6 Proven Tips to Deal with Web Plagiarism
Numerous people around the world are creating web content every day. Regardless of the material, you automatically get the rights to it as soon as you post it. It is a rare occurrence that a country will ask you to register your work for copyright. But just like in real life, on the internet, you are most likely to stumble upon people who will copy your work and publish it as their own. So how to deal with a situation like this? What can you do in terms of a legal action against those sites that are copying your content?
How to know if there is copied content of your work online?
Firstly, you need to know how to detect if somebody is copying your content. The best way to do this is to find a unique sentence, or even better, a spelling mistake in your text and search for that sentence enclosed in quotes in Yahoo Search or Google Blog search. Once you’ve explored far enough and eventually found a website with your content, run a WhoIs search to find out the address, phone number, or e-mail of the website admin.
Politely ask the offender to remove the content
It is the easiest approach to get the copied material removed. Send them a warning note with the details of copyright infringement and set them a deadline to take the content down. You never know, it might have happened by mistake and the person responsible should have a fair chance to remove the content.
Use social network to let the guests know the content on the page is copied
If the administrator does not do so in a given time frame, try spreading the word. Post comments on his site to open the conversation up and see if he/she is going to react. Most of the web administrators read the guest comments. However, he/she might ignore the comment or wriggle out with the explanations his authors are responsible of the deed. Furthermore, the possible explanation could be that you are the one who copied from him/her! Usually, it would be wise to let the person go with doing such thing once or twice. If the person repeats the act, it means that the mistake is not involved and you can proceed with the legal actions.
Other ways of removing the copied content
At this point, complain to DMCA as this is a law put by the United States of America made to stop the piracy of online media. You can also search for a web host provider and bring the complaint up to them. They are usually pretty strict when it comes to web plagiarism and will most likely respond you in a small matter of time. If you are wondering how to contact a web host provider simply visit their official website and seek for a “contact us” section. There should be an e-mail included where you will send your complaint. In this e-mail, you should prove, as profoundly as possible, that you are the original creator of the material and that the website you are reporting is a plagiator. To do so, send them a link of your Google Cache in order for them to see that the Google spiders detected your material before the copied one. Moreover, let them know about the Google Page Rank of your site. The violator you are reporting on probably holds a site that has a much lower Google Page Rank than yours. Also, inform them about your Technorati Rank if you are a popular blogger, and share the Alexa Rating and Traffic info to prove the age of your page. These are only some of the tips that might be useful in convincing a web hosting company to act.
If, however, they fail in taking the copied material down, you can inform Google, Yahoo about the site violating the copyright laws as these search engines accept complaints and are fighting against piracy and web plagiarism. What they do is they remove the site from the search engines so that the traffic of an offender is reduced significantly. He is then most likely to set his page offline as there is no use of it anymore.
Complaining to the site adversiters
If this somehow does not work, complain to the site advertisers. If you are wondering how to do this, it is simple, find the ‘Removing Content From Google‘ tool and check the Web Search option as well as the Adsense option. Google Adsense and Yahoo Publisher Network are the most common one and will take down their ads immediately once they find out they are advertising themselves on a site that is in a violation. Sometimes, Google proceeds your takedown complaint to Chillingeffects.org. This is an information site that serves as a database of Cease and Desist Claims processed by Google. Also, there are stored data about takedown complaints submitted by individuals. Entering your case in this database can help paralegals and students of copyright issues to deal with this sort of problems. It is a solid contribution that is helping to improve the chance of cracking down web plagiarism.
The last thing to do in order to at least let the potential offender know that you take plagiarism seriously, is to use the copyright symbol C in a circle. A P in a circle is a commonly used symbol as well, and by doing this you will let everybody know that your work is protected and the permission for copying it is required.
All in all, keep in mind that it is a wise thing to check the Internet for websites that are stealing your content. Never forget that everything you post is your property only and nobody is able to publish it as their own unless they have your permission. The easiest way to detect plagiarized content is to run a piece of your material in a software such as Copyscape. You can also subscribe to the DMCA and check for the tools they are providing in terms of plagiarism detection. Also, never forget, that, if you ever stumble upon a content that you suspect is copied, you should contact the author, just as you would like to be informed if somebody is stealing your content.