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Is Blogger Copyright Dead?

If you’re reading this blog post anywhere other than ProBlogger.net, you’re reading an illegal rip of the original.

Content scraping—by automated programs that pull entire posts from your blog for republishing elsewhere—and autoblogging—where sites regurgitate whole articles from your RSS feed on their pages—are the most common content ripping practices. They are illegal.

Any reproduction of your content without permission is illegal (attributed quotes and brief excerpts aside).

There’s no two ways about this. If you made the content, you own it, and you have the right to say where it’s published.

copyright

Image by stock.xchng user Spiders

As an old-skool content creator, I’ve been astonished at the things I’ve heard and read in recent months on this topic, particularly among the blogging community. As content creators, it’s up to us to learn, understand, and, if needed, fight for our rights—and those of others. It’s your job to protect your copyright.

There seems to be a growing sense of despondency among bloggers either overwhelmed by the amount of content ripping, or so used to seeing it that they begin to question their understanding of the concept. This post intends to set those misunderstandings straight—and, I hope, to inspire you to protect your rights, and the things you create, as you see fit. And from an informed position, rather than one in which you feel you have no option but to suck it up.

First, I want to talk about some of the objections I’ve heard to copyright enforcement lately, and give a few rebuttals. Then I’ll outline what bloggers should do if they find their rights have been infringed.

The arguments against

I have to tell you, it surprises me that there are arguments against copyright enforcement, but here are some of the ones I’m hearing.

“It means more eyeballs for my content.”

Ripping my article onto another site may mean more people see it. But so would a well-penned piece that responded to, added to, or argued against my article, and linked through to it.

Come to think of it, that kind of article would likely attract more eyeballs than a straight rip, because the second type of blogger would likely be active in marketing his or her blog, unlike most blogs that simply rip content for the sake of having something to display alongside their ads. And we all know the search engines work actively to penalize such sites anyway.

“But it’s a really big, well-known site.”

So a Fortune-500 publishing company ripped your post, and sent you a truckload of traffic yesterday? See point one above: it’s still illegal, and had they had something intelligent to say about your content, you may have received even more eyeballs, and more lasting interest from a more qualified audience.

Frankly, big sites are the last ones who should either undertake or get away with illegal content reproduction. Today, a big site. Tomorrow? Well, what if you found your hard work was ripped onto shonky looking, ad-emblazoned, overtly cheesy, poor quality website?

To say it’s okay for a big, good-looking mega-blog to rip your content, but not for below-average Joe to do so on his design-by-the-cat, ad-swamped site isn’t just hypocritical: if you let one site rip your content, you send the signal that it’s okay for everyone to do it.

“I don’t mind if my site isn’t the exclusive location for my content.”

A guest post you’ve penned specially for publication on another, carefully-chosen site is one thing. Having others reproduce your content as they see fit, without your knowledge, is another.

Often, the sites that rip content rip it relentlessly: once they find an author they think is good, they’ll simply republish everything that person writes. Maybe so far they’ve “only” ripped three of your articles. This time next year, they may have republished them all. Is that still okay with you? I know it wouldn’t be with me.

Note: If you actively want others to reproduce your content freely, that’s great—but for the sake of those who don’t want ripping to become the norm, display a Creative Commons license notification on all your posts. That way, people who read that content on other sites will have some indication that what looks like a rip is actually legal and welcome.

Ripping remedies

So someone’s ripped your post? I say: take action. Given the fact that many people online actually think this practice is legal, I encourage you to take an active role in protecting your rights, rather than (as one blogger recently said to me) “shutting up and taking it.”

Each of these steps takes no more than five minutes. You probably won’t need to complete them all—I find a concise, direct, but respectful email to the offending site’s owner usually does the trick.

  1. Contact the website, point out the rip, explain that it’s illegal, and ask them to remove the offending content within 24 hours. Explain that you’ll contact their host if the content remains online.
  2. Perform a WHOIS search and find the site’s host. Prepare to contact them and submit a DMCA takedown notice if the ripped content is not removed from the site within 24 hours.
  3. Perform a Google search for your name, or the topic of your post. If you find the offending site in the results, report it as a “duplicate site” to Google.

Don’t badmouth the offending site on your blog. Don’t make snide comments on the ripped version of your post on their blog. Write to them, and wait to see what happens. Then take the steps above. This is the most dignified path.

Is it worth the effort?

