Help! I've been plagiarised!
What can you do if your work is stolen?
You've just discovered that someone has stolen your content. All that hard work you put in, the research and the sweat, casually ripped off your site by an unscrupulous thief.
These thieves don't just steal your hard work, they steal your traffic, they steal your product, and they steal your income.
Don't let them get away with it!
There are professional ways to deal with thieves, here are some steps to take when your content has been stolen.
Find out who has stolen your work
Look for a name and contact on the site. Can't find a name or contact?
Is this a page hosted by a large company, such as wordpress.com? For blogs on wordpress.com go to http://automattic.com/dmca/ where there is a form for you to submit.
You could send a polite email to the thief if you think your work has been stolen out of ignorance. However ignorance is no excuse, t's up to people who run sites and blogs to familiarise themselves with copyright law.
Or you can send off a Cease and Desist Notice
Cease and Desist Notice
Warning : This Cease and Desist Notice only works with people who genuinely have no idea that 'copying' your work is theft. That's about 1% of the total number of thieves.
I've given up on sending these notices. Nowadays I go straight to Google, but here's the legal notice.
I am the proprietor of all copyright in the literary work entitled [your website URL] (The "Work"). I have reserved all rights in the Work, which was first expressed in material form on [date first written].
It has come to my attention that your work entitled [infringing URL] is substantially similar to my copyrighted Work. Permission was neither asked nor granted to reproduce my Work and your Work therefore constitutes infringement of my rights.
In terms of the Copyright Statutes, I am entitled to an injunction against your continued infringement, as well as to recover damages from you for the loss I have suffered as a result of your infringing conduct.
In the circumstances, I demand that you immediately:
1. Delete all remaining online and offline copies of the infringing content and notify me in writing that you have done so;
2. Cease any further use and distribution of the copyrighted material on other websites;
3. Undertake in writing to desist from using any of my copyrighted Work in future without prior written authority from me.
I await to hear from you by no later than close of business on [date in 5 days' time].
This is written without prejudice to my rights, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.
What to do if your Cease and Desist Notice is ignored
- Go to Google and ask that your content be removed from the thief's site. Tell Google!
- Contact the web host, you've already checked the whois records for the site owner's name. These records also list the name of the domain registrar and the contact details of the website host. Tell the web host that your work has been stolen.
Warning to Web Host
Dear [website host]
This is to inform you that your client [thief name] is infringing on my copyright with their website [infringing URL] which has been hosted by you since [creation date listed].
The stolen content has clearly been [scraped / spun / plagiarized] from my website at [your URL] [and is now blacklisted by Google as per my DMCA complaint - if applicable]. Your client has ignored my Cease & Desist letter and if the infringement continues I will be seeking legal action.
As per copyright laws, I request that you remove all content from [infringing URL] within the next 48 hours and notify me of your action.
Below is a complete list of URLs infringing on my copyright: [If the stolen content appears on multiple pages, list them here.]
Is the thief using affiliate links?
Contact those affiliates and explain that your content has been stolen.
Whoops! Have you plagiarised something without realising?
Is it Plagiarism?
If you have to ask if you're plagiarising, then you most probably are plagiarising. Intentional thieves, fraudsters and cold blooded scammers know perfectly well what they are doing, but there are some people who have literally no idea that plagiar...
Have you had your content stolen? Do you know of someone who has?