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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book 130

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-automating-this dept.
An anonymous reader points out the recent trouble of author Cody Jackson, who wrote a book called Learning to Program with Python. He offers the book for sale, but also gives it away for free, and he used the CC-BY license. In order to distribute the book, he posted links to his torrent of it. Unfortunately, this cause Google to suspect his AdSense account for his website. Even after removing the links, he was unable to get in contact with Google's AdSense team to get his accounts restored. After his story was picked up yesterday by Techdirt, somebody at Google "re-reviewed" his case and finally reinstated his account. Jackson had this to say: "One good thing about this is that it has helped raise awareness of the problems with corporate copyright policies and copyright regulation as a whole. When a person is unable to post his/her own products on the 'net because someone fears copyright infringement has occurred, there is a definite problem." This follows a few high-profile situations in which copyright enforcement bots have knocked down perfectly legitimate content.
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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book

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  • Get used to it (Score:5, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:24PM (#41493999) Homepage Journal

    Its only going to get worse.

    • by spokenoise (2140056) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:58PM (#41494395)
      Well he could distribute it via megaupload or similar. Oh-wait...
    • Who the hell modded that comment "Informative"?? Well, Duh!
    • by Metabolife (961249) on Friday September 28, 2012 @07:10PM (#41495551)
      This post was removed due to Dice content standards violations.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >>> "One good thing about this is that it has helped raise awareness of the problems with corporate copyright policies and copyright regulation as a whole. When a person is unable to post his/her own products on the 'net because someone fears copyright infringement has occurred, there is a definite problem."

      > Its only going to get worse.

      The system is working perfectly as devised: call me paranoid, but IMHO the main idea is to suppress uncontrolled culture distribution, be it free or from unaffil

  • by crypTeX (643412) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:25PM (#41494017)
    Copyright enforcement by software: the speed camera of the internet...if the traffic ticket were set to eliminate your whole wage. Actual people could review this stuff...or we could all accept that if you use the tools a giant corporation provides to you at essentially no cost, you are totally at their mercy.
    • by way2trivial (601132) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:36PM (#41494147) Homepage Journal

      That's the only memory that stands out for me from Seaquest. In the first few moments of the premiere episode, Roy Scheider is speeding on a motorcycle, and the govt. scans his tags/ID and launches his phone to advise him the fine has been deducted from his social security account.

      • by jrronimo (978486)
        That was the first episode of Season 2, I think. A scary glimpse into the future at the time, but now it's becoming the normal state of things. :/
      • by jafiwam (310805)
        The hilarious fiction of this should be obvious. Social security will not last the decade, let alone long enough for me to get any money from it. They are free to take fines out of my SS account if they want, there isn't going to be anything left anyway so I don't give a shit.
    • by davecb (6526)
      [sign back on and...] They need to spin off their commercial offerings, so they can be subjected to the pressures of a market containing human beings. I just cancelled a trial of their for-money services for a customer of mine, because the for-money services were poorer than their free ones, and the sales support team was startlingly unmotivated. That's got to tell you something (:-))

      --dave

    • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:24PM (#41494699) Journal
      Precisely. Google didn't stop him distributing it in any way, they just stopped him advertising the fact on their own systems, which (I'm guessing) have been plagued with people trying to advertise illegal torrents. Then they took a second look at their mostly-automated system and realised something had gone wrong, and corrected a false positive. For a company their size it's a realistic response. The big problem is that such a high percentage of torrents are illegal that it's giving a perfectly good and indeed useful technology - far more useful than "the cloud" whatever it is these days - distributed, multiply redundant, peer based information technology? Hell yeah! It's amazing, pity it got hijacked to the extent where legit companies are scared of it.
      • by Goaway (82658) on Friday September 28, 2012 @06:05PM (#41495045) Homepage

        Well, the problem is that Google only bothered to take that second look after he ran out of options for communicating with them, and had to complain to the entire internet and shame them into acting.

        If he hadn't managed to get a big audience for his complaining, he'd still be locked out.

      • by xclr8r (658786)
        1. Write book.
        2. Setup an advertisement like everything is normal full well knowing it will get yanked with out giving advanced notice of the torrent issues (this is the current environment we live in).
        3. Internet Rages with the added bonus of eyeballs for his book.
        4. Profit.
        • Regarding your 2:

          Just because this is the environment we currently live in, doesn't mean he can't do something - either intentionally or accidentally = that points out how ludicrous it is. If it happens that this points out to people that the current environment is downright stupid, then all the better.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:28PM (#41494049)

    I would write something insightful but then the copyright police would come after me for violating my own copyright.

