How many hours do you spend a week on your blog? How much research, reading, editing and actual writing goes into it? A lot, we know. Any blog that’s worth its salt, no matter if it has guest posts or not, deserves to be protected.
If it has quality content, trust us, somebody is going to try to steal and copy some of it. Plagiarism is rampant, there are entire websites built upon plagiarized and stolen content.
People are making money left and right on other people’s hard work. That’s why you need to do as much as you can to develop and protect your stuff.
There are many ways you can do this. Catching the culprit red-handed is always a good idea, as is placing an actual legal copyright on your stuff. But, before you get ready to initiate a lawsuit, read the article below and learn how to stay protected.
How to Protect Your Blog Content
#1. Utilize Online Tools
The first thing you should do is use online tools to check if anybody has already plagiarized some of your stuff. You can use Google Alerts, as well as a variety of plagiarism checkers and tools found on the web.
For Google Alerts, all you need is a Gmail account. Then, set the tool to alert you whenever a specific and unique sentence found in an article you wrote shows up somewhere else.
Try to make it as unique as possible, otherwise, you will get a ton of false alarms. These will notify you whenever somebody is stealing your content.
Plagiarism checker needs to be operated manually. You need to open such a tool (Copyscape is an excellent choice) and then place your article text into the designated box. Then the tool will show you wherever else these things popped up. It will show you the exact plagiarized section, as well as the website where it popped up.
TinEye is an excellent way to protect your images. It performs a reverse image search and works similarity to how the plagiarism tools work as well.
#2. Contact The Culprit
This should be your next step. Now, remember, false positives happen, and the English language has only so many combinations of sentences to choose from. However, if you’re pretty certain that someone stole your stuff, confront them. Perhaps they forgot to place credit, in which case, you can set up a type of cross-post-promotion type of deal. Getting credited exposure can also prove to be useful.
If they ignore you, threaten about filing a complaint. According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, you can file a complaint and get that stuff taken down. The DMCA is there to protect intellectual property online and if a website does not follow it, it may end up being taken down.
Now, this is relevant to the US, but many implement the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty. This leads us to our next section.
#3. Proper Copyright Set Up
Now, these copyright infringement rules vary from place to place, and from country to country. You need to familiarize yourself with all the relevant laws and regulations if you want complete protection.
For example, in Australia, the content is protected by the Australian Copyright Act of 1968. There, copyright protection lasts for the creator’s entire life, with an added 70 years after his or her death.
So, if you’re set up in Australia, getting a professional copyright protection in Melbourne, Sydney or any other big city is always a good choice. Some things you can’t do on your own, and there is no shame in asking for help.
Now, for some places, like the US, in order to correctly sue somebody for copyright infringement, you need to register your stuff. This means you need to ask around and check (again, depending on where you are located) and see what are the specific bureaucratic actions you need to do. But know that most of the time you are protected by these general acts, and that you will need to register with some kind of authority.
Setting up a trademark on your name or your blog’s name is a strategy many popular bloggers employees nowadays. You’re already setting up your own brand, so why not do the extra work and get some extra protection. It may pay off greatly in the future, especially if you blow up and start getting some serious money and exposure.
We hope this has been informative for any of you bloggers out there. No matter what the type of content you are producing, somebody out there is going to try and steal it. That’s why you need to do everything you can to stay safe.
Some things are easy, like scanning the web for plagiarism. Others, however, are specific to your local laws and regulations and will require you to get some professional help.