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Copy, Paste, Adjust, Publish – plagiarism online!

Think about it. What keeps someone from visiting your website, selecting your content, right clicking, copy, switch to another site and paste? Who is watching? Who will ever know?

In the literary world, we are protected by copyrights, and very strict copyrights to boot. In the music industry you will be slapped with a big fat lawsuit if your song sounds and has the same lyrics as another. But how do we control the World Wide Web. There are so many obscure little sites here there and everywhere, clandestine forums, strange groups and chat rooms. How could you possibly know if someone has taken your content and purported it to their own? This growing problem has caught the attention of… Well pretty much every content writer on the net. What are we doing about plagiarism online? Actually there is a lot of action being taken on the World Wide Web to prevent plagiarism. Thankfully the search engines can pick these things up. There are many sites that you can run your content through to make sure you have not plagiarised and have not been plagiarised.

Plagiarism online! – How do you navigate your content through this issue?

If you find a website that you feel has stolen your content, there are steps that you can take. Plagiarism online is a serious offence. You can begin by trying to be diplomatic and contact the holder of the domain name and ask politely for your content to be removed. You can also research further and find out who the website’s owner is, his details, and call him directly. Services like Whois can help you with this. A Whois search can also help you contact the hosting company of the offending website where you can report the plagiarism. Following that, file a ‘Cease and Desist” letter demanding the other party to take the stolen content off of their website. As a last resort file a formal complaint with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This is called a ‘notice of infringement’ that applies to search engines such as Google and others that will ban the offending website. You will be able to prove your case to the search engines by accessing the internet archives and proving that your content, on your website was published before the website that stole it.

 Plagiarism online – it doesn’t occur to everybody that we should not copy and paste from the internet

Maybe you have never thought about it. Maybe you have copied and pasted without a care in the world, not stopping to consider how the person who wrote that text would feel. Take a moment and ponder… what would have happened at school if you had copied somebody’s exam paper? You would get into trouble!

Be aware that the Search Engines might blacklist your website because it has plagiarised content and you may not even be aware that your website has been blacklisted! You will be left wondering why you have no visitors to your website.

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