    • Genius! Can we use this to set the RIAA on the RIAA and hence cause a divide by zero situation whereby the organisation consumes itself in a welter of litigation?

      • by Anguirel (58085)

        Sadly, no. RIAA is protected from itself, since it only goes after people unable to afford to defend themselves.

  • Begs the question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Narnie (1349029) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:31PM (#41494071)

    Given the numerous articles about copyright enforcement bots recently, it makes me wonder why there is so little human oversight about account banning. Or even attempting to match the author to the work to the copyright in question to the offending post. Apparently, it is better to throw out all the apples, and review the ones that that claim they aren't bad.

    It also makes me wonder why it seems difficult to talk to an actual person at google about account restoration. I hope to never have to go through the process.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Given the numerous articles about copyright enforcement bots recently, it makes me wonder why there is so little human oversight about account banning

      Because the average Joe on the street has no idea what is going on. All the articles and discussions are only to/by/for the choir.

      And once the average guy does figure things out, the media will step in and twist it around so he thinks its a good thing.

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      There's no human because of the sheer volume of work that would be involved. It would be a huge effort to actually valdidate all of the things their bits think are in violation..

      • by Yebyen (59663)

        Next you're going to tell us that it's not a huge amount of effort to actually write a book, comparatively, to actually scanning all of the books you claim a stake in and assessing their ownership status, by providing advertising or hosting or otherwise.

        We don't have robots that can _write_ a book yet, as far as I know. So what makes anyone think it's safe to leave a robot in charge to review them (for copyright or whatever other purposes) without a human in the loop?

        I think we should go back to the model

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          I have no idea why you posted this as a reply to me, I simply stated the reasoning - which is pretty obvious - for why they don't have humans in the loop. If you think having humans in the loop is feasible then you have NO idea as to the volume of stuff being processed. I wasn't defending the practice simply pointing out the obvious....

  • Not Yours! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:31PM (#41494075)

    If a corporation can make money on your stuff, you are not allowed to give it away.

    America, by the corporations, for the corporations.

  • Torrents != Piracy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:31PM (#41494079) Homepage Journal
    This is why the 'torrents == piracy' mentality is such an issue - torrents are seen as such a red flag these days that it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People are unwilling to use BitTorrent as a distribution method as it's seen as a bad thing.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:43PM (#41494235)

      I think it goes further than that. Here are some things that don't indicate one way or another whether they're illegal or not.

      Downloading copyrighted material
      Bittorrenting
      Bittorrenting Copyrighted material
      Downloading a DVD
      Downloading a Movie
      Downloading Photoshop from the internet
      Not paying for software
      Not paying for copyrighted software
      Downloading music with bittorrent
      Downloading Movies with bittorrent

      It's the redefinition of language and linking terms with illegality that benefits large lobbyists to ensure more powers that hurts, here. It's not really a mentality so much as a sneaked in change in meaning that not all of us notice until we read lists like I made above and find a little gut feeling that some of them must be wrong and avoided, when there's no indication one way or another in the terms themselves.

    • by drosboro (1046516)
      This is true, but unfortunately, as a heuristic, "textbook + torrent == infringement" is probably going to be a pretty good one. I'd guess the vast majority of textbook torrents are "piratical". At this point, Mr. Jackson represents an edge-case - a very welcome one, but an edge case nonetheless. Still, it would sure be nice if there was a quicker way to get past the algorithm to an actual human who could take a look at particular cases like this one. Then perhaps we'd start overcoming that BitTorrent s
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Google is also a victim here, a victim of language re-defined by rights-holders (those who usually aren't creators) such as the RIAA, MPAA, BSA and the like. They've been given power, and they use it to redefine terms. That affects how we think and react.

    Because of this redefinition, it's a rare soul who won't jump to the conclusion I'm doing something highly illegal if I state I'm downloading and redistributing copyrighted material belonging to Apple Inc via Bittorrent.

    Via language our thoughts are funnele

    • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:03PM (#41494463) Homepage Journal

      Google is also a victim here, a victim of language re-defined by rights-holders (those who usually aren't creators) such as the RIAA, MPAA, BSA and the like. They've been given power, and they use it to redefine terms. That affects how we think and react.

