Blog Plagiarism: Dealing with Content Theft – Part 2

Back in December, I blogged about how a website was copying and publishing all my posts without my consent. I concluded then that I had four options to deal with it. One option was that the bad publicity from that post might provoke a reaction and the webmaster would take down all the illegally copied posts, not just mine. Well that didn’t happen. In fact, incredibly, they actually copied and published that post as well! So I ended up with a post naming and shaming a plagiariser, being copied and published by that same plagiariser. Clearly, they weren’t even reading the posts before they published them! I’m guessing they had an automated system which was scraping posts from Feedburner.

Anyway, another option I had then was just to sit and wait. The domain would expire in January this year, so let’s see if they renew then I’ll take action, and that’s what I did. In fact, they didn’t renew and the domain expired and has now been suspended.

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So in the end, I didn’t have to file a DMCA notice with the host to have that stolen content removed. In a way I’m happy – I didn’t have to spend time going through that process which would also have meant revealing my real identity in that legal action. This blog and the techandlife persona has partly been an exercise in seeing if it’s possible to operate under a pseudonym and withholding my real identity. Apart from telling a few friends and family (and, of course Google knows), it seems to have worked but that’s another blog post.

But in a way I’m annoyed that I chose the easy route. I should really have filed a DMCA notice. Plagiarisers should be stopped. This guy has doubtless moved on to a new domain and is probably back stealing someone else’s content. And there’s plenty of help out there in filing a DMCA. Jonathan Bailey, an expert in this field and who has taken the time to answer some of my questions on blog plagiarism in the past, outlines 4 simple online tools to help send DMCA notices. So perhaps next time I’ll make the effort. Watch out for Part 3 in this series!

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