Public Domain Works

I am now going to debate a disturbing trend: public domain scrappers. If you didn’t know it by now, public domain works are books, pictures or videos whose copyrights have expired. That means that practically anyone could use them on a site without paying anything to anyone.

Public domain is… public domain. So far nothing wrong with that, but… The ones using public domain works on their sites generate revenue from Google AdSense and other affiliate tools. Due to the nature of the content they use (hundreds of pages filled with high quality text) they are scanned and indexed by the search engines fast and they rank well in the SERPs.

This lowers the chances of real content producers to get high rankings in the SERPs.

Creativity is not a simple process. It requires time, talent and dedication. I’m not questioning the legitimacy of public domain scrapper sites; I’m just questioning their ethics. I’ve noticed a disturbing number of public domain video scrappers too. Among these, some try even to cheat their visitors by requiring a download fee for movies that could be watched for free on Google video.

I’m not going to give you the links to such sites, I’m just warning you: before paying to watch a classic movie, perform a search on Google video to see whether that movie is public domain or not.

For example, don’t pay for It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) when you can watch it for free. Google video holds many such gems. You just need to arm yourself with patience and search among hundreds of Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese feature movies.