I’ve never done an open source project before. Here’s my proposal. We write a WordPress plugin that helps create a blacklist of known content thieving IPs. When an IP from the blacklist requests the RSS feed or direct link from the WordPress blog, we deliver an anti-theft of content notice instead of the actual content. The plugin will have the ability to deliver a custom message allowing people the personal choice of making the payload as obscene or marketable as they like. I have some thoughts on implementation since the splog delivering the content might have a different IP than the scavenger. For instance, the plug could alter the comment interface to include a check to mark a comment or trackback as potential content theft. The plugin would then have to examine the server logs to try to draw a correlation between when the real content was posted, the IPs that requested the RSS or post, and the time the stolen content was posted. With large samplings to a single database I think we could be very effective at blocking the thieves. Now, what’s the abuse potential here?
After getting this working on WordPress, I think we could extend it to other platforms.
Update: Looks like Owen Winkler (Antileech) has already written this! Kudos! Lorelle gives an overview and also recommends Digital Fingerprint Detecting Content Theft WordPress Plugin.