Yes. You’re a blogger. Your content is your product. Seth Godin wouldn’t let anyone reproduce his latest book online. Why? Because it’s his product. He made it, and he deserves to make a living from it. You made your content, and you deserve to reap the rewards of those efforts.

Allowing others to rip your content without your permission:

  • sends the message that bloggers have no rights around how their content is used
  • perpetuates the growing ignorance of copyright among site owners
  • devalues your blog, and your content
  • devalues blogging and online content in general
  • is a violation of your legal rights as a creator.

An alternative approach

As I mentioned earlier, if you actively want others to reuse your content, you could publish everything with a Creative Commons note, signalling that your posts are free to be reused by others.

You might consider this option if, for example, you want to have your content seen by the largest number of people possible—a mass market, rather than a niche audience. Perhaps you’re selling products exclusively through your site, and you believe that spreading your content through Creative Commons is a good way to get access to a wide audience who will come to your site, see your product, and want to buy it.

In that case, you’ll want to consider:

  • your in-article linking and promotional strategy (to get those readers over to your blog and sales page)
  • a marketing plan for promoting your quality, freely available content to appropriate potential publishers
  • the implications of the possibility of having your articles appear on some less-than-reputable sites
  • the challenges you may face in targeting the right audiences through this strategy
  • the implications for your own site’s SEO, if it’s mistaken for one that published “duplicate content.”

What do you think? Is blogger copyright dead? Does your copyright matter to you? Do you enforce it? I’d love to hear your feelings on this topic in the comments.

About Georgina Laidlaw

Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for problogger.net. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

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Comments

  1. Hi Georgina!
    I’ve had my content ripped without my permission too many times. I don’t mind if other sites re-publish my content as long as they link back to the original source and give some indication that they are NOT the ones who wrote it.

    However, there are many blogs who just steal my words with no credit whatsoever! That bothers me. I’ve had to contact the owners and have even gone beyond and contacted their hosts to have the entire blog removed. So far the results have been favorable, but I worry about those posts that have been stolen that I don’t know about.

    I wish there was an easier way to scan the internet for my posts that have been scraped. I’ve had regular readers of my blog come back and tell me about sites that have stolen my content, but if they hadn’t done that, I would’ve never known.

    I don’t have time to search the internet for each and every one of my posts. It just seems like there should be an easier way.

  2. Your best bet to defend against this tactic is to use it as self promotion. By having links within your post that lead to your site you can then hopefully turn those illegally copied materials into backlinks.

    Other than that, you can figure out the hosting provider of the website in question and ask that the content be taken down.

    • Vi says:

      But this doesn’t help as robots removes any links from the post they copied.

      Are there good automated tools for search of duplicate content on web?

    • Unfortunately, all of the scrapers I’ve seen automatically turn your original links into links to fishy sites and products. Basically, they use an automated program that scrapes your RSS feed, turns all of your links in that particular post to their own links, and then reposts it to their site. I have yet to find a scraper who just manually copied and pasted my posts into their own blog.

  3. Johana says:

    Thanks for your explanation on what to do when your content is used on another blog. Internet is such a big an ethereal place that sometimes we think there is no way no put a stop to this kind of things, and for years we couldn’t but is good to know that we have options.

  4. Chris Jones says:

    Hai Georgina, Thanks for the post, it was a new information for a new blogger like me. Protecting our content from being reused is essential for our own grow and also for others. Reproducing content doesn’t give any advantages.Almost every one knows that, but still they rip other’s posts and build up a burglar blog. I understand, I will protect my blog using copyright protection soon as you said

  5. Thank you for the post. Although I do want my shared, I don’t want it copied or “ripped” as you call it. I have had some issues with this in the past. Thanks for the help.

  6. New to this says:

    How does an author counter the argument that authors have given their permission for republication by providing RSS feeds?

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      I’d cite the law. In no universe does publication mean any kind of permission for republication is given! Whether it’s books, music, movies, articles, images…

  7. Dan says:

    Really great post that should be featured (stickyed) for a long time.

    I do not think most people will care to much about their content being scraped if it is from a site other than their own. I am sure however if the content was being scraped from their own site and they understood the consequences of duplicate content that they would care.

    I think bloggers need to understand the actual consequences of having duplicate content and how it can negatively affect their blog. Even if they are the original producer of the content they may still be seen as the scraper by Google, rather than the originator.

  8. thank you for the post. As a new blogger this is never something I had thought to much about but obviously it is a big problem

  9. “If you’re reading this blog post anywhere other than ProBlogger.com, you’re reading an illegal rip of the original.”

    How about ProBlogger.net -)?

