If you ever find someone stealing your content, claim as theirs or even monetize with your content, I am sure you will feel frustrated and angry. Some may feel powerless to do anything about it due to lack of know-how. There are in fact some actions you can take to claim back your content. Now let us understand more on what is Content Theft.
How Do You Define Content Theft?
It is any situation where someone uses your content without written consent and link back to your website. In fact even if using your images with attribution, it can still be considered copyright infringement depending on whether it is deem a creative commons. Below are some examples that can be considered copyright infringement:
• Someone modifies or uses your images that are not deemed creative commons even with attributions
• Someone re-publishes entire pages of your content on their site verbatim (this is referred to as content scraping)
• Someone quotes or repost excerpts of your content without giving attribution
There are in fact many options you can consider if there is someone stealing your content. Sometimes, content theft can actually improve your SEO if they link back to your site. It is entirely up to you whether to take any action. Here are the few options I can think of.
1. Screenshot as Proof
It would be good to take a screenshot immediately after you discovered the content theft to make it a proof. This will protect you during any dispute in future. Make sure your screenshot shown the website name or any identification of the theft.
2. Email Site Owner
There are any cases where content stealing are not done intentionally. Therefore many times, a polite email asking them to remove the content can be useful. If you are not able to find the email address, try to run a search on Whois.net. For a site that is clearly scraping your content, you may want to communicate in a firmer way and demand the content to be removed asap.
Read also: Succeed By Giving More
3. Contact Web Hosting Company
Many popular web host like GoDaddy, Hostgator and NameCheap will support the protection of intellectual property. If the content thief wilfully refuses to remove the content or simply doesn’t respond to your communications, then the next option is to contact the site’s hosting company.
You can find web hosting information in WhoisHostingThis.com. You just need to provide the proof mentioned earlier and request the content to be removed. Minor implication is the content removed but a serious one will resulted in the entire site being shut down.
4. Notify Google
As the last alternative, I will contact Google directly and inform them about the infringement. This is to ensure that Google knows who is the content owner to receive the ranking. You may also consider filing a Google Spam Report in Google Webmaster Tools.
It is common for site owners to experience content theft at some point of time. I encounter a few times whereby the content thief even managed to monetize with my content. This is also the reason why I am sharing this so that you will not feel helpless should this happen to you.
I hope my post has provide you some guidance on how to deal with content theft and I would love to hear your stories if you have ever been the victim too.