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What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content

Blog writing tips and articlesHaving been the target of copyright thieves, and working with writers, authors, and photographers on copyright protection and laws for over 25 years, I thought I’d talk a little about what to do when someone steals your content.

First, you noticed that I didn’t say “if” someone steals your content. That was on purpose. With the glut of information on the Internet, it’s now a matter of “when” not “if”.

The first step in learning about what you can do when someone steals your content is to know that it will happen, so the more prepared and informed you are, the better your chances of prevention and having a plan in place when they steal.

A Look Back on Content Theft
In 2006, few were talking about copyright infringement on the web with any authority. This article put the term “content theft” front and center and brought the discussion out into the light. Where are we now, almost 10 years later?

Content theft continues to be an issue on the web, with scrappers, those stealing content from thousands of sites at a time, making money from our hard work with our writing, graphics, and photography. Luckily, search engines heard our pleas and many old SEO techniques no longer work as original content is honored, as are authors of original work. We can’t force them to quit, but we’ve come a long way in making them irrelevant.

I no long offer free help and advice to those seeking copyright violation assistance. I recommend everyone to Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, my hero in the ongoing fight to protect our content.

As the number of websites and blogs grow, especially splogs, the demand for content puts more pressure on website administrators, who may resort to stealing content in order to fill space on their sites and attract traffic. Website hijacking, as such an example, is on the rise. This is the blatant use of part or all of your site’s content on another site without permission. This is also a copyright violation and needs to be dealt with accordingly.

Copyright laws were designed to protect those in society whom we celebrate and honor, often representative of the lowest paid workers, the artists. We don’t expect to take freely work from our doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, or others whose work we value and honor with compensation. We expect to pay them. And if we don’t, the collectors will come after us.

But there is something about a writer, poet, composer, and photographer that makes people expect their work needs no compensation. Just take it. Have we glamorized the “starving artist” notion so much, people think taking income producing content from them without compensation is okay? That a “link back” is credit enough for their hard work and expertise? Where did our society go wrong in that value judgment?

This is the first of three articles. This article covers tips, information and resources to help you deal with copyright infringement, the theft of your blog or website content. The second article includes helpful links and resources for finding stolen content and copyright infringements. The last article in the series examines the growing trends in content theft such as image hotlinking, website hijacking, and abusive use of feeds to replace original content without permission, as well as other copyright infringements on the rise.

At the end of this article, there are many links to more information to help you understand and confront copyright violations, as well as some WordPress Plugins that will help you post copyright notices on your blog and feed, as well as help you track and uncover copyright violations.

Confronting Content Theft

If your wallet, car, or purse is stolen, or your home robbed, you have the police, security, and insurance companies to call to help you recover your goods and get compensation. If your content is stolen, who can you turn to for help and aid?

Unfortunately, until an agency is established to defend your creative rights, most of the fight is up to you. Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought. I hope to make the process of recovering your stolen material simple to understand and easy to implement.

The second step in dealing with content theft is clearing up some major myths about copyright, copyright violations, and the Internet.

  • Going after someone for theft and copyright violation is NOT time consuming or expensive.
  • It does NOT require a lawyer.
  • It might NOT require anything other than some simple actions.
  • The protection of copyright laws should NOT be left to the “companies with the money”.
  • Protecting and defending copyrights is NOT complicated.
  • WRONG: The companies with money think nothing of violating copyrights, so there is nothing to do about it.
  • WRONG: Everything on the Internet is/should be free.
  • WRONG: You put it on the Internet, what do you expect?

Don’t understand what is and is not copyright protected and how it works? Check out Introduction to Copyrights and 10 Big Myths About Copyright Explained. Also check out the Copyright Crash Course.

Just because information is on the Internet does not mean it’s “free” to take and steal. Information, images, graphics, designs, and photographs, all are protected under copyright laws and are known as intellectual property. While it is nice to think that everything on the Internet is or should be free, for the most part it is. It is free to read, look at, wonder about, and even write about. It is not free to steal, make money from it, or use it as your own.

As for the cost and trouble of tracking down and stopping content and intellectual property theft, let’s look at who the thief is. Someone who steals your content, be it writing, image, graphics, or photography, is often a single person (not business) doing something they haven’t yet been spanked for, so they think it’s alright to do. They are not rich. They are often not very smart.

Understand stealing content is illegal, be it photos or writing. By going after someone for stealing your content, you are protecting the millions of others who let it slide. It is important that we all get educated and know what to do when someone steals our content, and we need to teach others that this is wrong – very wrong and very illegal. If we all work together, hopefully there will be no more ignorance and everyone will be smart about copyrights. Original content will be respected and protected.

If the issue of people stealing your content doesn’t bother you, be sure and mark your website or blog accordingly with a copyright tag that says “help yourself”. Display a copyright notice, like one from , that says “free for the taking”.

If it does bother you, you can display a copyright policy notice to inform your readers that your content is yours – don’t touch. Or you can choose another copyright policy that says something between. Check out all the different copyright options at Creative Commons. They also feature small logos, like the one in the sidebar here, which designates which rights users have to use your content.

Usually the issue of content theft is over before it is even started with a simple email advising them of the theft. Unfortunately, the myths keep people from taking action to protect their copyrights – and in turn, this perpetuates the myth that nothing will happen if you steal.

I will cover the following topics and issues on what to do when someone steals your content:

Tracking Down the Source and Taking Action

Once you find your content has been stolen, you need to track down the source of the theft. The source of the theft is who stole it in the first place. If one person steals some of your writing, someone else may either steal it from them, or link to it as if it was the source. With links and copies of the stolen material spread around, it can be confusing to find out where the source of the initial theft was, as well as tracking down all the links to that source.

If you find that others are linking to the stolen material as if it is the source, then contact that website owner or administrator (often called the webmaster) and let them know you are the original source of the information and ask that they change their link to your site with the original content. They will often post a correction, stating that their link was in error and point out that the others stole the content or misrepresented themselves.

However, finding who the original thief is and how to contact them can be a bit more of a challenge. A lot of blogs and websites are anonymous, with little or no information about the web owner, administrator, designer, or host. Still, with a little work and information, you can find the contact information. Check the following locations and resources:

  • Contact Page
  • About Page
  • Credit Page
  • Footer notes
  • Author Page
  • In the web page source code meta tags
  • Email links in the page source code (search for “mailto”)
  • Email forms

One you have a contact name, address, or email, you can then take the next step. The following are some resources for tracking down site ownership and contact information. Even if you can just find a name or business name, you can then use the directories to track down a mailing or email address.

Contact the Thief

Once you have identified the thief, the first step is to contact them. It’s critical to let them know that they have done wrong and that you know about it. Your goal in contacting the thief directly is to:

  • Inform them of the theft
  • Request removal, correction, modification, and/or compensation
  • Open a dialog
  • Gather information
  • Create a paper trail of evidence

Keep professional at all times. Begin your confrontation with the content thief calmly and carefully. Some people steal outright and don’t care, and it is instinctive to want to hurt them back, but don’t. Keep this professional, even if the response you get is unprofessional. You be the bigger person.

Some people don’t even know they are stealing your content for a variety of reasons. Give them a chance to explain and change their ways, and to remove the content before you start threatening. Remain professional and this might be quickly solved.

While many people want to immediately use their big guns, I seriously recommend a nice simple email or letter that says basically the following, and sent to every contact address or email you can find:

This is to advise you that you are using copyrighted and protected material on your website/blog. Your illegal use of XXXX article at XXXURLXXX is originally from my website/blog called XXTITLEXXX at XXXURLXXX. This is original content and I am the author and copyright holder. Use of copyright protected material without permission is illegal under copyright laws.

Please take one or more of the following actions immediately:

  • Re-write the post to include excerpts with a link to the original content.
  • Credit the material specifically to me, as author, and my website [be specific].
  • Provide compensation for use of my copyright protected material of $XX.00 USD paid via [payment method].
  • Remove the plagiarized material immediately.

I expect a response within 5 days to this issue. Thank you for your immediate action on this matter.

The response can come in many forms. I’ve received responses from people who immediately removed the content with an apology, admitting that they just liked the material and didn’t know they were doing wrong.

One person apologized for their ignorance of the law, then went on to tell me how disrespectful and ungracious I was because she’d posted what I’d written for a friend dying of cancer to cheer him up. I’m sorry about her friend, but theft is theft. If she had asked, I might have said yes, but stealing is still illegal, no excuses. Making me feel guilty for confronting the theft isn’t my problem. It is your problem.

As a website owner, manager, maintainer, or administrator, know the rules and law protecting not only the rights of others, but your rights for your own original content.

Gather Information and Evidence

Once you have contacted them, you wait. The response may be immediate or it may never come. While you wait, you take action.

Gather information: Compile all the information you have from your search to identify the source. Put it all together in a file folder on your computer, including correspondence. Make backup copies, just in case.

Create a paper trail: By gathering the information and saving it onto your computer (with backups and printed copies), you are starting a paper trail of evidence that might be used in the future if needed. It also will help you learn about what worked and didn’t work when the next copyright infringement happens. Print out copies of every piece of evidence. Include screen captures using graphics programs of file dates, samples, and examples. Put these all together in a folder as ammunition.

DO NOT SEEK REVENGE: Spamming, publicizing, or abusing the content thief will only bring suffering back to you. Stay professional. Defacing someone’s website, targeted spamming, and even publicizing the copyright violation can lead to criminal and legal action being taken against you. Even if legal action is not brought against you, your reputation may be ruined by such attacks. Be professional. There is a time and place for public outcries. The beginning of the process is not the time to go public.

Establish ownership: You need to be ready to prove that you are the owner of the material in question, so start gathering the proof you may need to prove you are the original owner and the copyright owner. Prepare as many of the following as possible:

  • Search Google and screen capture the results showing the original cache file with the date on it showing when it was spidered.
  • Print out a copy with the posted date visible.
  • Create a screen capture of your MySQL database record with the original post date information.
  • Print document information from a word processor of the history of the document (if written in a word processor).
  • Screen capture or print copies of dated comments made in response to the original posting.
  • Compile copies of notes with dates you may have made in preparing the document or images.
  • Create copies of the original, unedited images with the file date.
  • Get a notarized copy of the image or article.
  • Establish proof of registration with the Copyright Office
  • Find witnesses who read your site consistently and will testify to the date of post.
  • Comparisons their site pages’ source code with yours to document exactly how much of your content was stolen, including code. Mark it clearly on the printed copies.
  • Go through your backup copies of your website and website database to find the oldest copy you can with the stolen material in it.
  • Visit Archive – Way Back Machine, part of The Archive, to find past views of your site, possibly highlighting the stolen content.

Register Your Copyright: While your content and images are copyrighted upon completion, that copyright protection is limited. Think prevention now and take time to register your copyrighted material. For more information on how to register your original content, see Registering Your Copyrighted Material in this article series.

Be prepared for resistance: Be aware that there are also form letters available to counter your claim of copyright infringement. One example, Do-It-Yourself Counter Notification Letter, outlines a very specific legalize rebuttal. Part of preparing yourself for tackling copyright infringement and theft is to know thy enemy.

Wait the full 5 days for a response and if you get none, then you can step things up by sending a Cease and Desist Order.

Cease and Desist Order

A Cease and Desist Order is just a form letter with legalize that says “Stop or Else”. Also known as a C&D, there are many templates found on the web, with examples listed below. Find one that meets your needs and customize it for your specifics.

A Cease and Desist Order is a definite step up in implied threat for action. Accordingly, instead of waiting another 5 days, I recommend you shorten the time to respond to 24 to 36 hours. A Cease and Desist Order means business, and it means business now.

While your first contact letter should go to the party directly involved, a Cease and Desist Order might be worth sending to everyone involved. If you have enough information to realize that the individual won’t respond, consider sending the Cease and Desist Order to every contact you can find related to the website, including the website server host and advertisers, to make sure that all parties get a chance to see it.

Usually this legal looking document with a threat of monetary damages does the job. If it does not, then definitely contact the host server with the Cease and Desist Order, advising them to shut down the site if action to comply with the Cease and Desist Order is not seriously. Most hosts will jump to avoid such actions and will temporarily suspend the site. On occasion, you may find that the host server isn’t the “parent” host, but part of a shared host service. Keep following the breadcrumbs up to the parent company who runs the server.

A Cease and Desist Order can consist of some or all of the following:

  • Notification of the copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property.
  • A demand that they cease and desist from infringing your copyrights.
  • A clear time table for response and deadline.
  • Specific request to remove or destroy the page with the stolen content, or another move that will satisfy your need to have the theft stopped or controlled.
  • Inform them that they are liable for any and all attorney’s feeds, court costs, and damages (only valid for registered copyrighted work – so register your work now.)
  • Inform them of any intentions you have to send copies of this Cease and Desist Order to their ISP, host, advertisers to let them know of the infringement.
  • Clearly state you will take further legal action is this is not resolved to your satisfaction by the deadline.
  • If you want, reinforce your statements with the contact information of your lawyer.
  • Request for identities and URLs of all links to the stolen content.
  • Demand for an accounting of all profits and income derived from use of the infringed content.
  • Demand for compensation for any and all profits and income derived from the copyright theft.
  • Demand for compensation due to lost profits, income, and reputation.
  • Clearly state how they are to respond to you regarding this action, by phone, email, in writing (mail), and if they are to respond directly to you or to your legal representative or lawyer.

Make the letter or email as official looking as possible. If your logo is cute and cartoon-like, create a new, professional looking style just for the serious nature of this letter. For emailed Cease and Desist Orders, make them simple, clear, and easy to read, with double spacing between paragraphs and a clear title. Do not use background art or stationery. Make it look like a memorandum.

If this doesn’t work, which it usually does, then it’s time to take bigger steps. The following will help you learn more about Cease and Desist Orders.

Contact Their Advertisers

Advertisers (most of them) want to do business with reputable people and companies. They want to know that their advertising is being used in the right way and for the right reasons, attracting the right customers. If the initial contact and Cease and Desist Order doesn’t resolve the matter, then it’s time to get really serious. Hit the content theft abuser in the pocket book and let their advertisers know that their ads are being showcased with illegally used content.

Send advertisers a letter or email outlining the specific copyright violations and copies of your requests to stop and the Cease and Desist Order. Don’t just send the Cease and Desist alone. It won’t carry much weight as a third party, but a letter describing your attempts with copies of the ignored and disobey order is usually enough to convince them to pull all advertising contracts with the abuser. In some cases, they have more information about the thief than you do, so they may even take steps to inform them and their host server, doing part of the work for you.

Don’t start with the advertisers. You need to go through the other motions to build a case against the content theft that you can show to the advertisers. But when they see it, expect immediate action.

And if that doesn’t work, then it’s time to call in the big guns and request their removal from search engines and that the search engines take their own actions.

Request a Ban from Search Engines – The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) was created as an act which:

…criminalizes production and dissemination of technology that can circumvent measures taken to protect copyright, not merely infringement of copyright itself, and heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.

Okay, so what does that really mean?

While not perfect, DMCA Title II states:

[The DMCA] creates a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) against copyright liability if they promptly block access if they receive a notification from a copyright holder or their agent.

This means that if you contact the online service provider, including search engines, they are compelled to work for you to stop the copyright infringement and violation.

According to Google’s DMCA statement:

It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws, which may include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity. If we remove or disable access to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we will make a good-faith attempt to contact the owner or administrator of each affected site so that they may make a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of that Act.

To take action, Google recommends:

  • Identify in sufficient detail the copyrighted work that you believe has been infringed.
  • Identify the material that you claim is infringing the copyrighted work listed in item #1 above.
  • Provide information reasonably sufficient to permit Google to contact you (email address is preferred).
  • Provide information, if possible, sufficient to permit Google to notify the owner/administrator of the web page that allegedly contains infringing material (email address is preferred).
  • Include the following statement: “I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.”
  • Include the following statement: “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.”

If you have been following my instructions, you would have most of that information. Do not do this lightly. In general, once a complaint has been filed, the site owner has little or no opportunity to respond or resist. While they try to put safe guards in place, search engines don’t have time nor interest in “helping”, only taking action. This is very serious action, and it can also be against you if you offend someone who files a similar complaint. Use this only as a last resort and only with clear and obvious evidence of violations.

The following is information on contacting search engines and services directly.

Register Your Copyrights: Prevention is Protection

If copyright infringement and protection is something that worries you, take the time right now to make sure you have a copyright notice on your blog. It doesn’t have to be on every page, but it does need to be prominently displayed somewhere. Some people include a specific Page called “Copyright” or post the copyright notice on their About Page. You can also include a copyright notice in the footer of every page.

If you are really worried, consider registering your writing and photography with the US Copyright Office. You can submit multiple articles or photographs in a single registration as a “collection” with one title for the entire collection, if certain conditions are met.

Fill out the appropriate form(s) for registering a collection of unpublished works and follow the instructions for registering your copyright, with careful note of the instructions for registering a collection. The collection registration submission requires the first and last 25 pages printed out, but the entire collection can be on CD-ROM as long as the files are in a common format such as HTML, doc, txt, pdf, or rtf.

New! The US Copyright Office has started a beta program for digital filing. If you would like to participate and help this program develop, check out the Copyright Office Beta Digital Program Announcement.

You don’t have to register your copyrighted material but it helps in a court of law, if it ever gets to that point. The cost is minimal and is good protection. According to the Copyright Office, registrations made before or within 5 years of publication will “establish prima facie evidence in court of the validity of the copyright and of the facts stated in the certificate” and if made 3 months “after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney’s fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.” While the courts or lawyers might change their mind on this, this is the policy.

More Information on Copyright Laws, Intellectual Property Laws, and Content Theft Prevention

This is just a brief introduction to your options when deciding what to do when someone steals your content. For more information on content theft, legal rights, copyright, intellectual property laws, licensing, permissions, and prevention, I’ve included a list of resources to help.

Legal Topics, Copyright, Intellectual Property Laws, and Licensing

Content Theft Commentaries

WordPress Help With Copyright Issues

Related Articles

Stop Content Theft Badges

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted April 11, 2006 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    I have been wondering how to deal with it. Thanks for the article with thorough information.

    • Posted June 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lorelle VanFossen,
      I am sorry, i could not locate the main comment button, thus this comment here:
      “Its really a wonderful post, and a good guide to all the writers at web as well
      at print. I am saving it for my further references.
      Keep inform. Thank you very much.
      Best Regards
      Philip Ariel

      • Posted June 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        You left a comment in the appropriate place Not sure where you were looking, but this is it. Thank you.

    • Posted December 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lorelle,
      I am back again.
      I just re-blogged your content today
      in my blog page as a Guest Post,
      Have a wonderful time of Blogging ahead.
      Thanks ones again for your great help on this issue.
      Keep Inform.
      Best Regards.

      • Posted December 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for the link to my article on content theft. I left an instructional comment on your article to clear it up that I did not guest blog nor contribute to your site. You chose to recommend my article but the reference that I am a official contributor to your site needs to be changed.

        Thank you again for recommending my article with such enthusiasm, and for spreading the word that plagiarism, especially that which misleads the readers, is not appreciate nor encouraged, and you are part of the many helping to educate others accordingly. Thanks.

    • Edith Lepage Crete
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much!

    • edith lepage crete
      Posted January 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Can a style be subject to copyright? For example a special style of painting. I will be integrating a special element to my paintings.

      • Posted February 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        No. “Style” as in look and feel may be used in a court of law to defend or prosecute copyright violations, and unique elements maybe patented and trademarked, but copyright isn’t about style, it is about copying.

    • Isaac Kimani
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      I have been writing for a client articles that he has been selling to companies and websites. We have been using Skype to chat and sending work. He promised to pay me after the article is approved, after which he did not own up to his words and refused to pay me. He owes me about $400, being from a third world that is a lot of money, which I worked so hard for, I expected to pay my fees using that money.

      Right now he has unfriend me from Skype and he has sold my articles without even sending me a coin.

      Please help me recover at least the money I worked so hand for, since I am unable to reach him and my articles are trending online.

      I will really appreciate your help.
      If you want I can send you the real document I wrote.
      Please help me get paid for my work.
      Thank you.

      • Posted May 31, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        I am very sorry that you agreed to do work without a written contract. That is the way of the professional. Unfortunately, without written testimony, not much action maybe taken, though you could write the person a cease and desist order. There are many examples of these brief documents online.

        I cannot help you further than that. This is educational information. I do not offer services associated with income recovery, which is your real issue. It’s contractual, not just copyright.

        Please learn from this experience going forward and only do professional work professionally. We all learn this lesson, and many of us the hard way. It doesn’t matter where you are from, it is unfortunately a common lesson as people take advantage of others hard work all the time everywhere.

        Good luck!

    • -Hendershot-
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I wrote a book series about my character, and this other kid created comics that were rip-offs of MY story!
      He even sold them!
      What should I do?

  2. Posted April 11, 2006 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    First off, thank you very much for this very interesting guide and for the link to my side. I’m very glad to see people helping others deal with copyright infringement in a productive way.

    I was especially glad to see you encourage people to remain professional as the worst advice I see consistently involves publicizing and shaming as the first steps. While it can play a part in an effective strategy, it’s certainly not a way to close a case.

    However, I did notice an interesting omission in this guide: Sending DMCA notices to hosts.

    Though you mention sending a DMCA notice to Google, the same procedure can be used to send notice to the person’s host and have them forcibly remove the offending work. The DMCA notice and take down provision resolves about 75% of my plagiarism cases with C&D letters making up the rest.

    If you want more information on sending DMCA notices to hosts, I have information regarding it on my site here:

    Thank you again for the article. I hope it helps some people in need.

  3. anonymous
    Posted April 11, 2006 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Of course, if the Orphan Works amendment to the 1976 Copyright Act passes, all of the above recourse, including registration with the U.S. Copyright Office in order to protect one’s work, will be moot.

  4. Posted April 11, 2006 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link and emphasizing that the DMCA can work directly with hosts. And thanks for being part of the catalyst to help me write this article. We need to talk about this. The more we talk about it, hopefully, the more people will know what to do, and what NOT to do when it comes to protecting our copyrighted materials.

  5. danrichard
    Posted April 12, 2006 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Great article 🙂 If you want more information on filing a DMCA notice, I wrote an extensive article on it.

  6. JH
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Would quoting one or two paragraphs, formatted in blockquotes, of an article and linking to that article and website be considered a copyright voliation?

  7. Julian Rodriguez
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Great article. Although I think the ‘first contact email’ example is a little bit harsh. I would send something more ‘casual’ (depending on the site that ‘stole’ the piece), sort of: “Hey, I happened to stumble upon your website and found some text that belongs to my website at That is a copyrighted work I have there, and you should have checked with me first to publish it in your own website.” and then, depending on your permissiveness (is that a word?):

    1. “Please remove the content from your website, and if you are interested, just put a link to my site”.
    2. “Please, put a link at the beggining of the document stating that the original is from by Robert Calfer”.
    If the thief (now without braces) knows exactly what he/she’s doing, don’t hesitate to follow the more severe guidelines.

    Great article! I digg it!

  8. Posted April 13, 2006 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    There’s a search engine called Copyscape, which can locate webpages/sites that may have copied your content.

  9. Posted April 13, 2006 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    JH: Quoting and citing material is not theft. Especially if it is cited with a link and credit to the original source. In these cases, only excerpts are typically used, not the entire article.

    Stephen: Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been traveling and am now just catching on to what everyone else is obviously catching onto as well. Weeee! I got a lot of email and comments to pour through, and I’m still traveling. Yikes.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 7, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      What if is cited and the quote is credited to the original author but the original source is NOT linked to? Someone is threatening legal action against me even though I credited the original author for the quote but did not link to her website because I don’t remember which website I used the quote from?

      • Posted November 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        You are not being prosecuted because you can’t remember – that’s easily resolved. That’s what Google’s for. Seriously. If you violated the copyright license and policy that stated a link must be included, then you are violating their copyright. It’s like saying you didn’t read the fine print is an excuse for not obeying the fine print. You either read it or not, but the fine print was still agreed to and part of the contract. You are still liable. So fix it or delete the post. It is that simple.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Hi again and thank you for your reply. I hope you don’t think I am arguing with you, I really value your input. I am just trying to understand where the line is. By not remembering where the quote originated, I am suggesting that there are actually more than one website where the quote is and I don’t remember if it originated from the site that is suggesting I stole it. It is a cited quote, less than 50 words, and the credit for the quote is given attributed to the person who created it but the quote is not linked to this particular site. Is that not fair and safe usage under the “Fair Act”? There is no copyright license that states a link must be included. So what is there to fix?

      • Minds
        Posted November 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Sorry for jumping into the discussion here, but I can’t help. It’s very easy for you to find where the quote was from even if you think there were more than one instance wherewith it appears online. Well, you can cite them both. Just simple Google the entire quote or the first sentence. If not, try using this: . I am also wondering what kind of citation are they in need of you to do. Mentioning the author and the source I believe will be more than enough to cite them. Like say “… according to so and so at the website blah blah, ‘quote here’…”

      • Posted November 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        A copyright holder can state what their license is and there are copyright licenses that state a link must be used. Either way, you must comply with the copyright holder’s wishes. That’s the law. AS you have been told, a search of the content with quotes around it will turn up the original quote if you dig a little. Either way, you must comply with the copyright holder.

  10. AB
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I wrote about these issues just last month:

    I was inspired by the 10 Copyright Myths that you link to, but thought it needed a more in depth dicussion to direct questions and real-life examples. Sadly C&Ds don’t always work as many people who steal on a regular basis ignore these and authors don’t seem to take much action after the C&D fails.

    Your article has soon good tips in addition dispelling myths. Good work.

  11. Posted April 13, 2006 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    This is an excellent article. I’m quite inspired after reading it now, and willing to put up contents that I feel is of valuable sources to many others.

    I have several mathematical source codes and algorithms which may be really helpful to the community, but yet I am afraid of codes being stolen and used without proper credits.

    Good article!

  12. Posted April 13, 2006 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Stealing is an inaccurate word to use here – perhaps ‘copyright infringement’, ‘unauthorized reproduction’, or ‘plaugarism’?

    Otherwise a nicely written piece.

  13. Posted April 13, 2006 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Steve and David,

    These results are from

    Thief: One who steals, especially by stealth.
    Steal: To take (the property of another) without right or permission.

    There is no mention in either case of the intention to deprive the owner of an object. If someone steals my car and returns it a short while later, they still stole it and they are still a thief. They didn’t intend to deprive me of it, I might have even been asleep when it happened, but the law will still call them a thief and prosecute accordingly.

    Also, if you actually take the time to read copyright law, you’ll see that copyright infringement IS a crime. For proof of that, just pop in the nearest U.S. DVD and read the FBI warning or visit these links: (Skip down to “Remedies” on page seven and you’ll see that it’s an offense punishable by up to five years imprisonment)

    Copyright is an element of intellectual property, emphasis on the word property. Copyright guarantees you a set of exclusive rights to a work including to reproduce, perform or make derivative works based upon the original. When someone violates that, they steal, or if you prefer, deprive, that right from the person who holds the copyright.

    It is entirely possible to steal immaterial things. I can steal your freedom, your right to privacy and countless other intangible things you enjoy. Infringing copyright is no different, it is stealing a right granted by the Constitution (Article 1, section 8) and not wanting to call it theft doesn’t change what it is.

    Personally though, I find it pointless to sit here and argue semantics when a much larger issue is at stake. There is a very real need for a dialog on this subject and arguing about definitions is merely avoiding the issue.

  14. Posted April 13, 2006 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    As a side note to the matter. If we are to believe copyright infringement isn’t theft, then why was the 1997 amendment to copyright law entitled the “No Electronic Theft” act?

    A similar act in 1999 was entitled “The Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act”

    The government seems to have no problem calling copyright infringement theft…

  15. Posted April 13, 2006 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    For more information on the various licenses and copyright protections ranging from “all rights reserved” to “no rights reserved”, see Creative Commons in addition to the links above.

    The purpose of this article is to inform and educate. Whether or not you choose to chase down and stop any content thieves, and they are thieves no matter what game you want to play with semantics, is up to you. Either way, the law is the law and not a wish. If you don’t believe it, then spend some time with some photographers, authors, movie writers and directors and producers, and a wide range of artists who do this for a living and have to fight for the ownership of their property from those who steal as well as those who say they stole. It’s an education.

  16. Wesley Shephard
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    The government calling copyright infringement theft doesn’t mean anything as far as the legal definition of theft. If you go to court claiming that your works were stolen, that there was theft, technically you are telling them that someone appropriated the physical embodiment of your works. You can steal a physical DVD, but the information on the DVD when copied is copyright infringement.

    The courts are quite aware of the incorrect usage of the legal terms, and even make some accommodation for people who use the terms incorrectly, but woe to those who actually make such a mistake in a legal document itself. Legal words have specific meanings that sometimes are counterintuitive and even opposite of “traditional” use. It is that way in most technical fields (the use of a technical language). Even though law uses something that looks like English, if you only understand it at that level, you will be misinformed quite often.

    At the end of the day, while using the terms theft/steal to refer infringement may communicate well with the masses your intent, to those who used the terms in the technical sense, it sounds uneducated. I stopped reading after a while because anyone who misuses the terms so badly couldn’t really have a deep understanding of the issues from a legal perspective. There are in fact misstatements on this page, but since I’m not your lawyer, I can not comment on them.

  17. Posted April 13, 2006 at 11:02 am | Permalink


    Just one thought: This isn’t a legal document.

  18. danrichard
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Sorry, but the RIAA have been calling out all these people in the US for “stealing music” among other legally correct statements you seem so hellbent on, and they seem to be winning most of their cases and not getting counter-sued for libel.


  19. danrichard
    Posted April 13, 2006 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Oops… ended that too fast.

    I wanted to know if there is a difference, or is it just a matter of the RIAA going nuts with a huge legal department budget?


  20. Posted April 13, 2006 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    i haven’t read it all, but I will read it tomorrow as I’ll have more time, I just wanted to tell you that this is the very first time I see such post. Wonderfull!!! this is just amazing! congratulations!!

  21. Posted April 13, 2006 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for writing this. Very informative.

    I’ve had this happen to me…twice. Luckily both bloggers removed my material immediately.

  22. Posted April 14, 2006 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Great article – I have a worse case scenario where the alleged violation has been ripped off from my book – before I ever released a digital copy.

    The website uses 100 quotes from the book, often word for word, then change 10 around and call it a n “online test”.

    They do not attribute me or the publisher nor suggest where the book can be bought – nor did they seek permission. In addition to this they charge $109 bucks for the “course” that goes with the “online test” – the book is only $9.95 or so (less now – it was published in 2000) – so they are making a huge profit from ripping off my content. I’d really like to know if they are providing a photocopy of the book as well – it wouldn’t surprise me.

