Tynt: Stealing Site Owner’s Content & Refuses to be Blocked? (See Also Tynted.net)

Tynt: Stealing Site Owner’s Content & Refuses to be Blocked? (See Also Tynted.net)


If you’ve seen Tynt, you may think it’s cool.  That is of course if you’re a 10th grader and your parents are hip enough to let you on something other than MySpace or Facebook.

The trouble is, Tynt is a straight up invasion of site owner content.  They’re re-purposing all of your hard work and letting anyone – yes, ANYONE – go in there and mark things up as they’d like.

Like many others concerned about Tynt, I’m testing out various ways to block them in their quest to steal your content, photos and media.

Block Tynt on an Apache Server

With many thanks to incrediBILL, Scott Polk and Edward Lewis, there is an IP range that you can block to help protect your site from being Tynt’d. You’ll need to add the following to your .htaccess file, as David Burke provides:

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} ^204\.244\.109\.(2(4[0-7]))$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} ^204\.244\.120\.(1(7[6-9]|8[0-3]))$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ [F]

The above effectively kills any access Tynt’s IP range has to your site. Pretty nifty, and certainly more comprehensive than some of the original blocks I was performing. The blocks I had were all based on referral string and/or specific IP addresses. The gentlemen listed above researched things further to arrive at a complete range to block.

SEO Consultants Gets Creative in Blocking Tynt

If you want to see how far you can take things, Edward Lewis has opted to protect www.seoconsultants.com. Just take a look at the 404 page he’s serving up to anyone trying to index www.seoconsultants.com.tynted.net

Tynt is on Twitter

If you’re interested in trying out tynt, I’d suggest you check out nothing further than tynt’s profile on Twitter.  In a rich case of layering on some BS, here’s tynt’s justification / claim to fame:

Tynt lets you put contextual relevance and dialog on web pages for sharing and interaction.

“Contextual relevance” ? I may be on a series of rants here with my blog, but you have to be kidding me.  Look what I can do to the tynt homepage if I’d like!

Tynt’s Questionable Example of Tynt in Action

Thanks to Jon Kelly for posting this and making me realize just how poorly represented the value of Tynt is.  If you check out the page on Tynt.com called “What is It?” you’ll see the following screenshot (click to enlarge).

Screenshot of the What is Tynt? Page on Tynt.com
Screenshot of the What is Tynt? Page on Tynt.com. Click for larger version.

Tynted.net URLs Being Indexed

If you’re working for Apple Insider, I’m sorry – because you’re getting royally screwed right now with all the content tynted.net is stealing.  Take a look at this search results for site: tynted.net on Google.

Tynt: Not Good for You!

For reference, there are now 146 results for “appleinsider.com.tynted.net” too.

Tynt and Tynted.net Refuse to Be Blocked

What can I tell you now? You can’t use an .htaccess to block your site from being served up through tynted.net.  They’re using a dynamic range of IPs, so any IP blocks you use is temporary at best.  Likewise, you cannot block the referral source as that too has been bypassed.

And, since Tynt and Tynted.net are not spiders, they’re not actively listening to anything you place in your robots.txt file as well.

Sorry Tynt, I’m not Going Out of My Way

On Twitter, Jeremy Luebke [@JeremyLuebke] provided a possible fix as a Twitter reply to me:

@EricLander Also do a search for proxy hijack solution. THere is one where you cloak a noindex tag to everyone but SEs

(Thanks for permission to republish, as well as for the reply!)

While that could be one possible solution, I believe that most site owners are not going to be prepared or skilled enough to implement such a fix. There needs to be a clear opt-out of this service for *any* webmaster not wishing to have their sites tynt’d.

Are You With Tynt?

If so, please read everything here and correct me if I’m wrong. I hate what you’re doing and you deserve to be up front with webmasters regarding their content and protection. Please contact me if I’m wrong with the above. I’d like to give you an open opportunity to say your piece on this, too.

For reference, here are the folks listed on the Tynt About Us Page:

  • Derek Ball (CEO)
  • Dayton Foster (COO)
  • Kerri Knull (VP Business Development)
  • Allan Mackenzie (Executive Chairman, Board of Directors)
  • Brian Craig (Director, Board of Directors)
  • Guy Kawasaki
  • Dr. Steven Woods
  • Chris Brahm
  • Mark Silva
  • Paul Perez
  • Kelly Graves
  • Serge Klimoff

Hopefully someone from the above list is tracking their Google Alerts and can respond back to us…

Additional thanks to Edward Lewis and Scott Polk for their time in researching this matter further.

