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Copyrights and content theft - How to deal with it?

14 replies

ScatCatShoo · 15/07/2011 03:24

I figured that this would be an important issue to all of us that blog. As is usual, I am sure many of us have come across places that have stolen our content or images without permission. And also, many a time we feel fairly helpless in dealing with it.

So I was wondering if any of you have come across this, and how have you dealt with this? I will share my experience.

As I post mainly traditional recipes along with pictures, I have come across two kinds of issues. 1. First, someone will take a picture out of the blog and use it without asking permission, either for commercial or personal use.
2. Someone will pull content, in my case, recipes, out of your blog and use it in a website or another blog with no acknowledgement, and claiming it as their own.

Now my blog is licensed under Creative Commons, which in essence means you can use content for your own personal use, but not commercially without permission and acknowledgement of my authorship. So, for example, you can print out a recipe for your files, but you cannot post the recipe word-for-word in your blog and claim it as your own. You can post it in an adapted way, with, preferably, a link back to me as the original source, but not verbatim. As the author, I get to choose how I want my work attributed. Of course, this is just words to some people and they'll cheekily use your content with no attribution or acknowledgement.

How to deal with this? In my case, I first post a polite comment or send an email to the person/ organisation concerned that they have used my content without permission, and to please attribute my authorship or take down the content. Most people will do this, they may just not know any better. However, if I get no response, I tend to use Blogger's and by default Google's copyright violation complaints procedure, which while cumbersome to use is excellent for providing results.

If the copyright violation is on a established network, say Yahoo!, a quick email to the head honchos usually provides quick results. Of course, you have to be prepared to prove that the content belongs to you in the first place and it copyrighted.

And in some cases, I have had to just let it go... its not worth the headache in pursuing these cases.

What have your experiences been?

I also thought its worth linking up to these excellent resources in telling us about copyright and how to deal with content theft.

A good first person response from a blogger about content theft - - the excellent David Lebovitz talks about attribution, and it has some great links at the bottom.

and Copyscape - an excellent resource for you to check if your content has been stolen and/ or is being used without your permission -

Hope this helps, and looking forward to hearing your experiences.

OP posts:
Tee2072 · 15/07/2011 08:38

I haven't had this problem, guess I'm just not interesting enough? Confused

Anyway, I would do what you did. Contact the person in the first instance and ask them to either credit me or take it down. If that didn't work, I'd escalate to their ISP (usually able to find it through their email address or WhoIs if they register their own domain).

Although I am interested to learn you can copyright recipes as I've always heard it is not possible to do so!

Toomuchtea · 15/07/2011 18:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScatCatShoo · 15/07/2011 20:45

Tee and Tea :)

The best way is to use Copyscape and check individual blog pages. It will allow you to do five pages or so for free.

Otherwise, Google is your best friend. Google random sections of popular posts, and it will let you know if there are matching sections in other blogs.

Google images is good as well. If you know your images and find them on another site, then its quite likely your content has been taken as well. I find the majority of infractions from there.

And Tea, yes I agree sometimes you've just got to give it up as a bad job. But its worth letting people know that its not on to copy someone else's work without acknowledging the source.

OP posts:
ScatCatShoo · 15/07/2011 20:47

Tee, I think with recipe attribution, its more of a minefield... I mean, the list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted, but the method and words used to describe it can be. Nigella Lawson's a good example, she claims that she has a certain style of writing that can be copyrighted, and thus, recipes copied from her are instantly recognisable. I'll try and find that link, its an interesting read.

OP posts:
ShirleyKnot · 15/07/2011 21:32

I cannot imagine anyone being bored enough to use my shit and try to pass it off as their own TBH.

This is so interesting though..copyscape? I think I'm best off not knowing, I would probably go completely mad!

Tee2072 · 15/07/2011 21:54

AARRRGGGHHH I had a whole thing about Digimark that just got deleted!

Anyway, I do have a client whose images I Digimark but I don't really worry about my own stuff yet. If I ever actually get some design work I will!

ScatCatShoo · 16/07/2011 04:37

Shirley, you never know... people can be so lazy :) Its my academic side though, I don't like plagiarism, and lord knows I've drummed it into enough of my students' head that 'if in doubt, reference' :)

Tee, I don't actually Digimark, but use a copyright label on my pictures. Picture taking has been significantly reduced once I started putting the name of my blog on them. Sure, its a bit more work, as I use Photoshop to do it, but worth it if it gets people to stop and think before they use an image or text.

OP posts:
Tee2072 · 16/07/2011 10:24

Scat the reason I started to use Digimark is because I could set it up as a Macro. I just run the macro, the mark embeds while I sit there raking in the dough Hmm and the computer does all the work. Grin

It's also because my client runs a tourist attraction for a popular ship that sank at the turn of the 20th Century by hitting enough ice to make thousands of G&Ts and they have some historical pictures that people love to 'borrow' without giving them proper credit.

Redtedart · 27/07/2011 19:47

I have started water marking all my images.

And apparently you can get the offending blog's host and google to take a blog down if they take your stuff... so I usually leave a polite comment asking them to reference me properly (eventhough I didn't allow the post to be used in the first place). Having said that, I have 3 such cases that I need to chase up.

Makes me cross when someone takes my content :-(

Will try and enable a plugin that disables "right clicking"

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 27/07/2011 22:46

I should try and understand this stuff. I don't think I've ever had pics nicked, but it's fairly common isn't it?

steaknife · 29/07/2011 07:37

morning, on phone, so spelling might go to pot.
I have had content stolen, the easiest way to get it taken down is to use whois to find info regarding site content & host. then email with link to your original content & link to theirs. also quote clause in their hosts T& Cs about them not infringing intellectual property rights and cc in to their host.
worked a treat for me.
most sites that scrape content so if you have a link to another articleon your blog you will get a pingback notification if someone copies and posts it elsewhere.
hope that makes sense & helps a bit.

Humourme · 08/08/2011 23:03

When I put pictures on the net I've already accepted that they might be copied so I'm not worried. It's too much of a fuss to get screwed up if some one wants to nick one of my own amateur pictures. I occasionally use pictures on my blog from around the net myself - but with discretion and I usually ask if the photo belongs to someone who has copyright statements or is obviously a professional. If it's a generic photo that's been plastered all over the net in numerous similar styled shots I don't bother.

However, I do watch out for any unusual downloads of my family pictures.

I've had lots of stuff nicked, even had one post put on a soft porn site! I was furious at first (as it had my name on it) then after a while I saw the funny side. One nutter even named a website after me - fortunately it never got off the ground otherwise I might have had to act on that one. It's bizarre what some people get up to. The mind boggles!

I just feel the internet is so big, it's pointless getting screwed up about copyright unless it's really damaging your finances or reputation. For most of us small time bloggers that really isn't the case.

MmeLindor. · 09/08/2011 19:23

Interesting thread.

I don't think that I have had pics or content lifted - but again, I would not know if I had unless I stumbled across it.

Most of the images I just bung up there, but some of them I watermark. I have seen that some people can do something to prevent rightclicking and saving image working.

Tbh, for the couple of hundred people who view my blog daily, it is not worth the hassle.

As to using pics, I do try to link to the person who took the photo.

I did have the situation where I wanted to use a pic from a blog and emailed the blogger for permission. He never replied and I have not written the post because of it.

If I use a recipe from another website, I always link to the original.

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