Battling Content Thieves, Part 2

Battling Content Thieves

Battling Content Thieves

You might have read my first post about content thieves and what you can do to battle them. The first steps were relatively easy, but I have to admit feeling a bit stuck knowing exactly how to proceed after the first few steps. However, this dilemma was solved after attending WordCamp San Francisco and meeting the friendly Bryan Villarin (@Bryan on Twitter), who works at Automattic as a Happiness Engineer. Yes, that’s his real title.

So if you don’t have time to go and meet Bryan Villarin in person, here are some of the things he recommended.

Do a Google Search for a Unique String

So for example the Google search “Battling Content Thieves” brings up an article on Yahoo, which is the original, or Part 1 of the article you’re reading right now. Since I am syndicated on Business to Community, that article is legitimate. But if you find non-legitimate uses of your content while doing your search you may want to take some other steps.

Read Some Background Material

Battling Content Thieves

Battling Content Thieves

Bryan recommended a couple of useful articles. The first, Content Theft – What to Do outlines how to discover the host’s contact information and contact them if necessary. That and the following article, Prevent Copyright Theft, offer excellent and easily implemented things you can do to prevent theft.

Find the hosting site

At the bottom of’s site, under Resources, there’s a Whois search link. Type in the domain and then get the email address of the person or company who owns the site. If, after having sent the first email, you don’t hear back, you can send email to the domain provider. Within your email you should…

File a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) Notice

After you’ve filed the paperwork, with all the required parts filled out, then the other party gets a few days to respond. If you’ve done your homework, and your content really was lifted, then usually the content is quickly removed, from what I’ve heard. Most hosting providers do not want to deal with stolen content.

Have You Ever Had Your Content Stolen?

What happened? Did you pursue any action? Hire a lawyer? Let me know in the comments! Thanks!

Battling Content Thieves

Battling Content Thieves

Battling Content Thieves

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.

Take Screenshots

I took screenshots of the offending scraped material, created a folder, and saved it.

Contact the Offender Directly

Asking people to remove your content

Asking people to remove your content

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!



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