I'm wondering about the legality of a practice, for which I can only think to title it "sock puppet site ad revenue farming by recycling articles". I don't know what else to call this, what I've found. It's run by some rich dude, and after investigating, I understand now why he's rich. I'm wondering about the legality of this, and I can't find the answer online.
Here's the deal:
There is one website that is fairly popular among computer geeks, which is part of a "network" of other websites. This network of websites is properly registered to him, in the USA. It's headquartered at a bank, though. (Thanks, Google Maps.)
I found out through other means that he also owns another "network" of websites, which recycles all the same stories from his main news network. These websites are registered in Canada. They're definitely the same network - they left behind an accidental link from one network to the next. Besides the accidental link between the networks, I can be certain that they are the same - they use the same methods. The second network which recycles the first network's stories shares the exact same layout, posting method, and About pages are the same (just reworded).
From the second network, I found a third network in a similar way. Again, it just recycles all the same news stories as the first. Same layout, same About page.
I'm still looking for more site networks, but the reason I question the legality of this is due to the international registration of multiple domains to generate ad revenue by recycling stories across sock puppet networks, giving the impression of multiple, independent companies. These seem to be fraudulent websites, but I am not trained in nuanced legal matters.
... "sock puppeted news" ...