Content theft: 10 Ways to Deal With People Who Steal Your Website Contents

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Thousands of content are stolen across the internet every day. Content theft is a vice that has turn to common practice. A lot of bloggers and web sites owners are involved in this sharp practice of copying and pasting content from other bloggers.

Content theft is a crime

Content theft is a crime and it is an infringement on copyright. Wikipedia defines copyright infringement as the use of works, protected by copy right laws without permission, infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display, or perform the protected work to make derivatives works.

It is hard to truly empathize with a blogger whose content has been stolen until you find that your content has been stolen too. You may wonder why people make such a fuss about content that you have published to the world, being stolen.

What happen when your content is stolen

First, when your content is stolen and posted on another site, such content can be used to make money and it can be distressing to find someone living off your sweat and blood. Coming up with new and original content is a very intense and exhausting job.

Content creation is not a chance thing; it involves a lot of research and thinking. So finding that someone has made money off such exertion and is taking credit for it can be very distressing.

Did you also know that the theft of data can affect your blog’s ranking in the database of common search engines like Google and Bing? Yes it can, imagine having someone who stole your content ranking ahead of you?

Please note that when people take content from your site without your permission but credit you for such content, it is not content theft.

It might however constitutes some intellectual property infringement and you can politely ask them to take the content down. However you may allow them leave such content up, as it may drive new traffic to your site. Content can range from videos, to pictures to text and even audios.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent content theft on your blog or site:

How to Protect your Website Contents from being Stolen

1. Create original content:

You must Endeavour to create original content yourself. It is alright to review other sites for inspiration, but you must also develop your own style and stay original. It is hard to win the fight against plagiarism and content theft if you are also involved in content theft yourself.

Read Now: How to Write Original Articles on Your Blog

2. Whistle blowing:

Call out people who are involved in content theft if you know the person whose content has been stolen; be sure to alert them so that they can take the necessary steps. The less people who steal content the safer and more secured your content is.

3. Use Google search authorship:

This would make it easy to provide that you were the original author of a particular content. It might not completely help in preventing theft but it is very handy when proving ownership during a case of content theft.

4. Watermark your images so at least when they steal such content you can still get credit.

This might not be the most effective method because there are applications like Adobe Photoshop which can be used to remove such water marks but at the very least it is an effort to deter them.

5. Disclaimers:

Put a very bright and bold disclaimer after every blog post. A copyright notice, to inform everyone that if you find that your content has been stolen, you would employ appropriate legal measures to deal with the offender.

6. Right click disabler:

You can install a right click disabler on your website to prevent people from stealing your content. This might however do a little more harm than intended because the disabler will also reduce your search engine visibility, which would in turn affect your ranking.

Also people who are genuinely looking to use your content for research and other educational purposes for instance students, who find it difficult to use the helpful content on your site.

7. Embed content in flash:

This is another very good preventive measure, it makes lifting content quite difficult. The only challenge is that it will reduce your search engine visibility significantly.

8. Track back notifications:

This would give you alert when your content has been stolen. And it can set you into motion, to stop any damage.

9. Copyright:

it is important that you get all your original contents, copyrighted, in Nigeria, you are very lucky, as you don’t need to take any extra steps towards getting your content copyrighted. The moment you publish an original content, you automatically get the copy rights.

However because of your interactions on the world web, it might be advantageous to get your content copyrighted. There are a lot of sites that provide this service or free, for instance, Copyright.

Read Also: How to Register Trademark in Nigeria

10. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CONTENT HAS BEEN STOLEN?

The first few moments after your content has been stolen can be very demoralizing. To see another person taking the credit for all of the hard work you have put into creating viable content. Here is a list of things you can do in such situation, to fish out the offender, to get justice and get the content taken down from the site.

Collate evidence of the stolen content and gather your proof of authorship. The Google search authorship would come in very handy at this time.

You can use websites such as http://www.whoishostingthis.com to find the identity of the owner of the offending website.

Try to approach the person who has stolen your content in a very subtle and polite manner to take down your content. Send them an email and give them a time frame to remove your content from their site. This approach can be very effective, particularly if the offending website owner is not a serial content thief.

If they do not respond to your email, or they miss the deadline without recourse to you, report them. For websites hosted on platforms such as http://www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com, report directly to the platform and such websites will be taken down immediately.

However for self hosted websites, report them to the administrator. If this does not work, report directly to Google, state clearly your proof of authorship so that you can receive the ranking for your work.

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