      The obvious difference, since it seems you missed it, is that a multi-billion dollar company like Google actually has the power to do something about it, but instead, they play the game, because regardless of what they claim their company philosophy is, the bottom line is... well, their bottom line.

      If Google sees more profit in "being a victim" to laws they could very well change, then they will do precisely dick to change them. Period.

      Welcome to Capitalism, comrade.

      • John Galt never saw it coming.

        But he still whined about it, that's for damn sure.

      • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday September 29, 2012 @12:20PM (#41499739) Homepage Journal

        If Google sees more profit in "being a victim" to laws they could very well change, then they will do precisely dick to change them. Period.

        Over the last few years Google has established a major lobbying operation in Washington, and has been spending significant amounts of money at trying to change the laws. The fact is that individual corporations, however wealthy or influential, don't actually have the ability to rewrite the laws, and certainly not in a timeframe less than decades.

        Note that I work for Google, but I'm not involved in any of what's being discussed here. I did, however, have a chance to discuss the issues with an attorney Google hired to lobby against software patents. She was hired the same day I was and while going through our orientation I had a chance to chat with her over lunch. She had previously worked for other lobbying firms and had a deep understanding of how the system works, and her comment was that it can be changed, but at a rate of inches per year, not miles per hour -- and that for every lobbyist working to push the law one way there is another lobbyist pushing back the other way.

        Look at some of the changes Google would clearly like to make: Software patents are nothing but pain for Google. The company has had to cave in and start acquiring and creating patents, but only because to do otherwise would result in being destroyed by them. Copyright law causes huge pain for Google. Not just because it ends up having to try to enforce copyrights -- even though it really couldn't care less; almost none of Google's business relies in any way on copyrights -- and not just because it ends up taking crap over its inevitable enforcement errors, but because copyright law as-is actively impedes much of what Google wants to do. It appears that the system has decided that Google's caching of web pages is probably okay, but there has been a lot of question and controversy which has cost a lot of money. There's the Google Books thing which still hasn't been settled.

        An area in which Google is finally starting to make a little progress is the law around self-driving cars... but even there Google has really only gotten a couple of states to agree that it's okay for a car to drive itself as long as there's a human driver ready to take over at any instant and who takes full responsibility for anything the car does, which is only a small first step to what Google really wanted.

        And what about SOPA? If Google is so all-powerful politically, why was the whole Internet blackout day even necessary? Why didn't Google just pay off the lawmakers in question and shut the whole thing down? Because it doesn't work that way. Many people criticized Google's post-SOPA efforts, saying that Google's efforts to help craft compromise legislation proved that Google didn't really care about the fundamental principle -- but influencing compromises is how you make progress in Washington and Google simply doesn't have the power to take a hard line and be successful.

        There's no doubt that corporate lobbying does influence our laws, substantially, and probably excessively. But that's a far cry from saying that any corporation can just buy whatever legislation it likes -- and that is especially untrue for a new participant like Google. Google has only existed for 14 years, and has only gotten involved in politics in the last four or five years. Give them another 20 years of lobbying and they'll probably have built the sort of influence that may allow them to affect the laws in significant ways -- but it still won't be dramatic, or the changes very fast.

        Honestly, with respect to copyright law, I think the first thing Google and other proponents of a more rational copyright world need to do is not lobby for changes in laws, but to educate the public. The public needs to understand that copyright is itself a compromise, where society grants a temporary ownership to a creator in order to increase the flow of works into t

  • by neminem (561346) <neminem AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:33PM (#41494117) Homepage

    It really isn't just about auto-copywrite-infringement bots. It's really about non-overrideable bots with no human oversight in general. This problem reminds me very much of a problem I had a week ago, in which I wanted to put a large purchase on a credit card (then pay it back like the next day, with money I'd just been paypal'd, but that hadn't made it to my bank yet). I told the bank a week in advance: I am making a large purchase on this date, please don't flag it as suspicious. The response back was that they would make a note, but it would probably be marked suspicious anyway, and there was nothing they could do about it.

    So I get there, I try to make the purchase, and sure enough: the charge is canceled and my card is suspended. So I call up the bank, tell them what happened, ask whether they can fix it. Answer: nope, it was all automatic, you'll have to call back later and hope someone with more privilege than a first-level phone support operator has is around. Thanks a lot, every-bank-on-the-planet (cause really, it's not just that one bank, they're all like this now.)

