From blog posts, to pictures, to an actual web page, most people have some form of online content out there. But how do you keep this content from being copied and reused without your permission? With the ease of getting your message out there comes the ease of someone else reusing your message somewhere else on the web. Here we will go over some simple steps you can take for content protection to help keep your content on your website or blog only.
Blog Posts Already Stolen
You are surfing around the Internet and come across a great blog about your interests, and you realize its great because (ugh!) it’s your exact blog! What are the steps you can take to not only get the stolen version taken down, but to also prevent it from happening on your other blog posts?
Find the Webmaster: See if you can locate the web page owner on the blog and send them an email asking them to please remove the copied post. If you are unable to locate the website owner, you can go to WhoIs.com and type in the web address. Doing this should give you the webmaster's email and/or information about the hosting company. Once you have this contact info, you can start sending DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) emails.
DMCA to Web Host: Send the same DMCA email to the webmaster and the web hosting company. Hosting companies also have forms to fill out for DMCA takedown requests. Most hosting companies take copywriting seriously and have a team dedicated to correcting the issue. Here are a few direct links to hosting company DMCA forms:
DMCA to Google: You will also want to fill out a claim form in its entirety with Google. Make sure you check every box so that your claim will not be rejected unnecessarily.
DMCA to Facebook: If you want to check and make sure that your content was not copied or posted to Facebook, you can do a search of the exact title in the search bar. If you found your copied content on Facebook, you will want to file A DMCA claim with them as well. When you fill out the claim form, make sure you copy the exact link to your content that was copied.
Protecting Written Content
Maybe you have already been through the above process of getting your copied content removed, or you are just starting your blogging journey and want to provide content protection from the start. There are a couple steps that can help you make sure your blog post stays yours:
Display Strong Warnings: To stop some content theft, you can place a warning in large bold letters that clearly states that copying your content is prohibited. For example:
WARNING! COPYING PROHIBITED
WE WILL PROSECUTE ALL INTERENT THEFT OF OUR MATERIAL
There are also official badges that you can place on your website from protection companies such as Stop Web Pirates and CopyScape. This method works in a similar way to having a home security sticker in the window of your house.
Change RSS to Summary Instead of Full Post: Most spamming sites use an RSS feed to get to your full post and copy and paste it from there. By changing this to a summary instead of the full post, you will force them to actually visit your site. When they do this and you have the right click disabled, they will be unable to copy your post. Or they will not visit your site in the first place and will go on to the next one. To change this setting in WordPress, login to the dashboard and go to Settings. From there, click on Discussion and change the RSS feed to Excerpt. There should be a similar option on other development sites.
Protecting Your Images
Images are one of the easiest forms of content to steal online, so it’s important to protect them if you don’t want them to be spread without your permission. There are a few ways to go about this:
Watermark your Images. A watermark is a faint bit of writing or logo that is placed over the image. If you do this, there is no way for a person to remove it even after they take your image, so people will see where it came from. There are several software programs that help you create a watermark for your images.
Disable Right Click: Again, just like for your written content, you want to make sure that the right click option is disabled for your images. This is just like locking the door of your home to deter all but the most persistent burglars from getting in.
Copyright: You can also get a copyright for your images or business, if you are a photography business. If you do this, make sure you attach your copyright notice to the right of all images you post online. Doing this will give you good grounds to prosecute someone for stealing your images.
The Internet is a tricky place to navigate, as you try to provide content protection for your own images and writing. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but there is always a step to take to make your content protection stronger or fight back against thieves. When it is something written or created by you, then taking steps to protect it is well worth it. There are web content companies out there that can help you keep your website safe. Just like you keep your home and its belongings safe, you need to do the same for your content online.
If you want more information about content, website development, SEO, blogging, and more, check out Virtual Market Advantage’s other blogs here!