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The Year of Original Content: I’ve Declared War

This blog has no brain - use your own - caution signLast week on the , I declared this is to be the Year of Original Content.

I ranted about my ongoing battle to educate you and protect myself and others from content theft. This isn’t an issue that impacts the few and famous. Everyone is being scraped and having their content stolen.

It is so frustrating to find a fascinating article, blog about it, only be told that it is scrapped content used without permission. A lot of time is wasted and I look bad for having not verified the original source of the content.

The fact that billions of dollars are made from blog scams, scrapers, and abusers just in the United States alone, infuriates me as many of those are abusing our content – our hard work – without compensating us or even asking permission.

So this is the year I’m declaring war on the those who use our content without permission and declaring this:

The Year of Original Content

In a follow up article, “The Year of Original Content: How to Fight Back Against Abusers,” I’ve listed the tips and basics you need to know to help fight back and join me in this cause.

Let’s celebrate the unique and original voices in the redundant content of the web. Let’s honor those of us who work hard to bring you news, information, history, lessons, entertainment, and the tips you need to know to make it through the day. Let’s give credit where credit is due – to the amazing artists who publish their content on the web.

Remember, if you don’t care that anyone is using your content anywhere and any way they want, then tell them. If you want to restrict usage, then tell them. It’s your responsibility to inform the public of how you want your content to be used.

Come join Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today, myself, and others in educating yourself and your readers about plagiarism and content theft.

This one is going to take all of us. Come join our celebration of the year of original content!

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, the author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted February 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Here Here!
    With over 1,800 hours (Thanks Woopra for letting me know how much of my life is in my “blog”) 2,100 stories with all but 150 or so original content, the 150 are polite tease snippets to other local news services, we to find theft of content frustrating.

    Image theft is the worst when they are to lazy to copy the file (also a bad idea) and link to it using up bandwidth. We had another site email us “why do we have a red x on our site that was linked to your file?” A explanation of how we block them when we find them, was met with “Huh, why would you do that?”

    All they have to do is ask permission we are happy to share with a discrete credit.

    Thanks for the reminder off to block some more…

  2. Barky
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    OK, I’ve made a resolution to copyright even my paltry little blog. Lately I’m seeing a spike in traffic on one particular post, I think it’s college term-paper season. 😛

  3. popwireless
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I never thought of adding a link back to my page in each post. Great idea.

  4. Posted February 24, 2009 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    And complaining to these scrapers is of no use. They say: Go sue! Now where is the time to see very little guy like that!

    • Posted February 24, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      @Nita: It’s sad you feel that way. I’ve been fighting copyright violations for over 30 years and have never once gotten that response. I’ve gotten idiot responses, but not that one, and in the end, they comply. Only a very few rare times many years ago did I have to resort to legal action, but the threat got the result. It’s amazing how easy this is.

  5. Dash
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I’m a firm supporter of ‘credit where credit’s due’ and therefore I make use of creative commons a lot. However, there’s a risk in using creative commons licensed images (e.g. from Flickr) since the license is not registered anywhere. After being told I multiple times that I stole someone’s picture, I started taking screenshots of the cc-licensed pictures before use. Most people say: “Oh yeah sorry, I forgot that I used cc back then”. But I’ve almost been sued over it, which is ironic since I’m such a form believer in original content and exchange with credit.

  6. Posted February 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I am definitely on board with celebrating the year of original content. I have put many (of not most) of your tips to work and so far haven’t had any theft that I know of.

  7. myows
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m in!

  8. Posted February 26, 2009 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I came across your blog its wonderful and great.
    Congratulation for the rad job you are doing for blogger like us.
    With Warm Regards,
    Debashish Brahma.

  9. Posted March 23, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I say jihad on all those scammers and scrapers.

    For all you copycats, don’t be so lazy. You’re bound to get caught anyway.

  10. Laurie
    Posted October 21, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve been having this problem too and have contacted the so-called “author” who uses my writings. We exchanged several messages. He said I’ll have to pay hundreds of dollars to a lawyer to go after him. He also said that he isn’t my biggest problem (how does he know?). I asked him to add my name and link to his plagiarized articles; he said he’d try but that blog owners usually won’t do that. I think this is false in the case of honest bloggers. I also asked him to add my name and link in a Comment that he can post to his articles. He never replied.

    One of his articles says “powered by WordPress” at the bottom. Would this qualify for me to complain about him to WordPress?

    I found a page on WordPress for reporting copyright infringement but it’s intimidating in that they threaten to go after you with lawyers and make you pay legal costs if they don’t think they violated copyright; and they say they’ll report you to ChillingEffects and other websites if you can’t prove copyright infringement.

  11. Posted February 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink


    great site and post regarding content theft. I have been blogging for about 1.5 months and now my most popular post has been stolen several times.

    it’s a Google “blogger” account, and I filled out the proper removal reporting + request but heard nothing back.

    Meanwhile I tried to contact the offender, and the only way I could send something was via a “comment” and of course that was moderated and they never posted my comment.

    So, then I threatened legal action against them, and same thing nothing.

    Any tips?

    You seem to be more successful at getting them to remove the post possibly.

    *BTW I also tried to capture their ISP and all of that info that I read about in another “WordPress help” post, but was not able to capture that info.

    I can send you the link in private I suppose as I do not want to post it here and thus maybe give it even more publicity.

    Please help!


    Demolish Mag.

    • Posted March 17, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      @demolishfanzine: I do not help individuals with copyright issues. The instructions within this article are the steps you need to take. If it comes to the point of taking legal action, then you have to. Please, do not publicize the plagiarist as that can bring legal action against you worse than the copyright violation you are bringing against them. Good luck.

  12. Posted June 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Taking the content from someone else is a big problem. It is much easier to take material that belongs to others than to create their own work for some people. It is a shame really. I believe takers should spend more time on learning how to be more creative.

4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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