“I am not a lawyer. I have never played one on TV or anywhere else for that matter. No part of this post should be taken as legal advice, it is meant to be educational in nature only. That is all.”
So you have discovered stolen content. What do you do? What CAN you do?
First: Document your Find
Screenshot is your friend. Take screenshots of your page (showing the date of publication if possible) and the offending page (again with date). Make copies of your original work if possible, again with date if possible. If you wrote several drafts and can show them, do so. Copy everything and store it in a safe place where you can find it again.
Second: Find out Who Did It
So, if I stole your content, if would be easy to find out who I am and how to contact me. It is not always as easy as that. You will want the know who the author is, who the site owner is, and who the host of the site is. All are important. Very important.
Try the contact page on the website. It might be that easy.
Whois. At least in theory, every registered domain is listed in the ‘Whois’ database. It will tell you things like who registered the domain, when it was registered and who hosts the website.
I mostly use Chrome Browser and have a 1 click extension for whois button right on my navigation bar. If you can find the source code in your browser, you can use search to see if there is an email address listed in the source code.
One more ‘find ‘em’ tool that I have never used. Go to ‘Who is Hosting This’, enter the URL and find who the host is (and more).
Be sure to make a note of and copy all this information so that you can find it again.
Now you know what stolen content is (Part 1) and how to find the thief (Part 2) I’ll be back here on Tuesday to wrap this up with what you can actually do. Don’t despair, there is quite a lot you can do.
This article has been significantly influenced by 2 excellent blog posts written by Olivia Rose on Kissmetrics and Lori Soard at Web Hosting Secret Revealed. I most definitely recommend them to you…
“5 Easy to Use Tools to Effectively Find and Remove Stolen Content.” 5 Easy to Use Tools to Effectively Find and Remove Stolen Content. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://blog.kissmetrics.com/find-remove-stolen-content/>.
“What To Do When Someone Steals Your Unique Site Content.” Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/blog/blogging-tips/what-to-do-when-someone-steals-your-unique-site-content/>