    For the rest, in my view your post provides for a good basic orientation of bloggers without any legal background.

    And yes, CC is an option – I personally decided to make my content available under a rather liberal CC regime.

  10. Great article! Copyright infringement gets so complex, you’ve done a great job on points to watch out for! I remember reading about a Las Vegas newspaper that actually went after a PR firm who posted info on their own site that they’d provided to the newspaper to publish. The newspaper actually went after them for copyright infringement though they were the ones who had created the content. Big sites want your info for free but won’t hesitate to go after the little guy! Definitely an area that any blogger or website owner must understand to avoid potential legal claims.

  11. It is a problem, but I don’t think we should worry too much – unless the site ripping us off is much bigger than ours. I can’t imagine that these scraper sites get a lot of traffic. Their pageranks must be close to zero.

  12. I just googled “If you’re reading this blog post anywhere other than ProBlogger.com, you’re reading an illegal rip of the original”… Wow, I was not aware things were this bad. One site has bad code and you can see parts of whatever they’re feeding from right in the header of the website! At the bottom, says “Powered by Push Button Cash Site” – how can this stuff possibly be legal?

    Thanks for the informative post and suggestions for remedies.

    • Denys Yeo says:

      The same thing can happen from material on other sites. For example, if you use YouTube and Google one of your own videos you will probably be amazed where it has turned up. And often much of the content has gone? Often I think material is “ripped out” and then replaced by other content in the new site. It means a site can get traffic directed towards it through a sort of back door.

  13. Jim says:

    A very useful free service I use to keep on top of when my blog is copied:

    http://www.fairshare.cc

  14. Luke Copping says:

    It encouraging to see bloggers addressing this issue as well. One of the problems plaguing the photography industry today is the abundant unlicensed use of images on blogs by those who either don’t know or care to acknowledge that using an un-lisceneced image is just as bad and morally wrong as content scraping written material from a blog. This post gives me hope that there are more and more bloggers emerging who share the mindset of managing and protecting their intellectual property as well as respecting the IP of others.

  15. Great article Georgina!

    I went through a stage a while back of having blog after blog copied and posted onto the same site. It made my blood boil, especially as the content they took wasn’t even relevant to their website. I left comment after comment requesting that they remove my work and eventually it disappeared. After that I gave up checking where my words ended up as it was incredibly frustrating and time consuming and quite frankly enough to make you want to stop blogging – almost!

    Rachel

  16. Basant Singh says:

    I sincerely hope that this illegal practise would gradually stop after the recent update in Google Algo – “Panda”. Content Farms have been heavily penalised by this change.

  17. OMG! I googled that, too. I was astonished! At first I was concerned about the possibility of someone ripping off my content. Just seems like an uphill battle — one that is really hard (and time consuming) to fight, especially if it occurs on multiple blogs. I just cross my fingers. Sigh.

    Nevertheless, I found your post informative and useful. Thank you.

  18. Thank you for the empowering post. If someone were to steal my content and then reproduce it else where I would definitely kick up a fuss about it. Posts take a long time to write if you are trying to make your blog get any where and if some one is stealing them then thats just lazy blogging and I don’t think the internet needs any more lazy bloggers!

  19. I have a programming solution I would like to recommend to Google.

    if
    ($website = AutoBloggingFeederSoftware)
    then
    DoNotIndex

  20. Bee Prints says:

    I’ve begun to routinely embed my URL in images of our artwork – at least the URL will be visible when ripped (which it often is).

  21. Fair enough points, Georgina, it would seem that scraping is definitely a problem. The best approach is to accept the fact that it exists and to produce your content in a way that a) makes scraping undesirable or b) makes it disadvantageous to the scraper.

    Option A is by far the trickier one and not really worthwhile. Option B could easily take the form of a clause, e.g. “This post originally appeared on Problogger on such and such a date”. If people see that then they are likely to click through to the original source to get things straight from the horses mouth as it were. Such an approach will not eliminate scraping but it will help direct traffic away from the sites and back to the source.

    If neither approach works, you can always type out posts on a manual typewriter and scan them in. Yes, there is a genre of blogs devoted to this, it’s called typecasting!

  22. While I agree that whole-heartedly copying an article to a new website or blog is illegal, there are fair use laws in the United States that permit referencing other materials to create new materials. I am not completely clear on when it is copyright infringement and when it is not, but using facts or quotes from another article is not illegal as long as the original article is referenced.

