net Not really a copy except in the broadest sense. This site has the decency to just be assembling information, acknowledging SGRS as one source, which is all it is. Moreover, my categories are not used. What it has is a completely alphabetical and non-categorized list of all the teachers they could come up with, all linked to . . . well, it's pretty useless. Links go to only a very very few pages, cobbled together who knows how. Only from those few pages is there a link to the teacher's website. It is a wiki format, so maybe depending on members to do it. Guru's feet has done this wiki thing already, with way more success. Furthermore, the so-called alphabetization is fairly flaky, with, say, all the Swami X's listed under S. Oh well, they're trying.

9. Clusterfuck Nation Ha ha, takes all kinds, don't it? Okay, our first rip of 2011 is very minor, dscovered as usual by finding it while searching for an update to replace a lost link. And the intention is not exploitation in any way, just an unacknowledged use of a very small bit of one page to make a point in an argument. I really shouldn't be bothering with this, but Existence made me do it.

10. Your Site Could Be Here

 

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