    Yes, computers are getting more powerful. Yes, you can cut costs by hiring fewer humans to do superfluous things. You can cut costs even more by hiring fewer humans to do things they're really required to do, and just do a frelling terrible job of it as a result. But at least keep one person around at all times to clean up after the resulting mess, please, every company ever? Thanks a lot.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I had this problem several times back when I was still in college, I was trying to use my checking account to buy a TV from Best Buy (worked there in college, actually had reasonable prices for employees).

      After going through the 'check approval process', my check was denied, and I was given a number I needed to call to "authorize" the check. I called the number, and was given the whole, "it was flagged as suspicious, we can't approve the check, the computer says it is suspicious and I only read what is on m

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Then you closed your account and opened one with a bank that actually cares about customer service, right?

    • I've had charges blocked when buying large-ticket items, usually after buying smaller stuff and gas (often a pattern for card theft).
      Usually the charge blocks, and within about 1-2 minutes I get a call from Visa which asks me to verify my purchase. After they confirm things then all is well.

    • by Threni (635302)

      > Thanks a lot, every-bank-on-the-planet (cause really, it's not just that one bank, they're all like this now.)

      I'd still leave them and get another bank. Maybe you're right and they're all like that. But maybe not, and you'll be sending a message. They might offer you something to make you stay.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You sure all banks are like this?

      When I purchased my Nexus 7 the charge was initially declined, literally 5 seconds later I got an automated call from my credit card company about it and asking me to confirm it wasn't fraudulent, I did, then I re-did the payment and all was well.

      But I don't live in the US, maybe all the banks there are shit, although I doubt it, you probably could find one that cares about customer service.

      • My credit card company kept me on my toes by applying an apparently random set of criteria to purchases. Small amounts to vendors online I'd used before regularly failed and got the card blocked while the purchase of high-end electronic devices for large amounts invariably went through. Eventually I just cancelled the card as it was unusable online.
    • by chrismcb (983081)
      I would suggest changing banks. Yes I've had problems. My favorite was "I'm taking a 1 month vacation, I leave tomorrow" "Ok we've noted it" Arrive at my first hotel, car is rejected. I call the company, and they tell me the charge was suspicious because it wasn't in my town...
      But I've never had a problem contacting my credit card company and getting a charge fixed, at any time of day or night.
      • by ColaMan (37550)

        Fer fuck's sake, you shouldn't have to notify your bank that you're going to be using your card! They're charging you interest on everything you buy, transaction fees on everything the merchant sells to cover 'fraud' and yet when you try and use it, it's a big red flag.

        They just don't want to have to deal with proper fraud, so they set their auto-fraud-detection level to irritatingly-low levels. Fuck them. If they don't want to deal with the 'hassle' of offering a credit card - which was *supposed* to make

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you have a google adsense acct, torrent your novel, grocery list, anything trivial or not, that you own copyright to, and post an ad to the link. Make the automated tools as useless as possible and show that a 'guilty by default' rule is just WRONG.

  • [quote}When a person is unable to post his/her own products on the 'net because someone fears copyright infringement has occurred, there is a definite problem[/quote]

    Corporations have free reign, access and usage of special "corporate" copyright tools. Try getting access to those as a person.

    • by Algae_94 (2017070)
      If you use angle brackets for your quote tags (<quote>stuff to quote</quote>) it'll actually use the quote style rules. For example:

      Corporations have free reign, access and usage of special "corporate" copyright tools. Try getting access to those as a person.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I were him id sue myself for infringement...that'll keep them lawyers tied up for a while... like an infinite loop

    • Considering that kids sending their own pictures to each other get in trouble for quite some time now I wouldn't be so sure. You might get fined and/or jailed, just because it is a "right" thing to do. Who cares if you've broken your own rights, all that matter is the fact that [they think] you did.

  • by chromatic (9471) on Friday September 28, 2012 @04:55PM (#41494379) Homepage

    The default assumption of these automated checkers is that anything shared is infringing.

    I've run into this myself. While I give away my book Modern Perl [onyxneon.com] free in electronic forms, my publisher charges a nominal fee for the Kindle version to cover expenses. I made some changes recently to fix some formatting problems and edit out a couple of typos. After I uploaded a new version, the Kindle copyright police declined the update (to a book they'd already allowed in their store) because they thought it was available online for free elsewhere.

