Thank you everyone for your support and tips on fighting back against plagiarism! Naturally, I’m flattered by a citing now and then as long as there is clear attribution, but the web site in question has actually stolen DOZENS of my posts, including the associated images (even of my kids!), and was so brazen even to lift my original category names: “Scrutinizing the Diabetes News,” “Diabetes Bulletin Board,” “Self-Disclosure” and so on. Wankers!!
Anyway, based on all the great input, here’s what I’ve done about it so far (in case this should ever happen to you):
- contacted WordPress (their blog host software) and Google AdWords (their source of revenue!) to report the abuse
- filed a DMCA notice (formal complaint) with the domain name host, in this case GoDaddy.com. What I learned is that under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, which protects intellectual property, injured parties can file a detailed complaint for review by the Web host. If the host indeed detects copyright infringement, they will issue a warning and can even shut down the offending site if necessary. I’m told GoDaddy will need a few days to review my case. Should you ever need to create a DMCA notice of your own, there’s a sample HERE.
- shortened my RSS feed to include summaries only, rather than entire posts. I feel like this shouldn’t be necessary, since to my mind the feeds are intended for readers, and certainly do not give anyone permission to republish substantial material without consent. But I’m told that doing this helps curb content theft. So I’m on board.
- other ideas?
In addition, I wanted to clarify my reference to BlogBurst: that service does use clear attribution, and bloggers have to register to be included — which I actually did a while back, without realizing the full consequences. The small print in their agreement has you signing away a lot of your rights, which has a number of bloggers up in arms.
But I’m not bothered too much by BlogBurst, because I think it will be rare that a newspaper picks up my (niche) diabetes content — and when they might, it will hopefully just help other people affected by diabetes find me.
It’s the stealing crap that I’m mad about!