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What To Do When Someone Steals Your Website Content

Creating content for the Internet is a challenge. On the one hand, without constant content creation, websites lose traffic and can become irrelevant. On the other side of the equation, some unscrupulous webmasters and bloggers regularly seek fresh content from other sites, recycling it on their own pages. Not only is this blatantly unfair, but it could be costing the copyright owner lost revenue from advertising and sales. Fortunately, there are a few different steps that content owners can take to make certain their material is not used without permission.

Taking A Proactive Approach

With the size of the Internet ever growing and new blogs popping up every day, it is very likely that your content will be used without your permission at some point. As there is no agency that handles complaints for copyright theft on individual pages, a proactive approach is often the most effective tool available to content creators who have seen their content stolen. Simply contact the webmaster and request that the information be taken down.

Ideally, the webmaster will simply comply with the request. Any contact between the two parties should be fully documented, and if the information is not already registered as copyrighted, it should be done so immediately. Although all content carries a limited copyright, further protection can be obtained through registration.

Using Legal Action

Assuming a website does not respond to a request to delete content that has been lifted from another website, it may be worth contacting a lawyer for assistance. Lawyers are adept at sending cease and desist letters, which inform site owners that they are in violation of the law. Further action can be threatened if the content is not removed.

Contacting Advertisers and Search Engines

Search engines should be notified of the presence of stolen content. Content owners have the right to request the deletion of results from such pages, under the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Advertisers should also be contacted, notifying them of the presence of stolen property on the pages in question. This will help reduce any revenues the webmaster may be making off of the stolen property.

Dealing with stolen content is not a fun job, but when tackled from all angles, it is easy to resolve the issue. With a bit of hard work and luck, the content in question will hopefully be taken down from the site. Even if no response is received, contacting advertisers and search engines will help disarm the site.

Written By

Jennie Reedy is a student and freelance writer that is currently promoting Whoishostingthis.com. She often blogs about web related topics.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Daniel

    January 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Same truth, as a photographer I am often dealing with the appropriation of my property on the Internet.

  2. Kapil

    January 4, 2013 at 1:48 am

    Hi Jennie, while I believe content thieves will never go away, Google still recognised who the original content producer is but I like your reference to the Digital Copyright Act if this does occur.

  3. Connor Harley

    January 4, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Hi Jennie, thank you for sharing ways to protect our revenues. Content copiers are a constant threat. Measures to protect our content should be taken so that our hard work will have its dues. I personally would prefer not to go through some of these methods.

  4. Ameeta

    January 4, 2013 at 6:33 am

    I faced a similar problem recently so I contacted the company who stole my content gave them a notice and the content was removed within 2 day. Some times you just need to get a bit rough.

  5. Candice Michelle

    January 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

    This is a great post. I had to deal with this in the future and I really didn’t know what to do so I ended up doing nothing at all. I am going to bookmark this post. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  6. Sam

    January 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Great suggestion! If in case your content is used by someone else… then you need to explain to EZA (via email) about your originality (by sending them a link) and that the content was stolen from your own site by someone else. It’s tiresome the way EZA suspends people’s accounts until they explain this, but they do understand that it can happen to entirely innocent people, and your chances of resolving it with them are pretty high. This can really work out.

  7. Kent Chen

    January 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the tip, I do find it annoying when people steals content. I’ve noticed some users are stealing my youtube videos too… 🙁

  8. vipin soni

    January 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    After reading this article several questions hit in my mind like 1) how we’ll get to know that our content is stolen? 2) How we can contact search engines to help us in removing our content form other’s website? please do let me know as their answers are very much useful for me 🙂
    Thanks in advance

  9. Louis Garcia

    February 21, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Nice tips Jennie! I appreciate the way you think. Let me tell you that few months back, content of my website was stolen. Foremost I thought to let it be but my friends persuaded to take disciplinary action against this scam & then I petition to search engine to stop all this bullshit. I can’t believe that later than 15 days the entire site so brutally penalize. In my point of view we may shield our content by using copy protected plugins in CMS. I think in almost all CMS this type of plugins is available.

  10. Taran

    March 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

    This is a great post.Its really helpful for me. I am going to bookmark this post. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  11. Ninas

    June 8, 2013 at 9:15 am

    What if the person does not reply to your emails. Is there any legal action you can take (apart from contacting any lawyer).

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