    It’s not just me – their “online course” list contains several books which I am sure the authors and/or publishershave not authorised their content to be used in this manner.

    Right now I am waiting for my publisher to tell me what is going on – but if they fail to do anything then I will follow the instructions here – publicly – because “name and shame” could well work better than any legal threats. These people appear to be pillars of the local community and I wonder how their neigbours would feel if everyone knew that they were suspected of copyright violation theft?

  23. Posted April 14, 2006 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It’s a good article, but in a lot of cases unless you would seriously be making a loss over it I personally do not think it’s worth the hassle to even try and stop it. It happens a lot that content from one site gets ripped to another and as you stated in the article, it hardly ends with just 1 copy. When something even gets copied, it’s something good, within no time an entire load of sites will be hosting that information or article.

    Trying to trace it back will take a lot more time than most people will be wanting to spend on it.

  24. Posted April 14, 2006 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Lorelle, We always enjoy your website and your articles. They are well written, researched, and address topics of interest and current concerns. Excellent article, appreciate your thorough take on the issue, got a chuckle reading the psuedo intellect who spent what would have been valuable time for the rest of us, debating the use of the words stealing vs infringement – GET A LIFE.

  25. Posted April 14, 2006 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    thank you. your effort and time spent doing this is greatly appreciated, as i speak for those like me who fear of people stealing art, poety, and whatnot. thank you


  26. Posted April 19, 2006 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious as to whether or not it’s considered “stolen” when someone uses your articles without asking first, but links to you and says it’s yours?

  27. Posted April 19, 2006 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    If you wonder, check this out from Confessional Poet:

    Now it’s like…what do I do?!?!? Monday night I literally was lying there, unable to sleep, cringing thinking about all the stuff I’ve put out there that someone could steal…that someone could probably get published and make money from…and if that happened, how could I even prove it was mine? At one point I had resolved to just delete all my blogs. Now I’m thinking of deleting the old ones (and making hard copies for myself; I have all the files saved anyway). But what would that really accomplish, as long as I’m still supplying the wilds of the Internet with my fresh, vulnerable content?

    You can play semantics all you want. If they are using your work without permission, your entire work outside of Fair Use…call it what you will, it’s still illegal.

  28. sukhi
    Posted April 20, 2006 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    goddess, that would probably depend on the copyright you claim/hold on the articles, I guess – It is a rather common practice on blogs to publish part of the source and attribute it to the author, isnt it?

  29. Posted April 21, 2006 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Sukhi. And I wasn’t playing semantics, I was trying to understand if there was a difference between taking and giving credit or just taking and using it as your own, Lorelle.

  30. Posted April 26, 2006 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Goddess, you might not be, which is great as it is important to understand the difference, but a LOT of people are, so the comment was directed to the whole, not the individual.

  31. Posted April 26, 2006 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Ok, Lorelle, because I honestly wasn’t clear if the person could legally use your work IF they credited you outright because I see magazine articles in which people quote a line or two of someone’s book and it seems to be an ok thing to do without permission as long as the person is credited. I’ve read that quoting a line or two is legally permissible and that makes the issue rather confusing.

    I’m find all of this very interesting in light of the situation now playing out with Kaavya Viswanathan.

  32. Posted April 28, 2006 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I’m writing an article about that, and yours are a great source of info. Will link to here when it’s finished. Also, a low-life stole entire articles from my site, including the HTML. I wrote him, he removed my comment asking for action. A lot of friends did the same. The guy blocked comments in his blog. He’s even pointing to files at my own server. Stealing MY bandwidth. was not very helpful, so I decided to be NOT professional, replaced the images with VERY offending images. Google Images can be very nasty with filters off. When his mother visits the site, he’ll think twice before stealing other’s content.

  33. Coronakwl
    Posted May 16, 2006 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    My original artwork was stolen off a gallery website and used as an illustration in a document. The author of this booklet never responded to me. I even found his business address and stopped by (this was local). I thought I had a case to sue him since it was a product he was selling using a booklet with MY illustration. My legal counsel told me to forget it because any damages would be limited to a portion of the proceeds this guy got from any sales resulting from the use of the document to sell the product, i.e. it would be very hard to prove how much and how significant the use of my illustration was in making sales. Thus, he used my illustration for free for a couple of years and I got nothing.

  34. Marcus
    Posted May 17, 2006 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    > My original artwork was [copied without permission] off a gallery website and used as an illustration in a
    > document. […] I thought I had a case to sue him […]
    > Thus, he used my illustration for free for a couple of years and I got nothing.

    And how much would you estimate your “damages” were? I.e., how much more money/fame/whatever would you have gotten if he didn’t use a copy of your illustration like he did?
    Or more specifically, were the damages more than tiny, or are you just one of those ultra-egoistic assholes who would put a fence around a flower on his/her yard not because passers-by looking at it is annoying in itself but only because otherwise those passers-by could get something positive (warm, fuzzy, happy feelings, perhaps) from your property without you getting anything in return?

  35. Shubha
    Posted May 17, 2006 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I do not have a copyright of the content published on my website. However, I do not want anybody to steal the content. I have just seen one of our competitors stealing the entire website design and the content from my website. What can I do in this case? I want to take an action against this.

    Looking foward for a prompt response and your kind support.

    Best Regards

    Shubha Mittal

  36. Posted May 17, 2006 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Shubha, your work is automatically copyrighted, at least in the United States as well as in most countries, the moment it is “published” or “fixed” in permanent form. Just add a copyright statement to your site, and follow the instructions in this article.

    Nothing is any different.

    Start with an email requesting removal of the copyright violating material, and that you are the copyright owner. Then send a second if no action is taken within 3-7 days. Up the threats. If more action is needed, send a warning that you will be notifying their hosts, advertisers, and search engines, in accordance with the DMCA, requesting their site be shut down or punished for copyright violation. If that doesn’t work, then follow through with the paperwork, as explained in the article.

    But don’t go heavy handed first. Let them know you know. Tell them what to do. If they don’t, then move slowly towards other actions. All of this is “free” and just a bit time consuming. Lawyers don’t need to be called in or money spent until things get really ugly, which can take months. Usually things stop way before then.

    But DO SOMETHING. By letting one person get away with it, you give permission for them to repeat the offense with someone else, and you give permission for others to steal content and plagiarize. And you help perpetuate the myth that there is nothing anyone can do. STOP IT!

  37. Medv
    Posted June 12, 2006 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    What did you do if after email with removal request you receive answer that content publisher has allready agreement with author and it’s not you (as he claims)?

  38. Posted June 12, 2006 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Find the proof and evidence to back your claim and send it to them with a cease and desist letter. But find the proof, as described in the article. Proof, substantiated by dates and times, is usually enough. From there, it is up to them to prove that the author is who they say it is.

  39. marie
    Posted June 13, 2006 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    WHY DID YOU NOT PUT A COPYRIGHT ON THIS ARTICLE.Is this free content?I am looking for public domain content and images.I promise i won’t take yours

  40. Posted June 13, 2006 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Remember, ignorance is no excuse. I do not need to have a copyright on this article to be copyrighted. But there has always been a copyright on everything I publish in this blog, as there is on this article. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s there. It’s at the bottom of the article and in the sidebar and in the About page.

    Assume EVERYTHING is copyright protected. Everything. Start with that belief and ask permission before taking anything. Then you don’t have to worry about being a thief.

  41. Posted June 21, 2006 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes I know what you mean: its a common enough view that someone has stolen your poetry or your way of writing up a view or an idea for the commericial market which results in positive selling of that poem: I discovered this quite recently: everything I had received personally was echoed out in a Trade Paper/yet I hadnt disclosed anything at all: however, they came to grief when they copied again: they got it wrong: its always best to check with the author – otherwise you can make an awful fool of yourself copying up what you think is my idea and you discover that second time around I was protected by contract!

  42. Posted July 14, 2006 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Howdy. I was trying to refer someone else to this post, so I searched for “copyright” in the upper right box. I kept getting the page re-loaded.

    Then I finally firgured out, “Copyright Lorelle VanFossen [in a link] with the tip also including “copyright” is at the base of each post.

    I switched my search to “Creative Commons”, but maybe the selection of keywords, searchwords, etc needs to keep this in mind?

  43. Posted July 14, 2006 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    This particular WordPress Theme shows entire posts in its search results, not excepts, something I find frustrating and unable to change as I do not have control of Theme details with That’s why you saw the page reloaded. And yes, that is my copyright link. So good keywords would be “content theft”, “steal”, “stealing”, and “copyright theft” and combinations thereof.

  44. Posted July 18, 2006 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    This happen to me recently. My content showed up on an xxx site.

  45. Posted July 22, 2006 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    if they continue to do it and you are an advanced wordpress user try this (it normally makes them shut down their blog in an instant).


    I did this to one of my posts because I was having an offender on my blog.

  46. Posted July 22, 2006 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I will repeat again, very loudly this time. Revenge actions are inappropriate and not acceptable. I do not encourage, recommend, nor accept revenge is a viable response. It will only hurt you and your reputation, and could possibly result in legal action being taken against you for defacement or vandalism.

  47. Posted July 25, 2006 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I have been wondering how to deal with it. Thanks the article provide really good info. The internet is growing and there are going to be alot more cases,so having the right infomation to protect yourself is great. Great Info!!!

  48. Posted July 30, 2006 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    I just discovered 3 days ago that some 130 of my webpages were “lifted” in April 2006 and are now readily accessible on the Internet complete with all my meta tags intact, but my name and site name have been deleted. Your article has been most helpful in finding out what to do. Thanks.

    Hope you don’t mind that I have added a link to your excellent article under Tools for Webmasters at

  49. nothappy
    Posted August 9, 2006 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I have just discovered that a blog on has copied entire articles from my site, including images (though they did not hotlink to the images, they copied them). The site has copied articles in their entirety from other sites too. The site in question doesn’t have a contact email. Does anyone know if it is worth contacting to reprimand this offender?

  50. Posted August 14, 2006 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the great post (and thanks to Google for finding it for me). I’ve added a link to it to my Graphic Design lens on Squidoo, and my blog, where I hope other designers will also read and benefit from it.

  51. Posted August 17, 2006 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Excellant info Jim.

    Recently I came across about an Indian company ITMATCHONLINE who uses unethical means to beat the competitions.

    They have stolen contents from many weblogs and posted as their own. Top of that they are using execive hyperlinks to many keywords at stolen contents, to boost their rankings. It is also a shock that Google has given them PR6.

    Imagine if some one hire them what will be fate of their web identity. They might provide services, by stealing other peoples work?

    Can you suggest more options how to stop these people.

  52. Posted August 22, 2006 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle: Thank you so much for the great article as well as the links for further information on copyrights. I very recently was the victim of content theft. At my blog, I blog on a niche subject – ergonomic guitars as well as the related topics of ergonomics and RSI or Repetitive Strain Injury. Frequently, I google the term “ergonomic guitar” in addition to other relevant terms in search of new information. I did so Thursday, August 17, 2006 and discovered that had created a forum of my content, a user called “ergonomicguitar” and had copied all of my entries! Simit Patel, the site owner, had attributed my content to this fictitious user and these posts had started to appear on google searches instead of my own posts! I contacted Simit Patel (aka kidmercury) who, in fairness, was quick to remove the content but his ensuing defense of his tactics was quite interesting.

    Thank you again for the article. Because of it, I have gained greater perspective understanding of copyrights and protecting one’s content. I think it is such an important article that I link to it from my aforementioned blog post.

  53. Posted September 7, 2006 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle- great article as usual…My question for you: Will the site who gets articles stolen be penalized by Google in the search ranking due to “duplicate” postings?

    I have a couple of splogs stealing my stuff and I am afraid of Google penalizing me instead of them…

  54. Posted September 7, 2006 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Good question. As far as I know, if you post duplicate content, Google doesn’t penalize you. However, penalize the snot out of the splogs by reporting them. Reporting doesn’t get you penalized but ignoring them hurts everyone.

  55. Franck Silvestre
    Posted October 30, 2006 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Wow, what an excellent article!

    It’s one of the best I,ve read this month.

    I’ll come and read your blog from time to time.


  56. Ronald Evans
    Posted October 30, 2006 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I recently went to a tradeshow and was floored to see a new product that I have provided the idea for developed! About 1 1/2 years ago I presented this idea to a manufacturuer because I wanted their feedback. Basically they kind of blew it off and did not seem very interested. Guess what, they must have been very interested because someone else saw the product and brought it to my attention. Even the marketing material was almost word for word! Does anyone out there know if this is legal. Can they do this to me? I did not have the idea trademarked or patented but several folks know it was my idea and that I discussed it with this particular manufacturer.

  57. Posted October 30, 2006 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    This is a different issue from online copyright theft. This is corporate theft or piracy. You will need to contact a lawyer who specializes in this, but know in advance that like copyright, you will have to document EVERYTHING and prove that it was your idea, with dated, signed, and serious documentation. It’s been done many times before so get familiar with the law.

    Sorry I can’t help you more. Good luck.

  58. Ron
    Posted November 13, 2006 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    is removing your work while you have access to the site considered vandalism???. I have not been paid for my work and the person is still using my work. I didn’t sign any release forms. I have all the files that i have created.

  59. Posted November 13, 2006 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    If you haven’t agreed to anything, but you gave the person your content, then that is considered permission, and stupid. 😉

    If you did not give them your content, nor permission, then take the steps outlined in the article.

    If you gave them the content, with a verbal agreement, then you’ve given consent. If you are unhappy with the results of usage, and you didn’t specify usage, you’re stuck. If they are using the content outside of your established and communicated parameters, take the steps outlined in the article, specifying how they are not working within the arrangements you had, and go through the process step by step.

    Removal of content, unless you have permission to do so, is revenge and can get you in more trouble than writing a cease and desist and taking the steps you need to do to complain and request their action first. Revenge action is NEVER an answer, no matter how good it might make you feel. Use your head and act professional and you will be treated professionally.

  60. Ron
    Posted November 14, 2006 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    is it considered vandalism, if you take out your own work yourself, if you have been given access to their site

  61. Posted November 14, 2006 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I answered this already. If you do not have permission to access the site, and it wasn’t in the agreement for you to have access or to specify use when you allowed them to use your content, YES.

    Focus on the copyright infringement issues and get that resolved before you start thinking revenge. Vandalism is revenge. Removal of content WITH permission is not vandalism. Removing content WITHOUT permission is more than vandalism. It’s breaking and entering and stealing. Vandalism is the destruction and defacing of property. Either way, it’s illegal and petty.

  62. Posted November 19, 2006 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for a very informative article. How does copyright affect the use of quotes in posts on my blog. There are many websites where you can find literally thousands of quotes. Surely it is impossible to contact the original “quoters” (many are long gone from this world)to get their permission. I have used a quote from Agatha Christie in my profile description, however I have also put her name underneath the quote. In one of my earlier posts I have linked to a site with quotes to provide more information regarding my article.

    I am also wondering about the right-click and save options of images. All the photos I use on my blog is my own as well as the items shown in the photos. Is their a way to “disable” the right-click and save option?.

    Another question – when I read an interesting article on the web and want to save it to my computer to read and study at a later stage (for instance if people want to make the items on my blog, it will be easier if they have the article and images on their own computer or paper),is it illegal to copy and paste the article to their computer if there is not a print option.

  63. Posted November 19, 2006 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    What you are asking should be taught in school. It is in some countries, but few pay attention. It should be required knowledge before leaving elementary school. 😉

    Quotes of anyone’s content, when restricted to an estimated 200-600 words, with credit, comes under the “Fair Use” laws for copyrights. It’s okay. Dead or alive.

    Yes, there are many ways to try to prevent someone from right clicking your images and using those browser tools to copy them. None work or stop theft if theft is the goal. Google and Yahoo now showcase ALL of your images on their servers, easily available through the image search options, copyrighted or not. They include a warning, but that’s one of the ways these companies step on your copyrights and these come under a new aspect of copyright law: “tolerated usage”. We allow them to be used without fighting their illegal use, so while we know it’s illegal, our lack of protest allows it to continue.

    The majority of all copyright policies include permission for personal and education use without permission. Printing and copying information to read, store on your computer for your own use, or use in presentation of an education program, is permitted. As long as you do not get any form of compensation for such use. If you decide to print off 100 copies of this article and sell them to your friends, that’s an illegal use. But print out 5 and share them with friends who don’t have a computer, just out of the goodness of your heart, that’s okay.

    Is that more clear?

    The issue of copyright infringement comes most into play when the illegal usage involves generating money for the illegal user, or taking money and financial gain away from the original author.

  64. Elsie
    Posted November 22, 2006 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    Thanks for all your answers on my questions. I am a big “quote” fan, so now I will use it more.

    Maybe sometimes we should “see” the good side of these things too, if Google and Yahoo like my photos/pics/images so much as to publish it without my consent, hey, it can’t be that bad!!!

    Thanks again, you have really interesting subjects here. I will visit regularly.

  65. Posted December 26, 2006 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    […] Lorelle on WordPress has a helpful post on”What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content.” She suggests all the things that I would so I do recommend that you check out her post. […]

  66. Just a Reader
    Posted January 5, 2007 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Well, nice job, well done Lorelle. There’s one thing I want to comment (and excuse me my bad english please):

    What if people gets money from something I WROTE on my blog? If they could get that money means they were SMARTER than me or at least they were better informed than me, because if I knew I could get that money I have earned it first because I though it first, right?

    I think beyond all these FEAR OF LOOSING SOMETHING and the deep sense of being ignored by people, lyes envy and jaleousy. There’s money for everyone in this world.

    Let’s put and how much money its authors made from Google, as an example: Maybe some of you (readers) were saying, “Damn it, I had that idea before, they’re just such a pair of stupid guys!

    Well, I guess they were SMARTER than people who could have said this. And there’s nothing wrong in not being such a smart person, if we all were Einsteins the world would be a total chaos.

    And by the way, some people thinks ther posts or thoughts are made of gold, maybe could be true, just as youtube owners’, but mostly of times, no one cares about what we think, we are not so nice or important. Are we?

    And, anyone in the world is free to use my words claimming they are their own, I have the thoughts and none can take’em away from me, it’s my opinion and it’s fine that way.

    I mean if someone wear my clothes, speak the way I do, change their face to look like I look and claim they are ME, well, then I’d be very mad but, toughts are toughts, people sometimes think the same thing at the same time, so I see nothing wrong in people saying they “wrote” the content I post on my blog. Remember, THERE’S MONEY FOR EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD!

    Best wishes for 2007!!

  67. Posted January 5, 2007 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    There is also murder and mayhem everywhere in the world, and some cultures accept it as part of their culture. Doesn’t mean that it’s right nor legal.

    This issue, as I’ve said many times before, is not about what YOU want, or even about what I want on how things should work. It’s not even about how things “should be”. It is about how it is.

    Stealing copyright protected work is illegal. It is against the law. Argue it anyway you want, that doesn’t change the law. Want to change the law, go change it. But for now, it’s illegal in many countries and many countries are part of the international copyright agreements which protect intellectual property around the world.

  68. Posted January 13, 2007 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    One major problem with content stealing is its cross border nature.

    Quite a long time ago I had written a networking guide for a message forum. Many months later I stumbled upon an exact copy on a website claiming it as its exclusive content! I contacted the message board where I had submitted my guide and the owner-moderator forwarded me a transcript of IM chat he had with the ‘thief’. Not only this scum admitted stealing content, he literally gave us a finger, calling this a normal practise. And there is little we can to by way of legal proceedings, we based in Asia and him in the United Kingdom.

    One of the most useful suggestion I feel, from my point of view, is to contact the advertisers and search engines and think I’ll do that now.

    Also, I was thinking that instead of posting as text content, we could print it out with a virtual pdf printer (such as freeware PDFCreator), leave our details in the pdf file somewhere and lock and encrypt the file against modification, copy-pasting or printout. Its definately not a foolproof method but it should act as some deterrent. Now, this is may be cumbersome, both for the poster and reader so I could at least use this for my best content, as against some content I posted from the top of my mind.

  69. Jeff
    Posted January 28, 2007 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Intersting and very relevant post. This copying from other websites has reached epidemic proportions, I mean is there really a way to stop it? I can recall many times I searched for a term in Google and it shows several pages with exactly the same word for word article.

    I could issue DMCAs but while I’m doing it, some other spammer somewhere is already putting my content up on his splog or MFA.

    In conclusion, the internet showcases the worst of human behaviour, so for the most part I think we are going to have to live with it. I fully support a proposal for the search engines to issue a rating tag to trusted websites, those with good authors who work hard and honestly. A site that has dubious content should be assigned a tag of “crappy”…now how is that?

  70. ririzarry
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Once again, this post has come to my rescue. Back on August 22, 2006, I commented about my first experience with copyright infringement. Today I discovered two additional examples while reviewing a new social networking site (new to me at least). One site owner has already removed the content. I’m waiting on the other to respond. Thank you again!

  71. gill
    Posted February 27, 2007 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I had a paid “employee”/graph1c des1gner that during their employment created posters for a client of ours. We stumbled upon these posters posted on their myspace website. This was done without our permission, we would have never given permission even if asked. The files were the property of our company & our client, created with artwork provided by our client in order for us to produce this project. Is this copyright infringement?

  72. Posted February 27, 2007 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    This one involves work-for-hire, which makes copyright law a little more complicated. I highly recommend you consult an attorney. Not just for this case, but for all future cases like this. Get it figured out now and you will be prepared for the next one.

    Remember, copyright infringements aren’t a matter of what but when. They will happen. Make it part of your business practice to be prepared for what to do when it happens.

  73. Posted March 3, 2007 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!

    You mention that pursuing copyright infringement isn’t expensive. I don’t know about the value of your professional time but mine is valued at $110 per hour on average. So every hour I spend writing emails and arguing with someone about copyright infringement costs me $110 in time I could be using to earn income instead. Not to mention that determining the dollar value of an infringement against me is not a simple task.

    So the bottom line to copyright infringement is whether the content is worth the cost of trying to attain satisfaction. I’ve yet to find a blog whose content is worth even a few hours of effort from that perspective unless the entire blog has been spoofed and is losing large sums of readership and ad revenue as a result. At which point you will certainly need an attorney and judgment carried out to put an end to it.

    Now, if one has plenty of time, doesn’t put a value on that time, and simply feels that their efforts will make the world a better place, then by all means proceed with tracking down violators and righting wrongs against you. But it IS expensive, let’s not pretend it isn’t.

    Consider that you may not get satisfaction necessarily. You stand the chance of creating a war if the offending party wants to make life difficult for you…because they certainly can. Especially if you get them banned from search engines and hamper their income in doing so. The cost in stress alone suddenly makes one wish they’d simply left it alone.

    Who’s to say it’s not the mafia whose temper you’re tinkering with eh? Your advice in that regard should be taken with a very large grain of salt. Offending blog sites can have very different appearances from who is actually behind them.

    One should consider the value to be gained behind any endeavors to correct copyright infringement before striking out.

  74. Ninja
    Posted April 7, 2007 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


    So I read the article and now I’m wondering if I was one to use others material.
    I have in the past copied material and posted them on other sites, but I always posted the link to that particular page that it came from. The name or site was always mentioned.

    So is that acceptable/unacceptable.


  75. Posted April 8, 2007 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Copying more than 200-400 words for ANYTHING, print, online, or otherwise, with or without links, can be considered content theft if the owner did not give permission, has a copyright policy that does not permit such use, and…well, you should never do it. It’s not yours.

    I’m glad you are learning this now. I should have been taught in school. It was when I was growing up.

  76. Posted April 15, 2007 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Would you mind me posting your site for my blogs? I post various info that I find interesting.

  77. Posted April 15, 2007 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    You may link to this post in accordance with my copyright policy. Links are fine. Very short excerpts are fine on non-commercial blogs and websites.

    I also recommend you read Do You Need Permission to Link to Someone’s Content?


  78. Kiana
    Posted April 20, 2007 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    There are two websites that have proven to be very useful to me.
    One is which contains information and logos for your website.

    The second was already mentioned and I wanted to recommend it too. It is which will find websites that take your text, even if they modify it slightly.


  79. Posted April 29, 2007 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Did you finally ban Marcus? Or did he find something better to do than ruin a perfectly good conversation with inane diatribes?

    This happened to me not too long ago. A commercial website hotlinked to one of my pictures (not too smart, as the server log then told me exactly what was going on). I didn’t necessarily care about the picture that was taken, but it was definitely a matter of principal. I contacted him and asked him to stop hotlinking, so he just copied my picture to his server. I found a creative way to convince the guy that he didn’t really want the picture as much as he thought he did: I posted our entire correspondence on the blog. It actually became pretty funny: I Never Thought the DMCA Would Be My Friend.

  80. Posted April 29, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    My content was only actually lifted once, though with attribution. Not exactly ideal, but not outright theft.

    Hotlinking is quite another thing though. It’s happened more than once. My latest solution is employing a .htaccess file with mod_rewrite rules to swap out the image being lifted. No, I don’t replace with a goatse or something vile, just a notice about how stealing bandwidth isn’t nice.

    I’m happy to share. If they want to make a copy of the image, they can go for it, but just don’t suck up MY resources in the process.

  81. kmg
    Posted April 30, 2007 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Lorelle nice article but I have to point out something. The things you mentioned may apply more to the people selling digital content or services like web designing where theft is rampant. People modify some content and post it as theirs. I want to ask what about blogs delivering news? If an ‘X’ blog which is less famous posts a unique article which gets re written by a famous blog and no proper credit is given. Its really disturbing as a small blog owner.

  82. Kellie
    Posted May 15, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Someone took a picture off of my personal blog. It was a professional, copyrighted engagement photo (I had permission for any personal use) and then put a caption referring to me as “chunky.” What can I do about it? I have no idea what my rights are in this situation.

  83. Posted May 17, 2007 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    What I find funny is all the “up-roar” over the words used, copyright infringement, content theft, murder, and one anonymous(I corrected the spelling) post about someone sounding ignorant poster’s chosen grammar was pretty bad…
    Call it what you will, but what I’ve found is that most of the ones yelling the loudest over semantics are usually the ones guilty of doing it..
    Proving damage? Sure – AdSense authority over the owner’s while using the “scrapped” content and several other ways of proving it also exists.
    Oh well, what do I know, I only rant on my blog about scrappers, spam, and sploggers.

  84. Posted May 17, 2007 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Kellie: This one is a difficult one. First, if they are using a copyrighted image without permission, then you respond as the article instructions. If they are using it to “defame” you, then you have another issue. Some see any negative publicity as publicity but this is a personal attack, though not a very mean one (they didn’t deface the image with violent intent). How you respond is up to you. You can just ignore it and consider the “source” enough evidence of their stupidity and move on, or take further action to have it removed. A nice email requesting the removal (without excuses just NICE) might work to resolve the issue that put it there in the first place. Or it might inflame the issue even further.

    It’s a tough choice and only you can decide how far you want to go, but I recommend you read: Mean Spirited Comments and Blogging.

    Good luck.

  85. Laurie C
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    This looks so complicated as to how to go about finding who stole my poetry and taking appropriate messures to make sure my work stays out of the hands of others. My poetry is about my life and what I have gone through, my feelings and what I see and experience and it makes me furious that someone else or anyone else can just claim people’s lives as their own. I had my work copy written on and I did have blogs on myspace and yahoo 360, that still does not give anyone the right to take your heart and soul and everything about you and take credit for it. I mean if they are that desperate and don’t have a life of their own they have to live with their conscience if they ever have one. It just saddens me because my life has been a nightmare and this is my only outlet to expressing myself is through my poetry and my words. I wish someone honest and wanting to do what is right would contact me so I can learn what the least confusing way to deal with this is. LC

  86. Posted May 23, 2007 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Laurie: Poetry looks complicated to me.

    This is a step-by-step process. Email them to stop. If they don’t, then send a cease and desist letter. If that doesn’t work, contact their host, advertisers, then search engines. That’s it. If that doesn’t work, get a lawyer. Usually the first step works.

    I don’t know why people spend so much time developing their craft and no time learning to defend it. It’s part of the package and one of the skills needed to learn how to write, photograph, sing, play music, make films, and create anything today. So learn how to protect your work as much as make it.

    Don’t fear it. It’s just part of the process.

  87. Posted May 25, 2007 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this. My piece “Feathers” was stolen by a Russian individual on, but by using the information you provided in this article I was able to get the piece taken down by the owner of the site. 🙂 I’ll be sharing this with several of my friends; thank you!

  88. Posted May 29, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    A couple of times I saw my own posts on other websites. They finaly accepted to delete their own post 🙂

  89. Posted June 8, 2007 at 7:29 pm | Permalink


    I have a sentence on my website, “To Retreat Is No Longer A Luxury – It’s a Necessity” which is the heart and soul of my retreat business. I repeat this on many of my web pages, business cards, etc.

    One of my retreat coaching classmates copied this sentence onto her website, and uses it as her own, knowing perfectly well that I have been using it since 2005.

    Once I finish my classes, I will be joining the same retreat network that this classmate now belongs to. There is no way I can use my retreat business quote on that network, because she has already used it as hers.

    Her clients have actually put comments on her website commenting her for her wonderful choice of words (words that she stole from my website).

    I emailed her confronting her with my discovery. She emailed me back and said that it was funny that I was saying they were my words because the words came to her during a spiritual retreat she had attended. She refuses to admit that I had read my words to the class as we were sharing our ideas not for the purpose of copying them, but for the purpose of giving an example of what each of us used as the eye catcher in our website.

    I also emailed the course retreat coach because i don’t think it’s right that she allowed my classmate to copy my words and put it not only on her website but also on the network of coaches website.

    Did I do right? Did she do something illegal? She says she hasn’t!

    What should I do? I feel like someone had just stolen a book I had written and put their name on it and profited from it.

    Thank you


  90. Posted June 8, 2007 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do unless you registered that “quote” as a trademark. Titles cannot be copyrighted and this falls into that grey “title” area.

    If she is unwilling to change it, just continue forward and do what you do even better than you do now and maybe her site will fall by the wayside and you will still be the only one out there with that saying. Or trademark it now and then you will have the right to argue for change. Unless she beats you to it.

    I’ve found that these things happen all the time and if you persevere without trying to kill of the other person’s usage, they do fall off while you keep going. Remember to pick your battles and stay true to your own path. Let the rest take care of itself.

  91. Posted July 4, 2007 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    This has been a problem online since the simple case of html source. It’s definitely annoying but if you think its going to be that simple all the time you might as well forget it.

    For new people or new sites you may get away with just sending a simple letter but to older or bigger sites, even just experience site owners you going to have to do some work and you stil be lucc if something happens.

