Well, this is interesting. A couple of weeks ago I was checking on Google to see how my business blog was faring for certain keywords. I was shocked to find that my name and what I did was fairly prominent… but on other websites.
they stole my content!
I often kid (kind of) about Google hating me and my blogs, but it never occurred to me that they actually love my stuff on other people’s blogs… that they’re not writing. Frankly, this could explain a lot of what’s going on with my traffic, especially if it’s being siphoned off to other places. What am I talking about? Let me share some examples. Continue reading Stolen Blog Posts – What Should You Do?→
It seems that I’ve had to become practiced in the art of filing DMCA notices against people who are stealing my content. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and it was created to protect online content. Of course it wasn’t for those of us who blog specifically, but what you’ll find is that most hosting companies won’t do anything about a complaint of yours unless you put it into a specific form which is laid out in the Act.
I have seen where some other sites recommend going after a person through the pocket book, aka filing one with Google to get their Adsense accounts removed. However, even doing that the content stays on the site. I’d rather it not be there at all.
There’s a step by step process of information you need to file with the host. The best way I know how to figure out who the host might be is to go to GoDaddy, put the name of the domain in the name search, then when it comes up saying someone already has it there’s this link that will let you go find out who the person is. Look to the nameservers near the bottom and that will tell you. I did find there was one strange one, “domaincontrol.com”, and it turns out that means the account is hosted on GoDaddy’s servers; interesting. There’s always the possibility that someone has paid to remove most of that information, but I believe the nameservers are always there; I’ll have to confirm that.
Before you go right into the DMCA notice, you should send at least one email to the offender to give them a chance to do the right thing. I hate to say this, but so far I’ve only had one person willing to do the right thing before I had to take the next step; shame. So here you go, the steps as listed in the law, and an explanation if needed.
(i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
This is where you put your name.
(ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
This is where you put your original link that the material was stolen from.
(iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
This is where you put the link where your stolen material is showing.
(iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
This is all your contact information, including address and phone number and I also add the link to my domain name. One host sent me something back saying they had to have the ability to call me, which is why I know you have to add your phone number.
(v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
This is where you basically write an oath of some kind saying that you know it’s your material that someone stole. Here’s what I have for mine: “Not only do I have a good faith belief, I know it is stolen content from my site, as I was the author of the post and am the owner of the blog it was taken from.”
(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
This is where you write an oath of, well, honesty that you are who you say you are and fully take notice that you’re reporting someone stealing your content. Here’s mine once again: “I affirm that this statement is accurate to the best of my ability, and the proof is that all the other content on the site is stolen and scraped as well. Since I’m the complaining party, I am authorized to act on my own behalf.”
And there you go. That’s all you need, and you can send that to the contact information you find on the host’s site. Now, the same people who made me put a phone number on it also said they only accepted DMCA notices via fax; weasels. Luckily, there are a number of online sites that will let you send a free fax as long as it’s not longer than 2 pages.