In this article, we have featured What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Post. For those of you who have had their work republished without their consent — and I don’t just mean in the context of fair use — this essay is for you.
What scraping is, and how to deal with a website that is taking your content, is explained by Ang England. (Hint: it might be a rich opportunity for you!) Please welcome Angela as this week’s guest writer and share your ideas or experiences with content theft in the comments section below. 🙂 Melanie 🙂
It’s inevitable that we’ll all have to deal with content scraping at some point in our blogging careers. Copying and pasting an article or post that you’ve written onto another website is known as plagiarism.
Since Google has lately implemented new algorithms that help detect which post is the original and which is a duplicate, this used to have major SEO ramifications.
In the end, though, this content scraping is a form of robbery. Work that was stolen. Potential readers are stolen. It’s also a symptom of the thief’s tremendous sloth (or stupidity).
For example, it may have been found out via a Google Alert, a friend’s DM, or an email saying “Hey—isn’t this your article that I wrote last month?”, or by sheer chance. To combat content thieves, I’ve developed a few tried-and-true strategies that you might find useful.
What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Post
When dealing with content thieves, keep your cool and be kind.
“How dare they!” is generally my first reaction, although this is rarely a productive one. Emailing them or utilizing their website’s contact form if feasible is the best way to alert them that you own the copyright for this content (Be sure to link to which post you are talking about). This is frequently the first thing I write in an email or in a comment:
In the email I provided as an example above, there are a few points worth noting:
Instead of asking a question, I made a statement. Negative answers and lawful omissions are also possible. Would you mind if I removed this from your site? They may have said, “Yes, I’m fine with it,” or something like that. “This article has to be removed,” you must remark.
That scraper has consented to use my services for free. You can only charge a republishing fee if that option is available for the post you’re trying to republish. For a reprint fee, however, I typically charge around $50 more than I do for generating an original piece for that individual. I’d prefer they hire me to generate original stuff and then let it float around the internet.
Many individuals don’t aware that blogs and websites aren’t free for anybody to write anything they want. If you’d want to educate them, you may do so by putting yourself up for hire. Make it apparent that your words have value and are not up for grabs by creating a win-win situation.
Invoking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Against Content Pirates
When I send the email, I obtain a new job one out of ten times. A reprint fee is given to me once in ten times. It’s not uncommon for items to vanish five out of ten times, and I’m never notified about it. So what happens the other three times when there is no reaction, no reply, and most importantly, my item is STILL still there?
Occasionally, if the website appears to be authentic, I will issue an invoice via Paypal. My reprint charge is more than I originally specified, and I’ll include a reminder that money must be received within 48 business hours or the stolen material will be deleted from yourthievingwebsite.com. Sometimes this will work, but sometimes it won’t.
If it doesn’t work, you move to file a DMCA complaint. A WHOIS search is generally all I need to identify a contact email address and resend my request. I’ll also file a DMCA complaint with the site’s host.
As a result, I’ll be contacting the likes of Google, Yahoo, and others. Bloggers and authors should take the time to fill out this form, in my opinion, to safeguard their intellectual property. If content scrapers keep getting away with it, the situation will only become worse.