    Unless you have a legal hold on something you can use patience and scare tatics. If people don’t care about copywrite and legality of songs, what you think your site or content is safe from.

  92. P
    Posted July 6, 2007 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    I just thought I’d add my own opinion at how some of this advice is crap.
    Firstly copyright is created the moment you create a work, so why pay an ‘office’ money for something that is automatically assigned copyright upon creation?

    Second. All this advice is for people who are financially able to pay lawyers, to chase virtual people. The average person who works a 40 hour week has little time to sit there chasing up ‘thieves’, most of the time people post on blogs, and they copy content anyway.

    Third, crediting means little. To say to someone ‘well I’ve credited your work on my page through a link,’ DOES NOT diminish theft. It’s still theft, so that which you’ve mentioned regarding ‘crediting’ is bullshit.

  93. Posted July 6, 2007 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    P: I’m not sure what you mean by the first part of your comment. Which part of the advice is crap?

    It is true that the moment you create content and public it, fix it in place, it is copyrighted. I see nothing here about paying any office to copyright your content. If you would like to register your copyright, there is a fee involved. If you will be taking your copyright violation to court, you have three years from the violation, if memory serves, to register the copyrighted material, which does help in court. Fortunately, few cases ever go to court. And you do not have to register your copyright. Thus, no costs involved.

    Copyright protection and defense is not for the rich. Did you read the myths I wrote about at the top of the article? The whole point of copyright law was to defend those who have no money and most need protection, the starving artists of the world. Writers, painters, poets, singers, song writers, composers, the ones we value in our society who rarely can afford to pay the rent. And the moment they die, their artwork is worth a fortune. Go figure.

    As for time spent protecting your content from content theft, I have two issues with this. First, it’s my content. It’s my income. Take my income and you are stealing from me. Use my income producing content to make money without permission and you are really robbing me. Thus, it is my right under copyright law to protect my income producing content.

    If you can take time to comment on a blog that links to you, telling them thank you or whatever, you can take time to comment on a blog that is violating your copyright. I have a pre-written request to remove the content that I copy and paste into a blog’s comment, and another in emails to the blog administrator and other parties, so the process of requesting they remove the content takes less time than reading through a blog post and commenting on it.

    If you value your content, you take these steps. If you don’t, make sure your copyright policy and license states clearly that your content is free to use by anyone in any way (or which ways you will permit) and be done it with.

    Second, we need to educate the world, starting with children, that plagiarism is illegal. We teach kids that its illegal to steal, but adults think it’s okay to copy and steal other people’s writings and photography without a second thought. A little consistency would help everyone. So I believe we need to educate everyone that stealing is wrong, in any form.

    If the moral imperative is in place that stealing is wrong, the issue of copyright protections would not arise. Everyone would understand that just because something is on the web doesn’t mean it’s free to take. That was a very weird premise that arose in the early days of the web and I could never figure out where that idiot mindset came from, did you?

    As for the issue of credit, if the content used is within the confines of Fair Use, which is not to exceed 10% of the overall content (which has come to represent a standards of no more than 400 words from a blog or website), and credit is clear and obvious, linking to the original content, then the issue of credited use is valid and acceptable under the copyright and DMCA laws. Anything other than that usage without permission, preferably in writing, is a copyright violation, aka content theft.

    I hope this clears some things up for you and others.

    People don’t go to their doctors and say “Give me $75,000 in medical treatment because you can and it’s the right thing to do.” Or tell their plumber, construction worker, mechanic, or dentist that they are going to take their work without compensation because they don’t value their time, work, experience, or effort, do they? But the world seems to think that writers, photographers, and artists don’t deserve such consideration. It’s just art. It’s free for the taking.

    If you are looking for bullshit, that’s it.

  94. Posted July 8, 2007 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    May I/we at use your theft advisory form? Some of the artists at are getting together as a group to fight art theft after many of us have been subject to such theft. One of my fellow artists found your article and posted a link to it. Thank you very much for your generosity in publishing this article.


  95. Posted July 8, 2007 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The sample letters and such are there for your use. They must customized, per instructions, to your specific needs. I’ve also included links to other sample letters for cease and desist orders and such to get more information and examples on various types and styles.

    Good luck and let me know what happens. I’ve been a fan of Deviant Art for a long time.

  96. Posted July 21, 2007 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Great Article!
    I’ve had it happen many times, only went after the offenders a couple times. When I did choose to go after them it was only due to the context my work was in. A simple request often does the trick. 50% of the time It was just a guy with a small blog that no one reads and the other 50% is the people who don’t want to take the time to actually create something, they are busy spamming somewhere….

  97. Posted July 25, 2007 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I have a question for you. My whole site has been stolen. Now if you go to the Elemental Truths site I’ve been building for two years you are taken to a political advertisement. Neither Google nor Blogger have chosen to respond to my requests for assistance.

  98. Posted July 25, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Didn’t really get to the question did I?
    Can you tell this has piqued my ire a bit?
    I use the boiler plate cease and desist letter.
    I contacted Google, Blogspot, AdSense and the site owner.
    What do you think are the odds of getting my site back?

  99. Posted July 25, 2007 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I visited your blog and see that it is indeed back. The issue of seeing “other” content there instead of yours is usually a hacker or redirect for mischief or evil. That is something Blogger must deal with directly.

    And if you are unhappy with Blogger, there is always 😀

    That kind of “theft” isn’t directly related to intellectual property as much as it is to defacing and destroying property. A different issue with much more serious penalties for those caught.

    Good luck.

  100. Posted August 3, 2007 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I want to thank you for this posting – it’s incredibly interesting and (potentially) very helpful. I’ve been fortunate that most people that have read my blogs to date have referenced my material, but I like knowing the steps that are available to me if I encounter a problem with content theft.

  101. Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    You have a blog with a Creative Commons license.

    What if I use your feed to create a Planet-type site, a feed aggregator?

    What if I start putting ads in that page ?

  102. Jayson
    Posted August 8, 2007 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Dear Lorelle,

    Love the post as I just found out today that someone stole my copyrighted work. Unfortunately, it was a word press member (I am not a word press member myself). Very informational and helpful.

    Thank you very much,

  103. Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Avi: I would say that you haven’t read my copyright policy, which means I have both a Creative Commons license and Copyright Policy that specifically prohibits such usage. It would make you a scraper, splogger, and content thief. But I don’t think you are talking about me, are you?

    If this is happening to you, it’s a violation of your copyright. Make sure your blog has more than the Creative Commons badge or license info, but also has the full copyright statement on every blog posts. It doesn’t need it, but it helps. Then follow the instructions in this article.

    Assume EVERYTHING on the web is copyrighted. Ask first. You might get a yes.

    Jayson: Sorry to hear of your trouble, you are not alone. There are thousands of us who suffer the idiocy of what Avi suggests.

    As for it being a “WordPress member”, I don’t know what that means. Is that someone on, someone who volunteers on the WordPress Support Forums? Or just someone with a WordPress blog?

  104. Jayson
    Posted August 9, 2007 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the confusion. I simply meant that it was a person who uses word press as their blogging site (As opposed to freewebs, vlog, friendster, etc.) And yes plagiarism happens and it is a very sad fact. I like how you started your blog off with its not a matter of if but when–I guess I should have expected this. But, whats the worse thing about it to me is that this person literally copy and pasted my entire article, except the final paragraph which states: “This article belongs to and is owned by Jayson Gerbec. Feel free to place it else where, but, be sure to give myself, Jayson Gerbec, credit for the article and include a link to my website,

    Instead, he copies all of it and uses his name as the author.

  105. Jayson
    Posted August 9, 2007 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Ha, and while were on the issue of using other people’s thoughts and getting permission for them, you don’t mind if I essentially copy and paste your recommended letter to send to the plagiarist do you?

  106. Posted August 9, 2007 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Jayson: As it says in the article, you may use the cease and desist letters, but you must customize them to your specific needs.

    And the example you have given for “copyrighting” your blog content doesn’t work, on so many levels. All you need is “Copyright” and your name, which should be a link to your blog or copyright policy.

    You can say whatever you want, but your statement says “free to take and use” and the emphasis on requiring a link isn’t strong enough.

    Either way, your content is copyrighted the moment you publish it. You help yourself by defining your copyright policy, how you want your content used, or not.

    This will not stop scrapers or copyright violations. It just gives you a little more strength if it escalates. So don’t assume a copyright statement is protection.

    Assume EVERYTHING on the web is copyrighted. We have to get that word out to everyone.

  107. Posted August 19, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this much needed article. I know some of my fellow virtual assistants at the VANA Forum were feeling pretty angry after finding out their content had been stolen. This article will certainly give them the resources to protect themselves.

    Thanks again!

  108. Kat
    Posted August 20, 2007 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    My site has been online for 10 years as of this coming November. For the past 3 years some guy took my material, wrapped ads and sales banners around it, and reposted it under a search engine grabbing name filled with popular keywords.

    The host, while admitting there is obvious infringment in the past, has denied my requests to remove material. They insisted on a DMCA Take Down Notice – which this past week I have recently found out how to write (I just didn’t think I could do anything about it on my own, not able to afford a lawyer, that is why time went by for so long on this issue).

    They insist I talk with their client, who ignores my emails. I did make attempts to talk to the client but he does not reply.

    With some research I find the ISP is not in the US.

    I Do believe I am just speaking to a wall – without a lawyer my stuff will forever be benefiting some other guy.

    I sent a final request to the ISP tonight. I suspect I shall get no where. Why am I posting this here? Just to say this article is great, but not every ISP will care about the law. And being that most people like me cannot afford a lawyer… people like me are screwed. 😦

  109. Posted August 20, 2007 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    This stinks, and I’ve gone round and round with these kinds of scum bags, too. So you are not alone.

    Did deeper. You may find that the ISP might be in a copyright friendly country that does honor things like the DMCA. If their host signs on in any way with Google and other search engines of international repute, then you can use their influence to shut these slugs down.

    It doesn’t matter where the site is based, you can still file the DMCA papers by mail to Google, Yahoo, Adsense, and any advertisers the site hosts. Just do the same cease and desist letters, per their requirements in wording, for each. It doesn’t take that much time and it gives you a form letter to use in the future.

    And check in with Jonathan at Plagiarism Today who specializes in knocking these monsters in the teeth. He might have a few tips that will help you put this finally to an end.

    Don’t give up. If they are getting your stuff, they are getting other people’s stuff. Don’t let them get away with it as they will keep hurting others.

    Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

  110. Tiffany
    Posted September 4, 2007 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    What do you do when there’s not e-mail address, the owner has blocked all ownership inquiries and you can’t find out who is stealing your content? They only have an online form to contact them with. This theif is crossing the line, because they’re trying to make money off my content, along with the content of other popular blogs so I want to take immediate action, but I can’t figure out how to prove I e-mailed them when there’s only their online form and no e-mail address. . .

  111. Posted September 4, 2007 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Check the WHOIS information and find a mailing address and phone number. At the least, you can find out the web host and get their contact information and contact them letting the host know they have a plagiarist in their ranks and that they are required to assist you in stopping them, in accordance with the DMCA.

    There are always ways to get information…EVIL LAUGHTER! 😀

  112. Posted September 7, 2007 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Excellent Article. I’m getting most of my article stolen from people in different countries….. not fun.

  113. Posted September 11, 2007 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I typically like taking screen shots of the stolen content on their site, as well – just so I have proof that it was there.

  114. Kevin
    Posted September 11, 2007 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    How about these free article submission sites. I often see the same articles being used around the internet by many different websites. Many of the sites only link to the person that wrote the article. I’m assuming one person didn’t submit there article to 50 different sites. If you take an article from one of these sites is this considered copyright infringement?

  115. Posted September 11, 2007 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Eric: As mentioned in the article, screenshots are part of the “trail of evidence” you may need if this goes to court. A print out of the pages in question are also important.

    Kevin: An article offered for free or sale from an “article wholesaler and distributor”, for lack of a better description, are copyrighted by the author, and possibly the website owner, and that copyright states the usage. That usage gives the right of distribution to the wholesaler. It might also involve giving up all rights to control how the content is used, depending upon the agreement made between the two parties.

    A growing problem with many writers who take advantage of these article wholesalers and distributors is that people see these redundant articles and just assume the articles are free and copy them from publishing sites. The publishing sites may have purchased the right to publish the article, but not the right to distribute it. So the person who takes the content and publishes it themselves are violating several copyrights and usage agreements – contracts.

    EVERYTHING published on the web is copyrighted. The details of those rights may vary from country to country, but it can be copyrighted by the owner. It’s up to the owner to decide how they want their work used, not the copier, scraper, plagiarist, or twit who does it without thinking.

    Articles for reprint muddy the waters on who can do what, how, when, and where, but the articles may still be protected against usage without permission. Contacting the original author directly will get you an answer.

  116. Posted September 25, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    What about when someone puts an entire site into a frame on their site so they can run Google ads above it? I just noticed this with a new client. The worst part is that the url they are using is extremely close to the client’s, and one they should have registered themselves. The other worst part is the client doesn’t have a copyright line. Guess what I just asked them to do.

  117. Posted September 25, 2007 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure you politely requested they remove all the content – or you promised to beat their heads into the ground – oh, sorry. I know you did the right and polite thing. 😀

    It doesn’t matter if the content is in a frame or iframe. It’s theft. It’s copyright violation. The URL also doesn’t matter. It’s the content that matters.

    Everything published on the web is copyrighted. It needs no copyright statement, policy, line, symbol, or anything. What the owner of the copyrighted content chooses to do with it is up to them. Always assume it is copyrighted, then ask if you can use it, if you want it. Or check out their policy to see if they allow it to be used without permission. But it is already copyrighted under current laws.

    Good for you for seeing past the nonsense to the truth.

  118. Posted September 26, 2007 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    This is an interesting. When I was on blogger my blog was used on another site(via a link)of the same name-as if it was their blog. They also bought the domain name, although I had had the title for a year before their site was started.
    I’ve also had someone take a scan from my site and forward it to another site,without mentioning it was not their scan. Part of an article I was using from a news story was forwarded to another site as someone else’s discovery. I knew it was “my” article because of how I’d edited it.
    Luckily I still have my original blog title registered but not as .com
    I dont think there is much else I could do about the other incidents, it’s kind of a grey area.

  119. Posted September 30, 2007 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    You know what, the sad part is you can’t do much about it, unless you have copyrighted your material. I think genuine readers must be wise enough to Catch on duplicate.

  120. Posted September 30, 2007 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    What’s sad is when people don’t know or understand copyright law and perpetuate myths.

    When you hit the PUBLISH button on your blog, your blog’s content is copyrighted. There is no “copyright” method or anything you have to do. It’s done.

    Everything published on the web is copyrighted.

    What the copyright owner permits with their content’s use is up to them. Some allow free usage of whatever they publish, some do not. Some in between.

    You are confusing copyright registration with “ability to prosecute”. While it helps to have your stuff registered with the copyright offices before going to court, you have years to do that. It is not required to control, limit, or even to prosecute someone for copyright infringement.

    Anyone who has had their photographs, writing, podcasts, video, or other content used without their permission has the right, copyright registration, statement, or policy not withstanding, to defend and protect their copyright.

  121. Posted October 12, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Dear Lorelle: Is it good enough if I just put “Copyright © 2007 by [my name]” at the beginning of my posts? Would that mean that my posts are now protected by copyright laws?

  122. Posted October 12, 2007 at 11:21 pm | Permalink


    You can put “Standing on My Copyright Head” for all anyone cares. 😀

    You are not required to put a copyright statement on your content. It does nothing except provide a warning. Your content is copyrighted by the act of publishing it. Still, the reminder helps warn others that this is your content and that you have rules for its use. Do you have a copyright policy that clearly defines what your usage limits, restrictions, and permissions are? Then make the copyright statement mean something by putting it in a link to that policy. This helps those who want to use your content, with good intentions not bad, find out what your rules are.

    You have to establish the ground rules for your content. That’s most important. But, to answer your question, your content is protected by copyright laws, international and national, once it is “fixed” in a permanent state, which means “published”. It does not need a copyright statement for the content to be copyrighted. But it doesn’t hurt.

  123. Posted October 20, 2007 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Great advice. One thing missing, but might only work in certain circumstances, is PUBLIC SHAMING. It worked wonders for me here in Portland, Oregon when my site was completely scraped by a local “legitimate” search company that was presenting themselves as the new “City Search”. I made sure to contact the local press, one of which has a very well read and popular blog (and where I know some reporters personally). It worked wonders as the offenders not only apologized but also contacted me immediately saying they would pull my content from their site. In addition, they have been punished in the ways of bad publicity and now when anyone Googles them, the article about them plagiarizing comes up. Nice.

    You can read the whole saga over here.

  124. Posted October 20, 2007 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I will say this again, loudly and clearly:

    Do not seek revenge for content theft.

    It can backfire and make you the villain as well as a bigger victim. It’s childish and foolish. I’m glad yours was successful, but few are. As stated in the article and repeatedly through these comments, revenge and public shaming does not work and I do not recommend it.

  125. Posted October 31, 2007 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    This is a fantastic article Lorelle.
    Great work. I have recently had a serious problem with someone essentially duplicating my website, and now I have this I actually have an idea about what I can and should do!

  126. Posted December 5, 2007 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    The practice of content theft is proliferated to a large degree through the rise of adsense etc, I remember sitting around one day after reading about adsense and talking it over with some mates, after a few beers we were like where is the catch? you just have to copy a bunch of stuff into a website and add the ads and boom you are cashing up?? turns out we were right on the money to a degree, there is so much more involved in producing a good site or blog then just content, also when the work is original it flows with the same kind of vibe, something which a thief cant simply steal and replicate at will. I am saying this however before I realized that people are stealing entire sites and reposting them!! that is just blatant and offensive. I don’t mind if someone takes some of my content as long as they link to me and credit me, and the site in which they are posting is professional, also posting one of my articles maybe 2 is OK any more and you’re being cheeky, if these standards are not met I send them a mail directly threatening legal action, and informing them of the multitude of free article content available at sites like e-zine etc. Which I used to beef up my website at the beginning (again only a few selected works from various writers who consented to have their work republished) and am slowly taking it out as I write more of my own articles. This is not a practice I can understand in blogging though, doesn’t it defeat the very idea of a blog?
    This is a fantastic post, I can really see the amount of work you have put in. It is very clear that you are not only passionate about the topic but also well versed, something else content thieves will never be!

  127. Simon Wilson
    Posted December 30, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I note you compare the work of artists to that of lawyers, doctors et al and how both expect to get paid for their labours.

    There is one difference though; the former will not get paid tomorrow for work they did twenty years ago. As a lawyer, any documents or letters that I produce are saved to my firms knowledge base and will often be used in the future as a precedent or template for new work. I do not expect to be paid for this work again. Why is is then that people such as Mick Jagger expects to be paid again when a single he made 30 years ago is played on the radio, or sold in a shop?

  128. Posted December 30, 2007 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    @ Simon Wilson:

    When you work for a company, the company keeps your work, and you don’t “own” your work. You have no control over it. A lawyer, doctor, and others, are paid by the hour to produce their work, and compensated, typically, according to their skill and education, as well as specialty, acknowledging training and certification. Writers and artists are rarely compensated for their education, expertise, nor their hourly labor. They do, however, own the right to their work.

    Mick Jagger or another song writer and singer might have spent 2 hours writing a song that he continues to make 3 cents a day for, or 2 years to create the same song, earning the same 3 cents a day. Either way, is the writer fairly compensated for the time and effort, training, certification, etc.?

    Copyright law was created to protect those who get ripped off for their artistic efforts, as are laws to protect employees today from abuse by their employers. As a lawyer, you should appreciate the protection and rights for all.

  129. Posted January 1, 2008 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    @ Chris Coger:

    Just remember, no matter how angry you get, cool off and do not take revenge. It can bite back.

    And always glad to help.

  130. Posted January 8, 2008 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I loved you article.
    But I just have to ask, If someone steals content off my site can I copy your letter to send to them?

  131. Posted January 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    @ lincolnb:

    The “letter” is there as a guide. As has been said repeatedly, you may use it, but you must customize it to fit your own needs, and please have it checked by your attorney to ensure it meets with the rules and laws of your country and area.

  132. Henry Malachite
    Posted January 11, 2008 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    I sent your, appropriately adjusted, contact letter to a blog owner regarding his use of several of my images without my permission. I had asked that he either credit the images to me with a referral to my site or remove all my images from his blog. I sat back and fully expected that in 5 days time I would have to take further steps.

    74 minutes later, I received an apology and the entire blog has been deleted.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    Henry Malachite.

  133. Posted January 11, 2008 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    @ Henry Malachite:

    All the angst for a fast response. Excellent. You’ll find this is the norm, though three days is more typical. Glad to help.

  134. Posted January 17, 2008 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I have a problem,this site is taking my testimonials and my name on their site with teh actual client names but only with place they put UK. I hae contacted the site yesterday asked them to remove no reply. I then contacted the webdesigner he says to contact the website owners. That he had nothing to do with it, okay which is possible so I said fine I will take note of this.

    BUT I did my homework and he is the registrant of the site, I emailed him again stating that he does not know obviously about this site and that he will also be implied in legal if the content is not removed. I have had other sites take content but to actually take my identity and clients? never….

    what can you suggest as I am really upset by this


  135. Posted January 17, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    @ Saffire:

    Ah, welcome to the club. Don’t get upset. This happens all the time. You’ve done the right thing, now wait. It sounds like you’ve only known about this for a few days. Give them a chance to respond.

    If 3-7 days goes by without a response, then step it up, following the instructions herein the article. Contact the web host, advertisers, report them to Google, Yahoo, and so on, escalating it with time between each step.

    Take notes, screen captures, and save all the evidence you can.

    This happens all the time. Just follow the instructions and keep pursuing this.

    And a web designer is known to buy the domain and be the registrar, but at the time the design contract is done, the names must be changed to the new owner. This is an additional cost, so only novice designers, or experts who want a vested interest in the site, to whom the extra money means nothing, do this.

  136. Posted January 21, 2008 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    This was an EXCELLENT article, great information. My rules are:

    *If you didn’t make it, don’t take it
    *Always ask permission & make sure written permission is confirmed BEFORE you post something
    *Give credit where credit is due
    *Never think you are above the law on the internet, it WILL catch up to you

  137. Posted January 21, 2008 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I have a question for ya’ll. If you know someone is stealing work (artwork, photography,etc) and it only takes one google image search to find the stolen work, do you report it to the artist/photographer, or let it go? I would care greatly if someone was using my work to profit themselves either finacially or socially, and would want to know. How about you? What does everyone else think?

  138. Posted January 21, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    @ sansoucy:

    If you find someone’s work being used illegally – or at least possibly illegally – first check their copyright policy to see what it is. They might have an open use copyright. If they don’t, then please inform them. They might have given permission, they might not. But they also might not know.

    I believe that it is the responsibility of all of us to help each other out on this issue. Thanks for bringing it up.

  139. Posted January 23, 2008 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks for such a detailed article. I run the most respected DJ technology website and after days of solid work hounding companies for exclusives, getting material that nobody else had and the subsequent work in putting it all online, I find that other supposedly respected blogs and sites simply jack my work and pass it off as their own. Especially annoying as these sites are getting slices of my preciously small ad revenue.

    I think like many people here, if I were asked for permission to use the material, I’d almost certainly say yes, provided credit was given with a link back to the original work. That’s what I do – why is it so hard to grasp?

    I’ll be redeveloping my whole site soon but I’m in 2 minds about how to approach it. Do I put every measure in place to make sure it’s incredibly hard to steal material, or simply make it very clear that if people ask for permission, I’ll more than likely grant it provided credit and links are shown. I’m of the opinion that no matter what I do, people will steal anyway, no matter how hard I make it.

  140. Posted January 23, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    @ Mark Settle:

    Since I don’t know what that measure would be to make it incredibly hard to steal material, I can’t judge or answer your question. Yes, people will steal anyway, and the more challenging you make, especially if you make it public, the more likely they are to be encouraged to try.

    So far, we’re working on educating the masses. Join us in that fight and you’ll be ahead of the game. For the rest, it’s up to you.

  141. Posted January 31, 2008 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    I just got back from 2 weeks holiday to find out that one of my recent posts appear in another site the day after I posted it. The blog is hosted on wordpress.

    There’s no contact info and I’m trying to figure out how to report this site to wordpress. Please advise.

  142. Posted January 31, 2008 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    @ Deb:

    A WordPress blog that is a full version WordPress-powered blog is not necessarily “hosted” by WordPress. A blog is hosted by You might get some help from, if the site was hosted by them. Yes, I know it is confusing.

    In your case, WordPress cannot help you as the site is self-hosted thus you must following the instructions in this article for tracking down the site owner and web host.

  143. Posted February 1, 2008 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Given that I am not a practicing lawyer, I cannot (and shall not) give legal advice. Lorelle is also not a practicing lawyer, or if she is, it is not listed in her about information. This article (warning PDF link) would suggest that much of the information provided in this article is in violation of California law, and, I suspect, the law in most other localities.

    If someone began giving you home surgery advice, I doubt many of you would take it. Most of you would go and see a doctor instead.

    I similarly suggest that you either:
    1) Seek competent legal advice (the kind that stands up in court) regarding your copyright issues.
    2) Perform some significant additional reading on the protections of automatic copyright.

    ~ Christopher

  144. Posted February 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for a very thorough and intelligent post on this subject. I can’t tell you how many articles are written on this subject of copyright infringement where the uninformed author spouts off that copyright infringement is not that serious of an issue online. It is indeed a problem for countless authors and artists alike, so kudos for addressing the issue.

    My gallery actively protects the copyrights of my images and unfortunately it is a full time job. We are finding more and more often ‘third parties’, often times very legitimate large retailers, who are selling copies of my art as ‘originals’ and using our very images of my art. They try to get out of legal problems saying they had no idea they were copies and blame it on companies they are supposedly buying from (the sweatshops that are paying artists to paint the knock offs). This is a very real issue, and as you said it is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

    Good info!

    Michel Keck

  145. Posted March 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    @ King Bebb ®:

    Because Copyscape was not updated for a very long time, and it doesn’t help you consistently find the new scrapers. It’s a good tool but not the only one.

  146. Posted April 8, 2008 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, I wanted to let you know what a great resource this is that you have provided. I recently wrote an article on my website about unauthorized image usage (mainly for photographers), and your article is a fantastic resource.

  147. Posted April 12, 2008 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    This is gold! I thought id let you know 😉

    Thank you for all your hard work! We couldn’t have dealth with these sploggers with out you 🙂


  148. Misty
    Posted April 15, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I saved your post from 2006 on content theft and what to do about it. It sure came in handy this year! This year our 26+ year old publishing company is marketing online through a website using the original concept and words – when we became one of the “when it happens” group as someone decided to use our copyrighted phrase and website name.

    After ignoring the first round of certified letters to cease and desist, the second round finally brought a response.

    Fortunately you gave us some additional steps to take, and we are hopeful this will completely eliminate this issue.

  149. Posted April 15, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    @ Misty:

    Always glad to help! Remember, I started the article with “when” not “if” if happens. 😀

  150. LGJ
    Posted April 19, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this…
    Cheap man’s copyright: If you want to have a fool proof documentation for copyright purposes, you don’t need to register your work with an official copyright office (paying a considerable fee). Print out whatever it is you want to protect (or make photographs), put it it an envelope, seal it, and then send to yourself via registered/certified mail (it is just a few dollars) and then store it safely, sealed. That way you have an official, certified date of creation, and if it ever comes to litigation, you have a proof that woulld be unquestioned in the court of law.

  151. Posted April 19, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    @ LGJ:

    I remember those days! Actually, with web publishing, the publish date and time in the database is usually enough, saving money and paper (and time). And honestly, this really doesn’t work and isn’t as important as it once was. If you are publishing it on a site you own, and it is your content, that’s good enough. We’re talking about online content, not every copyrightable thing.

    The issue of “registering” your work is the law, which states that you must have registered the work within X time period of filing legal action on a copyright infringement act. The registration is what carries the weight in this issue, and a registered letter does not qualify, other than for documentation purposes. That’s my understanding on this issue from over 30 years ago when this was mentioned as an ideal.

  152. LGJ
    Posted April 19, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, right regarding internet stuff, but I can imagine situation where this may still come handy (for instance when you material was moved from one server to another with new timestamps or your site was uploaded anew because of a server crash). The purpose of the “cheap man’s copyright” was to establish/document a primacy of your copyrighted work. What could suffice if the work is in data format–is burning it on CD/DVD, but the issue is that someone could do the same with a reset computer clock. The post office registered/certified date stamp would still be the best cheap way to establish the time of production, e.g. your primacy, in he event there is a dispute of that factor.

  153. Posted April 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Today I found out that someone stole my partial content when I search the topic – Interested In How to Change Your Header Images? My site showed up 19 hours ago on the first page with Google. The stealer’s site showed up 18 hours ago under mine. I tried to contact him or her but the contact doesn’t work and the About page is not set up. I could not find any email to contact either. So I left a response there. I don’t know what will happen. Thanks a lot for your advice so I get some ideas of what to do! Thumbs up for your site!

  154. Posted April 29, 2008 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Oh I needed this–I’ve felt powerless against these jerks who are stealing my posts and appreciate the tutorial on how to take care of this. Let’s hope it works.

  155. Jeff
    Posted April 30, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    While your article is interesting, you did leave off perhaps the most key element.

    Apparently, it is OK for search engines to index just about anything. Further, websites often encourage indexing by use of meta tags for robots. And, indexing on search engines, price comparison websites and other websites can produce displays of your material in different contexts.

    The question is where can you draw the line? If for example, you include a robots meta tag to follow and index your content on your web page, how much is too much if you see your content, in part, elsewhere?

  156. Phillip
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Hi bloggers one n all…. strange topic copyrights to take sides on here I like many hated the idea of any one online copying my content YET once I stopped and realized how in my own world of providing what I think is useful information gathered from here and there because I’m a firm believer when the student is ready the master will appear so in my words if your ahead of your game in any subject your search experiences alone could help a fellow searcher not so experienced … say younger/older or a newbie reach a higher top drawer level of information if you as the more experienced searcher shared your find results …. Hecky isn’t that how the Google boys started and formed what now is the most visited forms of searchers search~Ka~ching …. So check this thought sometimes copying other folk’s material can help them receive lots and lots more eye-balls … so how do you put a line through helping and not helping to get more eye candy to your online hard work some folks only have pure extractions to showing what other folks have produced….

