How To Detect Content Theft And Copyright Violations

Two common problems with content theft is detection of the copyright violation and then finding the contact information for the offender should you wish to take action. Below are tips for dealing with each.

Detecting Copyright Violations

  • Set up Google alerts on your website and posting handle. Even if scrapers remove the links in your material, they will often leave the words, which will then be picked up in your Google alerts.
  • Take steps to assure that you get link backs in stolen content by including site links in your posts and feed. For tips on this read here: Tips to Assure Link Backs.  You can then see the link backs in your incoming links or Google alerts.
  • Use a service to check for stolen material. Copyscape allows a certain amount of free searches and has affordable premium plans.
  • Network. Bloggers within any give niche often form groups and lists and will warn others when they see sites scraping content.

Locating Copyright Violators

  • Check for contact information on the website. In many cases site scrapers will not provide it, but some do.
  • Use Whois to locate the website owner’s information. I find the whois search on domain tools to be the easiest to use.  Note that if a proxy is used that you can contact the owner through the proxy.
  • If you need to locate the host, whois is good for that too. Just look at where the nameservers are pointing.

Next Monday I will cover how to send a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice should you choose to do so.


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