I hate when people steal text from my website and used it on their own website. Dirty rotten scoundrels!
So what do you do? First, understand that most hosting companies and domain name registrars will take down a site that is fraudulent or that plagiarizes someone else’s site, as long as you can show them proof. Even Google has a process to help you. They’re on your side.
Next, gather as much information about the offending site as you can. Print out all pages from their site where the plagiarized text resides. Go to WhoIs Search and get all their registration information. Also, try Alexa and find whatever contact information you can there.
Finally, write to the offending site owner and tell them that you found plagiarized text on their site. List the URLs of the offending pages along with the copyrighted URLs of your own pages. Give them two or three days to either delete the pages, or re-write them so that they no longer include your text. This is not the time to play nice! Tell the offending site owner that you are copying their hosting company and domain registrar on the letter, and do so.
Make sure when you write this email or letter, you don’t use any passive language, and do not say “please.” Demand your rights. It is illegal and unethical for them to do what they did and they need to stop doing it immediately.
Always put a copyright statement on your site. If it took you a long time to write your text, you should be the only one benefiting from it, not some unethical person who is looking for a shortcut. Even better, copyright your site with your national government (in the USA, visit the Copyright Office website for instructions on how to copyright your website).
I have written to the four sites that stole my text. Two of them are in Australia. Did they really think because they were on the other side of the world that I couldn’t find them by doing a simple Google search?
And you want to know a real hoot? One of these people actually called me, asking about becoming one of my clients! I went out to her site and saw my text on it. How dumb is that?
Don’t let people make you crazy. Stealing text and images is rampant on the internet, and while there’s no excuse for this bad behavior, you have to decide how far you want to go to get them to remove your text from their website. At some point, it becomes a huge waste of time and energy if you let it consume your day. I’ve found that 85% of people will comply with your request within a week. Then decide if you want to take any further steps against those who continue to misbehave.
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Category: Website Planning