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How To: Has My Writing Been Copied? Check and See.

Updated on January 06, 2017

Your Hard Work

I have been a member of HubPages for a little over two years now and have a handful of hubs that I have written. I don't really consider any of my hubs to be great works by any means, but I have put a great deal of effort into writing what I know about and making it readable for the general public.

I was browsing through the HubPages Answers section just the other day and came across a question that I had really never considered in my own writing:

Which tool do you use to find if anyone has copied your work on-line?

Curiosity

I am always in the habit of trying new things and gave the website mentioned in one of the answers a try. It is called 'CopyScape' which can be found at http://www.copyscape.com. The way this website works, is you type (or copy) the URL of the page that you want to check. This could be a Hub, a blog or any other page that you have your content. After entering this in the search box, click the 'Go' button. CopyScape then searches the web for other websites that have content that matches or is similar to what was in the site you entered in the search box. Free searches are limited, but will give you an idea as to whether anyone has copied your work.


The Sad Truth

After plugging in one of my hubs URLs in the search field, I found something that I hadn't thought would ever happen to me. Several of my Hubs were plagarized directly, word for word. At first, I wasn't sure if I should be furious or flattered, but as I continued to think about it, furious became the dominant feeling.

The information from one of my Hubs, was used as an 'Expert's' answer on another website and had collected revenue in the form of payment for the 'Answer'. Not only did this person make money from information which I compiled, but this also steals page views from the original writer. Mind you, I am not a member of HubPages to get rich by any means, but the extra few dollars that comes in surely doesn't hurt at all.

Take Action

Shortly after finding the stolen content, I found the telephone number for the comapny hosting the website. They were very nice and sympathetic of my situation and took the content off of their site the very minute that I spoke with them. They also made note after taking my contact information that someone would be in contact with me about the monetary compensation that they said I may be due.

I have also had some more difficult dealings more recently with my works being copied as well. After emailing the person several times without response, I looked for some help on the web. I found a website that had some very well worded templates to use when contacting the person or organization that copied the works. I have included the link to the site in the Tools and Resources section below. This has proven to be extremely effective and has had a 90% success rate for me.

If your hard work has been stolen, attempt to contact the individual who has copied you and ask them to remove it. In some cases, this may be the only action you need to take. In other instances, you can file a DMCA Complaint with the search engines to have the content removed from their search listings. This is the next best think to having content removed because even if it is there, people will not be able to find it via searching. I've included a link under the Tools and Resources section with information on how to do this.

Other cases (if you deem it necessary) may require legal action. This all depends on how strongly you feel about your content.


Tools and Resources

Sites like CopyScape provide a great tool for authors that publish on the internet and should definitely be given a look. There are also other sites that offer similar services, but CopyScape seemed to have the most accurate results. Others that I tried did not work at all. Overall, this was a good place to start in my case.

Another way that I found to find copies of your work which is completely free and unlimited, is to copy a section of one of your articles, put quotations around it and paste it into a Google search. I was able to find several other copies of my works on the internet that way and it didn't cost me a penny. With this type of search, I was also able to find people that have linked to my Hubs. It's nice to know that there are people that appreciate your work and pass it along in the correct manner.

Some sites to keep in mind that deal with plagiarism that work as described:

Protect Your Work

Many people write online for the pure enjoyment of it while others make an honest living at it. If someone is stealing your work, not only could it damage your income, but also has the potential to avoid you the recognition that you deserve.

Protect your online work with periodic searches for duplicate content and if necessary, file for a creative commons license. This link is also found above.

I have also written a Hub on 'Article Spinning' which can be found at: http://eric2112.hubpages.com/hub/Article-Spinning-Is-it-Illegal-What-Can-I-do

Thanks for reading!!!

Comments

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks much! I keep reading about this but haven't taken the time to check it out yet. Your experience and thoughts on it are a good nudge for those of us lagging behind on this matter.

    • eric2112 profile image
      Author

      Eric Hartman 5 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      @RTalloni - Thank you. I had never really considered that anyone would want to copy my work. Now I found that alot of it is spread all over. The creative commons piece is really easy to complete to and gives you a little help in the matter should things resort to legal action.

    • Ania L profile image

      Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for writing about it and especially about your positive case, it shows how little sometimes is needed to remove the duplicate. It's also great to know there are other means to protect once rights.

    • eric2112 profile image
      Author

      Eric Hartman 5 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      @Ania L - Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your input here.

      Have a great day!!!

    • Genesis profile image

      Genesis 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for sharing this information it's very interesting and useful!

    • eric2112 profile image
      Author

      Eric Hartman 5 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      @Genesis - Thank you. I am greatful for your kind words!

    • prism3x profile image

      prism3x 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this great information!

    • profile image

      The Writers Dog 5 years ago

      Thank you for this Hub. Being new to Hubbing, it is good to know what I can do to try and protect my work. Voted up, by the way.

    • eric2112 profile image
      Author

      Eric Hartman 5 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      @prism3x and The Writers Dog - Thank you for reading and for your comments!

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Thanks, Eric! This is valuable information. I cannot imagine the lack of conscience it takes to steal someone's work. I will try the links, especially the creativecommons.org for protection!!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting... also sharing this on Facebook Hub Hopper and my Google + (Susan Holland).

