Dealing with bloggers who are bent on plagiarizing your content in part and in full has never been this easy before. By holding on to a few developments that won’t cost you anything other than your data subscription, you can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to help protect your content.
For clicking to read this blog post, I want to believe that you are seeking for ways you can find justice against amateur bloggers that do nothing but copy posts from your blog and claim ownership of it on their own blog.
If nobody has ever copied and claimed ownership of a content you spent sleepless to create, you will definitely not know what it feels like. But if it has ever happened to you, especially in cases where the plagiarist’s blog begins to rank higher than yours for the same keyword, then you will be more interested than I am to know what needs to be done to correct this and stop future occurrence.
Just before we begin to dig deep, let’s quickly look at ways you can know if someone has copied your post.
How to Know If Your Content Has Been Plagiarized
With these tools, it’s possible to know if someone has just copied and republished a post from your site to theirs without your permission.
- WordPress.com Trackbacks
Except for WordPress.com trackback (pingback) that automatically gives a backlink to your post and displays that on your dashboard anytime someone publishes a post with words closely related to what you’ve already published on yours (that’s if you are using WordPress), all other methods I listed above require that you copy and paste your content and click search for them to show you the URL of any post that duplicated the content.
If you often receive guest posts from writers or you normally hire writers to handle your content development, it’s important that you use any (or even all) of these tools above to ascertain the originality of the post before publishing it to avoid giving yourself out to angry bloggers who will go any length to get your blog penalized.
What to Do If You Discovered that Your Content Has Been Plagiarized
Privately Write to the Blog Admin
When you discover through any of those methods above or someone told you that your content was duplicated somewhere on the web without your permission, the first and the most honourable thing you should do is to contact the administrator of the website privately.
This is not the time to be rude or sound harsh at the editor for allowing a plagiarized content on their site. Instead, you should be mature enough to present your case without insulting anyone.
You are only permitted to take up a legal action against them after you’ve contacted the blogger owner or editor and they refused to respond to you. Otherwise, settle it amicably and don’t even bother reading further.
Ask for Two Things
If you are not the money-conscious type like most people are, there are just two things you should ask for while communicating with the blog owner or administrator that plagiarized your content.
First is, ask for a dofollow backlink (especially if it’s an authority site) or secondly, ask them to take it down (if you don’t need a backlink from such site).
Here’s a Template on How You Should Compose Your Private Message to the Blog Admin
Hi [name of the blog admin],
My name is [mention your name]. I am the owner (or editor, depending on what you call yourself) of [name of your blog in full].
I write to inform you that one of my posts was duplicated on your site without my permission. It’s possible you are not aware of this, so I felt informing you will be a win-win for both of us.
Here’s a link to where the original post was published: [put the original link here].
In case you are in doubt of when my post was published, you can gladly click on this WaybackMachine, paste this [URL of the original post] and it will show the exact date it was first picked up by search engine. But in case you didn’t find any result, please enter, “site:yourwebsite.com/blog-post” on your browser and it will show you the exact date it was published.
You know I can’t fake any of these things. Please, do the needful by taking it down or recognizing me with a dofollow backlink as the original owner.
Your blog and social media contacts.
Note: I deliberately didn’t ask you to claim for damages, but it’s up to decide if you want them to settle you financially for stealing your content or not.
Did They Ignore Your First, Second and Third Reminder Messages?
Lets assume your first, second and third reminder emails or text messages were ignored or you intuition tells you it must have gotten into their spam box, try again. You can take it further by reaching out to them via any of the social media platforms where they are very active and lodge the same complaint.
But what happens if they totally ignore and/or even threaten you?
There and then will the next things I’m about to tell you going to be very relevant, which eventually is the main reason why I wrote this post.
How to Report to Google If Any Blogger (or Online Content Creator) Violates Your Copyright Policy
Google hates plagiarism. Plagiarism weaken creatives and makes intellectually deficient people to look smart at the expense of someone’s sweat.
So, the more you are willing to report any form of copyright infringement to Google with verifiable proofs, especially when the plagiarist isn’t taking instructions, the better you are helping to sanitize the cyberspace.
In compliance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Google is under compulsion to respond to information of alleged infringement.
If you notice that someone copied your blog content without giving you credit for it even after you’ve contacted them or without your permission, you can follow this link to file for copyright removal.
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What Google Will Request from You
Some of the information Google will ask you to provide include but not limited to: your first name, last name, and company name, email address, your country, a detailed copy of your copyrighted work, the URL housing your material illegally, etc.
Tick all the needful boxes and hit submit and Google team will quickly start reviewing your complaint.
Beside Reporting to Google, Also Submit a Digital Millennium Copyright Act Takedown Notice to the Blog’s Web Hosting Provider
What that means is that you can ask the site’s hosting company to remove the content from their database. This can only happen if you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the content is yours.
Quickly, use WhoIsHostingThis.com to find the hosting provider of the infringing site. And with the information you’ve gathered about this site, write a comprehensive report and email it to the site hosting provider and they will do justice to that.
Some of the information they would want contained in your complaint are, the IP, Name server, signature, a link to your work that was used without your permission if it was published online (or physical copy if it’s a printed material), your contact information so that the hosting provider will contact you for further investigation, etc.
Interestingly, most of the web hosting providers, especially, BlueHost have the step-by-step method you should take when reporting any copyright infringement.
WARNING! You will pay for damages and take up all expenses (which may likely be inflated) incurred by the site hosting provider should your DMCA takedown notice later be discovered to be falsified.
What to Do Right Now If You Are Guilty of Plagiarism
If you are guilty of using other people’s content without their permission, there’s danger looming for you. However, here are alternatives for you.
“Re-write the entire content.”
“If you can, remain a notable content curator.”
“Put the link where the content was originally published.”
Don’t be afraid to share your content online. There’s a standing law in the United States to protect whatever you publish online. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, as long as both of you use Google, plagiarized content can be tracked down. People who are likely going to live above this are Chinese who are using Baidu.
Now over to you.
Has anyone plagiarized your content before, how did you feel and what did you do about that? Let me have your opinion.