    All my best to you and this post great blog Im so thankful I took the visit

    Phillip Skinner

  157. Posted May 11, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    This information has been immensely helpful when submitting my DMCA complaint, and I have just about zero knowledge about the law. I was going to let it slide (after all, it’s just a small post on one of my small blogs that got copied, right?) since I’m afraid of complicated law stuff, but this info you posted changed my mind.
    Thank you!

  158. Posted May 11, 2008 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    @ A Key:

    These are called “spinners” and they’ve been around for a long time. I think I first reported on them in 2005. You can rad more about this in Spinning Spammers Steal Our Blog Content.

  159. The McCully Family
    Posted May 13, 2008 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    We recently had a love one murdered and to help us grieve we made a page on the lovely memorial site Gone Too Soon. We placed a few persoanl family photos on the site and placed a copyright notice on the page too.

    A couple of weeks ago, the main photo was stolen and used on a distasteful and unmonitored Google Blogger called Somebody Got Murdered. Some of the comments left for some of the victims are disgraceful so we sent 14 emails to the creator as well as putting numerous messages on the site stating that the photograph was personal and copyright and that we wished to have the photo removed from this horrid site. We have been in touch with Google who claim they are not responsible and will not removed it. We are going round in circles.

    I have pasted the first stage 5 day copyright letter on the page as well as sending this in an email on 9th May and still no response. There has been one anonymous message left by either the owner disgusing themselves, as they normally are registered as somebody got murdered, or an uncaring passerby. The post says in response to our plees, “Shut the F*** up you stupid B*******, Im not removing it”!

    So what do we do? We are still going through so much and have the murder trial coming . We wouldn’t mind if the photo used was released into the press, but no photos of our loved one were ever released yet. We have since removed all photos but the one which was stolen on Gone Too Soon, and we have placed a copyright over the photo itself as well as leaving the notice on the site.

    We are so heartbroken. The photo was so special to the family. Also being in the UK all links we are finding, are to the US. We are so saddened by this it is making the family feel worse.

    Please can anyone out there help us or give us advice?

  160. Posted May 13, 2008 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    @ The McCully Family:

    When emotion gets involved, it complicates everything. I can’t address the emotional aspect, but I can address the core issues without emotion.

    If the image is copyrighted, the use of the image is a copyright violation. According to Copyright Law (international) and DMCA, you have the right to control where that image is published. Remove emotion from the issue and respond following the guides in this article and if the web host (Google) refuses to cooperate with removal of the image, they are violating DMCA laws. Get an attorney.

    The issue of defamation is totally separate and it is beyond the scope of this article and my expertise to tackle that issue. It involves legal action, so I recommend you contact your lawyer or someone appropriate. Go to the source of someone who can help you, not any blog covering related content. That will expedite a resolution in the issue.

    Good luck, but please, the only resolution to the issue is to separate the emotions from the issues. The more you fuss over it, the more attention to draw to the party of ill repute, which you do not want to do. If you cannot resolve this legally, then work harder to put more energy into your own efforts. Right now, they are thriving on your attention. Take it away, and it will burn out. Not fun any more.

  161. The McCully Family
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    @ Lorelle VanFossen

    Thank you for your response. We know you are right, it is just so hard to know where to turn at the moment. We will certainly look into this legally and hope that we can get some help to this.

    Thanks again xx

  162. Posted May 15, 2008 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you for posting a great Cease and desist letter sample. I referenced your post on my blog. Hope I can help spread the word on how to fight copy thieves.

  163. virgomonkey
    Posted June 10, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Someone stole about 1/4 of my entire site that has 276 posts. This is going to be a day-job for me in trying to solve this problem. How depressing. My blog is no longer “my blog” anymore.

    Thanks for writing this article, though. When I get rid of this flu I have, I will do what I can about it. Soooo depressing. I could see one post – but 1/4th my site (entire post too!)??? This IS a lot of work with time I hardly have. 😦

  164. Posted June 11, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    @ virgomonkey:

    If one person stole your content, it’s a five minute job. It’s one person and site. It’s not a lot of work. You only write one letter and/or email. I’ve had hundreds of my blog posts scraped by a single site on a regular basis. It still takes the same amount of time to notify them of the copyright violation as it does a single post stolen. Relax. It’s just part of the responsibility of having a blog and publishing.

  165. virgomonkey
    Posted June 22, 2008 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks! You’re right about the responsibilities of being a blogger. With that said, I’ve decided to let him take what he wants. In the grand scheme of things, more people are visiting me than him! So, I’ve decided to put my focus into blogging instead of worrying about who takes what.

  166. virgomonkey
    Posted June 22, 2008 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I forgot to add, I came to that decision based on the letter that I did send that did nothing at all. But I realize now, I was making a mountain out of a molehill. Meh… it’s no big deal for me now. 🙂

    Thanks for your feedback. It really is informational. 🙂

  167. Posted June 23, 2008 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    @ virgomonkey:

    Stressing out is wrong. Doing the right thing is best. However, just letting people ignore the copyright laws and take your content for free without informing and educating them, and giving them a chance to remove the content or make it fit within Fair Use HURTS EVERYTHING.

    For every person who obeys the law and fights to protect their content, they are working to protect dozens if not hundreds of others who just give up and give in. The more who give up, the harder it is for those fighting for the rights of the many.

    Do what you think is right, but remember, by participating on the web, you are part of a social consciousness that must be raised in the world of the social web. 😀

  168. davesnewadventure
    Posted July 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    This is great stuff.

    But what do you do when you’re trying to promote your work by giving it away? Would it be best to give it away in electronic formats that don’t lend to easy cut and paste, ie. pdf files?

  169. Posted July 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    i know it’s forever since you originally wrote this, but THANK YOU! you provided clear and easy-to-understand information about an issue that has long concerned me. thank you so much.

  170. Posted July 20, 2008 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this very interesting and useful post. I’ve returned time and again to check on what action I could take on those who have copied my entire blog posts and posted on their websites.

    Thanks, again.:)

  171. Posted July 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I have designed and edited the official Maureen O’Hara (legendary Irish actress) since 1996. I make many collages that take hours and even with the html code protection on my cover page, the geeks still steal them and put them on their My Space or Blogs.

    The problem is I feel they have a perfect right to do a website on Ms. O’Hara but I just want the courtesty of them asking me for pictures and content first. Some of my photos are sent to me from NBC, CBS, ABC – Fox studios, et. al. and only I have permission to use them. I would happily provide these people with very nice photos – I’m all for perpetuating Ms. O’Hara’s image – but not in a tacky or unprofessional way.

    I just wish there was a way to get them to please ask first.

  172. Posted July 24, 2008 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    @ Jana:

    Actually, there are, and new ones are in the works. Many of the older laws also apply to the Internet. And it depends upon the country you are referring to.

  173. Posted August 6, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this post, I’ve finally been able to get rid of two blogs that have stolen my content for half a year now, every day.

  174. Posted August 8, 2008 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle for this information.
    I’m from Mexico and I’ve asked a couple of lawyers down here and they told me that the *only* way to really protect ownership is to inmediately register our writings and any content directly with the proper authorities in our country.
    It isn’t hard to do, but when you are blogging and want to share something right away (like an essay on some important matter) that needs to be publish while the issue is still “fresh”, then it is a problem. We do not have an online service for that.
    Do you know if we, citizens of the world, can use the US Copyright Office or do you have to be an American citizen?

  175. Posted August 22, 2008 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    This is Kenneth Young and I find your articles on copyright very interesting and informative.

    I certaintly agree with you, there is a lot of information
    out there on the web and its hard to tell which is really
    comming from the person writing the ariticle or is it stolen.

    I certaintly wish I had the talent like yourself to be able
    to come up with these fascinating articles that you do.

    Well I will end with a Question and that is were I am so lousy at writing material would you allow me to post
    any of your articles on my website?.

    Hoping to hear from you.


  176. Posted August 22, 2008 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    @ Kenneth Young:

    Thank you for your kind words. As to your question, no thank you. I am a professional writer and depend upon my content for income. Free republishing is a violation of my copyright policy. Thank you for asking. You are welcome to use my content under Fair Use, which I have defined as 400 words or less and link to it, which will protect you from penalties under Google duplicate content restrictions for Page Rank.

  177. JC
    Posted August 25, 2008 at 6:23 am | Permalink


    I request your feedback on copyright.

    I am designing a website which gives information on a topic which is quite general in nature.

    However, we have designed the articles in our own style of writing.

    Can we seek copyright for the same, though the content is available in other website in other formats.

    Is copyright protection available for information that is general.

    Please help me out.


  178. Posted August 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    @ JC:

    Copyright occurs the moment original content (in any form) is fixed in place. Publishing it on a website or blog constitutes “fixed” and is therefore copyrighted. It is up to you to choose what level of protection or defense you want for your copyrighted material. You can choose to control some level of it or all of it, or give it all away free. You must state clearly what your choices are in your copyright statement on your site or provide a way for people to contact you and ask.

    “Designed the articles in our own style of writing”? That sounds like you have taken articles from other sites and edited them to your own needs. That’s plagiarism, even if you’ve changed the content. It’s wrong, morally and legally.

    Don’t risk it. It can backfire on you in so many bad ways, the least of which is having your site shut down. The worst of it is legal action. Write your own content. Why bother taking from others. Or buy it. Or ask if you can use it. Don’t risk it. It’s not worth it, if I understood you right.

  179. JC
    Posted August 26, 2008 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    @ Lorelle,

    Thanks for your comments…..

    No, I have not copied any content. Only that the information i am about to write is quite general in nature for eg., a career in music – piano learning, we have many articles on it, but what i have done is – designed a format that informs the general things required (say skills etc.,) in simple steps, to make it easier for a wannabe learner to understand what are pros and cons of it.

    would that constitute to plagiarism?

    can i not copyright this design format/steps that i prepare? so that other cannot just copy that format and paste on their website, like what i got to know from one of your links:

    “You can also do creative editing or collecting work. So that while facts can’t be copyrighted, clever, creative organization of the facts can be. This is called a compilation copyright and it’s somewhat complex. ”

  180. Posted August 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    @ JC:

    Plagiarism is the copying of the work of someone else. Creating a template and filling it in cross your site is not plagiarism. It’s a template that holds information.

    You can only copyright creative works. You can copyright a design, but not the steps. You can copyright the words you use to describe the steps, but not the process. The process, if appropriate, would be under patent and related laws.

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say. If you have created a format template and intend to fill it with information across your site, then do so. It’s original, it’s yours. If you want to protect the template’s design, or the content within, then ensure your copyright statement clearly states the usage, and be prepared to spend time tracking down and communicating with those who abuse your content.

    The issue of collective works means that the copyright is shared, with varying responsibilities and percentages for gain, between all of the copyright holders.

    If you are taking the work from other people, get their permission, even if it is a design element, template form, or the words or images. It’s the nice and right thing to do.

    If you are really concerned about your legal rights, please contact an attorney who specializes in intellectual property. I’m not a lawyer and offer no legal advice, just common sense.

    Good luck with your project. You are off on the right step for being so protective of the rights of others as well as yourself.

  181. JC
    Posted August 27, 2008 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    @ Lorelle,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Here, i will make it clear what i am doing –

    This is regarding music – the information on study of any music/instrument is scattered around the net, like institutes, kind of instruments etc.,…..- so i have designed a template in step by step approach that any student who wishes to pursue his study in music, this would serve as a good reference purpose. (for eg., basic education, instrument types, institutes etc.,)

    this being general in nature, i guess doesn’t require any permission from any authors, as there are no authors as such for it.

    This is not an article, but a set of small informations (which is not copied, but presented in my own words – by getting info from students, browsing papers and net etc.,). I have made sure no single line of information would match what others have written.

    however, i have taken lot of effort to get the exact requirement and finalise the standard design. Hence, will this constitute a “compilation copyright” for my website for protecting that format/design?

    Sorry for my repeated botheration, but i liked your blog, which was very informative, and hence i chose to take your advise before i consult any lawyer as such.

    Thanks in advance.


  182. Posted August 27, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    @ JC:

    As I said, you have two issues regarding copyright. You have the design and you have the content. Copyright those clearly and then be prepared to defend yourself from both. The content within the design templates is a separate copyright. The design templates are also their own.

    My advice is just that, free advice and not worth much. 😀 Good luck on finding a lawyer who can help you answer all of these questions. It sounds like an exciting project.

  183. JC
    Posted August 28, 2008 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    @ Lorelle,


    I will take the advice of a lawyer on this. Infact i got an idea from one of the junior lawyers yesterday, and am a little confident on that note.

    Yep, thanks for the good luck, its an exciting project.

    I wish you good luck too, you are doing a great job with your blogs.

    Thanks and regards, JC.

  184. William Pearson
    Posted September 11, 2008 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Great stuff. Any insight as to how to get an order from a foreign court (in my immediate case, Danish) to shut down a site that’s scraping my articles?



  185. Posted September 11, 2008 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    @ William Pearson:

    Is the site hosted by a Danish web host, or is the site based in Denmark? Many international websites and blogs are hosted by web hosts based in different countries, often not where the site owner is based. If you have been unsuccessful with all other methods, then you have to find out where the site is hosted and contact their web host, and check out the laws in that country. There are many legal papers and information on International copyrights on a country-specific basis all over the web.

    Good luck.

  186. Posted September 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the article! I just found out someone lifted my logo (that I designed myself) from my website and is using it as her logo on her website with the same business name. I called her and politely asked her to discontinue using it. She told me to have my attorney call her attorney. Needless to say, I was floored. I mean, I spent countless hours of my time on my computer designing that logo and wham, she takes it in a second. I will use your advice in this article and try to get her to stop.


  187. Posted September 23, 2008 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    What a great post! My friend is an attorney and he gave me a 100-page document on blogging and copyrighting. I have just skimmed through the legalese, but your steps are great ones to follow!

  188. Posted September 28, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink


    A friend of mine sent me here because I am dealing with theft of copyrighted photographs, specifically by fellow Live Journal users.

    We filed DMCA complaints with Live Journal, who dutifully saw that the material was taken down. However, at least two of the offenders have since filed counter claims.

    Is there a way to fight the counter claim without having to hire a lawyer and go to court? Thanks.

  189. Sachin
    Posted October 2, 2008 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the most lucid, comprehensive and helpful article that I’ve come across in a long time.
    Your initiative is helping a lot of people like me, who used to think that nothing could be done about copyright infringements on the internet. Thanks a lot for clearing things up!

  190. Posted October 15, 2008 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the help and ‘cool headed’ advice… I used your sample ‘cease & desist’ letter and got a speedy apology and my content removed from his site!

  191. Posted October 15, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Just found a site that is republishing full article content from the Planet WordPress feed (including your stuff and mine) at Staff-Lounge. I wonder if we should petition for the Planet WordPress site to only publish excerpts, to cut back on this? It’s not the first time I’ve seen that feed republished like that.

  192. Posted October 15, 2008 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Hi what is the exact name of the complaint form that one needs to fill out in order to notify the WordPress headquarters that someone copied your blog?

    Thank you!

  193. Posted October 16, 2008 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    @ Tanja:

    WordPress is not responsible for copyright violations by people using their program. If they are on, then you can use the feedback link or Report Blog link when you are logged into

    See Content Theft and WordPress for specifics when it comes to WordPress and plagiarism.

  194. Rex Ruthor
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Very useful guide, full of practical advice for protecting and defending copyrights.

    But I have to ask: Do you do irony?

    I mean, what you’re doing is very clearly the giving of legal advice, as someone has already pointed out above. And when you do that, not only is it likely a violation of the law wherever it is you live (e.g., the rather weak law) but on the moral side, you are also depriving a poor, suffering lawyer of the means of feeding her family. As with “theft” of copyrighted material, there is no requirement that you actually profit from the unauthorized practice of law. Lawyers, too, make a living off of their intellectual efforts (believe it or not), and the more people YOU advise, the fewer will seek competent legal advice from a professional. That’s like taking money out of someone’s pocket, which I believe you would call “stealing”. And again, like the copying of content created by others, people who illegally advises others about the law usually have some sort of rationalization they think justifies their behavior. You are no different. LOL.


  195. Posted October 17, 2008 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    @ Rex Ruthor:

    I see you do irony.

    Actually, I’ve heard from many lawyers about how glad they am that I offer this free educational information. They refer people to it. The simple instructions on how to file a DMCA and basic Cease and Desist is very helpful to many intimidated by copyright laws. Lawyers tell me that it helps them tremendously. People understand that there is something they can do, and they actually are encouraged to get a lawyer rather than just be a victim.

    Intellectual Property attorney are very grateful to those of us like me and Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today who provide grassroots education around the world on copyright and intellectual property issues in regard to web publishing. Their business is increasing.

    And comments like yours are also few and far in between today compared to when this was written as people are learning more about copyright issues and taking them seriously. At the time, few bloggers understood copyrights and copyright holder responsibilities. Now people like you do. All are best served, don’t you think?

    That’s the purpose of education.

  196. Mara
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 11:40 am | Permalink


    Good point and funny at that!

    Funny thing is, many people who give advice like this are sometimes right, but sometimes
    they instill annoying grandiosity in people who think they are being violated. I got bothered by a nuisance who thought I was violating copyright, when in fact I wasn’t.

    And then these annoying people who run their mouths day in and day out about stealing work make comments about the intelligence of the person using it under fair use, public domain, etc. when they in fact, don’t know the difference.

    If you’re not a lawyer, you shouldn’t be running your mouth so much. Instead, try referring people to sites that contain actual copies of information written by lawyers that is available to the public like sections of the U.S. copyright laws, etc.

  197. Posted October 19, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    This is a really great article! Thanks for the information. I have just had two articles stolen by another blogger and was wondering what to do. I almost told over 1000 people about it on twitter, but decided to look for answers elsewhere first.

    Thanks again!

  198. Posted November 9, 2008 at 10:05 pm | Permalink


    So here is my story: a person that I know recently copied my blog – out of spite. I understand that I cannot get her for the same categories and the overall similar look of her blog. But I was hoping to get her for her posts. This is what she does: she waits EVERY DAY for me to post my articles first and then – about 80% of the time – she writes about the SAME thing! Of course she doesn’t cite me as one of her sources of information. For example, at the beginning of each month I post the calendar of “czech events abroad” – it takes me about 3 to 4 hours to collect all the data. Couple of hours later she then posts her “calendar of Czech events abroad” with all of my stuff included plus 1 to 2 other activities that she added in so that it looks like “her” post (i.e. not completely copied from my post).Would that be against any copy wright policy?

    Thank you!

  199. Posted November 9, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    @ Tanja:

    If she copies your content, she is in violation of your copyright, depending upon the copyright laws of both of your countries. Currently, there is no international universal copyright law when it comes to online content.

    You can issue a cease and desist, but only regarding the specific content plagiarized from yours.

  200. Posted November 10, 2008 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    HI Lorelle!

    Thank you for you quick response. She lives in this country (she actually lives close to me). So you are telling me that she is violating the copy wright law? That’s great! I was beginning to despair.
    I emailed with Jonathan Bailey ( and he told me that since she is not “copying-and-pasting” my posts then there is nothing I can’t do. That’s wrong?

  201. Posted November 11, 2008 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    @ Tanja:

    Jonathan is the expert on this subject. As I said, if she isn’t copying your content directly, but writing with inference on the subject, then your content isn’t being plagiarized. I trust his call on the issue.

  202. Posted November 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm | Permalink


    I have had this article bookmarked for a long time just in case this ever happens to me, and now it has happened except it is not another blog or online site that has stolen my content, but a local newspaper. This newspaper ran an article that plagarized one of my blog articles verbatim with no acknowledgment to my article or with no prior permission from me to do this. I will be contacting the newspaper, but wonder if you have any specific hints for me.

    Thank you.

  203. Posted November 13, 2008 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    @ Julie:

    It’s pretty much the same no matter how they do it. The copyright law was written for print and now embraces the web, but it’s basically the same. Sad, but welcome to the club.

  204. Susan Krancer
    Posted November 14, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Lorelle,

    Thanks so much for your article. I know you wrote it a couple of years ago, but it’s still the best explanation of the problem that I have been able to find.

    I have a web ad for a community on a third party provider’s website which costs me $3000/year. I get leads from this site. Another real estate agent in town copied it on her website… word for word… picture for picture.

    The third party sent me a note yesterday notifying me of this. Apparently, there’s nothing in the realtor’s code of ethics about this sort of thing. I’d be happy to file a grievance with the real estate board instead of taking legal action, but it doesn’t look like that is an option. It seems that our code of ethics deals mostly with offenses that harm our clients.

    Anyway… I thank you for sharing your info with us!

  205. Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    @ Susan Krancer:

    While it is interesting that you would go to the ethics board, copyright infringement is a legal issue and the law is the law in that regard and has nothing to do with real estate. You handle it as an intellectual property infringement. Good luck.

  206. Posted November 21, 2008 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful article. Writing an online novel write now, I have used a Creative Commons Copyright to protect my work and was always curious how to handle this situtation! Thank you once again for providing the answeres in a nice and easy to read format!

  207. Posted November 21, 2008 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for the time and effort that you have put into researching this problem. This has been happening to me and I am sick of sitting back and taking it. You motivated me to take action. thank you!

  208. Posted November 28, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I like to be good. Read your Copyright Policy and wonder how I go about getting your approval to use it on my site, which I am just beginning to put together.

    Thanks for everything on your site.

  209. Posted November 29, 2008 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    @ Dick Todhunter:

    Approval for what? This article or my copyright policy? You can use the copyright policy as outlined here in this article and on my site, but make it your own. My copyright policy is specific to my needs and requirements. Yours must be to yours.

  210. Posted December 5, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Great information, thanks. I’m looking forward to the other articles as well.

    I have a question (for anyone who can help me):

    Does all this apply the same way to federally registered trademarks or are there different laws / procedures / techniques to deal with trademark infringement?


    • Posted December 5, 2008 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Trademarks are different from copyrights, and I’m only dealing with copyright issues here. There are tons of web pages with information on dealing with trademark infringements.

      Also, please do not publish your email in blog comments outside of the comment form. It’s for your own protection.

  211. chelledge
    Posted December 21, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I just began blogging and posted a poem I wrote. A day later I was goggling the title “Bedley Snatcher” just to see if the search engine picked it up – it had! And it wasn’t on my blog!!! Another guy had posted it verbatim, even the introductory paragraphs. Okay. like I said, I’m starting at this so I was flattered but then I saw – he’d actually removed my name (which was at the end of the poem), and any reference to me or my blog. I have to laugh because he was a young guy and his profile said he was looking for ways to connect with the Lord every day. I guess while he was stealing content:)

    I commented- just a nice line – like “I see you already picked up my poem! Thank you, I’m very pleased someone enjoyed it so much. All I ask is please give me credit by adding my name to the end or a link to my blog…Have a great day! Grandpockets ”

    Today I checked and he pulled the entire post. LOL. I woulda been happy for him to use it – all I wanted was proper credit. I was a bit shocked at how fast this all works though.

    • Posted December 21, 2008 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      I’ve encountered a lot of “godly” folks stealing content from my sites and then using the same excuse. I don’t care if you are religious or not, people should know better, so that excuse never works with me.

      I’m glad you learned that getting your copyright violations removed is so easy. We have to teach others that they just need to ask first, we might say yes.

  212. Lex
    Posted January 21, 2009 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Wow! This article is amazing, and your stance inspirational. I completely agree – if everyone took steps, it would significantly reduce the problem.

    I found this page after doing a search, as I have just discovered a clone copy of one of my web sites in a subdirectory of someone else’s site. I guess this is what happens when your pages hit the top in Google!

    Anyway I have drafted a letter to the offender, and now we wait!

    Many thanks,

    Alex Newman

  213. Posted January 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    Recently I came across an article of mine which was plagiarized (copied in total, word for word and pictures too) on another website and did not know what to do until I googled and landed on your article here. I found it very educative, enlightening and encouraging. Then I followed through with your recommendation to email a nice simple letter as exampled in your content above, though posted as a comment instead at the plagiarized article. And, voila…it was removed from the website a couple of days later. I’m so happy that it was so simple and fuss-free!
    Thank you so much! 😀

  214. Posted January 27, 2009 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    it appears this guy stole some content from this article, while writing about content theft. Love the irony, lol.

    • Posted January 27, 2009 at 1:43 am | Permalink

      @Jeff: Thank you for pointing me to that article, the link to which I removed from your comment. The article does copy some basic information from my blog post, but the majority is original content or copied from Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today. The advice given is a mix of good recommendations and horrific advice. NEVER rant or make any scraper public. That is always to be handled quietly. It can backfire and has been the case for many. If you take the issue public, they can respond with legal action against you if you make a any inappropriate comments or rants about the person stealing your content. That level of criminal action is higher on the punishment scale than copyright infringement is.

  215. Posted January 27, 2009 at 2:48 am | Permalink


    I understand why the link should be removed. It was not my intent to embarrass or call this fella out and his intentions are seemingly true. I could not find contact info on your page and this was seemingly the only way to make you aware.

    Some of the sentences on the discussed site are almost identical to yours. A few words are altered but verse and meaning are virtually the same. This could be just coincidence or serendipitous on my part. But just altering the sentence structure or changing a clause or two does not absolve someone from “lifting.” It is concept and content that constitute intellectual property, not necessarily “cut and paste.”

    Anyways, I have gleaned valuable information on this topic from your site and I thank you.

    • Posted January 27, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      My Contact page, for future reference, is a link in the sidebar, and standard operating procedure URL for the majority of WordPress blogs. 😀

      Thanks again, Jeff, for pointing that out. It means a lot to me when people help me identify copyright infringers. There was enough difference, and it does cover a topic that doesn’t have a lot of original words to add to the conversation, that I let this one go. That’s part of the decision making process everyone has to go through to determine whether or not there is a valid case to go after a content thief. In this case, not enough, though I have pointed this blog out to Jonathan, whose content was copied.

      It’s much appreciated. Thank you so much!

  216. Posted February 3, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Linking and including use of the content within Fair Use, which in my case is not to exceed 10% or 400 words, is permitted without requesting permission. I appreciate you asking, though.

  217. Posted February 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Can you tell me how I would find out if it is legal for a company to use one of my photos that I have posted on on their business site? I have the photo in a public album, does that mean that anyone can use the photos on any sites they want to?

    • Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      How would you know it is legal to use one of your photographs? Did you give permission? Do you have a copyright notice and policy on the service which hosts your image? Did you knowingly post the image on a service which commonly permits such free usage? I don’t know the answer until you know the answers to those questions. What I do know is that you control your content and where it goes, but you have to be consistent and clear about that decision.

  218. Posted March 12, 2009 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle. This post is the most important for all writers. Can I use the information here and rewrite it in my own words? If it is not allowed, it’s ok..

    • Posted March 12, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      You can’t rewrite the exact words, as you well know, but you can use your own words and then link to the article as a reference. As a writing consultation, you know how this works. 😀

  219. Posted March 14, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I recently experienced my first case of content snatchery from my blog. The information in this post encouraged me to do something about it and gave me the specifics I needed to bring the issue to a quick, successful resolution with a minimum of wheel-spinning on my part. Thank you for making this info available to those of us who need it.

  220. Posted May 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I am so glad I found this blog. I just found one of my articles on another blog (and they put a credit with their name as ther writer!) I wasn’t sure what to do, but I think some of your information is going to help me have a strategy.

  221. Posted May 4, 2009 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lorelle. I will use my own words but I will use your information as reference.


  222. Kevin
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Draft: May 5, 2009. To the authors and creators of this site, thank you. People, creators need sites like this one that share, help in goodwill.

    My name is Kevin and I am a native of Canada. I once worked in a Federal Cabinet Minister’s Office in Canada. During the time that I worked there as a senior aide, a legislative assistant I found out, I learnt that some materials that had been in some senior offices in file were taken, collected and sold without proper credit, without permission? Some might find that hard to believe? Some might say that it probably happens all too often? From what I saw it was a breach of trust may I say without malice? It was a breach of copyright and personal security?

    So all of us, including creators need to find ways to better protect ourselves and our works. So thanks for this material. Publishing this material on the web so we can all learn more.

  223. Posted May 5, 2009 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Great article, however what about people using your name//company name on a website when trying to make you look bad, can you request them to remove your name, legally?

  224. Posted May 12, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    This is a superb article. I’m relatively new to blogging, but have a long history with patents and copyrights as an engineer and corporate CEO. You’ve taken a divisive subject and presented a realistic, constructive course of action.


  225. kelly angard
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for posting such useful information! It’s truly sad how much time I have to spend tracking down my work online each week…and then responding to the angry and defensive responses from people! Your advice is clear, concise, supportive and so very helpful!

  226. Posted October 15, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink


    Thanks for the great information. Fortunately I haven’t needed to take the content thief issue to extremes but this has happened to me in the past. I will be sure to bookmark this page in the event that my newest content thief doesn’t comply.

    Whenever someone feels compelled to steal your content it does cause you to get “ticked off”. I try to look at from a positive angle. Once you get over the initial anger of the theft think about why they stole your content. The answer, in most cases, is quite simple. You write great content, it’s optimized for the SERP, and the culprit can only dream of creating content in your writing style.

    The first thing I do is check out their blog or website to see what it is that they do. How are they trying to monetize and do they provide some sort of value. Of course, you already know they are your competition.

    Most times the thieves blog is valueless, does no PREselling, and sends its visitors directly to a lead capture page for their opportunity. People aren’t stupid; they read right through this and most times will get the heck out of there.

    The first time my content was stolen I took the approach of turning a negative into a positive. I wrote a well constructed letter that explained the issue and a solution. But I took it one step further. I let them know that I didn’t hate them and that possibly I could help them learn how to write great content. I was diplomatic about it simply offered my services.

    I ended up writing a post on my blog about it with a copy of the letter ( no names or business opportunity mentioned).

    Most of us work hard at writing great content and its a shame that we have to deal with risk management. But, it is your content and you have rights. Protect your content, copyright infringement is not tolerable, and keep on writing great content.

    James Rouse

  227. TriNi
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, I just wanted to say that I’m very happy I came across your blog and this article.

    I have recently been dealing with someone copying my content, even down to my profile information! I was very angry about it and didn’t know where to turn.

    Your article has given me a lot of options and I am grateful. I even posted about it on my blog and linked to you so my readers could have this wonderful information as well!

    Thanks again, and thank you for the buttons! I’m going to take one of them now and put it on my blog.

    Please keep up the great work.


  228. Jonas
    Posted November 21, 2009 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Wow that’s a brilliant system to use Lorelle. My system pretty much stops at being pissed off about the whole situation and starting to write up a letter that’s not really nice…. hehehe but that really doesn’t help at all. Fantastically comprehensive post that gives you back the power in a digital world that would have it seem you have no power over what goes where, thanks!

