You work so hard at your business. You’re out marketing, making phone calls, visiting companies, and shaking hands. Is it really fair that you should have to create original content when there’s so much out there already? Why not just swipe it from someone else? After all, if it’s on the Internet, anyone can use it, right?
Recently, I learned about a new and nefarious Internet Villain: a scraper. A blogpost I wrote was scraped. Scraping means that someone took the content, without permission, and posted it on their site. I discovered it through a pingback on my blog. By the way, I’m not sharing the crook’s name with you.
What to Do if Your Content is Stolen?
That made me wonder…what can you do if your post is scraped? First, I asked some of my friends. They were outraged on my behalf, but also thought that it was a result of being successful. One said that the more you write, the greater the odds of being scraped. Next, I went to Google and did a search. And Ginny Soskey’s wonderful Hubspot article came up on how to fight back if people steal your content. Luckily, I could skip the first step–I already knew it had been stolen.
Is it Worth the Fight?
Soskey asks this question, and comes up with some instances when fighting isn’t worth the effort. For me, the answer is yes, since I’m delving more deeply into this subject, and writing about it here. But you could ask yourself how much time it will take.
I took screenshots of the offending scraped material, created a folder, and saved it.
Contact the Offender Directly
Although I contacted the offender three different ways, apparently they weren’t listening. (Ironically, the title of my blogpost was “Twitter as a Listening Tool.”) I commented on the material, asking them to remove my post. No response. Then, I tweeted to them directly. Still no response. Some of my followers retweeted my tweet, too. Then I emailed then. Still nothing! I wondered if perhaps Twitter wasn’t the best platform for them!
Has Your Material Ever Been Stolen?
What happened and how did you choose to handle it? Please leave a comment! Thank you.
P.S. There will be another update to this story! Stay tuned!