When Thieves Strike – What to Do When Your Content Is Plagiarized
Plagiarism occurs when someone presents someone else’s work as their own. It’s content thievery and it happens everywhere online. People lift each other’s content without giving notice. Here’s how you can make sure your content doesn’t get ripped off online.
Finding the Crooks
First, how do you know if you’re getting plagiarized? The web is vast and you may never find it.
There are a few ways to go about it. One is to use Google Alerts. You can sign up for an alert whenever your name, a title of your work or a passage of your work is used. You should at least sign up for an alert for each title (make it part of your editorial routine). If your title shows up somewhere else, you’ll see it.
There are also software programs that can help you find your plagiarized work. These are more effective because they can alert you whenever a sentence of your work appears somewhere else. If someone publishes your article with a different title, you can still find it.
The Easy Way
You can handle your thieves the easy way or the hard way, depending on how you feel about it. The nice way means reaching out to your thieves. Maybe they didn’t realize they were plagiarizing. It happens.
Contact the site owner and tell them that they’re using your work. You can either ask them to take it down or ask to be given credit. Sometimes this is a good strategy because these sites are syndicating your content for you. But first think about how it may look for your content brand. If it could be negative, ask the site owner to take it down.
The Hard Way
Sometimes the hard route is the only one that works. Collect evidence of thievery and file a DCMA complaint with Google. DCMA stands for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, a law passed to protect Internet content, and Google takes these complaints seriously.
If you want to protect your content brand, you need to be vigilant about plagiarism. You need to control where your content appears and how it’s presented.