25 thoughts on “Tynt: Stealing Site Owner’s Content & Refuses to be Blocked? (See Also Tynted.net)

  1. Dammit! You beat me to it and scooped me!

    Blocking the following IP ranges will stop them:

    Tynt Multimedia Inc. (TYNTM)
    204.244.109.240 – 204.244.109.247
    204.244.120.176 – 204.244.120.183

  2. Saw your post on Sphinn Eric and noticed your tweet earlier in the day. Thought at first you were referring to a person (thought tynt was an odd name) but then I read further.

    IncrediBILL lists IPs above. Should those be added to .htaccess with deny from ?

  3. Has anyone considered the idea of filing DMCA notices regarding this? I am not certain they actually host the content in question or simply draw it as needed, but it seems to me that this might be an opportunity to apply copyright law and get them shut down…

  4. The tynt.net server is a proxy so unless they actually cache the page, make a screen shot, or store it in some other manner, they don’t actually have a copy of the page so filing a malicious DMCA complaint would snap back and bite you with a counter claim.

  5. Hi Eric and crew. Eric, you’ve put a lot of energy and concern in your posting and I want you to know that we are listening and not trying to be a huge thorn in your side. We’ve been thinking through many of the points that you (and others) have raised to our attention. I’ve written a more detailed response on our blog for those who are interested at http://tynt.wordpress.com/ . From your comments I fear that Tynt in its beta effort has already registered so deeply negative in your mind that I do not know if we can win you back, but I do want to let you know that we want to be valuable and useful members of this community and would welcome input on how you believe we can do this.

    Sincerely,

    Derek Ball
    CEO, Tynt

  6. Don’t forget filing copyright infringement notices with the domain registrar as well as the webhost used. If just 1% of the webmasters affected filed, that domain will be poofed in 3-2-1 when it goes live.

    I want my sites pages out of that parasite’s domain and I want them out *now*.

  7. You have at the top:

    “Block Tynt on an Apache Server” w/instructions

    Then towards the bottom:

    “Tynt and Tynted.net Refuse to Be Blocked”

    Can it be blocked by the htaccess or not? I’m confused.

  8. I could be wrong, but I think the fact that the Tynted URL LOOKS like a part of your site creates the impression that YOU are responsible for whatever Tynt people put up there and expose YOU to potential legal problems. Like this:

    A teacher walks up and sees a kid looking at http://www.yoursite.com.tynted.net/ and sees all sorts of nasty sex talk scrawled all over the page. Teacher doesn’t know about Tynt. Teacher crudades against YourSite, costs it money.

    YourSite owner sues the living daylights out of Tynt. The end.

  9. @Betty Crocker – It can be blocked with the instructions provided for an Apache server setup using an .htaccess instruction set. That doesn’t help those not running Apache though.

    I should go back and clean up that language a bit. Perhaps later this evening I’ll make edits so that any new visitors have a better understanding of what can and what cannot be blocked.

    Thanks!

  10. We’ve already begun editing our managed clients .htaccess files with regard to this recent state of affairs.

    You guys are indeed Top Hat.

  11. Excellent, now I’m blocking these guys across my network, wouldn’t have been able to figure that out without your info. Thanks!

  12. From here;

    http://www.seoconsultants.com.tynted.net/

    RewriteCond %HTTP_VIA .*tynted.*
    RewriteRule (.*) /404.tynted.asp [I,L] –obviously change the second line to your own custom page..

    Since this has the word tynted in it, I guess this we be a better solution. So that you do not have to worry about different IP addresses.

    I haven’t tested so cannot say for sure, but will try.

  13. In Mac OS 10.5, I used ipfw to block Tynt’s IP address range:

    sudo ipfw add 33311 deny ip from 174.129.238.0/24 to any

    It works for me and now my web browsing history isn’t littered with tynt garbage.

  14. It’s a mouse function as best I can tell. I notice that using a left-click to place the insertion point does nothing and then using the KEYBOARD shift-‘arrow’ (‘arrow’=up,down, left, right), to select text then does NOT launch this lame annoyance to my life. Caveat… I’m using Netscape 7.1 at the moment, (this machine’s on win98 but please don’t cry for me), your mileage may vary. I will try Firefox tomorrow on my regular computer.

  15. everything i’ve read so far about tynt tells me one must sign up for it so I don’t see how that is stealing content. As a webpage, blog creator I think its a good thing. My content is my content all i’ve been hearing is boo hoo I can’t steal photos or writing from a website without disabling the script. Here is an idea if you want to reproduce my content why not ask me instead of taking it without permission. I use all my own photos, artwork and writing and it pisses me off to no end when I see them on other websites. until now I had to watermark all my pics another pain in the ass chore just to keep my property. No one has the right to repost my content unless I say so.

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