Content theft is the worst nightmare of any blogger. Work being stolen and published without any credit to the original content creator is straightly illegal. But the number of such people getting unearned money is increasing day by day. They are called Blog Scrapers, Sploggers, and Copycats. Spam bloggers are referred as Spollers. Such author may sometime use any auto blogging tool to spam pr simply do it manually to promote affiliated websites, to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites or to simply sell links/ads. According to Google, selling links for search engine ranking is illegal and can also lead to ban of such site from Google.
Why spammer copy your content is to increase the PageRank of the affiliated sites, get ad impressions from visitors, and/ or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are a type of scraper site, where content is often nonsense or text stolen from other websites.
If you are a victim of content theft, then here's a list of proven measure which you can take to prevent your content from being stolen by spammers. Or if you've found the culprit and if he is unwilling to remove your content from their site, then you can try the official DMCA takedown, Thay will ensure that the content you own will never be illegally used by any strangers. So you can be sure that your contents will appear first in the search engines results, before the spam blogs. Most of the automatic spam blogging tools use RSS feeds to get your content, you can put and end to this scenario by adding copyright notice under end the post. And here are few tips and preventive measure which can largely reduce the bad impact of your blog from content theft.
#1 Use Defensive Plugins For Copyright Protection.
There are plenty of useful plugins out there, which can help you reducing the chances of content theft. Some plugins are for adding copyright notice in RSS feeds, and others which will insert a “digital fingerprint”, a unique bit of text or code that can easily be searched for, identifying illegal use of your content.
Plugins for adding copyright or warning notification at the post footer
- Copyright Proof - Digitally certify your blog posts - proving authorship, deterring plagiarists, and protecting copyright. A copyright notice with teeth! that is what the author says. Compatible up to: 3.0.1
- WP Copyrighted Post - Adds copyright notice in the end of each post of your blog. Compatible up to: 3.0.1
- Auto Copyright - Automatically generates a copyright notice based on the first and last post published in the WordPress database. The notice can be placed anywhere in the web site template using a simple tag. Compatible up to: 3.0.1
- Disclosure Policy WordPress Plugin - This plugin adds an area at the bottom of every post for you to include a copyright notice, public disclosure message, links to legal and/or comment policies, and other “messages” to help protect your blog’s content. Compatible up to: 2.2
Plugins to add copright notice in feeds and secure feeds.
- Simple Feed Copyright - Adds a simple copyright notice at end of full text articles in your feed. A notice gets attached at the bottom of feed articles - "Copyright Year. BlogName. All Rights Reserved". The BlogName is linked to your blog url. Compatible up to: 2.9.2
- Station Identification - Station Identification is an anti-spam/anti-feed-scraping plugin that allows the user to add a customizable copyright message at the bottom of all posts on their feeds. It can contain a link back to the original post, a link to the home page of the blog, and the author's name, and/or any arbitrary HTML the user desires. Compatible up to: 2.9.2
For Content ID, Barcode , verification link and Digital Fingerprint.
- Digital Fingerprint — detecting content theft . Once embedded in your post, the plugin allows you to quickly and easily search the blogosphere for references to the digital fingerprint using Google Blogsearch, BlogPulse, and Sphere (see the admin screenshot, above). It also allows the quick and easy search for your digital fingerprint of the web itself using Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. An optional quick search can be included in the dashboard itself (shown below). Lastly, the plugin provides a few resources and links to places that will help you combat splog and spam should you find your content plagiarised or stolen on another website.
- Numly Numbers -The plugin registers your copyright with Numly and returns the Numly Number (ESN), barcode, and verification links to your blog post automatically. Compatible up to: 3.0.1
Plugins for take-downs to get copied content removed & for earning fees for your article.
- Embed Article - This plugin is a bit more interesting than others, Embed Article WordPress Plugin prevents copyright theft by offering an alternative solution to your readers who copy your content. The Embed Article alternative benefits you in enough ways that you’ll begin encouraging readers to take your content. Basically this plugin allows others to embed your article just like how you embed a youtube video. the benefit you get is that embed includes your ads and also gives you link back.
Read full features
- iCopyright(R) Article Tools - The iCopyright plugin adds article tools (print, email, post, and republish) and an interactive copyright notice to your site that facilitate the monetization and distribution of your content. With this plugin you can earn fees or ad revenue when your articles are re-used. Identify websites that re-use your content without permission and request takedown or convert them to customers. Compatible up to: 3.0.1
# 2. Setup Google Alerts
You can setup Google alerts with your blog keywords or with your blog post keywords and Google will send you email notification when matching content is introduced to web. You can then check the list of matching content and verify whether they were copied from you.
# 3. Use web services to scan your page for any matches on the web.
There are many free and paid web services available for tracking and scanning your pages to check if any possible content is being stolen anywhere in the web. Some services which I suggest are:
- Copscape.com - This website just compares text matches and searches for similar pages in the web. They also show you both original content and the copied content page, with the text marked with yellow color. Also shows your the percentage of copied content in another article.
- Copygator - This is a free service designed to monitor your RSS feed and find where your content has been republished anywhere on the web. They also offer email alerts, but it never worked for me.
#5. Edit .htaccess file of your WordPress to prevent content theft from bots.
WordPress the worlds most used blogging platform is also the most used by spammer. Such spammers use spam-bots and such automatic tools to steal your content as soon s it is published. You can block some such spam bots from visiting your site by editing .htaccess file of your WordPress.
You can read more about editing .htaccess for stopping content theft.
#6. Place copyright warning banners and Badges.
You can place warning message for copyright violation under each post page of your blog, For some extend it can put an end to the content theft. But if its a bot doing the job, then you should look for some other alternative like step #5. You can get badges from like Copyscape.com & Copygator as i've mentioned above.
#7 Use DMCA to monitor and take down cases where you know the culprit.
DMCA.com offers free and paid services to monitor and take-down copyright violation cases. And they also provide tracking badges for your blog which will keep track of your pages 24/7. You can create an account and start protecting your page from here To generate badges visit this page.
Once the DMCA badge is in place, it will automatically be listed in your account. That means you need not manually add the website name in your DMCa account. below is the screenshot of the DMCA control panel of my protected pages listed.
This is a FREE service that tracks all of your pages and automatically adds a linkback when sombody copies and posts your content on his page or anywhere on the web. this will someway help you get some additional traffic and because of the back link it can also help with improving Pagerank. But I've not used it so far to give my thumbs up.
However no such system in the world is absolutely fool proof and none will ever be, But some of the steps I mentioned above can put and end to content theft and plagiarism and reduce the changes to upto 90% .
And thats the wrap. Did you ever have to struggle for copyright? Do share with us about content theft and plagiarism and steps you would take to prevent it from happening.
And thats the wrap. If you know few more preventive measure to top content theft, then why not share with us? Please do share your ideas and thoughts and content theft and plagiarism. Have your article been stolen?