  229. Posted November 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the informative article; I’ve now had my work stolen twice – once by a blogger who is still refusing to remove my work (as has his blogging site) and another whom I’m dealing with now.

    I’ve gone back and listed a copyright with all of my work now, both on the news source I work for, and on my blogs.

    I’m glad to see all this info in one place – it will make it easier for me to deal with these folks in the future.

  230. Melege
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your informative post,
    My questions is: Is it okay to remove the WordPress link of my self hosted blog?

  231. Rod
    Posted December 24, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    What if someone steals your website Title and heading and your business name just to manipulate the search results? Here is an example:
    I put my registered business name” Handcrafted Garden Bridge for Koi Ponds” as my title to my website over a year ago, and found a website and see his title and headers were recently changed to the same as mine and seems to be Stolen business name and heading.
    Do a search for handcrafted bridges and then handcrafted garden bridges and see how this really manipulates the search results in google and confuses the public.

    [EDITED: NEVER link to a spammer nor copyright infringer.]

    • Posted December 27, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      This is not a copyright but trademark issue. If your company name is registered, then you have trademark issues to confront them with. However, since your “registered” company name is also a descriptive sentence, I’m not sure it carries much weight in the legal world for defense. As for search engine results, titles are important but there are a ton of bits and pieces that goes into the mystery sauce for Google and that’s something you have to take up with them. For example, if you search for my first name, for many years, a belly dancer and singer was in the top of Google, and I think she was just because she had sexy pictures and a lot of traffic. Over the years, my “Internet fame” (I say that loosely and teasingly) increased due to other parts of Google’s secret sauce algorithm and now I hold the top spot. And I don’t have any sexy pictures on my site. I drowned her by pure volume of contents and trustworthy outgoing and incoming links. It wasn’t my intention, but that’s what happened, so you can do the same with this person, but the point is, this isn’t a copyright issue as much as a business battle with competition.

  232. Posted January 14, 2010 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    @Rod it sound’s like you’re competition has attempted to cut your SEO legs out from under you. The best way to fix it is reanalyze your keywords, and make sure you’re targeting what you want, build a bunch of good unique content for it, and then get incoming links.

    If he steals your content then you have a copyright case, just make sure your content is unique and not freely available.

  233. Posted January 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this great information. For the first time, I just had a client discover something stealing his blog information.

    Tom C.

  234. Posted January 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Lorella for this resource. I don’t know how deal with this issue. This is first case for me. The thief just copied my blog with out re-write or give the source link. the thief also hide his ‘contact page’

  235. Posted January 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink


    You can get that information by going to and pasting the URL of the thieves site into the search box. You’ll find some more great information in there as well: such as phone numbers, hosting, and physical address.

    That’s the best place to start. Sometimes a polite e-mail letting them know that its your content and they are free to use it as long as it isn’t altered and you get credit solves the problem. Good luck!

  236. habitual
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this article – it will be a huge help for me. I’ve felt gutted by many of the copyright issues I’ve faced and truly believed there was nothing ‘enforceable’ I could do.

    Thanks again!

  237. dandanthemosquitoman
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    this is really excellent information. My teacher put a link to it in our online class when we were disgussing plagiarism. I didn’t realize that you couldn’t cut and past things and put them in a powerpoint or on your blog. I realize that I just assumed things, didn’t really think about the implications of what I was doing. I get it now. thanks

  238. Lindsay
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink


    I was a business owner in a 50/50 partnership. We are both photographers that shot together. We have both always strongly felt that our images were our own. (or so she said) We split the business recently and the other photographer cut off my access to the website & has taken it as part of her half in splitting the business. She still has 40 of my images on that website. I would like to put up my own new website including some of my very best images. Those images are still on her site however. I have sent a notification email and politely requested the removal of the images 5 times now. I feel that I cannot put my own images on my own site without it looking shady to others.

    What do you suggest in this situation? She feels as if she owns my images at this point. I put my images on the website, but am no longer affiliated with that company. As it stands now, those images appear to be her work. I find that misleading in general. I have all the originals to prove that they are,in fact, my work. Am I justified in sending a cease & desist and continuing on with the process you have outlined? Am I stuck? Is there something I can do?

    Thank you for your article!

    • Posted March 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      What was your agreement and contract when you started your business? It should clearly have stated the rights of the images and work. If you can prove they are your work and that you were the only one to authorize usage of them, and prove it all on paper, so to speak, then contact a lawyer and get cracking on this. This is different from just a copyright violation as it involves work-for-hire, business property, and more beyond simple copyright. A lawyer is going to be your best bet on this one. Good luck!

  239. Lindsay
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Thank you Lorelle. I sent the cease & desist letter & then found that she was selling my images on a stock photography site. That is never allowed if you personally are not the author of the photos. When I let her know that I was also aware of that situation, she quickly acted and has removed almost all the images of mine at this point. Thank you for your help & for giving me a starting point & some hope in this matter. I really appreciate it.

  240. tabberone
    Posted April 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Interesting but there is an awful lot of misinformation in this article. To pursue your rights, your creation must be copyrightable. If it is not, you have no recourse. And without a certificate of registration you are not entitled to statutory damages or legal fees. This article gives one the impression everything is protected when it most certainly is not.

    Going after someone, like contacting advertisers and search engines, leaves you open to defamation suits if you do not have registration. And just because your site content is registered, does not mean the other party is infringing.

    • Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      @tabberone: That is not true. Once your content is published (fixed into permanence) it is copyrighted. You can pursue copyright infringement without having to register. If you get to the court/legal action phase, you can register the content and have the action still be valid – at least within the United States and many other countries that abide by similar laws. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there, indeed, as per your example.

      Defamation suits can come if a law has been broken in the attempt to purse the copyright violation. If public revenge action is taken, a defamation suit could be brought against you. If it is done professionally, privately and quietly, defamation doesn’t apply.

  241. Martinofholland
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I am mainly dealing with pirates that run a group – Yahoo etc. Naughty pictures, and some more than naughty – we love them, so they are ‘ours’.
    The abuse one gets for even suggesting they are not.
    But the real problem is that when such a group has been deleted after my complaint to Yahoo, they just start another one, setting up another I.D.
    Obviously Yahoo does not check and ban the ISP number. Does anyone have experience with this, and know a solution?
    By the way, I do not think it’s a good idea to write a group owner and ask him to remove things. The result is often they will ban you from that group. So it’s important to save the URL-s to all messages and pages where you find it before you are declared persona non grata by the thief, and denied further access. They copy and steal knowing full well what they are doing, never mind the weird fallacies they come up with. So now I am the boogyman who is not allowing them to post as they like. So be it.

  242. Posted May 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    @P V Ariel: Sorry about your issue. Beyond these instructions, consider hiring Jonathan Bailey of Plagarism Today to help you. He’s resolved many such issues.

  243. Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this article! I have been posting articles to, which allows free publishing by others as long as the entire article is published, along with the author’s “resource box” containing live links, etc. I’ve been monitoring the files for copyright violations and recently found some of my work on a business website in the UK, attributed to the owner of that site. It’s nice to have this step by step guide. It’s discouraging to know that people will even steal things they could have for free, just to avoid giving credit (and traffic) where credit is due. The owner of the site is a solicitor, so I don’t think that she is ignorant of the law.

  244. Posted May 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    If you find someone’s work being used illegally – or at least possibly illegally – first check their copyright policy to see what it is. They might have an open use copyright. If they don’t, then please inform them. They might have given permission, they might not. But they also might not know.

    I believe that it is the responsibility of all of us to help each other out on this issue. Thanks for bringing it up.

  245. isaac putters
    Posted June 21, 2010 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    This is indeed one of those ever ongoing themes. I’m often surprised that at this age of digital technology and backdoors to everything no-one has come up with decent way to protect our digital rights.

    I mean, Google will penalize duplicate sentences, but they are the biggest thief of them all. Google lives off borrowed content. Sure it’s a search engine, but shouldn’t they share revenue they create using our efforts?

    It’s so unfair 😦

  246. Aram
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    It comes in the first page when I wanted to know how I could protect my copyrighted material. Clap Clap Clap Lorelle. Hugely awesome stuff here!

  247. Joe
    Posted July 13, 2010 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Hello and im rly happy i got in the right place. I dont want to bother you with my problems but i rly dunno where to go and what to do so please if u can help me with a suggestion or anything i would be more than greatful. This guy made me look bad because i accused him of ripping with proves which i can share if it is asked. My photo was used without my permission. Admins deleted the proves regarding his ripping. I contacted admins and proved that he is not making 1 single work without using copyright images and as an answer admins deleted my posts and cover him and more they accept his manipulation with my picture knowing he doesnt have my permission. Pls i know i ask too much of your time but i rly dunno how to make this stop. Some people work so hard for their works maybe weeks or days and he is keep doing this with help of admins. Thank you very much for your time and im waiting maybe someone can help me and teach me what to do. Thank you very much.

    • Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      This article provides the information you need to know. Please do not make this issue public, as the article recommends. I also recommend you check out Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today for more information. No one makes you “look bad.” This is not an emotional issue. It’s a legal one and you must deal with the situation in a professional and legal manner. Good luck.

  248. snowborbercp
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I have gotten TONS of people who stole from me and I am only 11.

  249. Abused
    Posted August 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    What if someone steals your own words from a forum on content theft? What if they copy your design and stoop to stalking your website day and night with software updating notifications?

    • Posted August 24, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      @Joe: There is a right way and wrong way to handle copyright issues. I’ve explained the right way.

  250. Phlebotomy
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Permalink


    If you pay someone to write for you, and they happen to plagiarize but I don’t catch it before posting it onto my website, who is the person legally at fault, me, or my worker?

    I would assume me, since it’s my website and thus my responsibility to keep track of everything, but does the writer not hold any weight?

    • Posted September 3, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      @Phlebotomy: If someone is paid to write for you, it must state in the agreement the consequences for their failure to perform or produce original content and a penalty accordingly. The person who plagiarizes is the one at fault, but your failure to respond once you know of the action can make it your responsibility. Again, it depends upon the agreement. If it is a work for hire, then they do not “own” the copyright, you do. Then you are responsible. If it is a contract freelance job, they own the copyright. Always get signed agreements before hiring someone to write for you – or anything else that puts your reputation and business at risk.

  251. Mike Pennington
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the information, I plan I putting it to use.

  252. RF
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I’d written about 300 pages. Unfinished basically just work in progress but lots of personal reference (no name mentioned to protect privacy still somewhat). but anyway. I blocked the IP of a boyfrie ds x from reading so I thought. Just saw she has found a way in. D has been reposting my stuff everywhere to try to ruin me…have some proof thru web log records. Can I do a urging?

    • Posted October 4, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      @RF: Don’t know what an “urging” is, but why would you put personal information in a public place, even if it were private? Okay, not going there as that speaks for itself. This is not so much copyright as defamation. Cease and desist is a start, lawyer is second unless you can find a way to suck up to your friend and make them feel your pain. More than anything, I hope this is a lesson learned. Luckily, you will survive it as it happens to everyone at one time or another because we were stupid in the first place and someone took advantage of our stupidity.

  253. Tom McSherry
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had my own content stolen, but I’m still battling with an ex-client who I wrote a short ebook for and he never paid me, yet he’s still offering it for download on his site. I didn’t really know how to go about it til I found this. Thanks a lot.

    • Posted October 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      @Tom: This article may not apply to you. If someone hired you to write something, it could be a work-for-hire issue, not copyright infringement. As a writer, it’s important you know the difference.

  254. Cerobi
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle,

    This question might be a bit misdirected, but I’m in the process of writing a story I eventually want to publish. However, I want to put it on the internet before getting in published (as I don’t expect the publishing to occur for a few years). How much would a copyright protect my work, or would you recommend simply not posting it on the internet at all? Thank you.

    • Posted October 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Please see Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today for more information but once you hit “publish” the content is copyrighted. Many authors publish their books online in a variety of ways before they go to print. Some are even skipping print completely these days. Check out what other authors are doing to see how it works for them. And good luck.

  255. Posted November 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


    This is a slightly different situation, however I am finding it difficult to get information else where. I used to be a member of a parenting website that I had advice article posts and photographs on. I was deleted (presumably for disagreeing once to often with admin about how members should be treated), as were other members with a similar view.

    Due to the same situation, a few other fairly prominent members left the site and a few of us have requested removal of our photographs and articles from the site. To date, none of us have received a response from the site admin.


    Open Letter To XXXX

    Now that I am no longer a member of your site, I am no longer bound by your terms of service.


    Please treat this email as a formal request for my photographs and advice article posts to be removed from your site.

    If you have any difficulty working out which ones belong to me, I will be happy to assist you.


    Luisa Foliaki

    Was this the right sort of letter to write? (Unfortunately I read your article after I sent it). What other action do you suggest would be appropriate in this situation?

    • Posted November 11, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      This is complex. First of all, you contributed content while a member to the site. You agreed to the terms of conditions, and I don’t know what they are but you better, which permitted you to publish the content and might include keeping the content after you leave. In a way, this is a form of work-for-hire and you have no rights to the content. I’m not a lawyer, and don’t have all the information nor the time to specifically help you on this, but that’s my thinking. My experience with member sites is that way. What you do on their site while a member is theirs. You leave, you lose.

      I recommend you hire Jonathan Bailey to consult with you and your friends on this issue, as he is the expert in this kind of complication. DO NOT go public with anyone about this site by naming names and pointing fingers as it will not help your case. If you have already…that could still hurt, so be very careful and edit what you’ve done to protect yourself.

      Your letter does nothing without line by line proof within the agreement you originally “signed” that gives you the right to have your content removed after you end your relationship with the site. Honestly, Facebook “owns” your content if you publish on their service, so this is a wide spread issue that people don’t get and they continue to give away their work and energy for free to Facebook. The day will come… sorry it came for you sooner but maybe after this is resolved, you can help teach the world the value of their own creative work.

  256. Posted November 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle

    Thank you for your response, perhaps I should have read it before I made this post on my own website. I do not think I have written anything I would regret, I have merely stated my displeasure for their disrespect.

    Thank you for the referral to Jonathan Bailey, I will consider it. The ToS on that site changes at the drop of a hat anyway and perhaps my going public will serve as a reminder to other people to think twice before they post on a site. After all, it is so easy to create your own blog/website.

    Best regards

    Luisa Foliaki

    • Posted November 17, 2010 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Just to be clear, it isn’t a matter of regret as much as liability. If you say something that can be held against you, you are libel, regrets or not, for that and they may have the right to sue you for defamation and other causes much worse than copyright penalties. Your warning is good for others, but always take care pointing fingers. Good luck.

  257. Posted November 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again for your response

    I am quite comfortable with what I have written publicly; it is not an attack, it is a statement of fact regarding my personal experience and I am comfortable with it being public as I couldn’t elicit a response from them privately when I used their ‘contact us’ form.

    Cheers, Luisa.

  258. Posted December 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    “But print out 5 and share them with friends who don’t have a computer, just out of the goodness of your heart, that’s okay.”

    I believe you’ll find that the law allows you one copy for personal (archival) use. Period. So no, the additional 5 copies are NOT okay.

    If your friends with no computers want a copy, send them to the library with the URL; otherwise you have deprived the rightful owner of viewership (& potential lost revenue from PPV/PPC ads, sales of an e-book or whatever other scheme the rightful owner had cooked up … even just the personal satisfaction of seeing their website stats growing). Additionally, as in the case of an e-book, you would have deprived the rightful owner of 5 sales. Further, it may be that the original owner has pulled the article, as is their right, so as to prevent it being viewed at all. The original owner has the right to restrict viewing pursuant to the provisions of the copyright laws. They can decide not to exhibit a work at all, only to a privileged few (subscribers?) or only for a selected length of time.

    An artist, author, etc. implicitly retain all rights that they have not explicitly granted except for the fair use provisions of the copyright act.

    You can tell your friends what you thought was worthwhile about the article. You can write a critical essay quoting (brief) key excerpts to support your conclusions. The term “brief” is used in comparison to the overall length of the article. How much is too much is a matter for lawyers to argue and the courts to resolve but the opinions of the original author WILL be considered. You can do a lot of things with SMALL portions of that larger body of work but you cannot reproduce it in full for your friends. You do do not have to charge money for the author to sustain loss and, if the author choses to pursue the matter, you are liable to make good on the loss as well as any costs of recovery.

    In so many other areas you took a hard-line “right is right” stance … why did you falter here?

  259. Jorge
    Posted January 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Great information, thank you.

    I have one question: What if a person who copied the content from your website claims the authorship of it? How does Google determines who is the author if the content is not registered?

    Thank you.

    • Posted January 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Google has little to do with it, but you do in justifying the argument through the DMCA documentation process, to Google and others, as well as in defending your position to get the site shut down by the server company. The article talks about how to prove your ownership for copyright protection, and you can register your originals which gives them even more weight.

  260. jjones444
    Posted January 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Having your content stolen is one of the most insulting and annoying things that can happen to a professional writer. These are some fantastic tips for blogging and how to avoid getting content stolen.

    • Posted January 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      While I tend to want to agree, the most insulting, and damaging, things that can happen to anyone, including writers, professional or not, is defamation. While copyright violations hurt, the damage to the spirit from harassment, defamation, and character attacks leaves scars that rarely heal. This is why I teach my students and clients to build callouses on their spirit if they venture out into the public web.

  261. Conce
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The information in this article certainly works and I have used to get several sites to remove stolen material. The problem however is the amount of time required to deal with the issue. Our marketing articles are stolen and republished on a regular basis. I found one PR8 site that had 84 pages of content that they were using and giving themselves credit for creation. I have seen sites with the exact same article published under 3 different author names. It goes on and on to the point of not being worth the fight especially in trying to deal with offshore websites and hosting providers. In the amount of time it takes to get one page removed another fresh article can be created. I know there may be cases (such as when our complete website was copied) that it is worth the fight but for the most part it happens quicker than we can counter the effects.

    • Jesper Nielsen
      Posted March 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks a lot for this article about article/content theft, Lorelle. I have delt with content thieves in the past and as you continue to stress: unfortunately I will also have to deal with the issue in the future as well. The fortunate part is that I now (thanks to your article) have a far more strategic approach to dealing with content theft.

  262. Posted March 23, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I did not have time to read all of your posts or comments but I wanted to add a tool called “copyscape”, plagiarism detector, just Google it.

    • Claire
      Posted March 27, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Copyscape is really good davebrigg. I have also recently come across this and used it to only find out I have had copy and images stolen.

  263. Ryan
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    You want to dispel ignorance about copyright, but in the very next line, you equate all Creative Commons licences with “free for the taking”.
    I’m trying to learn about copyright, and that’s not very helpful.

    • Posted March 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      @Tyan: Not sure where you got that assumption. There are many Creative Commons licenses to choose from. If you go that route, choose one that works best for you, and one of those choices could be “free for the taking.” The assumption most people make is that Creative Commons means “free” but it doesn’t. It’s an organization that offers standardized language (called licenses) copyright formats to choose from. The lesson in learning about Copyright Law is in learning about Copyright Law not Creative Commons, though that is part of the modern puzzle of helpful tools on managing your copyright policies.

      @Claire and others: Copyscape is one of many tools to help you track down copyright violations. Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today has a full updated listing worth exploring.

  264. Claire
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    I just wanted to thank you for you post on content theft. I have found it very useful after just finding out that we have had content and images stolen.

    Thanks again,


  265. Theo Dapore
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Great article, I am an artist offering original paintings online. I have lost count of the number of my images stolen and offered as someone else original art work. Most of the copied images offer custom commissions of my original image. Most of the violators removed the images with a simple email stating remove my property with links to a few copy write infringement sites.
    Water marking is the next step which I feel will detour the theft. Most the taken images haven’t even taken the time to remove the signature Dapore. I think most are looking for a quick take without investing the time to adjust the photo.

    • Posted April 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Actually, most are looking for free, seriously lazy. 😀 Glad you are on top of this. It’s important to add this to your work flow and take steps, but don’t let it stop you from sharing.

  266. esemple
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Hi. I really need your help. I am a amateur photographer and someone has posted two of my photographs on their website without my permission. I sent them an email using your notice template. But all I got in response was:
    Your work stays on my site, and honestly, there’s nothing you can do about it.
    Please take it as a compliment.
    Beyond that I do not have time to waste with pompous artists like you.

    I can’t afford a lawyer or any professional help. And I can tell that the owner of the site will not take this seriously.

    Please help me.

    Kind Regards.

    • esemple
      Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Both of the photographs featured have watermarks.

    • Posted April 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      As the article states, there are fast and easy things you can do. This is a typical response, so hit them back with the Cease and Desist, do NOT take it personally, and then contact his web host, Google, etc., per the article. Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today is then your next step as I do not offer copyright consulting services. Good luck.

  267. Posted April 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Great Article, you’ve opened my eyes and showed what we can do to save our content. In fact, our article also alerts the Copywriters like me to take necessary steps to write an original copy. Thanks

  268. Alex
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    I found a link to your blog on one of the forums I frequent. I have been concerned over content theft since I started my blog, especially when I discovered “scrappers” were involved.
    Is it worthwhile putting the “finger print” pluggin on to my blog?
    All I have done at this stage is go into settings/reading and changed the feed settings to show “Summary” to try and fob off copycats …
    I hope that helps.
    I would also like to ask if I can use your askfirst1.jpg on my site?
    Thanks in advance for a consideration.

    • Posted April 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Is using tools that track scrapers and content violators useful? Yes, if you are serious about keeping up with protecting your content. They can be of great help, though they can have a high false positive. If you are willing to keep it up, go for it.

      As stated in the article, the Ask First badges are designed to be used by anyone without permission. It’s a great educational tool, though it doesn’t stop the big time scrapers.


  269. MichelleM
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this informative article. I am considering going after the person who has violated my copyright, although I am afraid to proceed because I don’t know if I want to get tangled up with this character. To make a long story short, he is a pro domain buyer, and he snapped up my domain when it went up for auction. I had been blogger at that domain for a few years, and I had bought it through Google Apps. I didn’t see the two notices they sent me re: it expiring, and my auto-renew didn’t work, so it expired and was auctioned off. I was stunned to go to my blog after a three-day vacation and find someone else owned my URL and was running ads on it. I was lucky not to lose my content because I blog through blogger, so I bought a similar domain and continued to blog, figuring it wasn’t worth it to contact this guy because I can’t afford to buy my domain back. Cut to: The other day I was shocked to see he had someone got his hands on some of my old Blogger content, and it is up on the original domain. My guess is he pieced together some old content of mine (it is all original writing and photos) and posted it to confuse people. But why would he do this? I guess it is his way of forcing me to contact him. It’s really a terrible situation. Again, I just don’t know if I want to reveal my name to this character and become entangled with him.

    • Posted May 3, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      If you do not have the stomach to treat this as a business not a personal attack, hire someone. Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today is excellent.

  270. Naomi
    Posted June 5, 2011 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Hey! i have made a radio script and i wanted to know how i could protect it from being copyed?

    • Posted June 5, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I get questions like this all the time, if you’ve read through the comments. Everything you need to know is in the article. You cannot stop it from being copied, but you can make it harder and educate your script readers on copyright laws, and defend those rights.

  271. Peter
    Posted June 24, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    I think your comment “Some people don’t even know they are stealing your content for a variety of reasons” is very valid. If you are new to the internet then it is very likely the case. I do like your “professional” approach attitude. Easy to get all defensive but it does not always provide a good outcome if you go in hard right from the start.
    Good article Lorelle…..lots of thought given to it.

  272. Bonita Gatewood
    Posted July 22, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve notiifed the school of the person who used my copyrighted work to obtain her Master’s degree. They do not appear to be very helpful. I have a copyright on the work since 1992. It is on under the title The 4th Gatewood Family Reunion. When I contacted the chairperson of the Department he told me that the copyright was almost 20 years old, it is out of date. I checked with the copyright office and they told me that a copyright is the life of the author plus 70 years. I am not sure how to see a copy of the work because it is in his office. Do you know if they put these papers in the library at the school? Please make any suggestions in this matter. Thank you.

  273. Sundjata
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this! This guy just stole my entire post. He even answered comments as if he were the author. I confronted him in a professional manner, trying to appeal to the ethics he supposedly had according to this his own “about” page. We’ll see what happens.

  274. Posted September 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    My situation is a bit different, I had someone publish a book with me all over the first 5 chapters of the book, and It made me sound like a scam artist and a pervert, and not a good guy to say the least. Now my question is can I sue the Author, and or the Publisher?????

    Thank You for your time

  275. Posted September 17, 2011 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    First and foremost: thank you for all of this. Read it all the way through, and most every comment, as well. First place I saw this matter discussed where I actually felt that the person helping really cared. Most times the information is displayed and that’s it; something which is already very good of course, and noble, but I think you know what I’m trying to say: the way you individually responded to people shows that you do care and that is very rare. Also read Jonathan Bailey’s 3 entries on the “theft” detail. It really is theft, no less, and one of the worst kind as it is an intellectual domain. Much more damaging than material.
    Lorelle, I can see there are many written things over here and I know all of this is extremely tiring; I don’t wish by any means to take any of your time unnecessarily. After all of what I read I still keep one doubt. I don’t know much about the theme, and I’m afraid the question might be – perhaps – too simple, or even silly. Are you still responding to comments?
    If not, but if by any chance you happen to read these words: thank you, again.
    As a user. Amateur. Same as 99% of everyone else here, I assume. That’s the big problem by the way: Internet and computers allow us to put our intelligence and/or creativity to use. Mostly, intelligence. People therefore, create things. Over the subjects that they love and can relate to words, thoughts, songs, ideas, knowledge, images and so forth; All of them combined, in many cases. It’s all too easy, but there is also 0 control, once we do things at home, in our computers, in a domestic environment. It’s not easy to fully process the subject.
    But it hurts tremendously, emotionally, especially, seeing others take credit for something we put our love and time into.

    • Posted September 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      I always respond to comments, and thank you for yours.

      Yes, technology has been vicious to original content, but it has also been invaluable for sharing, preserving, and distribution of original and unique content. Jonathan and I are working overtime to educate the online world to respect copyright, and laws are getting tougher, and less restrictive. It’s an evolving issue, slow to move with the times and the technology, but we’re determined to educate everyone,.

      So did you have a specific question?

  276. Manuel Humberto
    Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, and thank you for replying,
    The doubt I have has to do with the registering. As I told you only recently have been searching for information and “registering” is something that strikes as intuitive. We do something, and we register that something so it can be traced to us, the author.
    The question is: register it how, and where? In a fashion that is not too expensive but at the same time “valid”. The other day, as example, read something about “MyFreeCopyright” and ended up on a text that reviewed the situation. That review was from Plagiarism Today and it basically said that it was alright and safe to use. It wasn’t perfect but, it was okay.
    Here in your post on the part that mentions the registering it says “with the US Copyright Office”. Does that mean United States? Being in the UK, what shall I use then, or where should I go? The guaranteed way to protect something we create: where, and how? So it stands beyond any doubt that I – or any other person – am / is the author. Even if it is something that needs to be paid, as long as it isn’t something extraordinary expensive. Understood what you said about “collections”. Pay and register many things at once. Can I do it, even being outside the US? Use that link you gave?
    Again, very sorry for taking your time.

    • Manuel Humberto
      Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:21 am | Permalink

      Lorelle I am sorry but just one more thing: I am using “MyFreeCopyright”. Am I wasting my time?, or does that qualify as “registering”? The fact that is free, for me, raises me doubts. But I don’t know. I’m speaking of 2 things, in my personal case: text and videos. How would I register many videos at once, as example, how would “collections” apply to them?

      • Posted September 18, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        The only way to register is through a legal, government office. I’m not familiar with them as I don’t see a need to have a third party involved. Jonathan would be the best one to consult on this as he tracks and monitors all of these things. Thanks.

    • Posted September 18, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today has all these answers. Bloggers, web publishers, newspapers, magazines, photographers, and similar producers of a great deal of similar original content can take advantage of the “collection” option in registering a lot of information, at least with the US Copyright Office. Consult the country office in your area. I’ve included many resources in the article, and Jonathan has more.

      I don’t have time for another full explanation on copyright, as it is explained in the article, but in summary, when you publish something, it doesn’t need a copyright notice or anything. You own it. It’s yours. A copyright notice is a reminder that the item is protected and copyrighted.

      If you choose to license or restrict the usage, or inform people of your copyright policy, you should have that copyright notice link to the definition of your copyright to advise potential consumers of your content of your rules so they don’t have to ask unless it says they must. For instance, if you choose to give it away freely, then say so. If you choose to restrict usage, say so.

      Once legal action has been taken involving a copyright issue with your content, in the US you have a specific time period to pay to register your copyright to enforce the “legal” support for your copyright. You do not have to pay to register in advance. That’s a personal and legal decision.

      Again, you do not have to register your content with any legal office. It is legally copyrighted and protected by the law without notice or registration.

      There are no guarantees, no way to force people to obey or follow the rules. Nothing will stop someone from using your stuff illegally. Copyright is a trust base, legally backed concept. Your rights are protected, but if someone abuses it, then you have the option to take legal action, which then suggests you might have to take more actions to reinforce your implied copyriight.

      Does this answer your question?

    • Manuel Humberto
      Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read many texts from Plagiarism Today, some days ago. The doubts come from ignorance on the matter, not from the fact that the issues aren’t developed on P. Today, in this article, or any other locations that I’m sure must exist. Ignorance = lack of familiarity with the terms or concepts used. Concepts such as “country office in your area”.

      I understood clearly on the first read of the article that one of the myths surrounding this issue is that people often associate Internet with gratuity, or freedom to use anything available online. You were clear saying it isn’t so. “Things” are owned by the people that make them. “Things” have authors, from the moment they are made / released. I understood that.
      However, please keep in mind something I said on the first comment: people do things over a computer, often at home, and with little knowledge or control over the “universe” they’re at. Meaning: I write something; push “publish”; the words appear. And that’s it. I don’t know what the process is made of, “search engines”, “google”, “blogger”, “wordpress”. Besides appearing published in my page, where do they go?, are they recorded somehow?, if so, where? All these things are unknown. Something very simple such as: if I don’t have a computer, or an Internet connection, I can not even see my “things”. It’s not as if they have matter or shape. I understand I am their author. I understand that the law might protect me. But at the end of the day: it is virtual. Everything happening over a screen. It’s distant, zero control.
      Example: someone above said her page was “stolen”. Domain appeared owned by someone else. See? It’s all gone, all of the sudden.
      If someone breaks my password. Password that – without my wish – is the same for blogger, youtube, and g-mail. Because Google forces one password for them all. What then? That is why I find natural sense in the abstract “notion” that a third-party should be involved. Like a bank where people put their money in. That way some third party – regardless of anything – can make sure that somewhere, somehow, it is “writeen” that I am the author of something I have created. Just that.