    I do often use images from another blog post or news story, but it is clearly referenced and linked to. I believe this would fall within fair use. Somehow Google is able to show images on their website from other sources.

  23. Gregory says:

    I recently suffered content scraping and had to write the offending site’s host security with a DMCA notice of Infringement Letter, which I copied to the content scraper. The content scraper removed all 10 of my posts from his site immediately, then tried to leave some nasty comments on my blog, like it was my fault he stole my content. Not a great experience, but copying entire blog posts verbatium is not cool.

  24. First off, thank you very much for the great post and for bringing some light to this difficult, little-talked-about and controversial issue. Thank you also for encouraging bloggers to stand up for themselves if they wish while also giving them suggestions to empower reuse.

    I do, however, want to add that it is is the DMCA, not DCMA for anyone who is trying to Google it. It is also worth noting that you can file a DMCA notice with Google instead of merely reporting it as a duplicate site, ensuring Google removes it.

    Thank you again for the great post and I hope that this inspires some people to take a stand.

  25. LA Juice says:

    Love this post, and firmly and will always believe content is protected and copyright is an inalienable one.

    Just as to add to your great advice regarding removal of unauthorized content: if you have a WordPress blog, there is a plug in that prevents anyone from doing the old “right click, highlight, copy and paste”wp-copyright-protection” it works, you cannot touch my content by traditional methods.

    Also the law definitely puts the onus on the “infringee” to assert their rights to their content, in otherwords allowing other to rip your content means you are not protecting your ownership and authorship rights, and so the law might not protect you either. So sending a C&D to the jackalope who stole your content is always important, even if frustrating.

    Finally, its my understanding that google dings you if your content is repetitive, so having a big site rip your stuff is bad for your site. The way I deal with this is that if I have a blog post that is good, but not the right style for my website, I put that up at “blogher” or “squidoo” then people see my content, but its not duplicative.

    • Heather K says:

      Unfortunately, that plugin doesn’t stop someone from using “View Source” and doing the copy/paste thing from the page source.

  26. If you’re using WordPress, there’s a nifty little plugin you can use called Blog Protector Final that deactivates text selection and also image dragging. And if you want to, you can totally disable the right-click. I do the first, not the second.

    Another really important thing to do is set your RSS feeds so they just have excerpts, not the full article. My stuff still gets pulled, but it’s only a sentence.

    These don’t take care of 100% of the copying, but it cuts it down to a much more manageable level.

  27. PsychicJim says:

    Wow ! Great thoughts on this important subject of duplicate content.

    A couple of my articles have been copied and pasted elsewhere without asking me first, so I can really relate to this.

  28. Heather K says:

    Just a reminder here, the DMCA is US law. If the infringer is not in the US, you’ll have to find out if there is an equivalent for the relevant country. Also, even if the infringer is in the US, the takedown notice needs to be formatted properly.

    Also, (US law here, but might apply in the rest of the Berne convention) you need to register your copyright if you want to be able to able to collect statutory damages (you can collect actual damages without registering). If you register your copyright within three months of publication, you can collect statutory damages for infringement that takes place prior to registration.

    Adding a copyright notice to your pages or individual articles isn’t necessary in order to have copyright, but can useful as evidence if things get messy.

  29. John Sherry says:

    When I set up my blog a year or so ago Georgina I took the decision to be copyright free for 3 main reasons – 1) I was happy to share my content with as far and wide an audience as possible 2) This may highlight what niche I write in helping convert people into buyers of my books that are now about to be sold (I’m abandoning the old saturated free e-book concept) and 3) I couldn’t possibly be able to monitor all the potential sites that could rip off my work as the blog grows and develops. I think the last point is interesting regarding your post so how would or do you advise keeping tabs on your work if you choose to copyright it?

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      Hey John,
      I think the only ways really are to use Google and Copyscape to check for rips, then send DMCA notices as appropriate. The sad reality is that there are likely so many rips that we can’t tackle all of them, so I tend to focus on the repeat offenders, and sites whose rips of my content appear high in the search rankings.

      Your decision to offer your content copyright-free is a very interesting one :) Would love to hear more about that!

  30. Steve says:

    I recently found some of my content on another site. Not scraped but coppied and pasted into another’s facebook page. Found it via google alerts. I emailed the individual immediately and again after 2 days with no reply. He did respond then. it was not malicious, merely ignorance. I tried to educate about the correct method of quoting and backlinking, but I think he thought I was an ass but no skin off my back. It was my content, actually a big scoop in my niche, that I’d worked long hours sleuthing and writing. He did post attribution and a backlink.

