Today I received a call from a client who said that the content on her website was being “stolen” and used on other websites. She wanted to know what could she do to protect her website. She knew that Google had a “report this site” for plagiarism so I helped her through the process.
Thought it would make for a good article as well.
What is Creative Commons License and What To Do If Your Content or Images are Stolen
For webmasters and website owners, Creative Commons Licenses are licenses that…”allow creators to communicate which rights they reserve, and which rights they waive for the benefit of recipients or other creators.” It’s free of charge and simply requires you to fill out a form and place the link on your website.
Basically, the Creative Commons license tells the world what can and can’t be used and in what manner from your website. Here’s a video that can help you to understand it.
To register for a Creative Commons license simply go to their website and fill out the form. Have your webmaster add the code to your website pages.
Has My Content Been Plagiarized?
There’s a great website called Copyscape. Enter in the URL of each page of your website to find out if there are copies of it somewhere else besides your website. They allow a limited number of scans per month but if you’re so inclined you can purchase their Premium program for unlimited scans. Price is .05 per scan.
What About Plagiarized Graphics and Photos?
Copyscape is great for content but does nothing about seeking stolen graphics and photos. So, how do you search for these? Use your Firefox browser for an easy solution. (If you haven’t yet downloaded Firefox I have no idea what you’re waiting for – it’s a great browser!)
Anyway, download the extension called “Who Stole My Pictures” and install it on Firefox. After it’s installed go to your website, and over a photo or graphic, right click your mouse. You’ll se an option to choose “Who Stole My Pictures?” You’ll be given several search engines that will search for you and you’ll see which websites your images are on.
Now mind you, if you have stock photos and graphics on your website there is a very strong possibility that you’ll see those same images on other websites. That’s NOT plagiarism. But if your graphics are unique, you should not find them anywhere else.
How To Report Plagiarism To Google
Some of you may know that the Google Algorithim called Panda which was released February 2011 and the Penguin Algorithim which was released April 2012 both were created for the purpose of weeding out websites that have duplicate content or use spam or violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Basically, Google is working hard to provide their customers with quality content and relevant content based on their searches.
For webmasters and website owners, this means that we can participate in helping Google with this “policing of the Internet”. You can use their Copyright Removal page – make sure to read it and understand it before you fill out the form.
So, that’s it – alot of information I know but that’s what it takes to cover your valuable content and let’s face it, our websites can bring in quite a bit of revenue so they are valuable content!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.