Saturday, 5 September 2009

Plagiarism

I've had a couple of problems recently with people who have stolen my work. First I found one of my articles on Menorca here. I have given the link to let you know that the site contains stolen content. Other CC authors have found their work there too. My article was one that I had pulled from Constant Content so that I could submit it elsewhere, so I can't ask CC support to deal with it for me. but I can't seel it to my potential customer either.

The other day I was horrified to receive an email from Helium accusing me of plagiarism because an article I had posted there had been found on another site with a different byline. When I googled a couple of paragraphs I found it on an article ezine. This one had already been purchased from CC for usage rights only. That means it can be published once with my byline and I still retain the copyright. CC are now chasing the buyer to see if that person was responsible and, if so, to request a changed byline, or an upgrade to full rights on payment of the difference in the prices.

I have explained the situation to Helium via their help team, ie, that I am a victim not a perpetrator, and await a response. The pennies I'd earn there from that article are probably not worth bothering about, but I'd really like my reputation to remain intact.

The lesson I've learned from that is to set up google alerts on all my articles from now on, so that I'll most likely find out early if they have been stolen or can check how they appear before posting them anywhere else.

7 comments:

Lin said...

Hmmm, I'm going to check that out. How do you set Google alerts?? Might be a good post on how to do that.

Dori said...

That's lousy. I'm glad you found out. Thanks for the info on Google alerts.

Francis Scudellari said...

I've heard similar stories from others, and I don't know what anyone can do to prevent it. It's a shame that the Internet is overrun with so many schemers and scammers. I hope things work out.

Poetic Shutterbug said...

I had it happen to me months ago while on my Today.com blog. They virtually scraped my entire content each day and posted it on their own blogs. They were located in Russia and I am in the US so it was difficult. I contacted their domain host which was godaddy.com and also issued cease and desist orders, which you can basically find online. They never responded. However I just checked their sites a few days ago and found they were taken down.

Unfortunately it happens to all of us and is rampant on Triond, Associated Content etc... You can check online through copyscape which will show you what has been copied and where it has been copied. Good luck.

jakill said...

Lin - I will definitely post about setting up Google alerts.

Dori - thanks for your comment.

Francis - thank you. I know this happens a lot. It's not the first time for me.

Joanne - thanks to you too. I did use Copyscape before as a paid service for a year. If Google alerts work, they are better in that they email me if the words are found anywhere and I don't have to physically do anything. And it is free.

I can't use the free service at copyscape for CC articles unfortunately. There so many authors there that I always get a message saying the site has been checked to its limit.

Tina T said...

It is amazing how many stolen posts there are. I've reported them to Google under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and they've been taken down. If the site has contact information, just the threat of reporting them under DMCA has been enough to get them removed, but not all sites have contact info so then I go straight to Google. They've been very helpful.

jakill said...

Yes Tina. I've been thinking about a DMCA procedure. It looks a bit daunting though.

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