    I understand that no one wants a million copies of Wikipedia articles clogging up book stores, but it would be nice if there were a way to say "Yes, the contents of this book are available under a Creative Commons license and I have the right to distribute it."

    (My publisher has the same right to distribute the printed copy, and Amazon is very happy to sell that version.)

    • This automation of checking and acting on that is quite scary stuf.

      It can ultimately lead to the opening scenes of Brazil, the movie made by Terry Gilliam.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      The default assumption of these automated checkers is that anything shared is infringing

      And that is all by design. Its a natural extension to the PR campaign to sway peoples opinions by manipulating their knowledge.

    • by swillden (191260)

      The default assumption of these automated checkers is that anything shared is infringing.

      Is that assumption not generally correct? If I were building a bayesian network to estimate the probability that a given piece of shared content is infringing, I'd have to estimate the prior probability that a given torrent is infringing, assuming nothing else is known -- and any statistical analysis of the torrents on the web would put that prior probability at around 0.9999, I'm sure.

      The fact is that any model that is remotely close to accurate will end up being structured so that the default assumptio

      • by chromatic (9471)

        ... in the absence of sufficiently strong indicators to the contrary.

        In my case, this is a revision of the second edition of a book also available for sale as hard copy, uploaded from the publisher's account.

        I can understand being stricter about the initial upload of a work, but letting the first upload through and only enforcing the copyright detector on a minor revision seems counterproductive.

        • by swillden (191260)
          I doubt the model is able to discern between initial versions and revisions. It's not the sort of thing that would occur to me when creating such a model, anyway. I suspect that the fact that the bot didn't trigger until the update was a coincidence.
          • by chromatic (9471)

            You're probably right.

            I'm not sure that deploying arbitrary code developed as a knee-jerk policy is the best way to interact with your suppliers. Amazon should have thought this through. It's not as if Creative Commons is invisible from a cursory search of modern copyright.

            • by swillden (191260)
              Invisible? No. Vanishingly rare, yes. Among people who pay attention to such things, CC is widely known precisely because it's a radical departure from the norm. A good one, but not a common one by any means. In fact, I'd call it an obscure corner case, though I'd love for that to change.
              • by chromatic (9471)

                If Amazon wants to be the publisher of choice for independent writers, it seems to me that at least one person involved in creating policies should be familiar enough with copyright and Internet publishing to understand Creative Commons. That's the part of this whole process which baffles me.

                • by swillden (191260)
                  Oh, sorry, I thought it was Google that detected the problem and acted (though in keeping with /. tradition, I didn't RTFA). If Amazon *told* Google that it was infringing, then I agree that Amazon should have known better.
  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:00PM (#41494425) Journal

    is that we don't talk about copyright.

    The second rule of copyright, if you feel like violating the first rule, is that all copyright belongs to big rights aggregators and media monopolies until extensively and conclusively proven otherwise.

    The third rule of copyright is that all copyright belongs to big rights aggregators and media monopolies even after extensively and conclusively proven otherwise.

    • is that we don't talk about copyright.

      The second rule of copyright, if you feel like violating the first rule, is that all copyright belongs to big rights aggregators and media monopolies until extensively and conclusively proven otherwise.

      The third rule of copyright is that all copyright belongs to big rights aggregators and media monopolies even after extensively and conclusively proven otherwise.

      The fourth rule of copyright is that these rules are copyrighted and may not be redistributed in any form without express written consent from Copyright Rules Inc.

      • by Narnie (1349029)

        The fifth rule of copyright is that all copyrights not held by big rights aggregators and media monopolies are inconvenient^W automatically invalid and ownership is to be transferred to the appropriate copyright holding body for safe keeping and royalty collections.

  • The other problem... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:02PM (#41494451)

    The other problem is that the only way to get in contact with google is to have a story published on a high profile website.

  • Google contact (Score:4, Informative)

    by phorm (591458) on Friday September 28, 2012 @05:06PM (#41494505) Journal

    Google is a terrible company to get ahold of. I'd imagine that they might get a lot of phone-spam and useless complaints, so try to keep their support lines hidden, but when problems or bugs arise it's often very hard to find out who to contact.

    This is especially true as they're supporting many "consumer" markets such as android etc.

