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For five years of my professional way as a web writer, the issue of online plagiarism never bothered me. Creating content for others, I wrote articles from scratch and, therefore, was sure about their originality. In other words, I didn’t copy from others, and it was enough for me to keep on working and crafting my writing skills.

And then, it happened: I’ve joined the expert team of developers behind Plagiarism Check, a tool eliminating duplications from writings, and inquisitively decided to check one of my old articles. I’ve found it copied by three Indian websites without any attribution, and it was the moment when I started examining the problem up and down.

Today I do research on plagiarism in the online world, consult content creators about the ways to save their business writings from duplications, and write articles on corresponding topics. This one is about a must-know minimum for business writers to secure their works online.

First things first:

Have you ever heard of DMCA?

It’s the Digital Millennium Copyright Act saying that all published content is under copyright law even if there’s no copyright symbol on it. What is more, if you publish own material in two different places, this Act considers it unintentional plagiarism and may land you in troubles.

When publishing business content online, you risk: despite all the consequences of plagiarism, anyone can steal your work. So you get ready to prove ownership because you understand why it’s crucial to protect online writings:

  • Copyright provides a legal ownership over the work you create.
  • As a copyright holder, you are responsible for its violation, which makes you obliged to keep an eye on how others use your writings and any alternative types of content online.
  • If a digital marketer, you know that content duplications may cost you high ranks in Google or, what is worse, lead to your website penalty from Google search.

With that said, it’s of your interest to monitor your business writings and protect them from plagiarism.

“How do I know if anyone steals my content?”

The problem of online plagiarism is vital, so it comes as no surprise many tools have been developed for you to spot thieves. Based on improved algorithms of duplications analysis, they allow to not only find infractors or check own works to avoid copyright abuse but also build a case after offending persons and get safe ways to share your content online.

Here go corresponding resources:

  1. TinEye – to recognize published pictures with own ones and find where they have been posted.
  2. PlagiarismCheck – to check own writings for duplications or wrong referencing, avoid paraphrase and poor rewrite in your works, and make sure you don’t violate any copyright.
  3. Copyscape – to see if and where someone has copied and published your text content.
  4. DepotCode – to protect documents through associating them with QR codes to prove your ownership.
  5. Myows – to manage your copyrights. Register your files, get guidelines on what to do if your work has been stolen, and build a case against your copyright violation.

“How can I protect my business writings?”

Take measures to save content from plagiarism:

  • Register your online project with DMCA and add their badge for potential thieves to see you protect it.
  • Mark your work properly by adding a copyright notice to it.
  • Document the process of your work creation: save drafts in case you will need to prove an authorship later.
  • Register your work to have a verifiable proof of your copyright.
  • Consider supporting evidence such as watermarking.
  • If you are not the only author of a particular piece of content, make sure to have an agreement between co-authors: you should know exactly who own the rights and what happens if one of you leaves.

In case someone has stolen your online work despite all measures you took to protect it, it’s time to remedy a situation. What might be your steps here?

First of all, try to gather as much information as possible to prove your authorship: find drafts, take screenshots if needed, etc. Then, contact the website where you’ve found the plagiarized content: send an email describing the situation and asking to remove duplicated articles or images. In most cases, they will remove the stolen content once they understand you know about the case.

No direct contacts found on their website? Try Whois to learn the owner’s legal name and phone. If they, nonetheless, don’t want to remove the stolen content – go further and contact their website’s hosting company and explain the situation. Big chances are they will remove the infractor from the list of their subscribers.

Your next step to take is sending a Cease and Desist letter, which is a formal request for troublemakers to stop copying from you. Also, consider the DMCA’s Section 512 to cut off access to your infringed content and write a copyright complaint to Google if it relates to their policy. They may remove stolen content and penalty those stealing it with no permission from you, its owner.

In a word…

Online doesn’t equal nobody’s. With business writings, make sure to protect them from copyright infringement. Now you know how to do that: register and mark, consider corresponding tools and resources to detect duplications, and know your rights as well as steps to take in case someone dares to steal your authorship.

And my next step is going to be the article about myths most web writers should forget to avoid copyright abuse and accusations of plagiarism, as well as unobvious consequences of plagiarism you might face when ignoring the issue.

Does anyone steal your business content? Find it out: take your viral blog post or sales copy, choose a reputable plagiarism checker, and see if your writing has been copied by other publications. Anyway, now you know how to secure it.

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