How to Prevent Content Theft on Your Blog (and what to do if it happens to you)

15 May

This week, I had to displeasure of dealing with one foolish Word Press user who decided it would be a good idea to copy and paste one of my more popular blog posts onto several of his pathetic blogs. I was not amused. The user was promptly contacted, wherein I pointed out that this was blatant copyright infringement and demanded that the content be removed from  his blog immediately. Got no response of course, so I promptly notified Word Press support as this is a violation of terms of service.Within less than 2 hours, I was notified that this was a case of a spammer and that his entire blog/account was terminated. Hah – take that spam blogger!

So today, I get yet another notification that this same blog post was copied and pasted onto other blogs on Word Press. Again, I contacted support and reported this. Swift action was once again taken by support to remove this unsavory blogger’s accounts and blogs. I will protect my content from criminals like this until my dying breath.Why? Because I wrote it based on my ideas and no one else has the right to steal it for their purposes!!!!

What’s my point about this entire experience? As a blogger, everything you publish online can become victim to scammers like the one I encountered. That’s why you have to be smart and find ways of protecting your copyrighted work. By the way, in case you are wondering. Anything you publish online, be it a poem, story, image or article – is 100 % copyrighted to YOU and no one else (unless you have agreed to ghostwrite on behalf of someone else). NO ONE else is allowed to copy and paste it for their own use without YOUR permission. Got it scammers? GOOD.

So here’s a little trick I learnt from a well-respected web developer in my town, on how to prevent content theft (and catch scammers in the act)!  Whenever you publish anything under your name, set up an alert under Google Alerts using a random paragraph from your work. Set it to do an exact match of your submission. If someone decides to publish it on their website or otherwise, you will get an immediate alert and can report them to the proper authorities.

Incidences of copyright infringement are serious business folks. If you can prove that someone has committed copyright infringement against you, and they do not respond to your request to take it down (also know as a cease and desist letter) you can sue them for monetary damages of $7,000 USD per incident. That’s right scammer – go ahead and keep trying to steal my posts on here and you’ll find out soon enough how American justice works for copy writers!

Moral of the story – protect yourself and your content from Internet thieves by outsmarting them at their own game!

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11 Responses to “How to Prevent Content Theft on Your Blog (and what to do if it happens to you)”

  1. Liz May 16, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    Thanks for the info. I have Google set up to alert me if my name is used, I hadn’t thought of the method you mention. Good trick. I’m assuming you copy the content and then include it in quotes to be sure it comes through correctly and doesn’t pick up everything in between?

    • admin May 16, 2011 at 3:39 am #

      Liz, yes otherwise it can become a bit too many alerts. 🙂

  2. Dave Clements May 16, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    I personally find it much easier to use the Fairshare Attributor which does all the searching for you and it’s all free. I’ve caught quite a few people out this way. Once it’s set up, you need never do anything again, except act on the notifications.

    • admin May 16, 2011 at 3:38 am #

      Dave – thanks for the advice – I will check that out!

  3. Jan Udlock May 16, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Great information! I’m so glad you stopped the spammer.

  4. Tia Bach May 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Thanks SO much for this information. I’m new to blogging and naively assumed everyone’s English teacher had taught them the respect for other people’s work and about a little thing called plagarism! I will start using Google Alerts. Thanks again!

  5. Sheila Callahan May 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Very helpful. Thanks!

  6. Lisa Carter May 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Unbelievable! I heard of another instance of blatant post stealing just this week on the Curios Rat blog (a fellow Blogathoner). I knew it happened, but this is a good reminder that it’s likely more rampant than we think. I’m so glad you caught them, Tess — twice, in fact! 😉

  7. Alison Law May 17, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    Tess,
    Way to go! Your ideas are what makes you money, so why let someone else profit from them? I’d never thought about setting up a Google alert with one verbatim paragraph. I want to check out the Fair Share Attributor that Dave mentioned, too. Thanks for the good post.

  8. John May 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Great post, and good stuff here in the comments, too. I would still like to kick these clowns in the shins. A lot. In boots.

    • admin May 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      John, love it! The good thing is that I was easily able to track the “offender” down via my keen Internet research skills, then convince him to remove the copied post from his websites. He did so without a fight, which I appreciated.

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