    • They simply don't value it. It's too expensive to them so you don't get it.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      It's impossible to find any Google staff for issues about "Google groups" which is what they call their version of Usenet after they embraced and extinguished it. They enabled a tidal wave of spam to destroy all the technical groups that had survived everything else for decades..
  • by NoKaOi (1415755) on Friday September 28, 2012 @06:38PM (#41495295)

    Isn't this is exactly what the large publishers/record companies/movie producers want? Make it more difficult to publish or own stuff which makes it harder to compete with them? Remember when you had to be a computer nerd to make a website to share information? Now anybody who can click a mouse can post whatever they want on Facebook or elsewhere. That's exactly what the publishers don't want to happen to them.

    The only way this problem is going to be improved is if the law requires some sort of human oversight, and somehow held accountable for such blatantly false takedown notices. Not that I see that happening anytime soon.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday September 28, 2012 @07:56PM (#41495853) Homepage
    Yeah, good luck with that. You can post something on a message board they'll ignore and that's the extent of customer support it seems.
  • well I can't post an ad on adwords for my band because the name of it is Viral Suicide. What they think a mass viral suicide will happen.
  • by ChrisKnight (16039) <merlin@g h o s t w h eel.com> on Friday September 28, 2012 @10:04PM (#41496491) Homepage

    I've been trying to resolve a Google AdSense issue for a year, and they just don't seem to give a damn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by crystalattice (179900)

      I am the author mentioned in this article. The only reason my story got picked up by the media is because I first sent a news tip to Techdirt, as I know they like to discuss copyright issues.

      I had sent notice to Slashdot when Google initially shutdown my ad account, but there wasn't much of a story at the time. Luckily, someone decided to cross-post the story from Techdirt to Slashdot, which may have helped Google make a decision.

      So, all I can say is let as many tech sites know about your problem as you can

  • Adsense "Review" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by enter to exit (1049190) on Friday September 28, 2012 @11:06PM (#41496757)
    So, has anyone ever tried to resolve an Adsense dispute with Google and not have it ignored or denied?
  • Banned from Adsense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by softegg (938655) on Friday September 28, 2012 @11:38PM (#41496845) Homepage

    Yeah, evidently I got banned from Adsense for life because I put some ads on our forums and the kids did the darnedest thing... they actually clicked on them. A whole lot of times. I really didn't have any control over that. So they kept all the money I was to be paid from ALL of my sites (not just the one that the kids were clicking on), and banned me from Adsense, seemingly forever. I would click on the appeal button and ask what is up, and 6 months later they just say "denied".

    I tried some of the other ad networks like Chiquita and Bidvertiser, but most of the ads were misleading or for scams and I had to delete them. The ones I did keep, on the most popular of my sites, have earned less than $1 in the entire time they have been up. Basically, Google has a monopoly on online advertising for small websites, so I'm pretty much screwed on ever making money from website advertising ever again.

    Thanks for clicking on the ads, kids! Not...

    (I wonder if this means that you can royally screw over websites by going and clicking on their ads every day?)

  • by slashmojo (818930) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @01:30AM (#41497147)

    That's what happens when Google is the income source, traffic source, video host, blog host, stats/analytics provider etc etc etc. You inadvertently break one of their rules and you lose your business or a substantial part of it with no recourse or at best a long wait for an appeal to be considered with no guarantees. The result is people jumping through hoops to get around such issues such as by having multiple accounts with fake details (or real details but using multiple registered companies) .

    People really need to break their dependence on Google (and any other almost monopoly) even if it initially means making a bit less money or having to do a bit more work, ie. install piwik for stats (or use statcounter) , install wordpress on your own server for blogs (or use wordpress.com), use other ad networks (there are many or you could even sell your own ads) and optimize everything as much as you can (test test test!), get traffic from other sources - amazingly it is possible!

    In other words - don't be lazy! Google is not the only game in town, they just want you to think that.

  • It cause[sic] Google to suspect it of what?

    Presumably not murder of the English language - I'm pretty certain who's the culprit in that case.

  • by xiando (770382) on Saturday September 29, 2012 @10:12AM (#41498835) Homepage Journal
    Google blocked my AdSense on one of my websites a while back. The only reason stated was "torrents". The torrents on the site were for completely legal documentaries about false-flag terror. Google does not care what torrents are for, if you post a torrent on your site for your own work or works you can legally distribute then they will simply block you on the grounds that you are using a completely legal distribution protocol called BitTorrent.

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