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      I'm glad that sites like Copyscape exist as it would be an impossible task trying to find out which articles have been stolen when you have a large number of articles if you have to read the whole articles themselves. also, I like that there are free services, because they are always needed. Since hubpages doesn't like anything but original material, if people steal your hubs word for word, you are notified right away via unpublishing. But spun content is a different matter. I've had my content spun before. Very irritating.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      very useful hub. up and shared. thanks so much for writing!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 5 years ago

      Agreed. Very useful. I would also like to congratulate you, Eric, on maintaining an outstanding rating on Hubpages with the 20 Hubs you have written. They must be high quality and obviously, from the fact they have been copied by others, in high demand. Blessings, Debby

    • eric2112 profile image
      Author

      Eric Hartman 5 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      @PDXKaraokeGuy - Thank you for the vote up and share! The feedback on this particular hub has been nothing short of outstanding! Have a great night!

      @Debby Bruck - I can't thank you enough for your extremely kind words Debby. I really do enjoy the HubPages community. It's a great place to learn just about any topic and everyone is so nice and helpful.

      Thank you again!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Terrific information! I would never think my works would be copied but you never know. Thanks. Voted up and interesting.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Awesome hub! I've been wondering this myself, and have been searching forums and answers to figure it out. Thank you for sharing. I would've been upset, too, had I found out someone had plagiarized my work! Hopefully, I won't find that. =/

      Voted up, useful & interesting!

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      This is a much needed hub--especially now with all the plagiarism we are dealing with lately. Thank you so much! I have voted it up, useful, etc. and shared it with my followers. Great work!

    • eric2112 profile image
      Author

      Eric Hartman 5 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      Wow! It's getting really difficult to keep up with all the wonderful comments coming in on this Hub. I am delighted that I was able to provide useful information to assist with this topic. I must say however that I do owe a great deal of credit to the original question poster as listed early on in this Hub. If you have some extra time, please click the link and thank them for asking the question in the first place.

      Thank you all again!

    • Apryl Schwarz profile image

      Apryl Schwarz 5 years ago from Nebraska

      Great information! Something that I hadn't thought about before.

    • parentsreview profile image

      parentsreview 5 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      That's incredible! These are some amazing resources. I had no idea anything like this was possible. Thanks!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I have tried Google search to see if my content is plagiarized but did not know about these sites. Thanks for sharing.

      Some of my content has been copied in different sites. But I have not filed any complain. Your experience is encouraging.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the info..haven't thought about that yet. Good stuff to bookmark and I appreciate the heads up!

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 5 years ago

      Eric

      This is an awesome hub. There is no better time to spread out awareness about the rampant plagiarism than now. I'm sharing this hub with friends and followers with the hope that it can contribute, even if slightly, to help writers find copies of their own work and take required measures.

      Princesswithapen

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for a post with real information (your own experience) versus theory.

    • nybride710 profile image

      Lisa Kroulik 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I also google my own name a lot. So far, I've only had one Hub of 71 copied directly. I use CopyScape for my client writing jobs.

    • Slightly Bonkers profile image

      Slightly Bonkers 5 years ago from Ireland

      Thanks for the post with very good information. I used CopyScape actually this weekend after I had published a recipe that had been flagged as duplicate by HubPages. Whilst it was 100% my own however you simply have to boil noodles in order to eat them - certain things obviously were repeated also in other hubs. I had double-checked with CopyScape and thankfully neither I was a copy cat nor has anybody copied mine :)

    • profile image

      Lesleysherwood 5 years ago

      This is such good information and like you said, it must have been mixed emotions to think that someone wanted your work, I know it would have been with me. I have definitely bookmarked that site and will take a wonder on it. Vote UP and awesome :)

    • THEHuG5 profile image

      THEHuG5 5 years ago

      Thank you this is such a great hub. It's scary to think that someone would actually copy your work word for word. Bookmarking this hub and voting up!

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      Very useful - thanks for sharing this. I've got it bookmarked for future reference!

    • howtohandbook profile image

      howtohandbook 5 years ago from Riyadh

      Thanks for the important piece of information.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 5 years ago from New Jersey

      In light of the forum posts about hubbers' work being stolen, I am glad you have compiled this information for us. Thanks.

    • raakachi profile image

      raakachi 5 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

      A very informative hub about plagiarism which every body ought to know. Thanks for your sharing! voted as useful.

    • itsmonkeyboy profile image

      itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for sharing this information. I'm still very dubious that any one would want to copy any of my scribblings but even so, I imagine this could come in very handy for some of the better writers here on HP, especially those that provide incredibly useful information.

    • dumindu89 profile image

      dumindu89 5 years ago from Sri Lanka

      Thanks for your useful hub. It has lot of information about plagiarism.

    • KarenCreftor profile image

      Karen Creftor 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      Brilliant hub thanks Eric!!!

      Voted up and shared (in the proper manner ofc ;P)

      ~Kaz x

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      This is useful information. There is a forum thread about a couple of sites that have been copying hubs. It is irritating just thinking about someone else simply copying and pasting the articles and passing it off as their own.

    • Johnjfernando profile image

      John Chandra 5 years ago

      This really helpful. Its sad that plagerism will always exist not matter how the true and dedicated authors try to work hard to create authentic stuff for everyone else. Definitely voted up! Thanks again!

    • Cube Jesters profile image

      Cube Jesters 5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the information. It's truly disturbing to know that people plagiarize and can make money doing so. Thanks for the informative Hub!

    • ajaodegaard profile image

      ajaodegaard 5 years ago

      Thanks very much for the thoroughly informative Hub!

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 5 years ago from Malaysia

      This is really useful article and thanks for sharing the link. I have never given this much thought until after reading this hub.

    • JoshuaThePost profile image

      JoshuaThePost 5 years ago from Palace of the Brine

      Great. Great. Great.

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