Are you worried about others stealing your blog content and passing it off as their own? There are a number of steps you can take to not only deter unauthorized use of your online content, but to quickly catch acts of theft and hold the offenders accountable if it’s discovered.
Step 1: Get in The Habit of Searching for Theft
Make it part of your regular routine to run your copy through platforms like Copyscape to detect potential theft of your blog posts or website content. You can set reminders in your calendar to perform searches on a monthly basis, or even weekly if you really want to stay on top of things. You can also take snippets of your blog text and paste them right into an internet search engine to see if anyone else is using your copy word-for-word.
Step 2: Set Google Alerts
Utilizing Google Alerts is a great way to monitor if works authored under your name are being used or repurposed by someone else without permission as soon as they hit the internet. For example, I may set up a Google Alert using the title of this blog post, “How to Stop Others from Stealing Your Blog Content” and select the notification setting that will send me an email the moment the same title is used online. If I get an alert with a match, I can quickly check it out to see if it is indeed my work or just a false alarm.
Step 3: Include a Copyright Notice on the Footer of Your Website and at the Bottom of Each Post
Under the law, a copyright exists the moment a work is created, and that includes blog content. You do not have to take any special steps to receive copyright protection of your blog posts. For that reason, you can add a copyright notice to the footer of your entire website or at the end of each post that reads, “All Rights Reserved” or contains the copyright symbol (©) with the current year even if your content is not federally registered. While you need to have your copyrighted work federally registered in order to sue in court for unauthorized use (more on that next), it may help to deter potential infringers from stealing your material.
Step 4: Federally Register Your Copyrighted Material
Again, your work has copyright protection the moment it’s created. But, in order to sue for damages in federal court, your work must be registered with the US Copyright Office. Additionally, registration of your work provides you with leverage should you need to send a cease and desist to an infringer and damage benefits in litigation such as the ability to seek attorney’s fees and statutory damages. If there is a particular piece of your content that you believe needs this protection, talk to a copyright attorney for help working through the process.
Taking steps to ensure that your work is not being plagiarized or stolen online without your permission is part of being a savvy and responsible blog owner. Following these steps can help you deter theft of your content and hopefully catch any offenders before there is any impact to your blog’s SEO rankings or a particular theft causes confusion amongst readers or consumers in the marketplace.
Of course, if you discover that your work has been stolen and you need help pursuing options that are available to have your content taken down or to hold the infringer accountable in court, feel free to contact our copyright attorneys at 888-666-0062 to schedule a consultation.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.