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How to Combat Web Plagiarism

Plagiarism has always been a problem. With the advent of the Internet, the problem became even more prevalent. Unfortunately, too many people believe that Internet content does not fall under any copyright protection laws and is therefore free for anyone to use or misuse.

Since you have gone to a lot of time and trouble to develop a personal or business website, you need to take the additional time and effort to protect your website. You can take several steps in order to protect your intellectual website property:

  • Include a copyright notice (with the copyright symbol ©) at the bottom of each page
  • Add a Copyscape banner to every page. The Copyscape banner will state ‘Page Protected by Copyscape – Do Not Copy’. Copyscape is a free service. You can check out their homepage at Copyscape. The free version will allow you to check only five of your pages monthly and will return only ten results. You can purchase additional searches for a nominal fee.
  • Copyscape offers an automatic version, Copysentry, for a low $4.95 a month. This version will run weekly checks for you. This price covers the first ten pages. Additional pages are $.25 each for a total of 100 pages.
  • Sign up for Google Alerts. This is another free service. Once you sign up for Google Alerts, no further action is required from you. This service is automatic. You can set Google Alerts to check daily, weekly, or as it happens.

What to Do After Identifying Plagiarism

Now that you are using one or more service to check for plagiarism, you need to know what steps to follow once you find evidence of plagiarism. The first thing you need to do is to contact the site administrator and the hosting company. Be firm, but polite. Inform them that your copyrighted material is available on their site and is there without your consent. Request that your material be removed from their site ASAP. This contact should be by both email and registered letter. Be sure to include the URL for your site and the offending site. In order to obtain the contact information for the site administrator and the hosting company, you can use Whois Source. This site will provide you with the names and contact information necessary for you to contact them.

Contact Search Engines to Remove Content

After you contact the site administrator and the hosting company, monitor the offending website to ensure that they remove your content. However, what do you do if they ignore your emails, registered letters, and phone calls? This is where you will have no option but to contact the major search engine providers. While other companies are entering the market, Google and Yahoo! are still the top search engine providers. You can file a complaint with Google by going to Google Complaints. For filing a complaint with Yahoo!, go to Yahoo! Complaints. The second section has the information you need.

While all of this can seem time consuming, keeping your website and business safe from plagiarism will enable you to keep your website property safe and ensure that viewers come to your site, not someone else’s. It doesn’t do you and your business any good if your information is popular, but the thief’s site is more popular than yours is.


About Author

Cory Howell is a small business owner who understands the importance of protecting his business knowledge and information. Cory protects his copyrighted information with end user license agreements and copyright documentation.

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Sunday, 03 July 2022
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