Many of you are aware that over the past two weeks, I have experienced an onslaught of blog plagiarism. The plagiarists have been using my blog as their own personal idea bank. Some have stolen my mission, my title and now a direct copy of my post. Don’t these people know there is only one Truthful Mommy and one real The TRUTH about Motherhood and that’s me! Sunday, the plagiarist hack broke my bloggy back and I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to my source for bloggy support, understanding and wisdom…Twitter and my readers. It has to be said, social media can really rock your world in unexpected ways. Within minutes, many of you had sent me helpful sites, legal letters to demand that the infringer take down my material, letters to the plagiarist’s host and even the latest in plagiarism laws. You people amaze me so much that I feel I need to take all the great information that I received and share it to help my fellow bloggers from falling victim to such heinous crimes!
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There is no way to truly prevent plagiarism. My blog is clearly marked with a copyright. I also have the BlogProtector plugin that doesn’t allow people to copy and paste my content. Though, obviously that doesn’t stop them from rewriting it verbatim on their own site. But as you all know, where there is a will there is always a way. I believe this in every aspect of my life and so why wouldn’t there be a way to get around this. These unscrupulous plagiarists see your challenge and raise you a cheap imitation or a verbatim copy. Scoundrels, they obviously have no talent of their own to speak of so they set to stealing the intellectual property of those of us who do. The best thing you can do is be proactive, become familiar with the Copyright Act and register your blog/trademark title with the United States Copyright office. As a blogger, it would be particularly beneficial to be familiar with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
There are a whole slew of WordPress plugins available to help keep you informed as to whether or not you are being plagiarized. There are different software programs available that can check to see if copy is redundant on the internet and in effect let you know if your intellectual property is being used by someone else. A couple free plagiarism checker sites that I found were www.Copyscape.com , Google Alerts and www.Duplichecker.com. You can also purchase Plagiarism Detector software, which I hear is good but I have not personally tried it ( obviously) but would like to have something that could tell me in real time when someone has copied my content rather than stumbling onto it or having it ping-back because the moron plagiarist copied it with an internal link to one of your older posts ( mental midget). Which actually could be a low cost way to catch thieves, internal links to your older posts WILL ping-back and you will catch the perpetrator.So check your spam comments. If you want to do it the hard way, you can always individually Google common phrases in your posts and it will lead you to any duplicates.
Well, personally, I’d love to stop a plagiarist by stringing them up and beating them like a pinata ( but you already knew that, right?) Since we can’t do that, here are a few things we can do to clean up the mess. Under DMCA ( I told you to familiarize yourself with it) you can issue an immediate take down notice. This is good because under the law, the hosting ISP ( according to Black Star Rising, you can find the infringing Web site’s hosting ISP through a “who is” search at sites like Domain Tools or Whois.net) of the infringing plagiarist, while not liable for the plagiarism itself is responsible to remove the material from the site after proper notice has been given. An immediate take down notice would be this notice. For an excellent example of the take down notice check out Black Star Rising. You can also send a legal notice to the plagiarist and ask them to remove the copyrighted material and threaten legal action.
This course of action was suggested by one of my readers ..
“If you produce the content, you own it and deserve any and all commercial benefits deriving therefrom. (I’m writing a story on this for one of my clients right now so I’m all up to date and ready for a fight with content pirates.)
If that ( the immediate take down notice) doesn’t work, you can always go their advertisers or ad syndication network to let them know that their ads are appearing on the site of a content pirate. That can make them skedaddle fast.
You can also take the licensing approach as in: “Hey, how awesome that you are finding value in my content! I noticed we don’t have a license agreement in place so here’s one for you to sign, along with an invoice for $$$ for your use of my content.” Who knows, you may even get a new revenue stream out of it. “
I think she is brilliant!
Other courses of action? If you know of any other please let me know. And if you think this can help any of your blogger friends, please share it. I think most of us are pretty trusting and there is so little known about how to stop these plagiarists, we need to be armed with all the relevant information that we can get hold of. Thanks for all the help, support and advice. Do me a solid, if you see my work on anyone else’s site, let me know. I’ll bring the bat and we can all celebrate by taking whacks at that damn plagiarism pinata![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]