Content creation takes in a lot of efforts and hard work and it feels really bad when you see your worked hard content regenerated or republished on some other website or blog without prior permission and attribution. This is simply known as Content Theft and we also call it Online Plagiarism.
How to Prevent Online Theft and Stop Online Plagiarism?
How to prevent Content Theft or How to stop Online Plagiarism? This is one of the toughest questions to be deal with when working online as a Content Creator. People who create content by just scraping original articles or by slightly modify them, will suffer a lot in coming days. All of the scraping done includes stealing the work of other sites to rank good on Search Engines, but today, Search Engine Technology is going very transparent that one day it will be able to put the scrapers out and give users 100% original content.
How Online Plagiarism / Content Theft or Scraping can affect your Website?
- It may lower down your Search engine rankings.
- It may lower down the traffic coming from Search engines on your website.
- Your work might not get the expected response.
How to Detect Content Theft or Online Plagiarism?
Coming back to my point, if you want to stop online plagiarism of your content and want to siege / prevent online theft, first you need to discover or detect content theft. You can detect content theft using some really useful online tools which trace the Web documents who reproduced or copied your content, here is the list of some free online plagiarism detector tools:
- Copy Scape
This service provides you to check for Content theft 10 times in a month. Using Copy Scape is simple, you just have to type in your website URL and press the check button. Within a second, it will return the results with the Web documents who are using the same content as your website.
- Plagiarism Checker
Allows to input text to check for duplicate content.
Similar to Plagiarism Checker, asks for direct content input to check for content copies.
Yes, you read it right. Google a paragraph of your content under double quotes ("Content"). If someone has used your content para, Google will show it in search results.
Steps to Siege / Prevent Content Theft / Stop Online Plagiarism of your Content
After finding the website or blog that is copying and encashing your content without prior permission, try to extract its owner’s contact information. To do so, simply visit the scraping website, look in it’s About or Contact sections. If you’re not able to find it, try whois, AboutUs.Org or alexa to get owner’s contact information.
Now, you have gathered enough information about the guilty party including scraper site URL, it’s hosting provider, advertising services used by this site, it’s owner’s contact information and more; proceed with the collected data as given below:
- Start with a polite e-mail
Send a polite e-mail with the notice that he is using your copyrighted content and he should remove in no time. If you didn’t find any e-mail address of the owner, send him a postal mail regarding the notice. Wait full 7 business days for the response from his side.
- Cease and Desist Notice
If sending a mail didn’t worked, send a Cease and Desist Order, which is commonly known as C&D. It is a letter with legalized warning which means “Stop otherwise you’ve to pay for it..”. It is all about protecting a business and now you have to give him a strict warning to remove your content in 24 hours.
You might send the C&D letter to every party involved in the scraper site including the Web host, advertisers and other members (if any).
The letter should be formal / official. Check a sample C&D letter for a better idea. Know more how to write Cease and Desist letters to stop Copyright infringement.
- Draft a DMCA Complaint
DMCA is expanded as Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Before filing a DMCA complaint, you should make sure that you have enough evidences to prove yourself the owner of the content to the acting authority. These evidences could be the Whois record of your website, Web Cache or Search engine cache showing your content was discovered earlier than that of scraper, the ranking stats (Alexa, Technorati etc.) of your website to confirm the age of your website.
You may choose the DMCA complain filing if the offender doesn’t reply back or you’ve found no contact information on his website.
- You may file a DMCA complaint against the scraper website to his Web host. As per the DMCA, webhosts are supposed to take serious actions against the websites causing plagiarism.
- Check if the scraper is monetizing or generating business with your content. You may send a DMCA violation letter against the scraper website to the Advertiser(s) and other services making business from it. They will surely take strict actions against the website following to the DMCA 1998.
- The prominent Search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSC allows users to complain about the sites violating Copyright laws. Such sites are removed by Search engines from their listings after the violation detection. After getting removed from Search engine listings, the objective of scraper to harness your resources will be doomed.
Also see Sample DMCA letters by Future Quest and Labnol and guide to send DMCA notifications to major Search Engines?.
Once the acting party receives your DMCA complaint, it will investigate to verify the whole issue and will remove the scraper’s website or blog from it’s services.
Also see how to check and fix broken links from website.