How to Handle Online Content Theft
Did you know that each month Google is asked to take down 30 million search results due to being alleged infringed material? That is a whole lot of content theft. As a writer, blogger, or content creator, it is very common to experience someone republishing or reposting your content without asking permission. However, if you find yourself in this situation or if you want to avoid the chance of this occurring there are a few things you can do to protect your content from being stolen online, as well as get your content taken down in the case that it has already been stolen. Here are a few methods of handling content theft, as well as preventative measures that you should take to avoid it from happening.
Prevention: Use Plenty of Internal Links
If you want to optimize your articles for search engines, then you are likely already using a lot of internal links. However, if not, then you should start. Internal linking is great for enhancing your website’s indexing, strengthening its structure, as well as stopping content thieves in their tracks. If you link your articles in a way that alludes to your ownership of it, as well as the website that it is on, it will make your content useless for publishing on other websites.
Prevention: Use Personal Anecdotes In Your Content
The worst kind of content thief is one that tries to get away with passing off your content as his or her own. To stop this from happening, try writing some personal stories throughout your content if possible. Although this may be trickier for more technical writing, by writing in a personal style and sharing some of the lessons you’ve learned about the topic, you can prevent people from using your content.
Prevention: Link Your Content to Your Images
Often, people that steal content do not even bother to copy the images. Instead, they simply copy a massive amount of content all in one go from their RSS feeds. This is usually done to rank on search engines and generate revenue through their ads. Due to this, you should ensure that you include lots of images in your articles, and make reference to those images in your writing with such phrases as “look at the following image” or “in the picture above”. This is a simple way of smoothly integrating your written content with your visuals, and will keep away many pesky content thieves.
Action: Get Into Contact With Suspected Website
If you find your content on a website other than your own, then more often than not it is actually pretty simple to get it down. Emailing the site that is infringing on your property often does just the trick. Especially if you demand that they remove the content to avoid persecution. You may even be surprised with an apology in return. You would be astonished how many people believe that everything on the Internet is up for grabs.
Action: Send Out a Takedown Notice
If emailing the website with your content does not do anything it is time to take further action by sending the website a takedown notice. This takedown notice is your right under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). As a writer, you should know how to send out one of these notices, as it is the same concept as locking your home or your car. It is both easy to do and takes very little time. If your content is on a social media website such as Facebook or Tumblr, then you can also submit a form to report that your content has been stolen, and they will remove the content for you. On the other hand, if the infringement is on an independent website then you can send out the takedown notice to the ISP that is hosting the website and your content should be removed promptly.
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