  31. Dan says:

    Does ProBlogger.net actively go after the sites copying its content?

    like this one:
    http://www.awardsounds.co.uk/aggregator/categories/3

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      Hey Dan,
      Good question. Since ProBlogger only owns the rights to Darren’s content, we can’t tackle rips of guest posts from the site — we have no authority to do so, seeing as we don’t own those rights. Guest posters whose content has been ripped need to follow up with those sites themselves.

      • Jesse Huber says:

        Dan/Georgina,

        Actually, the site owner of this site has content from guest blogger’s as well as Darren’s killer content.

        What interesting is,this site has a massive amount of content and an Alexa Traffic Rank of only 3,612,600…

        Perhaps the Google Farm initiative is working as advertized

  32. Piper says:

    I’d like to add that if you’re a blogger using the WordPress platform, there are several plugins that prevent content theft. I don’t know the names of all of them as I’m currently on my mobile phone but a search under ‘content protection’ in the plugins area should yield your results.

    • Thanks, Piper, for the tip.

      Georgina, I’d love to hear more about this – are there any plugins that you recommend for this?

      (by the way, it’s great to put a face to the name!)

  33. Ralph Kooi says:

    And if you mention the source (just like you do in Uni) with a hyperlink (not just saying it) to the original content. How do you guys feel about that?

    • Dan says:

      Very interesting.

      As your guest blogger why should I care (other than principle) since my own blog is not in jeopardy of being docked for duplicate content and I am getting even more backlinks as well?

      As a blog owner if I cannot go after the rips of the guest post’s on my blog then I have no way to defend my blog from duplicate content penalties. I rely on the guest’s to go after the rips. And they (the guest posters) have no incentive since they are getting even more backlinks and are in no danger of duplicate content penalties.

      hmmm

  34. Seth says:

    I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but copywrongs are a legal fiction. There is no such thing as intellectual property. Intellectual property is not a product of natural law, but of government fiat.

    There is no moral justification for initiating violence against individuals that copy ideas. Copying ideas, or file sharing, is not theft. This is because ideas cannot be owned. If you wish to learn more you are welcome to read Against Intellectual Property by Stephan Kinsella, available online for free or by visiting http://dailyanarchist.com/2010/09/24/intellectual-property-and-libertarianism/ to watch an excellent video on the matter.

    There is a reason why copywrong laws get broken millions of times every day and that governments have been impotent to stop it. It’s because copywrong legislation is unjust, just like the war on drugs. You can find it all you want, but you’ll never stop it. You’ll never win, and you’ll only make matter worse for everybody.

  35. Brad Harmon says:

    I appreciate the passion you have for this topic, Georgina; however, it seems like you’re more than a little ticked off at those bloggers who don’t go after those that rip off their material.

    As some others have noted above, I Googled your opening sentence and came up with numerous examples where this post has already been scraped in its entirety. Since “it is your job to protect your copyright,” will you be doing what you suggest in this post for each of these sites? If so, I hope you don’t have anything planned for the next several hours.

    Most bloggers don’t have that much time to chase down these offenders. Even if you’re successful, they’ll just open up another site and do it all over again. It seems like a more prudent course of action would be for bloggers to pressure Google and other advertisers to do a better job shutting these sites down. Cut off the money and these sites will dry up.

    I might have read the tone of your post incorrectly. If so, please forgive me. Even so, I don’t see individual bloggers making much of an impact against this problem.

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      Hey Brad,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m not ticked off at bloggers for not pursuing those who rip their content — but I am astonished at how little knowledge many content producers have of copyright law, and I believe that’s a massive problem, because they don’t know:
      - their own rights
      - how to protect their content assets
      - how to protect themselves from potential legal action.

      As I replied to John above, “I tend to focus on the repeat offenders, and sites whose rips of my content appear high in the search rankings.”

      Hope that answers your questions :)

  36. Guest posters whose content has been ripped need to follow up with those sites themselves.

  37. Wow,I also Googled the title of this post and saw q couple of blogs duplicate the content.

  38. Matt Hall says:

    Interesting read. I like the simple advice about what to do if your stuff is re-used without your permission or an appropriate license.

    I detect some confusion about copyright, copyright-free, and Creative Commons (or other permissive or non-permissive licences).

