Bloggers A-Z

Checking for stolen written content

stolencontentlou

Last month I asked ‘Is Someone Stealing Your Blog Images?‘ this month I’m asking if you know who’s using your written content!

Checking your blog content to make sure it isn’t being used on another site is really easy. Head over to Copyscape where you can enter the url of the page you would like to check, Copyscape will then search the internet to see if it can find it anywhere else. If it finds similar content it will bring up the url’s to those pages and you can have a look and see if it has been copied.

I was recently talking to Louise who blogs at My Three and MeΒ about finding my photographs on another website, she was shocked and went on to search her blog, unfortunately she found not only had some of her photos been used on another website a whole article she had written had been stolen and placed on what looked like a website set up to make money from advertising (see the image above).

If you find your blog content has been copied you should take the steps below which will hopefully result in the offender removing your content. Take a little bit of time to think about what you want to say but don’t go in all guns blazing as that will just put the person back up and perhaps cause more issues and make if harder for you to get the content removed. I know you want to scream and shout but it’s only likely to have a negative effect.

The first step is to send them an e-mail telling them that your work is copyrighted and they should not be using it. You should ask them to remove it or advise them that they can keep it up but they must link back to the original source.

Here is a template e-mail you can use and edit to suit your needs.

Hello,

It has come to my attention that you are using written content that I own without my permission. This is a breach of copyright laws and I ask that you remove the content from your website with immediate effect/credit me for the work and link back to the original source which you can find here (enter url). The copyrighted content in question can be found on your website here: (insert link).

If the content is not removed/credited within 7 days I will be forced to report the copyright infringement to Google and your website host.

Yours sincerely,

(Insert name)

Unfortunately sometimes it can prove hard to get the content removed but if contacting the website owner doesn’t work there are other things you can do. If the website has advertising on their site such as Google Adsense you can send a report to Google and they will penalise the account holder by removing the ability to advertise with them so although it might not get your content removed it has repercussions for the person who stole your content.

We shouldn’t have to worry about people taking our blog content but unfortunately we do. There are a couple of things you can do to try and make it harder for people to steal your content and to make it clear all of your content is copyright to you. Make sure you have a clear copyright statement on your blog so it’s obvious that all of your content is copyrighted to you and must not be used elsewhere without prior consent.

Hopefully you will never be the victim of copyright theft but it’s important to be aware that it does happen and to check your website regularly to make sure your content isn’t being used elsewhere without your permission.

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