      Your kind answers are clear and I feel very thankful for them. I will follow your advise. Keep things simple, and just follow the steps the article mentions, whenever case.
      My best regards.

  277. Posted October 5, 2011 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this article!! I discovered last night that my content is being stolen and published and someone is making money off of it!! So angry. I plan to print and read your article to help me put a stop to them. Thanks again

    • Posted October 6, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      @Kristi, thank you! And glad that you stopped being angry as none of this is personal. It’s just part of the job, like paying bills and cleaning the toilet. 😀

  278. Posted October 7, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I’m very sorry for using your time, again:
    – Followed step by step your advises, contacted 2 websites and used your “form” “Contact the thief” – 1st step suggestion. I needed to contact a 3rd one though, and that webiste has no contacts available on their page. Anywhere. I tried to find an e-mail or contact using all the links you suggested but, the results showing up are all the same and the 2 e-mail addresses of the supposed administrator no longer exist. I have therefore no way of contacting them via e-mail.
    What should I do? How can I find the e-mail of someone responsible for the page in question?
    (Even tried the chat-box, but no-one answered …)

    Thank you in advance for any response and sorry to bother you with this, again.

    • Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink


      I’ve removed the link to the site as that is promoting the person who plagiarized, something against my policy. Please continue reading the article or contact Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today for more guidance. The next steps are in the article and on his site. Good luck. I know you are determined, which is great, you just have to take the next steps.

  279. Jason
    Posted October 8, 2011 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    hii Lorelle ,

    your advice and suggestion content is really helpful, i am so assisted by reading all of it.

    I understand that if the content of some paragraph between two website is 100% same or exactly the same , then maybe one of them , would violate the copyright of content.

    What is still being doubtful by me all day long , is about , How the content can be included , as the content which is violate the copyright law.
    if the content of the paragraph have the words or sentences which are similar , Is this case are also included as copyright violation ????

    for instance : I will show the paragraph content from all different websites ,

    1. (first website content)
    The WMA format (Windows Media Audio), compares in quality to MP3, and is compatible with most players, except the iPod. WMA files can be delivered as a continuous flow of data, which makes it practical for use in Internet radio or on-line music.

    2. (second website content)
    The WMA(Windows Media Audio) is an audio file format developed by Microsoft. It is supported by many players such as : winamp,etc, except the iPod . WMA supports Digital Rights Management (DRM).
    Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a anti piracy system that is used to protect the copyright holders. These files has been used online on website , because it can be delivered as continuous flow of data.

    3. (third website content)
    WMA, short for Windows Media Audio, was originally created by Microsoft to use with its Windows Media Player, which now also supports MP3. One of the largest advantages to the WMA format is the format’s support of DRM, or Digital Rights Management. This is an anti-piracy procedure that allows for much more security to surround a given music file. Although it doesn’t completely make it pirate-proof, it makes pirating in this method much less common; MP3 offers no DRM and is therefore much easier to steal.

    4. (fourth website content)
    WMA is an audio file format developed by Microsoft (, the maker of Windows Media Player. It may not be as popular as MP3, but it is still supported by a vast number of players and jukeboxes, including Winamp, Sonique, MusicMatch and J. River’s Media Jukebox.

    Is there any of the content violate the copyright of law ?????

    Please for your great answer Lorelle , thanks alot



    • Posted October 9, 2011 at 12:19 am | Permalink

      @Jason: A “copied” paragraph may or may not be within Copyright Fair Use. The owner of the copyright has the right to declare and define what Fair Use of their content is. Your example doesn’t show anything other than a long comment as we don’t know what the copyright policy and licensing is of the original copyright holder.

      There is a technique used by content thieves, copyright criminals who take original content and change words within them to “spin” them in order to appear to not plagiarize the work. There are ways to proving in court that their efforts are in vain as the content still matches the original in more ways than not. I and Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today have written much on the subject, though I recommend you check out Jonathan’s articles as he is the world’s leading expert in copyright.

      Again, without knowing the copyright holder’s license and specifics, the example you give is too vague as each paragraph fits within Fair Use. In general, at least for myself and many I work with, Fair Use of our content is 10% or 400 words and a citation link. Your examples do not exceed those limits. People can write similar things, especially when covering the same topic. The entire body of work, accompanying graphics and layout, a lot goes into determining copyright violations. Please visit Jonathan’s site for specifics to help you clarify plagiarism.

  280. Ryan Wiley
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    I admit that I have, in the past, posted photos that weren’t mine. I meant no harm….I just liked them and wanted to share. I didn’t really realize how annoying it was to have one’s content taken without permission.

    I learned what annoying was, however, when I found nearly every one of my blog posts on another site. They were skimming all of my articles, stripping out the links and inserting their own!!! I was foaming at the mouth! Since then, I’ve learned not to take material that does not belong to me.

  281. sudha
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    how can i find it when someone steal my content

    • Posted October 28, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink

      @sudha, if you’re referring to articles you can scan the written content with related software. You may also use free sites such as If your content was used anywhere else online, they show up in the results. That what I do regularly to check on my written work for various sites.

    • Posted October 28, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      @sudha: The article and it’s resources at the bottom list resources and information on how to track stolen content. I recommend you check with Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today for a complete list with reviews.

  282. Sachin kumar
    Posted November 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Today a site owner comented on my site and claimed that i have copied his article but actually it was my article while he has copied

  283. Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article. I’m linking it to my Squidoo site that explains the Creative Commons license I use on all of my online works.

  284. MCB
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink


    What pisses me off, is when they leech something that took me a few hours to write, and proofread and correct, and rephrase to make some parts funnier and tone down others..

    And not only do multiple websites instantly take my creation word for word, they even leave the links intact just point them to tags on their site. Frequently they only take my name out while not changing anything else.

    What heats me the most though… Sometimes i just take a short sentence I wrote inside an article and search on google for that sentence. It displays some websites, and at the bottom it sometimes says …and click here for 8 similar results. Well, sometimes my original is one of those ‘similar results’ while the thieves are displayed in the top 10. wow


  285. me
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    What if the person who stole a design is in a different country and speaks a different language?

    • Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I’m discussing International Copyright Laws. Your rights are your rights in your country and most countries around the world respect copyright laws. There is no difference. For more information on how to proceed with an international copyright theft, please see Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today as he has details on that.

  286. me
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Thank. The question was more about how to deal with it. If i want to ask or send a letter to the person who stole from me but he speaks korean for example, and i don’t, what should i do?

    • Posted January 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Use Google Translate to translate your English and send that plus the English version.

  287. Swapnil
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    thanks a lot, lot of idiots were copying my articles

  288. kimmy
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    hi i am looking to know if info here is good for content NOT stolen just not removed when requested? i submit something to website to use. their policies say i still own all rights and is my right to ask it be removed at any time if i want. but i ask to have it removed and they won’t do it. how do you report if you gave permission AT FIRST but no longer?

    • Posted February 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      When someone has broken their contract (which you must have in writing not verbal and show the proof), you can still issue a Cease and Desist Order. If what you signed gave permission for them to use it, then they have the right to use it and you are liable if YOU break the contract or agreement. Try a Cease and Desist Order if you are within your rights to do so and have written proof.

      This is not so much a copyright issue as a contractual issue, which is beyond the scope of my expertise.

  289. Lelo
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Dear Lorelle
    I wanted to create a commercial website & have some of the images for my products.
    I was seeking your comments/feedback, if I had to use balance images from others’ (non-competitive) websites. How can this be done – Pl help me with options, like taking permission in writing or getting into mutual agreement. Will this be legally/ethically right to do? & will not be against me (legally) in future?

    • Posted February 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      You cannot use images or content from other sites without permission if their copyright policy says so, or the usage is within Fair Use. It’s the law, though fine elements of international copyright law might be different in your country. Ask, they might say yes, or find copyright free images or make your own.

  290. Anzu du Randt
    Posted March 4, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle
    Just need some advice please. It came under my friend’s attention that an exact copy of her painting (including her signature) was used in a movie. She knows the person that has the original very well and it is suspected that the print was taken from her website. So firstly someone stole her painting and reproduced it and secondly the painting was used in a movie. Does she have any rights in this regard?

    Kind regards


    • Posted March 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      I’m not the one to ask. This is a legal matter. Please have your friend contact an attorney as this goes beyond simple copyright infringement. If someone else owns the painting, they have rights to do with it what they wish. If the painting is on loan, than an agreement must be in place as to protect rights. If the original is with someone else, who knows what rights were given to make a digital copy and put it on a website. Who knows what is what as you start out with saying she knows who has the painting to saying someone stole it. Is it missing? Was it removed from the possession of the owner? There are many layers here and while you are trying to help a friend, you need to have your friend get professional help and not hunt around on the web. Good luck with it.

    • Anzu du Randt
      Posted March 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your reply but I must have expressed myself a bit unclear. The new owner of the painting has got nothing to do with this. The original is savely hanging in her house. Someone else must have made a copy/print from the Artists website. It came under the artists attention when she watched a movie and a copy of her exact painting was hanging on ther wall in one of the scenes. But as you indicated she must rather get professional/personal help. Thanks again.

  291. Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink


    I will spend some time to read this article when I have more time.

    Just had, for me at least, an extremely traumatic experience. I am new in the arena and have been freelance writing since February 2012. I have 3 articles published in ezinearticles. To my horror, one of my articles has been stolen. Not once, but at least twice.

    Picked it up by accident when applying SEO to me website. In the first instance I am recognised as the author, but on a blog I do not know. At least it includes a link to my website. The blog keeper seems to be well-known, but disturbing that I was not approached.

    In the second case. Word for word as if it originates from the blog keeper.

    As a newbie I am petrified. Is all of this allowed? To have an article stolen twicw within the space of only being in this business for two months?

    Thanks for the article. Hopefully it might give me consulation for what to do in the futures.


    Keith Williams

    • Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this happens every day in spite of the fact that you shouldn’t be able to graduate from high school without knowing that plagiarism will get you kicked out of school or worse punishment. Read the article, and don’t take any of this personally. It usually isn’t. A link to your site isn’t enough if they took more than your copyright license authorizes.

      I hate to make light of this, but welcome to the club. Millions are “ripped off” every day – every minute – on the web. Putting a stop to it begins with you and you taking the appropriate action, which this article will assist you with. Good luck.

  292. parkermocci
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    discovered they used one of my photos on their website without my permission. So now I will have to start the unpleasant task of telling them to remove my photo from their site. Jerks. I totally blogged about them in the past and everything. Sheesh. Very tacky. A couple of

    • Posted May 8, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      NEVER NEVER blog about, point fingers, or mention a copyright infringer directly. Seriously. As stated in the article and the many comments here, don’t do it. It puts you at risk of greater prosecution with more legal teeth in it. It isn’t unpleasant but part of the day to day business of being online and publishing content to request plagiarism be stopped. Welcome to the real world of the web.

  293. Tadams
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    There is a 15 year old girl who is trying to scam several people out of very expensive art dolls by saying she lost a daughter to cancer, saying she has cancer and has 9 weeks to live, and finally saying she had another daughter. she stole pictures and videos of other people’s babies to try to validate her story. I reported her to the original owners, but no actions have been done against her. I told her of what can and WILL happen if she doesn’t stop the actions, but she hasn’t stopped. What can I do to keep her from scamming other people?

    • Posted May 20, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      This is not a copyright issue, which is the topic under discussion. Fraud, defamation, and libel are criminal issues. Please consult the police and a lawyer. There have been many such cases and law is being created to support prosecution of such actions.

  294. Alphonso
    Posted May 27, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Thanks very much, this is very interesting info,

    You said and i quote” First, you noticed that I didn’t say “if” someone steals your content. That was on purpose. With the glut of information on the Internet, it’s now a matter of “when” not “if”.

    The first step in learning about what you can do when someone steals your content is to know that it will happen, so the more prepared and informed you are, the better your chances of prevention and having a plan in place when they steal.”

    it is very unfortunate that dishonesty has become a fact of life today… however is it really worth it to go after someone like that?
    Wouldn’t you be expending more energy than it is really worth?
    I mean as you say it is inevitable, or if someone wants to steal they will steal, so protect yourself the best you can!
    The object is to promote yourself and your business not chasing down these guys which I think will take more energy than it’s worth!
    Don’t get me wrong, I do think that they should pay, but pursuing them could distract you from promoting your own interest.
    Thanks very much though for a very interesting and informative blog

    • Posted May 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Worth what? What energy? How much energy? There is little you can do to “protect” yourself, and a lot you can do to educate the world, which is the purpose of this popular article. Twenty hours a week might be considered a lot of work and energy to defend your copyright, but for most people it’s 5 minutes a month at most. To me, that’s not much energy to protect what is mine, educate the world, and make money with my content. It doesn’t distract, it actually reenforces my purpose and mission with this site. Amazing how focused you can be when steals from you.

  295. Fayne
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    From the other side: If a blogger, post comments that address a person by name is it infringement for that person to cut and paste sentences making it possible to respon? I’m not saying to copy the entire post but sentences. And while doing so get the person full credit and address that blog site. Thes are personnal darts and false comments. Cut and paste gives one the ability to show the comment you are responding to and why.


    • Posted June 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Names are not copyrighted. They can be trademarked, but only as a business not a person – though some people are businesses – that’s trademark law not copyright law.

      However, if someone copies ANY content including comments and uses it as their own, while it is usually a comment spammer as that is a common technique of human and bot spammers, if you would like to charge copyright violation for such action, you can as you own your comments – comments are content.

      >>>Cut and paste gives one the ability to show the comment you are responding to and why.<<<<

      Tradition, though, for long comments uses a copy and paste method to follow the flow of a complex conversation. Used as I did above from your comment, it is clear that the comment was not mine but a citation of your comment even though it doesn't give credit. It is a part of a conversation. If comment copyrights are an issue for you, then please contact Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today for specific help.

  296. shaina
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    May I use some of your content from this article for a paper on plagiarism I am writing? While citing you, of course.

    • shaina
      Posted June 19, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      nevermind. I decided to borrow a couple excerpts from the us copyright office page. However, perhaps you could help me to properly cite it… I know I am to include the date of publish in my citation, but am I to use the original date of the act (1976) or the date it was published on the website? all i could find for a date on the site is last reviewed: 2012…

      • Posted June 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Proper citation on the web includes a link to the source and the quoted text set aside in a blockquote HTML tag, or incorporated naturally in quotes in the article text. Either way, it needs to clearly state the source of the original reference content. Dates are not necessary, only the link with the properly formed credit text. I have examples in The 10 HTML Tags You Must Know to Blog | Learning from Lorelle.

    • Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      LOL! Glad you are understanding the importance of citation and plagiarism. Thank you for asking.

  297. dougb2001
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink


    An absolutely bang on article regarding a situation that more and more of us face these days as content on the web continues to grow exponentially. You’ve put up some great idea’s, thought’s and a number of excellent solutions for us to follow should we be unlucky enough to face the theft of our intellectual property. Great job, thank you…

    • Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. This topic was popular when it was written many years ago, and continues to be an issue today and in the future.

  298. Brad Dalton
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


    Apply for a DMCA take down order before you contact the thief.

    If you let them know you know and then apply to the search engines they may take it down before the search engines look at it. What happens if Google looks at it and its gone? You get penalized for making a false com plaint!

    • Posted August 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Very wrong advice indeed. That is the advice that you are giving. Totally wrong.

      Goodness. Whatever happened to being nice? Contact the content thief. If they do not comply, you can say that you have contacted them and their failure to comply with your request caused escalation to DMCA.

      Let’s play nice in this web world.

  299. Kristine at The Painted Hive
    Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle
    Thanks for this post. I’m still a little uncertain about the issue I’m having though.
    Someone has taken out a domain name using an abbreviation of my blogspot address and all of the content links on their site are derived from posts on my blog.
    This is really annoying though is it breaching any copyright or intellectual property laws? Ideally I would like to shut their site down (especially because in the future I would like to use that domain name) though I don’t know if I have the right or where to start.
    Thanks so much.

    • Posted August 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      It is no different from anything else discussed in this article. Theft of content is copyright violation. Follow the instructions in the article.

      If you would like to use a domain name, get it yourself EVERYWHERE, on blogger, blogspot,, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  300. Tommy Griffith
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    This is great. This happened to us once as well. We did what you first mentioned in the article: we confronted the content thief. It was actually very easy to deal with because we were polite. The guy took down the site in less than 20 minutes. We got lucky!

  301. Posted September 27, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t find anything on email content here Lorelle.

    Can you publish content from an email your receive from someone like Google webmaster tools and use it as a reference in your post?

    If the message content is sent to your account about your account is this ok or not to publish?

    • Posted September 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Publishing an email without permission can bring in bigger issues than just copyright. Yes, email is considered copyrightable content, but republishing without the consent of the owner exposes you to privacy, defamation, and libel, and I’m sure some other legal terms. If you republish content from Google, an email sent to thousands or millions of people en mass, then it is implied that you have a right to make this public as Google kinda has. I wouldn’t reproduce the entire thing, just the appropriate excerpts, to be on the safe side.

      If the information within the email is proprietary, or implies any form of private communication, there are risks. Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today would be the expert to ask on this. I’m sure he’s done some articles and podcasts on this very subject.

  302. Korey
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Hello! I realize this is sort of off-topic but I needed to
    ask. Does operating a well-established website like
    yours take a massive amount work? I’m completely new to operating a blog however I do write in my journal on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so
    I will be able to share my personal experience
    and views online. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for
    new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

  303. Jafar Emam
    Posted November 19, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing such a useful matter on stealing content of websites.
    Its really use full for our websites in all aspects. We make all the efforts for to publish a post or articles in our website and blog but some one easily copy and paste the same matter in their website or blog. This is really very embarrassed for all.


  304. Malik
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle
    i want to ask that if i have free web templates and i will put on web site for free download but i did not give permission to remove my copyright link.if somebody remove then what can i do against him.

    • Posted November 24, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Thank you for asking, the “templates” are the examples in the article and the links within it. There is no specific template but I did my best to provide examples.

      A simple note informing the person that you noticed they’d removed your copyright link and request they comply with your copyright policy to keep it there often does the trick better than a form letter.

  305. arthurokonkwo
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    My blog site has been a constant prey but your tips have done a great job.

    Thanks Lorelle

  306. Awanthi @ I Speak Awanthi
    Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on I Speak Awanthi and commented:
    Anyone stolen your content recently? Took your work without your permission? Well, here’s what you need to do to fight back.

  307. Posted January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    It was really cruel waking up this morning, discovering that somebody basically have stolen the major part of my website and published it on another domain. And with this lovely disclaimer on his own site:

    the web system contains copyrighted material, trade secrets, and other proprietary material. You may not re-sell, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble or otherwise reduce the web system to a human-perceivable form…

    I have worked more than five years putting the content together and another guy steals it within a couple of hours. And just adds a new web design and some other tweaks to the presentation.

    Really frustrating (and hard to play it nice). Some comfort to find this great post and very useful advice!! Indeed.

    The worst thing is that the same persons can do this over and over. Meaning they make money on other peoples content, and we just (politely) ask them to stop. How about the damage already done? (This other site has been running for more than a year without me knowing)

    • Posted January 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry about this. Unfortunately, the best you can do is contact a lawyer and sue them for damages and copyright infringement. Unfortunately, since the law is so weak, while I would herald you as a hero, it would be costly and you may not win as we’ve become such an apathetic society in regards to copyrights. Either way, I wish you luck and support for whatever decision you make.

    • Posted January 11, 2013 at 3:52 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the advice. I found this blog post really encouraging and helpful, including the advice in some of the links you provided. And I did follow most of the above, except… I never waited the full 5 days for a first response. I mean, this guy was making money on my content.

      After a short mail to the registrar of the website and the same mail through the website’s contact form, I waited a day. Then I sent a formal Cease and Desist Notice.

      Then, I signed up with This, however, turned out to be a complete waste of money, they do not offer anything that is not already in this blog post and that you can do better yourself. In addition, there are several flaws in their approach and technical solution, if you ask me. And it is not much use if your content has already been stolen.

      I also gathered evidence. More than 5,000 links on the website contained my material. The same material was also available on dynamic pages (through $_POST). And at this point it hit me, just like you indicate above, how do I prove that this was originally mine? I know it, the thief knows it (at least in my case), but how is anybody else to know?

      I’d like to encourage everyone to think about this carefully. For me, it was another wake-up call. I realized I needed proof from my own website too, and that I should have gotten it long before my content was stolen. If you are a serious blogger or photographer, read the advice on how to register your material!

      After another day, there was still no response. I notified the website owner that I would proceed with other actions.

      I contacted Google (AdSense and Search). I contacted Microsoft (Bing). Both have online forms for these reports, Microsoft being more impressive. Microsoft also responded very quickly and said they would start an investigation.

      But above all I contacted the service provider in Singapore. The response was almost immediate. They notified the website owner and gave him 24 hours to remove the material. Now I got a response from the website owner! He argued that he created everything himself (claiming rights) and at the same time stating that it was public domain since he could find similar material through a Google search. Nice argument.

      This morning the website has a redirect to Meaning, it has not been closed by the provider. It can come up again at any time. But at least it is some sign of guilt.

      And I learned the hard way that the title of your blog post is so true! It is only a matter of time before you get something copied or stolen from your website.

      • Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Excellent examples and information. Thank you.

        I always recommend people date their work when they create it, and to create it outside of their publishing platform, at least in draft form. Also, backups of your site on a regular basis would show the dates and hold up in court as evidence. Printed copies through most browsers include the date of the printing. I’ve known many bloggers with huge file cabinets and notebooks of their posts. I’ve mentioned other resources and techniques in this article.

        I’m glad that Microsoft responded so quickly. They and others have a form letter response required by law to inform the person reporting that this will be investigated, but it could me days, weeks, months, even years before any action might be taken. It’s more of an aggregation. If enough people report a site, they8 are more likely to investigate. Web hosts, however, are supposed to respond faster.

        The amount of time you wait is based upon your own needs, not a rule. However, unless you provide adequate time for the infringer to respond, if this escalates, you may be the one at fault. Take care when taking any extreme or hurried steps.

        Also, do not assume someone or a company is making money from your content on their site. They may, totaling pennies or fractions of pennies, or they may not. It’s a big assumption to make. Check yourself how much money you are making from your own content, and you have an idea of how much a spammer with nothing original and no focus or community is doing financially.

        I’m so proud of you for crossing international lines to fight for your copyrights. Excellent. Thank you so much for sharing your story. These are the things that try us, and I wish we didn’t have to learn, but it appears you have learned well. 😀

  308. Caleb
    Posted March 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Your article was very helpful. My copyright infringement deals with my logo being copied and products being made and sold at sign shops. Basically they have not only stole my copyrighted artwork, but they are making a profit off of my design. Do you have any advise.

    • Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      This is more than copyright. It could also be trademark infingement. It is also business
      I recommend you either get Legal Shield or hire an attorney as this is you business not website content. Thanks.

  309. Unknown
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Thanks for this nice article, I’m currently making a website for myself and I thought to make a search into copyright issues when I was going to insert the © sign.

    This article is great and rich with information… but I still have some concerns.

    1) What’s after all that? You said these steps would in most cases make the thief, the ISP and/or the search engines remove the stolen content, what about the cases when they don’t? the next step is court.. right? How is it doable when the thief is from another country? or anonymous?

    2) Isn’t going directly to the court better? At least it will force the thief to pay you a compensation. Does the law force you to inform the thief before complaining or something?

    3) How can screenshots be considered as evidences? They can be tricked easily, I’m not talking about photoshopping, but about making everything look like you want them to look before even printing the screen…

    Uh and how is all this “NOT time consuming or expensive”? lol

    • Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      The copyright symbol is not necessary but serves as a nice reminder that your content is copyrighted. All you have to do is publish it and it is copyrighted. The level of copyright, the restrictions you put on the use of your content by others, is up to you. Some give it all away, others restrict usage for specific purposes, and others are somewhere in between.

      I’ve pretty much spelled out everything in the article and the many comments, but here is a summation again.

      These are international copyright laws, not country specific, though there are country specific laws and you need to know the laws in your country. The laws for your content apply for the country you are in, not the country of the site stealing your content. Just send them a note or leave a comment on their site in your language, and if you wish, in the machine translation of their language.

      Follow the instructions for more serious actions from Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today.

      The DMCA laws require you to report the theft in specific ways, and search engines and web hosts have forms in accordance with the DMCA to report copyright violations to shut down the sites or request their removal from search engines.

      Copyright is the least of all legal sins, so don’t expect a million dollars for a copyright violation. If you have not given the person or responsible persons a chance to respond first, courts don’t care. Lawyers don’t care. They don’t want to waste their time on something an email or comment might have resolved. The laws do not state anything about warning or going to court, they just provide guidelines.

      Screenshots are evidence. Manipulations can be detected.

      These are great questions. Just remember that few copyright issues that get to court, unless they involve copyright infringement between parties with deep pockets, rarely results in monetary benefit for anyone and can result in high legal fees, but none of this is necessary. Educate yourself, educate your readers, have a clear copyright policy that states what you will or will not allow, and if you find someone violating your copyright, copy and paste a note in the comments to ask them to remove the content or cite it in accordance with your copyright policies, and move on. If it really makes you angry, follow Jonathan’s instructions and form letters, or hire him to deal with all of it.

      My content is ripped off all the time and I spent 20 minutes at most a week, and usually less than that, dealing with it. A minute or two a day or every few days. The minutes add up, but there are fewer and fewer of these now that so many people are educated about copyright infringement.


  310. Posted May 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree. Fighting content thefts is hard, but it is something we must do as publishers.

  311. Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I wrote some content for a client and that client published it on his website. It is now almost a year and half and the client has never paid me. It was a batch of articles on avi file conversion. After requesting for payment amounting to $145.00, the client has never replied. I have the website were the content has been published and i also have the articles i wrote with me. How can i deal with such as situation because it makes be feel frustrated after speeding sleepless nights working for a small pay of $2.5 dollars per 500 words article, which amounted to 145 dollars and got nothing in return.

    • Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Non-payment is not necessarily a copyright issue. You will need to take legal action to get your money back. Good luck with it.

  312. Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Great information. Thank you for your time and effort.

  313. Jason
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this information. I’ve been sitting and stewing for weeks on what to do about this problem, so at least this gives me some ideas on how to tackle this theft of my hard work.

    One question – Is there a way to submit to WordPress for website removal like there is with Google?

    Many thanks again!


    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Only sites have a way to be reported as they are hosted. Self-hosted WordPress sites are not the responsibility of WordPress. You may report them to their web host which is more effective than Google as part of the DMCA rules in the United States. See How to Report Abuse to for more information. Thanks.

  314. Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Really this is a handy websites.

  315. Obat Kutil Kelamin
    Posted September 10, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I have the website were the content has been published and i also have the articles i wrote with me. How can i deal with such as situation because it makes be feel frustrated after speeding sleepless nights working for a small pay of $2.5 dollars per 500 words article, which amounted to 145 dollars and got nothing in return.

    • Posted September 10, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I don’t understand. If you did not get properly compensated, that is not a copyright issue but a contractual one. If you were paid and they have abused the use of your content by publishing it elsewhere, that is also a contractual issue. Check the agreement you have with them.

      Many web writers have suffered by accepting low pay for long hours and hard writing work. Take care not to be one again.

      Good luck with it.

  316. Posted October 2, 2013 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on (LAS) ABDUN-NUR and commented:
    Excellent Content Protection guide, well-structured and well worded with consistent and clear logic and flow

  317. Posted November 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on theozphoto – Art stealers must stop! and commented:
    Old but Good.

  318. Tauseef Alam
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink


    When someone steal my content, i first write a mail to the website owner & if things doesn’t work out i file a complain in DMCA.

  319. Posted January 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I was in the process of trying to find out what to do with my problem and ran across your article. THANK you for all this good information. I have been looking at modifying my .htaccess files, replacing the graphic, all manner of things, and it can be very confusing.

    • Posted January 7, 2014 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Hopefully you did not do those things. 😀 Taking actions like those actually may hurt you more than hurt the content thief. Report them and let the legal action you initiate do its work to start. Take meaner action later if you think it deserves it.


  320. Posted June 2, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Good to be here again after a long gap,
    Though I am getting your notification regularly from this post when someone post a new comment I visit and check
    Today I am glad again to visit this page to mention the following,
    Recently i found a wonderful Content curation website called and i posted a notification about this wonderful post linking back to this page, with the following note at the comment box.

    Best Regards

    • Posted June 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the recommendation. I removed the comment you reposted as it is literally a copyright violation, even if it is your words published elsewhere. 😀 Best to stick to the rules on a post like this.

      Thanks for the enthusiasm and I’m glad you found a new tool to use in the fight against copyright theft. There are some great ones out there, and Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today stays on top of most of them with good reviews and commentaries about these tools. Thanks!

  321. Posted July 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Good article. I’ve added this article link to our page.

    We have been suffering from trademark abuse for years now. Abusers are difficult or impossible to track down, especially when they use free blog sites, like Google’s DMCA form is weak at best and mostly ineffective. The standard message they send back these days is:
    “Thanks for reaching out to us. We have reviewed your request. At this time, Google has decided not to take action. We encourage you to resolve any disputes directly with the individual who posted the content. If you cannot reach an agreement and choose to pursue legal action against the individual who posted the content, and that action results in a judicial determination that the material is illegal or should be removed, please send us the court order seeking removal. In cases where the the individual who posted the content is anonymous, we may provide you with user information pursuant to a valid third party subpoena or other appropriate legal process against Google Inc.”

    Its very discouraging. The abusers use not only our registered trademark but even my own personal name to try and boost search engine placement.

    • Posted July 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      The key is to start with the source not search engines. Target the site through comments and contact forms, and through email found in their information. Then go for the web host. Search engines are flooded with such requests, but the others are less flooded. Good for you for going after them. Excellent work!

      By the way, my husband is a fan of your site, and both of us look forward to a day when the site is updated to make it easier to navigate and find things. There are so many invaluable plans, articles, and resources…what an amazing resource. Thank you so much for your continued support and work on that site. It’s a huge labor of love.

    • Posted July 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lorelle,

      I’m targeting Google because the blog is hosted by Google. Those type blogs offer no way to contact the webmaster. Clearly they are using our trademark. There are many more just like it. Here is an even more recent blog that is not only using my trademark but my personal name as well. These blogs are all affiliates of a wood-working site and its many url variations all selling the same illegal product.

