If you regularly provide content online (and, by the way, you should be doing this for SEO and marketing purposes), you are being bombarded by infringement and may not even realize it.
Doubt me? I can tell you that, at least, once a week (if not more often) I find a website or blog which has cut and pasted one of my articles and used it as its own. Addressing infringement is like taking out the garbage. It is annoying and time-consuming but must be done so your house doesn’t stink.
So the first question you probably have is “How do you find this out?”. With millions of web pages with all types of content, how can I find infringing pages? The answer is simple. You need to set up Google Alerts for key terms and phrases in your industry (or other topics which you write about). Google Alerts is free, easy and quick. Setting this up will “push” links to articles which should be of interest to you anyway. More importantly, in the short blurbs emailed to you, I bet that you will find infringement. Indeed, most often the title of the piece alone will be enough. Click on the link to be sure but your initial reaction will often be right.
So how should you handle an infringement? I found a good article on this topic called “5 Steps For Dealing With Stubborn Plagiarism Cases ” and, by all means, please read it.
Candidly, due to bandwidth and ROI issues, I usually 0nly perform one of these 5 steps — report it to Google. By virtue of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Google has to address it and they do a very good and prompt job doing so.
For me, submitting complaints is so commonplace that I created a “Google Infringement Form” which I make available below for you to plagiarize, er, I mean copy.
Complete and submit this form and Google will investigate the infringement and, then, remove it from their index. That is, it will not appear if anyone does a search of your article title or of a key phrase from it. If you don’t think being removed from Google’s index is a powerful weapon, read “Blacklisted: The 5 Stages of Death By Google“.
Further, often the un-scrupulous plagiarists are using the content to try and generate Adsense monies (i.e., that is, getting paid by Google for each click to a Google ad which runs on their site). If so, your complaint will also remove that page from Google’s content network thereby hitting them where it hurts, their pocketbook. Similarly, if the offending content is posted using a Blogger platform, Google will remove the offending blog post.
While not exciting work, the above is important to protect your intellectual property and avoid dilution of your brand. Now go get ’em!
Google Infringement Form
VIA FAX (650) 618-8507
Attn: Adsense Support, DMCA Com plaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Notice Of Infringement
We hereby furnish notice of infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The original copyrighted work which has been infringed upon is the text that appears on:
The material which is infringing upon my original copyrighted work appears at:
My email address is __________________________
I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web page(s) is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.