Get all the best stuff about Content Strategy, SEO, Writing and Productivity!

What To Do If Someone Steals Your Blog Posts

Copy

This morning I woke up, prepared some coffe and opened up my laptop to quickly deal with emails. No biggies, until I saw this below:

Wordpress pingback

New pingback notification? “Cool” I think, “someone’s linking to my content”. Then I want to have a look at how this guy’s citing what I’ve written in the past and that’s where I find something that’s already happened to many other people who manage to write online such as bloggers, freelance writers, web designers: someone copy-paste your blog post on their blog and add their signature.

My blog post “Why Content Strategy, Content Marketing and SEO Are The Future For Small Businesses”, published on April 24, 2014 got partially duplicated on a website called copyranger.com and published by a guy named CopyRanger.

copyranger copying content from matteoduo.com

As you can see, 180+ words from my blog post were copied on this website. Just looking up at the website I can easily find that behind CopyRanger there’s a guy named Rick Duris. So I check him on Google and find he’s not new to this activity. That’s why I need to act now, immediately to remove this unauthorized copy of my blog post from his blog.

What this guy’s doing falls under what’s commonly called content scraping, which has a bad impact on the ranking factors of the original source of the content.

Someone’s stealing your blog posts? This is what you need to know

When I find someone stealing my content and put it back on their website under their name, without asking me for any authorisation, I get pissed off.

It already happened to me in the past and I made them taking down my stolen content from the hosting providers. I claimed a copyright infringement to their hosting provider and this ensured my copyrighted materials were preserved.

Here’s how you can do the same.

What to do if you find a website’s copied your content without any authorization

  1. Check their domain information with a WHOIS look up. You can use a service like who.is
  2. Go to their registrar website and look for the sitemap to quickly find a page called “Site Terms of Use and DMCA Claims” or anything similar.
  3. Find the copyright infringement address (if any) and send a detailed email explaining what happened

I created an email template that I use when things like this happen and I need to claim any copyright infringement. You can copy it and edit to better fit your scenario:

Subject: Duplicated content without permission

Hi there,
I’d like to submit a copyright infringement issue to you because one of your customer is using a registered domain from xxxxxx.com (IP address 0.0.0.0) to violate a copyrighted material from my own and my website matteoduo.com.

This is the original content create by me on April 24:
http://www.matteoduo.com/content-strategy-content-marketing-seo-small-businesses/

This is the unauthorized copy of it, without any credits:
http://www.xxxxxx.com/why-content-strategy-content-marketing-and-seo-are-the-future-for-small-businesses/

I have a good faith belief that this domain is a spammy one, specifically its use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner (aka me).

All the information in this notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, and I, the Complaining Party, am the owner and an exclusive subject who’s authorized to dispute copyright infringement.

Regards,

What can you expect when you claim a copyright infringement like this?
Most of the times, hosting providers take the copy down. In short: you win.

Unauthorized Content Removed

Conclusion

Managing your online presence is difficult, not only because you need to create great content, pay attention to your SEO and keywords, but also because there are plenty of people stealing what you’ve sweat your guts out on just with a couple of click or via automated techniques (like scraping via RSS feed).

Now you have the tools and an email template to fight them back. It’ll take some time, but you’re going to win them. Be assured.

[Image: Rupert Ganzer]

Content Strategy, SEO, Writing and ProductivityGet all the the best practices, tools and strategies
to grow your website's audience.

  • Content Strategy & Content Marketing articles, how-tos and case studies to show the power of great content
  • SEO guides and resources to learn more about this amazing marketing field
  • Writing and Productivity tips to help you with content creation, promotion and social reach
Subscribe to my newsletter
About Matteo Duò

Matteo Duò is a Content Strategist & Digital Consultant in love with Startups, WordPress and Storytelling. He's a freelancer who helps companies and young entrepreneurs communicate their own message in the most effective way toward their audience. You can reach him using this form.

Comments

  1. Like déjà vu…exactly what happened to me just today. I also got a pingback but I was not able to find any link back to my site. I think I only got pinged because the guy copied everything even the embedded links in my photos… Thanks for sharing your experience so now I know what to do!

Comment Policy: Your words are your own, so be nice and helpful if you can. Please, only use your real name and limit the amount of links submitted in your comment. We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it please.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.