      I sent an email reply back to yesterday and their reply was:

      Please note that this team does not handle preservation or production of user information. If you are in the U.S. and have questions about obtaining this information, please contact If you are not in U.S., please contact

      So I sent and email to since I’m in Canada (our TM is registered in both Canada and the US)

      As per instructions provided in email thread below by The Google Team July 22, 2014 10:13:46 PM ADT, please review the email I sent 07/22/14 15:09:09 requesting the contact information of the blog owner [removed] so that I can send them a Cease and Desist letter.

      to which they replied:

      Thank you for contacting Google Legal Investigations Support. This is an automatic response to let you know that we’ve received your message.

      We will process your request in the order in which it was received. Further reminder notices will not be necessary and may further delay our ability to respond to your request.

      So its a waiting process.

      Thanks for the comments about our site. The format and layout of the site I have not changed since the early 1990’s. Things are quite easy to find. Either browse the categories or use the site’s search box. IF you are ever looking for something in particular, let me know.

      • Posted July 27, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the info. I edited out the private information as publishing this information, even in a comment, could result in legal action brought against you for defamation, a more serious crime than copyright violation. Take care in publicizing any information about the copyright infringement, as mentioned in the article. You may do so, without naming names, in educational material, but avoid publicizing the offender.

        This is the site to report copyright violations for removing content from Google search engines. I checked with Google Sites and this is the same form you need to use to report a copyright infringement for a site hosted with Google Sites.

        Good luck with this. I know it’s painful. With all of these infringements by the same company, I recommend you contact a lawyer to get this resolved. If you don’t have a lawyer, then consider investigating Legal Shield services. I highly recommend them as their plans include connections with attorneys specializing in your specific needs for a very low monthly fee.

      • Posted August 1, 2014 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        That link you provided to report violations is the one I’ve been using. I heard back from the international civil division of Google. It was a very long, drawn out email that basically says go hire a lawyer and get a court order. It was only 30 days ago that Google complied with another DMCA filing I made against a couple of Blogspot bloggers and the Google team easily removed hundreds of pages that were using our trademark. Disappointing to say the least. If you are interested, this is the reply I got from the Google’s international civil email:

        Dear Sir,

        The information requested relates to services offered by Google Inc., a U.S. company organized and operating in the U.S., and governed by U.S. laws. As such, the information you have requested is collected and maintained by Google, Inc., a U.S. company, domiciled in Mountain View, California. We ask that your request be directed to Google Inc. – Attn: Legal Department, Custodian of Records – at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California, 94043, U.S. and communicated through the proper legal channel.

        There are a variety of options you can explore to obtain the information requested. You may wish to follow the process outlined in Section 1782 of Title 28 of the United States Code, which is a federal statute that allows a litigant (party) to a legal proceeding outside the United States to apply to an American court to obtain evidence for use in the non-US proceeding. You may be able to learn the identity of a Google subscriber by filing a “John Doe” lawsuit in Santa Clara County, California; or even invoke diplomatic procedures such as Hague Evidence Convention, which provides a mechanism for non-U.S. persons and entities who wish to serve legal process in the U.S. to do so through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Foreign Litigation in Washington, DC.

        Google Inc. generally requires formal legal process issued from a U.S. jurisdiction and served in accordance with U.S. law before it can disclose information related to any Google Inc. users. Google Inc. can disclose certain user information in the absence of U.S. legal process, however, if you can provide valid legal process for such disclosure under the laws of your jurisdiction and if such disclosure can be made in compliance with U.S. law. We may accept an Order signed by a judge or magistrate in your jurisdiction served to Google Inc. – Attn: Legal Department, Custodian of Records via registered mail (not fax or email).

        Notwithstanding the above processes, Google may produce subscriber registration information and/or currently available IP activity to the extent the IP addresses resolve to your jurisdiction. If you are able to secure the appropriate legal process within your jurisdiction for this information. Upon receipt of legal process, Google Inc. will notify the subscriber of the request so that the subscriber has an opportunity to object. If the subscriber does not indicate that he or she will challenge the legal process and the legal process is otherwise unobjectionable to Google Inc., Google Inc. may produce this responsive information to the extent available in our systems.

        We ask that before you serve legal process, or apply for a court order, you send a draft of the order or document to us, so we can check whether it is sufficiently precise to allow us to identify the information sought. If the request set out in the document is sufficiently precise, and if appropriate legal basis for the request is cited, we are unlikely to raise any formal objection or challenge. Issuing process that is too wide, or that will be difficult or very expensive to comply with, is likely to result in the need for a contested court hearing.

        You may email us a courtesy copy to in addition to properly serving the documents. You may direct further communications to Google Inc., Custodian of Records at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California, 94043, U.S.

        We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

        Best Regards,
        Google Inc.
        Legal Investigations Support

        By providing this response, Google Inc. does not waive any objections as to jurisdiction or otherwise.

  322. Don
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you really understand what you’re talking about!

  323. Allen
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been the victim of a splog. I received a spam e-mail in my wordpress dashboard and saw to my horror that they used an article from my blog without my permission. Can they do this? I would like an answer to this question before I take the advice and track these thieves down. Thank you very much for sharing this information.

    • Posted August 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Email does not arrive in the WordPress Administration Panels > Dashboard Screen. The latest comments, which include comment spam, may appear.

      It sounds like you receive either a legitimate trackback from someone reblogging/linking/excerpting/citing or abusing your content, or it was definitely a spam blog (splog).

      If they used your content within Copyright Fair Use with a citation, and in compliance with your copyright policy, which I presume is published clearly on your site, then there is nothing you can do. If they did not obey your copyright policy or exceeded your Copyright Fair Use policy, then use the above information to report them to the various authorities. If the site is hosted on, report them through the Admin Bar when you are logged into the site. If it is with another web host, check the information about that site and see if they have their contact information made public. They may not, but their web host should be listed. Check their site for information on their DMCA handling process.

      All the information you need is in the article above. Good luck with the process.

      PS: One of the things that triggers a comment being marked as comment spam is a username in the contact form that is not a human sounding name. I recommend that you go to the Administration Panels of WordPress > Users > My Profile > Display Name and change it to a human sounding name. I almost marked your comment as spam accordingly. Glad I didn’t. Hope I helped.

  324. Allen
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Hello again, I also have another question to go with the one I just posted. What do you do when the thieves don’t have a contact address? I went to the web site and they don’t have a section where you can contact them. All they have is articles that are posted on their blog. What should I do about this?

  325. Posted August 21, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink


    Very interesting article reminding me of the DMCA.
    I don’t know if you still answer by now but if ever… and sorry for my “french” english.
    I would like to know if you think I should use DMCA procedure with Google in this case :
    I created an image and published it under CCNCSA license (so non commercial use only) (the license is referred clearly in the page and on dA site).
    By the way, when searching with google images it appears that this photograph is referred in a list of 46 pages of Chinese commercial websites, selling Lenovo laptops (address of the search at the end of this message, if it works).
    I must say I don’t know what to do, and I’m a bit hesitant about DMCA. I would have to fight against dozens of Chinese :D.

    Anyway, many thanks again for your very interesting article.


    Pierre LAGARDE

  326. Rahul
    Posted August 25, 2014 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to get clarified, in case of a user uploading a copyrighted image on my website, will I be held responsible?

  327. Posted August 26, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this informative article!

  328. Posted October 13, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle! I thought your article regarding steps to take when someone copies your work was excellent! I’m wondering if I might post it on my website,, which is brand new, giving you full credit of course! I’m a freelance writer now, after practicing law for 15 years, and I cannot stand the thought of plagiarism! I’d like to spread the word – and frankly your post cannot say it any better.

    Thank you either way! 🙂 John

    • Posted October 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      My copyright does not allow reprinting of my content, but a link would be appreciated if you feel it worth. No reason to plagarise when a link to the original content suffices, but asking is appreciated.

      Thanks for being one of my heroes for promoting plagiarism and copyright violation education on the web. We have to spread the word!

      • Posted October 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes Lorelle, posting a link to your article will be fine, and thank you for that! I really appreciate what you have done and continue to do regarding plagiarism. Writing is difficult work; its theft makes it that much more painful.

  329. Gilbert
    Posted November 27, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this. I’m working on a clients website that has had her content stolen from her site.

  330. Gilbert Media
    Posted November 27, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Just what i was looking for having to sort out a clients site that has been copied from the design to all the content.

  331. Posted December 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on TechRez!.

  332. Rachel Brown
    Posted February 15, 2015 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    It can be a costly process, but the best is to prevent it before it happens. There are ways to do this. It is important to have your work certified, which means that a notary testifies that he has received your work on a certain date and time, therefore strengthening your case of ownership. In this way, you will have a legal proof, which can be used in court. The best and cheapest way is to do this using a notary. I have founds ipcopyright, which seems to provide this.

    • Posted February 15, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      The company you mention is in the UK, and their site looks really spammy, but there is no accounting for bad web design decisions as an indicator of spam. This is probably a service that you pay to do something you can do for free. Well, mostly fee. You have to pay the copyright fees, which you have to do for such a company, and they do the work, which you have to provide all the documentation, signatures – it really is the same amount of work. They print the forms and file, but you do do the work.

      Such a company does not help nor protect you when it comes to copyright. They are a glorified form filler and filer, and provide some counseling. Don’t be led astray by such companies. Unlike some licensed CPAs and tax accountants, they will not stand beside you and defend you in a copyright case.

      You do not have to have your work certified or notarized, though that might be acceptable in some countries. This one is in the UK and serves only those laws. In the United States and many other countries, you do not have to register your copyright unless there is a dispute. Then you have time to file accordingly.

      • Rachel Brown
        Posted February 16, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        Lorelie , regarding the website, one should not judge a book by its cover. One should a legal proof, which can be a notarial certificate or an authorized document from the state confirming the ownership of the work by the creator. This secures oneself before an infringement issue would occur because after the fact it is already too late. The whole purpose the certificates is to prove that one was the first author of the work. Moreover, you seem to trust the state, even though the state authorized the notarial certificate to be a proof in the case of copyright infringement. Do not think that the government certificate is more efficient because they say in their own websites that they don’t take any responsibility for what one protects, while the notary checks what you submit before he sends his certificate. Instead of getting a certificate valid for a limited time, it is preferable to get the notarial certificate which is valid for life according to the Bern Convention + 70 years after the death. Did you know that usually all the notaries are also lawyers? I checked Ipcopyright and the notary is an expert lawyer in copyright infringements and if someone has a problem, he provides his services to help him win the case. For sure one has to pay extra money for that, but the main goal of the notarial certificate is to be a deterrent in order for people not to copy your work. By having such a certificate, you avoid 99% of copyright infringement cases to even occur. It’s the reason why such an efficient service exists.
        why shouldn’t one rather get …

        Using the service offered by IPcopyright, you don’t have to do any work nor to get signatures-
        you just have to send your work in whatever format you want and that’s what the notary checks
        before sending his certificate.
        If you go to see a notary in person, you will pay a lot.
        I assume IPcopyright is a sort of middle man.

        It sounds like a good prevention option without being too costly.

      • Posted February 17, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Not all notaries are lawyers. Depends upon the country and the language used to describe notaries.

        While these issues may be true from your experience, they are not true from my own experience. I recommend you talk to Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, the leading expert on this subject. He has more in depth expertise on the use of notaries, and I’ve not seen him every recommend one. I’m glad that the people behind that site have you as an advocate.

        Copyright law is shifting and changing recently, especially where blogs are involved, and I’m trying to follow the bouncing ball.


  333. Ruth Walker
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Please excuse this language that is offensive. I found a one of a kind saying that fit me all the way, it was said “Want Respect, and underneath long ways it said “F**king earn it”. I wanted it as my Cover photo, which I have been a Writer, Poet, artist growing up, since the age of 9 years old, besides being creative, good with colors in decorating a house. Got paid well for it. I am a Sole inventor with USPTO Government PPA on a world High Fashioned, costing, if selling it will be at a million – 2 million dollars. This is the second time Google took my cover off. And now, it is covered with a film. I went to a resize site to put the words to fit beautifully. And they took it today, Monday March 15, 2015 I had went into the properties and put my name in the properties, stating to Google “Do not take my cover photo for it is Ruth Walker’s. on my timeline it states that, unless they wiped it out. I am one serious person. And intend on getting an Attorney. I do not take this too likely.

    • Posted March 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, I guess, but not sure why ranting here would do you any good as there is nothing we can do about it but share your pain. I understand the horrors of what you are going through. Your best bet is to expend your energy to contact Google and the lawyer, and consider hiring Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today (mentioned throughout this article and in the comments) as he is legendary in dealing with such matters. While not an attorney, I think he’s better. Good luck.

  334. Reyna
    Posted April 12, 2015 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Someone a cpl of yrs ago hacked in my fb account nowppl are saying my pics are going around Kik I don’t even use this website the pics have my face they are pics I took and sent to my fiance when I was 6mths prego .what do I do to get them off I told them on fb I was going to authorities they closed their account asap .

    • Posted April 13, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      If I understand you, someone hacked into your Facebook account and has spread your Facebook images around. First lesson to learn is to never put anything on the web you do not want made public. Period. Second, I cannot help you as that is a Facebook issue. You will need to deal with them, and with legal authorities as this is a crime. Good luck.

  335. Posted May 31, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    HI Lorelle!

    Thank you for you quick response. She lives in this country (she actually lives close to me). So you are telling me that she is violating the copy wright law? That’s great! I was beginning to despair.
    I emailed with Jonathan Bailey ( and he told me that since she is not “copying-and-pasting” my posts then there is nothing I can’t do. That’s wrong?

  336. jennifer
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    i also frustrated form copy content. who i cab prevent my side from copy content


    • Posted August 12, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      The article includes guidelines on how to proceed to respond to someone or something copying your content. Thanks.

  337. nmp
    Posted September 8, 2015 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    my website is not copyrighted [now its under process, but that time it was not copy righted]and copied by one of the guy. and i gave notice to him to stop his website. he told me yr site is not copyrighted so u have no right to send such notice.

    so my question is , is it necessary to get copyright for website?, or any other ways to file legal complaint on him?

    • Posted October 10, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Your site content is copyrighted the moment you hit publish. You are taking about having your copyright registered. That is critical if you are taking someone to court, but not to defend your copyright. Tell the person to read copyright law. You have every right.

  338. Posted October 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if I post creative stories written by me and say someone were to steal them, should I copywrite them before I post them to ensure they are mine or as soon as I post them they are already under such protection?
    I had wanted to use my blog as a base to “release chapters” of my story and each post I publish be like a chapter, but I don’t want to do this if there is a chance someone can steal my stories.

    • Posted October 30, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Please read the article. You do not have to register first. When you publish your work it is automatically copyrighted by law.

  339. Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle, I feel like I have found your site too late. Do you have any advice for a content writer who has now been conned TWICE, by people who ordered web content, signed a contract, received my hard work and then refused to pay for it? And, yes, I am writing to you at 4am, because the stress of this is making me ill. The latest theft is over 4000 words, and I simply don’t know what to do. Help!

    • Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Not 4AM where I am. 😀

      Contracts are not copyright issues. This article is about copyright. Because you have a contract, lawyers are involved. Get lawyering.

      If you aren’t a member of something like Legal Shield or another legal insurance company, which I recommend, find a lawyer that specializing in intellectual property and contract law. They can help you out.

      Don’t stress about it. I’ve had the same thing happen and survived. Tens of thousands of words. This is a legal issue, and they will lose more by their actions than you ever will. You can keep creating. They can’t keep stealing. Keep the faith and keep writing.

    • Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Me again. I tried to follow your links to the two protection plug-ins for digital fingerprinting, but neither seemed to work. One led me to a blank page and the other led me to content that did not refer to the plug-in you mentioned. What am I doing wrong?!

      • Posted November 3, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        Probably nothing. This was written in 2006. I update it every few years and it is way out of date on such links. Digital fingerprinting was a bust. It never really worked. These also won’t help you. Sorry.

  340. Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    I just came across your article and it was very helpful as it may have stopped me making a big mistake as I was poised to start an internet revenge campaign against someone who stole my content (well sort of). I was hoping you could offer some advice on my situation.
    I emailed a story (8 page trip report of text and photos) to an Australian magazine (print and digital magazine) based on original content on my wordpress blog. The magazine’s editor accepted my content for publication but advised that they don’t pay for stories like mine – but they offered me a 2 year subscription to the magazine in exchange for the content. I accepted the offer via email.
    Some months later they published my content as the lead story in their magazine but never told me about it – let alone sent me a copy. It is now 6 months since it was published and I am really keen to get my hands on a copy of the magazine (it is no longer available at newsagents) – but after repeated requests and emails to the editor and the publisher all I have received is access to the digital version of the magazine and 1 hard copy of a different edition.
    I am not sure if the magazine company is incredibly incompetent or intentionally acting dodgy – but they have published my content and won’t even send me a copy of it – I mean it’s not everyday that you appear in a magazine. Is it too much to ask that they will keep their end of the deal and send me a copy?
    Do you have any suggestions on how I can proceed?

    • Posted February 19, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Interesting. You agreed to them publishing and now you are furious with them publishing. Either way, this isn’t a copyright issue as much as it is now a subscription and reimbursement issue.

      1. Do not give your work away, especially an article with images – one or the other maybe but not both. You uphold a precedence that permits the magazine to continue with such terrible practices and put a hungry professional out of a job.

      2. Once you accepted their informal (maybe they thought it was formal) agreement, the person who handled it might not work at the company any more, might have forgotten, or might not have been empowered to pay by subscription. Either way, this is now a compensation by subscription issue, not copyright.

      Contact the management of the company in writing, not email. Include copies of the correspondence with the agreement highlighted. Be very clear that the agreement was for copies of the issue and a two year subscription starting on X date.

      Unfortunately, this is an empty attempt as you have no consequences and no penalties you may put against them other than a civil suit for non-compliance with an informal agreement, something they could easily ignore or deal with swiftly.

      Give it a try and just go buy a couple copies of the magazine and consider this what it is: bragging rights. And learn the lesson. Don’t give away your stuff for free unless the return is set in written stone, confirmed, and truly worth the pain and suffering.

      So sorry. Been there, done that, learned the lesson, repeated it, learned it again, and won’t do that again unless the reward outweighs the stupidity.

  341. Posted February 20, 2016 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for getting back to me Lorelle and clarifying my position. At least I know where I stand – even if it’s not on solid ground. I will follow your suggestions and hope the publisher comes through. And I guess next time I will do things a bit smarter. Thanks again. Brett

  342. Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    ok thanks for your comment 🙂

  343. The Simple, Sweet Life
    Posted March 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for writing such a thorough post about copyright infringement! I’ve been having some problems with this as of late, and this post really clarifies a lot! That being said, I have a quick question that I didn’t see asked in the questions yet (I apologize if you already answered it and I missed it): does it still count as a copyright infringement if the person publishes your content but provides a source link at the bottom of the page crediting you? I recently had a site publish one of my posts in its entirety, word-for-word, photo-for-photo on their site, something that I was never asked permission for (and never would have agreed to). I’ve tried contacting the owner but have been ignored so it seems like it’s time to move forward with contacting their web host, but I don’t want to move forward with a legal action like that without first making sure that it is, in fact, a breach of my copyright. Thanks so much!

    • Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      As stated in the article and in the many comments on this post, you are the copyright holder, thus you determine what your copyright policy is. It must be published so people know what your rules are. A link alone does not permit usage if the other parts of your copyright policy are violated such as use of the entire content and images. Move forward if you wish. It is up to them to prove it is not a violation, but make sure your policy is clear and specific. Good luck with it.

  344. Posted May 8, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I recently found out someone I’d worked with previously was using my art on postcards with my name crossed out and another artist’s name put in place to advertise art lessons, not only tacky as hell but just shows that amateurs have no respect for the work of others. Thankfully many of the local professional arts community are aware of this now.

    • Posted May 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      So sorry you had this lesson. It has nothing to do with tacky or amateurs or respect. It has to do with that unique ignorance that comes when you know you shouldn’t do it, but you do it anyway, and hope that no one is paying attention. Really? We’ve known for hundreds of years not to cheat or copy in school or work as it can get you tossed out, so why do people think the Internet isn’t the same as the sandbox or classroom. Unbelievable.

      Thanks for defending your own and for sharing.

  345. MARK
    Posted June 4, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    In 1997 I created a story for a comic book series.

    It seems like yesterday.

    It was a story that allowed me to channel my energy and frustration for being unable to have children with my wife. I created characters that were parts of us both I felt, and within a framework of being reborn, tried to imbue them and it with as much of my love as I could.

    Within this, I wanted my children to have the best of both and all worlds that I could imagine.

    On a singular level, it was about getting a second chance.

    [EDITED – Removed irrelevant and personal content]

    I wrote and drew these three books of material over the course of 6 months in 1998.
    They were published in 1999. They have been online at least, since 2001.
    The material was copyrighted for print and new media. Anything from it/or like it, in excess, is a copyright crime, but unfortunately, copyright is best controlled by those that can afford it.

    In late 2000 I sent out several small packages of this material…… On the top of all this was a short letter of introduction about myself and the books I had created.

    These books I spoke of as being the basis of a strong and healthy franchise, rich with great characters, and strong, important messages.

    I was faxed an invitation by [removed personal information] in 2001. At last I thought, possible work, maybe even an interest in my project.

    I met with him at their office in Santa Monica. The meeting lasted approximately 5 minutes. In that time, only one question was asked of me: was I the sole owner of the material? When I answered yes, the meeting came to an abrupt end. XXXXXX beamed with a smile that immediately made me uncomfortable, and realize that this was all he wanted to know. I thought about it on the long ride home that day and forced myself to hope that he was not going to steal my work. It wasn’t easy, his question, and his demeanor said otherwise.

    For several years afterwards I had to put my nose to the grindstone/work, pay bills and plan for the next installments, when I could afford to do them. It was a costly undertaking, and one that I would have to save for.

    Eventually XXXX came out, at first I tried to ignore the possibilities, until I saw the movie and read the synopsis.
    The pain of seeing my children, my creation and my hard work taken, was, and is, very painful.

    To say it wracked my psyche and my health would be a gross understatement.

    With very many things derived from my books. I tried to contact lawyers, but, as I was unable to afford anything or one other then pro-bono, or being a part of a larger company with the resources, I realized I could get no where.

    And when a reply did come through from the occasional lawyer either money or time limit was the excuse not to pursue it, and even a copyright authority chided to me that at least I could take pride in the fact that they only steal from the very best.

    At every turn it seemed this was a wall that I could not go through or scale.

    Raped, and injured like this with no one to listen, wasn’t easy.

    [EDITED – Personal information and content removed]

    I can go on in circles forever about how my work was used/taken/stolen/adapted etc, etc

    This said, I have begun working with a documentary film production company, based upon all of my work which is fairly numerous, even an LA copyright attorney (whom I could tell was frightened by my case) counseled me to ‘let it go” but only after agreeing that at least 25 things were very close, he wasn’t to sure about the other 25 things though – in his defense, so he said.:)

    I’m quite certain the brain trust in charge has no other option than to continue mining my material.
    So expect that list to grow.

    My work has profited XXXXX, and many others.

    And I was never paid or hired for any of it.

    Work stolen across the board: Concept, characters, designs, story and even visual effects.
    It’s crazy how much of my work was used to build this franchise.

    I can only wish they do eventually hire me…. Because, believe it or not, I could make a better story come to life than they ever will.
    And of course, I could use a salary for 2-3 years.

    But as I know they are cowards and thieves, and will hide from me forever because they can afford to, I have only the recourse of a poor and humble man, I can pray.

    • Posted June 5, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      I am sorry for your issue. I leave the diatribe here as it may serve a lesson, even excerpted for your own safety and legal reasons, to others. This happens to every writer, no matter how good, bad, or indifferent their writing. We all go through something like this at least once. For you, and others, let’s hope it is a lesson learned and only once. For some, it is more often, and I’m one of them.

      Hang in there and focus on the work, not the idiots who steal our work, and take what legal action you can to defend it.

  346. seychelles
    Posted July 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Dear Lorelle,
    Thanks that much for your clear, informative series. For the beginner that I am, it is great help! So far, I have read a few of yur articles and for all those that I have read, you are a wonderful, caring professional. Thank you again.

  347. Posted August 4, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I really find your post helpful LorelLe, especially the steps to take prior to taking legal actions.

    • Posted August 5, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Thank you. I worked hard in this over the years to ensure people take the right and safe steps.

  348. Posted August 17, 2016 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Do you have any information regarding overseas copyright issues. I sent the first ‘polite but firm’ email to the guy who has stolen my content, but he’s in Brazil so how am I to threaten him with legal action? (He replied back saying effectively ‘no I didn’t) – I checked the host which I think is in the US and they say I have to ‘file a claim’ within 10 days or the site will get reinstated. Am I supposed to sue the host? Or the guy in Brazil? Any thoughts much appreciated.

    Thanks for very helpful article.

    • Posted August 17, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      You need to work with the web host where the website is located, not where the person with the website lives. You file a DMCA with the web host. Beyond that, I recommend you contact John Bailey of Plagiarism Today for more advice and help on international issues. Thanks.

  349. Devashish
    Posted August 22, 2016 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Is my scenario come under copyright issue?

    I took an reference of article form one of the news paper and rewrite completely, also check from few site whether it is Plagiarism free or not, those site showed me completely original content, but structure of words are same.

    In short, if i rewrite some article it in my own words by taking his content reference, does it comes under copyright issue ?

    Thanks In Advance

    • Posted August 22, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      I’m not a lawyer so I can only offer an opinion. If you rewrite something that is not your own, and you admit you did that, it is plagairism. Inspired by is different from a rewrite. Do better and you will feel better. “Look and feel” as a concept is part of copyright law.

  350. Posted August 25, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I posted an article on 8/21 and on 8/24 someone else posted an article on the same subject with my first sentence as their Title. I am unsure of how to take this. It was my entire article rewritten in someone elses words except for the title. It aggrivates me for people to not be able to have their own original thoughts. There was no mention of my article for reference at all.

    • Posted August 25, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Agreed. If there is enough matching, a part of copyright law look and feel, contact them per instructions in this article, and advise them of the plagairism. Know that many write in similar subjects and say the same things. You need proof that they ripped you off.

      • Posted August 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Thanks so much! This is the first time to have anything like this happen and it just struck me hard. Thanks again.

      • Posted August 25, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        It hits all of us who care. You are not alone.

  351. Posted October 5, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hello I need help I have been a victim for years of content theft… I have finally had enough of others making millions from my work. I need help! Please someone help me! You won’t believe the story if I told you. You will think I am delusional. I have been writing on the internet since I was 16, I am now 34. My first email was hacked and information and poetry was stolen I didnt know what to do then and it happened once again back in 2007 right on facebook which they say the content can not be replaced onto my page once removed. But I never request for the words or post to be removed in the first place. Someone has to be able to help me!

    • Posted October 5, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      I would believe you because your experience is more the norm than unusual. I’ve experienced the same and had my content ripped off since the 1980s.

      This is not the place to ask for wide sweeping help. This is an article offering help specifically with copyright infringement on the web, not services. As mentioned in the article and in response to numerous comments, it maybe time to hire a professional. I recommend Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today and LegalShield. Good luck and know you are not alone.

  352. Bob
    Posted February 20, 2017 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    I like your pages, however, my content was stolen pre computer age and was copy righted by the thief. I was unaware of the thief because it was notes my counselor made and is now in a book. Any Idea what I can do?

    • Posted February 21, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Copyright has nothing to do with a computer age. Did they register the copyright? Either way, if you can prove you own the work and did it first, you have a case.

      If a counselor made notes about something you said or did, they own the copyright on their work. Actions cannot be copyrighted. I recommend you contact a professional copyright expert or lawyer if you wish to follow through on this.

  353. Robert
    Posted July 11, 2017 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Another site to use when someone has duplicated your content is Copyleaks it’s a great site and I am now automatically notified when this happens.

    • Posted July 11, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Thanks. A friend and I were part of the testing team. It is fairly good at helping to detect but not much more, at least early on. I should take another look. Thanks.

  354. lizelh
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    I recently found this link of my book. There is no book cover. Does it mean my book has been ‘pirated’ on this site? In order to login, you need to provide a Credit Card which I am not prepared to do.[edited by site admin].html

    There is a disclaimer at the bottom of their site which when you click on it comes across as very scary! I am a new author and therefore loathe to cause waves but at the same time, I am losing revenue! Are you able to advise? Would you mind if I shared your article on my blog? Thank you

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      I’m traveling and the link goes to a page not found. I’ll look into it when I get back to my office, though I believe someone, like Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today would be the expert to contact.

      Links and short excerpts do not require permission to publish and share on the web. Howrver, DO NOT blog about this on your site or social media until you have confirmed and legalish answers to educate others. Tha could get you in worse trouble, as stated in this article.

    • Posted October 17, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      It looks like this site is part of the OWL Books Network. Contact them for a takedown request for copyright violation. If it isn’t, then they need to know about it because their efforts are not being well served by that site. And go through the rest of the procedures explained in this article and on Jonathan Bailey’s site, Plagiarism Today. Good luck.

  355. Reaneta Michele Harper
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Wow, I’ve had all my stuff stolen, invaded my privacy along every single person, buisness, financial institutions with excellent protection that were illegally intercepted to gather my personal individual multiple accounts. The last 4 years I have personally suffered a long with my family & friends immeasurably!!

    • Posted December 8, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Sorry. Unfortunately, none of these issues appears to be a copyright violation but a personal theft. Good luck and stay positive.

  356. Posted January 7, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Hi, I had a person on Ebay steal my images and use them for their store without permission and ebay removed their listings after I reported them. The seller then used more of my photos and has been intentionally stealing from me now for over 6 months as revenge. Can you give me some advice on how to get their store closed down? I have reported all the infringements to ebay, and they have removed the listings each time but these people haven’t stopped stealing from me and ebay won’t close their store down.

    Thank you

    • Posted January 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know ebay’s rules, but there is no “prevention.” Report, which you did, and take further action with a cease and desist letter, then legal action. DO NOT seek revenge or publicize their actions. This can land you on serious legal hot waters. Sounds like you are doing the right thing. It is tiresome but part of the job.

  357. Posted March 13, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    First of all, I’d like to thank you for writing such an informative post. I do my best to cite any work I copy excerpts from, and as such I haven’t had any real problems yet. Still, just as there are people who steal even knowing the law, there are also people who pursue action against alleged copyright when they are NOT the copyright owner or there was no infringement at all. So my question is what do you do when you find yourself wrongly accused of copyright infringement? A great example is work from my own blog, that I write completely from my own thoughts and experiences (a blog that I only update every so often).