    Licensing your work under Creative Commons licences such as CC-BY (like my site) or CC-BY-SA (like Wikipedia) does not mean that you are giving up the copyright, or revoking your ownership, or anything like that. It means you are waiving some of your rights, specifically the right to exclusive distribution. It means people don’t have to ask you to re-use your material. But these are licenses, they impose restrictions on re-use, and they depend on copyright.

    Creative Commons does also offer a way to release work into the public domain, with their CC0 (CC-zero) notice. This is copyright-free, or ‘public domain’.

    There’s a lot of jargon. Confusingly, permissive licenses are sometimes called copyfree; they are called permissive because you can share modified work under different, more restrictive, licensing terms. Again, this doesn’t mean copyright-free. Non-permissive licenses, like CC-BY-SA or GNU’s GDFL, are sometimes called ‘copyleft’, or ‘viral’.

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      Hey Matt,
      Thanks so much for the valuable clarification on these points :)

  39. This is really scary. I’m going to ask a totally ignorant question: How does ‘creative commons license’ and the other options (which I also do not fully understand) relate to copyright law? Doesn’t ‘creative commons’ mean that people can use it elsewhere as long as you’re attributed? If so, what license should I choose for my blog. Sorry if I sound like a moron. :-)

  40. Kevin Yang says:

    I would like to share one of my experience. I wrote one article on one of my blog and then the other day I searched for a keyword and it showed my article, but not on my site, rather, a so-called authority site in the eyes of Google. I just want to say, even if you are original, readers may find it at other places because of google rules. I think it is something search engines should fight for.

  41. Hkr says:

    Nice post. By the way, would anyone copy the first line if they were ripping this article :D ?

  42. Thomas says:

    This was a good article since I’m a new blogger. I know in school we’re taught not to plagerize. I wonder if that’s still being emphasized. If it was done in school there’s a possibility it will doe anywhere else. That irritates me when someone has to steal someone else’s article/post.

  43. AilyMagazine says:

    Ripping someone’s work is awful. But sharing someone’s work is a way to recognize the value of that content.

    Very useful article, Georgina! Especially the section about ripping remedies… :)

    Have a nice day,
    Aily

  44. This post couldn’t be timelier. Just yesterday I discovered that a spam website based in China had lifted an entire post from my blog and published it. The content is showing up on Google. I had no idea what steps, if any, I could take. Thanks for providing exactly the information I needed at just the right time!

  45. Abhijit says:

    Excellent article. Thanks for the information. I have had my rss feed content scraped from some of my popular sites without my knowledge. Its only when i do searches in google, that i get to know about these sites.
    if we had some automated way of stopping such content stealing, preventive measures could have been taken, rather then remedial measures.
    Thanks again for the article.

  46. Lisa says:

    Great post. I had some material scraped and posted on a rather tasteless site over a year ago. It was a real hassle getting it taken down. Since then, I make sure I don’t post anything on my blog that I think I could submit/get published elsewhere (I write flash fiction, etc.). I now blog simply to share and entertain. I also use google alerts.

  47. As a copyright lawyer (http://www.GigaLawFirm.com), I want to thank you for highlighting the importance of this issue. However, copyright infringement is not always a black-and-white topic, as some misleading (or simply wrong) statements in the blog post and comments make clear. For example, the “fair use” doctrine in copyright law is not necessarily limited to “brief excerpts” — other factors, such as “the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work” are also relevant. That’s why it’s often helpful to consult an attorney before taking any action.

    In addition, creators of original blog posts who are concerned about others infringing their posts should be mindful not to infringe the rights of others themselves, such as by using photos to illustrate their posts without permission.

  48. Hi Georgina,
    Good remedies for a very annoying problem. Thanks for the tips.
    Riley

  49. Hi Georgina!

    Thanks for the post! Yes, it feels kind of sad that some writers rip off contents of other sites and use it as their own. I know some software that protects copies from being plagiarized like Copyscape, etc. but I don’t think it’s reliable enough especially with a whole lot of websites out there doing the same thing.

    But, how do you feel of re-hashed blogs? Those copies which are re-written over and over again and then the authors bragging about it and saying its their version of the article? Can this be considered illegal?

    • Georgina Laidlaw says:

      Hey Daryl,
      That’s a great question, and a scenario I’ve never had personal experience with. I’d guess it might be hard to have an impact with a DMCA notice for this kind of thing, but you’d probably need to seek legal advice to find out what your rights were, and the possible actions you could take.

  50. Kelly Young says:

    Bravo! I’m so tired of people telling me this is not wrong.

    And fellow bloggers thinking it’s perfectly fine or acting like they’re doing me a favor by copy-pasting my content.