Andrew Hallett gives some hints and tips for dealing with plagiarism in the digital world.Â
The unfortunate reality when it comes to content is that there are people out there who will steal it.
Plagiarism will never stop, sadly, but there are ways that you can prevent your content from being taken without your permission.
With content syndication thriving, readers do not bat an eyelid when they see duplicate content across the web, so it is your responsibility to protect your intellectual property.
Here are some tips when it comes to plagiarism:
– Search The Web
You have just written a fantastic piece of content, but someone has stolen it and is passing it off as their own. You won’t know that this has happened unless you scour the net. While this may be a tiresome task, it is worth your while to do it, even if it is just once a week. A good tool to check the web is Press Reader, while taking chunks of your pieces and putting them into Google also works.
– Make Your Website ‘Read Only’
By making your website ‘read only’, nobody can copy and paste your content. However, this can be a problem when you want to copy and paste your own work directly from the site, so you will need to keep saved copies at your disposal.
– Watermark Images
While some people believe that putting a watermark over images spoils them, it is the safest route to ensuring nobody else uses them. You need to be clever with the placement of the watermark though, as it must not be easily chopped off or hideously placed over the image. Think about how best to place the watermark depending on the image itself.
– Watermark Videos
The same principle applies for video as it does for images. It is best to watermark your work to avoid others passing it off as their own. It takes a long time to create a video, so don’t make it easy for someone else to piggyback on your hard work.
– “But I’ve Credited You”
Just because someone takes your piece in full, and then credits and links back to you, doesn’t make it okay. If you see that someone has done this, you need to take action. Yes, a link back is cool, but they cannot take your work and pretend it is their’s.
– Legal Action
If a website or publication continues to use your content, despite an email warning them against it, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Yes, this can be expensive, but the damage to your reputation and potential loss of income can be disastrous. This is a last resort, but a necessary one if you cannot sort the issue out yourself.
If you can stay on top of things, you should be able to stop people from using your work before it becomes a serious issue. However, just letting it slide and not thinking it is an issue is the wrong way to go about it, so be as proactive as possible, as the reactive could cost you in the end.
By Andrew Hallett, Sub Editor at Content Studio