    If someone was to claim that I was stealing content from them, but there was no such action taken (and for the sake of the question, lets assume I do respond to the initial letter in time), would I have to go through the same steps listed in this post that would/can prove that I am, in fact, the original copyright holder?

    As a hypothetical example, lets say Company X decided to send you a Cease and Desist letter about this article, claiming (incorrectly) that it was work stolen from Y that they made in the year 2000. How would you, (or anyone) counter this claim? Would it be as easy as first sending the counter letter as shown in this article, then following the remaining steps to prove you are in fact the original copyright holder?

    You may have another article here describing what to do in that situation, and if so, I apologize. I actually found your blog post here through another of your posts, which was from a link on a website. (I will definitely be reading more about this in the future, as copyright is a very important thing in business. Thank you for writing this. 🙂 )

  358. John hunt
    Posted September 9, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    What do you do if your life stories were taken and used in media without consent? And long before the Internet exsited.

    • Posted September 9, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know what you mean by life stories but copyright has been around for over 100 years.

  359. Christina Holzhauser
    Posted November 30, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I just came across this article as I am dealing with someone stealing my content for the first time (they translated 3 of my articles without my permission). It’s hard to stomach the situation, but I greatly appreciate the detailed steps outlined here. I have just sent my second email request, so my fingers are crossed I do not have to escalate the situation any further. Thank you so much for writing this helpful article, Lorelle!!

  360. Posted June 10, 2019 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    This was a great post! You really gave me some helpful information. Thanks so much!

  361. Posted September 2, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,
    What a joy to be here again!
    I am so glad to read the different feedbacks and pings from your esteemed readers.
    Great service!
    Great going!
    Glad to note again that this post has been mentioned in my recently updated post.
    Keep sharing.
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip

392 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] If you want to learn what you can do to protect your rights to the original content you post on your blog, Lorelle VanFossen has written an excellent guide on What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content: […]

  2. […] Stealing content directly off your site or blog and posting it on another blog, or even in magazine, is the most common method of content theft. With the increase in technology, other methods of content theft are growing, and are, unfortunately, easy to do. […]

  3. […] Would you like to learn what you can do to protect your rights to original content owned and posted by you on your own blog, if so then I recommend you take a look at an excellent guide titled “What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content” written by Lorelle VanFossen. Just because information is on the Internet does not mean it’s “free” to take and steal. Information, images, graphics, designs, and photographs, all are protected under copyright laws and are known as intellectual property. While it is nice to think that everything on the Internet is or should be free, for the most part it is. It is free to read, look at, wonder about, and even write about. It is not free to steal, make money from it, or use it as your own. […]

  4. Reacting to content theft

    Lorelle VanFossen wrote a very detailed guide on this topic. I strongly recommend to make ten minutes to read it and then bookmark it for “that day” when you might need it. Blogtweaks is a new project for me, but…

  5. What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content

    Having been the target of copyright thieves, and working with writers, authors, and photographers on copyright protection and laws for over 25 years, I thought I’d talk a little about what to do when someone steals your content.
    First, you noticed th…

  6. […] Lorelle VanFossen has put together a great article where he explains what steps should be taken when you’ve realized that someone has taken and used your copyrighted works. […]

  7. What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content

    If (should I say “when”) you experience having your website content or designs “ripped off” by some thief the tips listed here will be very handy in how to handle the situation.

  8. […] Link These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  9. […] Lorelle on WordPress » What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  10. […] Lorelle on WordPress has written another excellent article that I encourage all of you to read. What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content outlines the steps you should take when someone uses your content, photos, or other graphics without permission. This is one of the most informative articles that I have read on copyright violation in a long time. […]

  11. […] Lorelle on WordPress » What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content What is your recourse on theft of intellectual property? (tags: content copyright business webdesign internet resources blogging) […]

  12. […] Additionally on this topic Lorelle on WordPress wrote an excellent blog that talks about what to do if someone does steal your content. This is a fairly large topic but it is well covered and give a step by step guide and how-to. She also has links to other copyright articles that I highly recommend. A long read but a good read. […]

  13. […] Lorelle has written a good (but lengthy) post on what to do when someone steals your content. So if you have ever had content stolen or ever think you might, I suggest taking a look at this. […]

  14. […] Read the full lowdown. […]

  15. […] Lorelle has a great post up outlining the steps one should take – and coming to realization that inevitably, if your content is any good, someone is going to steal it: Having been the target of copyright thieves, and working with writers, authors, and photographers on copyright protection and laws for over 25 years, I thought I’d talk a little about what to do when someone steals your content. […]

  16. […] Great Find: What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content by Lorelle at WordPress…Anyone who puts content on the Internet […]

  17. […] The Blogging Herald reports that content theft is on the rise via feeds and it is time to do something about it. How timely since I recently posted What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content and The Growing Trend in Content Theft, which includes feed thieves. […]

  18. […] I found a lot of comments on and about my recent articles series on What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content dealt with the issue of “if it’s on the Internet, it’s free for the taking” and “who cares anyway”. Pitiful apathy until I see comments like this above which just reinforces the apathy. Nobody cares. […]

  19. […] Read the full story: What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  20. […] NOTE: Three weeks after I wrote this article, What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content caught the attention of some Digg fans and other social networking services and forums and spiked traffic up to the roof again. Like Budget Dreams, after I found some nasty comments on my post, I checked the stats and found that I was number one in the Top Blogs again. Wow! […]

  21. […] Hugely comprehensive guide on what to do when someone steals your content. This is great great guide. […]

  22. […] I’ve written a lot recently about what to do if your content is “violated” by others using it without permission, about the growing trends in content theft through feeds and other methods, how to find out if others are stealing your content, and more, so now it is your turn. […]

  23. […] How to combat content theft […]

  24. […] Prepare For The Worst: “Excrement Occurs.” If you are prepared for the worst then you can handle it. If it hits you sideways, it can throw you off course and off track. For bloggers, worst-case scenarios include server crashes, backup failures, domain theft, copyright violations and intellectual property theft, negative publicity, site defacing, viruses, worms, and more. Are you prepared for each possible event? What’s your plan? […]

  25. […] Given that we are all content providers/creators it seemed that this article is pertinent as I work to setup this site. I have been thinking about restricting access to the entire site except for those peeps that attended the workshop or are directly related to us in some way. For example, I have added my code guru (Mike) and design guru (Vee) to the users list. I would like to stress to all of you that have admin rights, please please please be careful who you add. If you feel that they will be able to contribute to our little community, great…add them. If not, then think hard about it. […]

  26. […] Another useful related resource is What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content Liked this article? Then grab our feed and get new posts instantly in your news reader, or get updates via email in your inbox or track with Technorati. […]

  27. […] For the most part, it is easy to spot a splog, but much harder to get it shut down. If they are using your content, you can use the techniques in my article on content theft and definitely take advantage of the step-by-step instructions offered by Quick Online Tips. […]

  28. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  29. […] Ok, does your sweet tooth hurt yet? Well, in a way it should. You never know the thought process of the other person. With the ‘goody two-shoes’ approach you are almost guaranteed a positive response.And by the way, check out Lorelle On WordPress for more nifty content on copyright infringement. […]

  30. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  31. […] Lorelle on WordPress has an excellent post titled, What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. This is a must-read post, where Lorelle shares some great suggestions and follow-up suggestions. She also has quite a few other post on the same subject. […]

  32. […] One of the reasons splogs continue to steal people’s content for their spam blog is because most people believe there is nothing they can do about it. It’s not true, but the myth that they can’t be stopped encourages them, and sploggers win. […]

  33. […] If (should I say “when”) you experience having your website content or designs “ripped off” by some thief the tips listed here will be very handy in how to handle the more | digg story […]

  34. […] One of the most popular posts I wrote last year was What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content, which provided step-by-step guides for how to respond to copyright violation. Having someone steal your site’s content and use it as their own, or even credit you but do so without permission, is one of the biggest blights on the Internet. What cracked me up more than anything was the amazing number of people who arrogantly thought that the bigger issue regarding that article was the fact that I described “copyright infringement” or “copyright violation” as “content theft” and used the word “steal”. Honestly, folks, do you think the article would have been such a success if titled “What do you do when you’ve been copyright violated”? For the simple folks, when you take something that doesn’t belong to you, it’s called stealing. Just because it’s virtual doesn’t change the intent. And the intent is theft. It’s a word. Get over it. […]

  35. […] Responses as insolent as Mr. Osafo-Ansong’s with no clear indication of willingness to solve the matter as quickly as possible, only prompt victims of plagiarism to pursue different avenues in order to protect their intellectual property. There are several at our disposal, and they don’t always involve lawyers. […]

  36. […] Lorelle on WordPress has an excellent series of articles on the issue of Blog Content theft. Starting with her excellent series will get you up to date as to what the issue is. You can click to Laurel’s site by clicking on this link HERE. […]

  37. […] In “Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs”, I include a link to a great article on “How to Complain and Report Spam Blogger Blogs” by Quick Online Tips with information on reporting splogs, and I include information on how to report a splog to If you are a victim of a splogger using your blog content, report them and also follow the tips I provided in “What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content”. […]

  38. […] Lorelle has a great article on what to do if your content is being stolen.  I’m going to follow some of these steps.  I’ve already taken screenshots and saved them to my harddrive.  I’m going to print them off tommorrow.  I am about to write an email to and threaten legal action but from what I hear he isn’t responding to any of them. […]

  39. […] வலைப்பதிவு மற்றும் வேர்ட்பிரஸ் நிபுணர் லோரெல் விளக்குகிறார். […]

  40. […] Me? I support full feeds. I think there are better solutions to the problems. Feed advertising can solve problems for some who think full feeds is anti-revenue. There are multiple solutions like Feedburner or Pheedo. Splogging can be dealt with approaches like AntiLeech or reporting them or this guide from Lorelle against content theft. […]

  41. […] Instead of re-writing what has already been said better, check out ”What to Do When Someone Steals Your Content,” by Lorelle VanFossen. It is simply a profoundly useful document. As a lawyer I’m hard-wired to cringe when someone says we’re not needed, but, for the most part, I agree. It just takes time and determination to protect your rights. There are simply too many bloggers out there and in turn, too many sites reprinting material (with varying copyright restrictions), to get lawyers involved in every case.  […]

  42. […] If this blatant plagiarism continues, I will be forced to take action. […]

  43. […] While many of us blogging bloggers have been doing battle against splogs and content thieves, Inside Google reminds us that blog feeds aren’t the only feeds out there being used and abused: Okay, this should be a no-brainer, but just because Gmail offers RSS feeds doesn’t mean you should offer them to the public. A number of people have done just that, sending their Gmail off to Feedburner and then subscribing in Bloglines, which puts it in the public directory (unless you actually thought to make it private). […]

  44. […] Then defend your rights. In order to protect them, defend them. I outline some simple steps you can take in “What to Do When Someone Steals Your Content” that will help you protect and defend your copyrights. […]

  45. […] In a future post, I will be talking more about what you can do to help put a stop to scamming splogs like bitacle, but for now, check out What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content, The Growing Trends in Content Theft, and Finding Stolen Content and Copyright Infringements to help you get started. If you have a WordPress blog, check out Digital Fingerprints Help Track Blog Content Theft and/or AntiLeech Splog Stopper: Fighting Back Against Content Thieves. […]

  46. […] What do you do when someone steals your content? […]

  47. Blogging and Copyright Protection

    Several weeks ago on Garden Rant there was a small storm of indignation regarding the attitude expressed at a garden writers convention that what bloggers write was free for the taking without attribution. Most bloggers are flattered to be quoted, but…

  48. […] What to do if a splog steals your content. […]

  49. […] There is some excellent material about splogs (and what to do about them) at Lorelle on WordPress. […]

  50. […] I posted recently about discovering that some of my content from this blog was being used without my permission. Shortly after I posted that, I found a post at Problogger that points to What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content by Lorelle on WordPress. This is a long and in-depth examination of the whole topic of copyright and what exactly it means in the blogging world. […]

  51. […] What to do When Someone Steals your Writings Here is something that is worthwhile to read — if you write well, and somebody, a writer, blogger, or photographer stelas your content.  Website Hijacking – the blatant use of other people’s content on another site without permission.More … Published Saturday, November 04, 2006 10:11 PM by admin Filed Under: Marketing and Sales […]

  52. […] So you thought that stealing on the web can only happen for content! The topic has been discussed a lot of times and veterans like Lorelle have great advice on that. Now beware of design theft! Chris Pearson is a respected designer, who has made a mark for himself with his crisp purposeful designs. Some people take advantage of the information that he gives out, and make it their own! He recently released the excellent Cutline theme based on his Cutline framework. Blargy, the copycat thief, has gone ahead and claimed the design with some tweaks here and there and a new name! No credit to Chris! This so undermines the original designer’s creativity and ingenuity. Surprisingly, he has Chris Pearson listed as his friend! What a thief, what a shame! […]

  53. […] UPDATE:  The excellent blog Lorelle on WordPress has an extensive and detailed article entitled What To Do When Someone Steals Your Content that is a must read for anyone experiencing this problem. […]

  54. Reporting Spam and Plagarism on Blogs

    While looking at recently published blogs on, I ran across one that talked about the wonders of Craigslist — published just two days before, but the information was two years old. A quick search found it was an exact copy of an arti…

  55. […] After a brief sojourn, I’m back. While there are still some protection arrangements to be made, my images will remain offline. It is inevitable that sooner or later content posted to the web will be stolen. Following good advice, though, doesn’t always work. The good advice in this instance relied on the thief being prepared to do the decent thing. However, the people over at bt3a are not interested in doing the decent thing. This place is a hotbed of thievery. Indeed, copyright theft and subsequent derivatives seems to be the order of the day. And if you have the stamina, the message boards are nothing more than the puerile ramblings of retarded minds with nothing better to do that deface other peoples’ work and laugh about cock jokes. Wit? Half right. […]

  56. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content by Lorelle on WordPress […]

  57. […] very little you can do to prevent outright theft, but there are some precautions you can take, and steps you can follow after you discover a theft has occurred. If you believe that BlueSparc has ever stolen work from you please let me know so the problem can […]

  58. My First Experience with Splogging (Spam Blogging or Stealing Blog Content)

    Tonight has been an interesting night. Tonight I published a much delayed article, Joining the Open Source Tidal Wave: Part 2, and I was quite pleased with myself for getting it out. I published like I normally do, I sent trackbacks to articles that …

  59. […] a blogger to do when they find out someone has been stealing their content? One option is to contact the person directly, but this may not work out in all […]

  60. […] you’d like to read more about this subject, I found a really good blog article by Lorelle VanFossen which goes into a lot of detail on the […]

  61. […] you find that someone has plagiarized your content, Lorelle has a great post titled What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. I recommend that you all read it, just for your own […]

  62. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content Lorelle on WordPress __________________ Martial Arts for Personal Development Blog […]

  63. […] take down” in that forum for the last 30 days to start with) Another Site that deals with Stolen Content – some excellent information […]

  64. […] a blogger to do when they find out someone has been stealing their content? One option is to contact the person directly, but this may not work out in all […]

  65. […] to Spot a Splog and What Do You Do when Someone Steals Your Content, by Lorelle on WordPress. How to Complain and Report Spam Blogs (for Blogger blogs), and reporting […]

  66. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your ContentLorelle VanFossen (Lorelle on WordPress) […]

  67. […] Bei Lorelle gibts Tipps dazu. Ich kanns zwar niemandem verübeln, aber zumindest jene die von einer besseren Gesellschaft etc. schwafeln sollten sich vielleicht einmal überlegen den ersten Schritt zu wagen. Scheiß auf Copyright usw., gibs weiter ohne Einschränkungen … das ist Freiheit. […]

  68. […] a fair bit of reading here, but I can tell you it’s well worth it. — Wendy Boswell What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content [Lorelle on WordPress […]

  69. Qué hacer cuando alguien roba tu contenido

    ¿Has sido alguna vez víctima de robo de contenidos de tu blog/website? Si llevas más de 5 minutos en internet, probablemente lo hayas sido. El blog ‘Lorelle on WordPress’ ha estrito un buen artículo explicando cómo hay que tratar a los ladrone…

  70. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content [Lorelle on WordPress ] […]

  71. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content [Lorelle on WordPress ] […]

  72. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content Lorelle VanFossen (Lorelle on WordPress) Se L’articolo Ti è Piaciuto Iscriviti Ai – Feeds Rss […]

  73. […] und mehr kann man auf der Webseite (englisch) von nachlesen. ANDERE PASSENDE […]

  74. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Contenttags: Content, Internet […]

  75. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content and Finding Stolen Content and Copyright Infringements, I go into depth about what to do and how to […]

  76. […] “What do you do when someone steals your content?” by Lorelle […]

  77. […] VanFossen posted a great article on what to do if someone steals our content. Its well worth the read and has useful resources. Thanks to John Wilson for the […]

  78. […] The first step in learning about what you can do when someone steals your content is to know that it will happen, so the more prepared and informed you are, the better your chances of prevention and having a plan in place when they steal. (read more from Lorelle) […]

  79. […] What to do when someone steals your content. This toothsome article on Lorelle on WordPress describes blog content theft and what to if you are a victim of it. It happened to me last year – after I closed my Typepad account, someone re-opened the account (re-activating the URL) and pasted in a bunch of my old posts, peppered with spammy links. The idea being that Google searches that should lead to me would instead lead to that person’s link farm. Fortunately I spotted it (after a tip from Frank) and I alerted the good people at Typepad. They acted quickly and shut the account down. But as Lorelle’s article points out, it’s not always that easy. (It’s part one of a three-part series.) […]

  80. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content Lorelle VanFossen (Lorelle on WordPress) […]

  81. […] I just came across a very good post from Lorelle on WordPress called What Do You Do When Somebody Steels Your Content. Great advice on how to confront the thief and put things to […]

  82. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your ContentHaving been the target of copyright thieves, and working with writers, authors, and photographers on copyright protection and laws for over 25 years, I thought I’d talk a little about what to do when someone steals your content. […]

  83. […] of lorelle: Dort gibt es auch einen ausführlichen Artikel zu Contentdiebstahl und was man als Blogger dagegen tun kann. Must […]

  84. […] nos cuenta qué hacer en el caso de que alguien nos robe el contenido, en […]

  85. […] To Do When Your Content is Stolen An excellent article to be found here. Copyright issues on the Net have long been a hot topic, but only major websites have attempted to […]

  86. […] So I was very interested and excited when I came across a post on the Lorelle on WordPress blog, “What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content.” […]

  87. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content « Lorelle on WordPress Having been the target of copyright thieves, and working with writers, authors, and photographers on copyright protection and laws for over 25 years, I thought I’d talk a little about what to do when someone steals your content. Tagged as: blog, blogging, copyright, articles, content […]

  88. […] So I was very interested and excited when I came across a post on the Lorelle on WordPress blog, What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content . […]

  89. […] how to respond to copyright violations: As I say in my popular article on content theft, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” your blog’s content will […]

  90. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  91. […] Here is a link about what do you do when someone steals your content. […]

  92. […] by reporting and fighting splogs.  Note that it will take time, patience and persistence to stop a splogger.  Many sploggers will ignore your initial […]

  93. […] another note, you should really check out Lorelle on WordPress. Her article on “What do you do when someone steals your content” is one of the best out there. She pretty much covers everything about WordPress that you can […]

  94. […] initial contact through escalation steps if the perpetrator is uncooperative. The article is called What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. I highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the […]

  95. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  96. […] I noticed that another post was stolen yesterday, I decided to follow Lorelle VanFossen’s advice and contact the thief. I posted the following as a comment on the other blog: This is to advise […]

  97. […] leur contenu. Je viens de trouver un article trs complet et trs intressant de Lorelle (”What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content“) qui dcrit comment agir et ragir. En anglais, mais chaudement […]

  98. […] by someone else. I just found a very helpful and detailled post by Lorelle (”What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content“) that explains what to do and how to react. My best recommendation to any blog […]

  99. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content An overview of the best practices and methods you can use against plagiarism. By Lorelle VanFossen. […]

  100. […] If you’re worried about someone copying your blog’s content (because it’s so awesome), Lorelle on WordPress has an excellent post on that very subject: what do you do when someone steals your content. […]

  101. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content * added 2007-07-07, I highly recommend reading this post, Lorelle is definitely an expert! […]

  102. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  103. […] (for actual tips on protecting your work and what do if you catch a plagiarizer, check out this awesome series on the topic by Lorelle on WordPress).  Personally, I think that the benefits of […]

  104. […] is never fun but is necessary. Lorelle on WordPress has written a comprehensive article setting out What You Should Do if Some One Steals Your Content. Bookmark […]

  105. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  106. […] I think you fellow bloggers should reed these articles on How not to blog and what do you do when someone steels your content?. […]

  107. […] Read Lorelle’s post on What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  108. […] your content, Lorelle on WordPress has probably the most comprehensive article I’ve seen on what to do about […]

  109. […] For more information check out Lorelle’s What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. […]

  110. […] problem which is nothing but content theft and come across a very good article. You can check it here. My ignorance, I didn’t know much about Digital Millennium Copyright act. What a lovely […]

  111. […] Read ‘What do you do when someone steals your content?’ […]

  112. […] Now, I shall go calm down and read up on how to take action when your posts and articles have been violated stolen . […]

  113. […] read about Lorelle lengthy post on the topic of content theft. But, I wonder how much valuable energy and time of a real blogger like Lorelle have to waste on […]

  114. […] deserves. Lately, she’s been getting attention from the mainstream press for her stand on content theft (and more recently on, registration […]

  115. […] first step if this is the first time it’s happened to you is to read What to do when someone steals your content at Lorelle on WordPress. Follow the instructions, which include telling the thief that the content […]

  116. […] read an interesting article named What Do you Do When Someone Steal Your Content by Lorelle Van Fossen. Very interesting. So how do you prevent people from copying your […]

  117. […] on WordPress has an excellent post entitled “What Do you Do When Someone Steals your Content”. I’d highly recommend that you read it. Some of it is not applicable in Australia, but […]

  118. […] written about what to do when someone steals your blog content, but here is the reader’s digest version on how to respond if your blog content […]

  119. […] a list of related articles she has written, well worth the price of admission. Notably, her post What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content offers some practical advice on the topic (the fact that it currently has 141 comments and 1164 […]

  120. […] a list of related articles she has written, well worth the price of admission. Notably, her post What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content offers some practical advice on the topic (the fact that it currently has 141 comments and 1164 […]

  121. […] interessat sobretot el primer vessant, els textos sobre blogs: n’hi ha de la mateixa Lorelle, com ara què fer quan descobreixes que algú està plagiant el contigut del teu blog, i també d’altres bloguers convidats a escriure al seu blog sobre qualsevol tema relacionat […]

  122. […] detailed account of Blog Navigation WordPress Plugins: Related, Recent, Most Popular Post and More, What do you do when someone steals your content and Free photos for your blog…  Excellent […]

  123. […] across a series of articles by Lorelle VanFossen that educates and advises on this very subject: What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content? (Even if you do want what you write to be freely used by others, there are steps you should take to […]

  124. […] on WordPress has a great post about what to do when someone steals your content, it is a great in depth article. Here is a small snippet from her post: Once you find your content […]

  125. […] on blogs, is restricted to that blog or site’s copyright policy and license. Assume that they do not allow copying of their entire content, but only permit Fair Use of their content for reference in accordance with international copyright […]

  126. […] finding some stolen content, check Lorelle’s article, perform this search, or use this excellent tool, but DON’T blaim me: You might use next […]

  127. […] Even with a copyright icon on your site, people will still crib from you. There are several ways to tell when this is happening, which are covered in detail at this excellent website. […]

  128. […] times I’ve confronted these copyright violators when they’ve taken my content, and I get excuses […]

  129. […] access the eBook by subscribing to the RSS feed. You can unsubscribe at any time. 3. What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content? (Sample) by Lorelle […]

  130. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content – Lorelle Vanfossen talks a little about what to do when someone steals your content. […]

  131. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  132. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content « Lorelle on WordPress Step by step guide to scalping scrapers – (tags: copyright blogging Content IP) […]

  133. […] blog in feed readers to link directly to the front page. Also, if their blog is scraped or the content used by copyright violators, the theft would be traceable through their incoming referral link […]

  134. […] covering a few days or a whole month included a month long series featuring WordPress Plugins, content theft and copyright violations for bloggers, Blog Bling for bloggers facing limits on what they can do with their […]

  135. […] behaved rather poorly in this matter of dealing with content scrapers. After reading “What to Do When Someone Steals Your Content,” by Lorelle on, I’m ashamed of […]

  136. […] For anyone else having issues with blog scraping, I would suggest you start by reading Lorelle on WordPress.  There is a great post on what to do if someone is stealing your content.  […]

  137. […] a list of related articles she has written, well worth the price of admission. Notably, her post What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content offers some practical advice on the topic (the fact that it currently has 141 comments and 1164 […]

  138. […] I wrote about copyright and plagiarism on blogs back in August, I mentioned Lorelle’s post on what to do when someone steals your content. In that post she recommends: If the issue of people stealing your content doesn’t bother you, be […]

  139. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  140. […] a track back link to a site stealing some of my recent content! I know from reading Lorelle on WordPress (highly recommended site – lots of useful content there!) that this stealing of one’s blog […]

  141. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  142. […] has published a great article on what to do when someone steals your content. But you can go even farther than. Attributor will monitor your published RSS feeds and the pages […]

  143. […] be stolen, it’s a question of when it will be stolen. For help on how to protect yourself see HERE. Thanks Mike!I’m going to take off for the weekend, I’ll let you know what happens with […]

  144. […] some tips and techniques for handling and fighting against these spinning spammers, and my article, What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content, contains the steps to take to stop copyright […]

  145. […] क्या करें जब कोई आपके लेख चोरी कर ले, […]

  146. […] also has What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content which provides a lot of useful information and how to take action as well as confounding some myths […]

  147. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content « Lorelle on WordPress Having been the target of copyright thieves, and working with writers, authors, and photographers on copyright protection and laws for over 25 years, I thought I’d talk a little about what to do when someone steals your content. (Tags: copyright blogging) […]

  148. […] Πνευματική ιδιοκτησία Τ 10 Big Myths about copyright explained Lorelle on WordPress: What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your […]

  149. […] stolen content is only part of the problem. What do you do when you find a scraped article? Going after each individual splogger is tiresome and largely ineffective – you might succeed in taking down that one blog, but the […]

  150. […] Most bloggers seem to accept this as a fact of life, while others, such as Lorelle, urge us to take action. At the very least, I’m going to add a copyright statement and a link to the full article at […]

  151. […] A positive spin on this involves the definition of copyright. I learned the copyright law not only includes protecting your work but also the right to create derivative works. Spinning violates this law. The author of the article offers more detail on how to protect your site at his site Plagiarism Today. Check out Modified Scraping on the Rise. Lorelle at WordPress also offers comments on What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. […]

  152. […] I found a very helpful list of the 20 Best Anti-Plagiarism Tools here as well as some very good articles and remedies on content theft. There are a lot more articles on content theft here and here is a site that tells you specifically what to do in case of copyright infringement. […]

  153. […] Here’s an article you can read if this happens to you. What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content by Lorelle on WordPress Photo: Roman […]

  154. […] RSS feed and then republished on spammer websites. This is a slimy practice and is a growing trend. Lorelle wrote on this at some length recently. I decided to do something about it with the ©Feed WordPress […]

  155. […] finding some stolen content, check Lorelle’s article, perform this search, or use this excellent tool, but DON’T blaim […]

  156. […] haya, tiene un interesante artículo en inglés sobre qué hacer si alguien te roba tu contenido: What do you do when someone steals your content. Lectura muy interesante que contiene información sobre los pasos que deben ser seguidos si la […]

  157. […] use to steal content filters such feeds out. If you do discover a violation of your policy, you can take steps to stop it. Most plagiarists will pull your content as soon as you give notice that they’ve been found […]

  158. […] is a link to some information on how to stop plagiarism and what it is. Here is a link to some copyright myths. On the Internet […]

  159. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  160. […] also points out different ways of what you need to do when someone steals your content. My favorite of the bunch is “DO NOT SEEK REVENGE.” It’s absolutely professional […]

  161. […] written two excellent articles on applaud those who warn you your blog’s content theft and What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. Check them out. […]

  162. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content « Lorelle on WordPress (tags: blog copyright) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  163. […] Put things back where you found them […]

  164. […] gives six steps that you can take to stop sploggers, such as how to contact them, and who to contact if they don’t respond. She also says what […]

  165. […] What To Do If  Someone Steals Your Work  […]

  166. […] to add: Here’s an excellent article about blog/content theft, how to discover it, what to do about it, protecting your content, etc. It […]

  167. […] Lorelle VanFossen, on WordPress, wrote the article about what to do when someone steals your content, which I cited in my plagiarism post. Bookmark this link. There is so much good information in there, you can’t possibly remember it all. […]

  168. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  169. […] course the splog itself, if you are lucky enough to find contact information.  Lorelle has an excellent article that describes this process in […]

  170. […] For anyone else having issues with blog scraping, I would suggest you start by reading Lorelle on WordPress. There is a great post on what to do if someone is stealing your content. […]

  171. […] What To Do When Someone Steals Your Content – since I found out another site was scraping my content, I found this information very useful! […]

  172. […] while back Lorelle wrote a great article on what to do if your content is getting stolen. I used some of her advice and contacted the blog […]

  173. […] of work was stolen from your website here’s what you should do: Read the article entitled: “What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content” written by Lorelle on […]

  174. […] also took time to update my research on copyright issues to cover a more global perspective and found Internet Law Web, Laws of Nations of the World, […]

  175. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  176. […] som kunne ha skrevet litt om opphavsrett i forbindelse med blogger og RSS-feed’er? Lorelle og Kopinor kan være interessante kilder til […]

  177. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content […]

  178. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content Lorelle VanFossen (Lorelle on WordPress) […]

  179. […] you are facing a similar problem, Lorelle on WordPress offers a great source of information on dealing with copyright infringement. She also offers a vast […]

  180. […] What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content (hat tip: Dana) […]

  181. […] and they explain it better than I could. One of the very best I’ve read is posted by Lorelle on WordPress. Hoo-Rah, you GO, girl! I also recommend Copyscape, a free tool to check for shady copies of your […]

  182. […] course I am going to pay heed to Lorelle’s advice and try my best to let others and the site owner know about […]

  183. […] What to do when you find it […]

  184. […] recommend you read What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content, and Jonathan Bailey’s fantastic articles, 5 Content Theft Myths and Why They Are False and […]

  185. […] course there is great advice from Lorelle VanFossen and Darren Rowse when someone steals your content. And of course there are many ways to Report Spam […]