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Dealing With Content Theft

I said I'd make one last post on this subject and this one should do it for now. When I've found that my text or images have been published in whole on another site (usually without credit) the first thing I've done is contact the webmaster. You can usually find a "contact" page somewhere on the website. I've made sure to keep my tone respectful and maybe even friendly. Recently, I found my posts being republished on a site after I'd been asked and said I wasn't interested. That time my tone wasn't very friendly or respectful especially after I noticed that the website was offering to pay gardeners to create original content while taking mine even after I'd said no.

When you discover your blog or feed being scraped the first thing you should do is go through the site and copy all the urls to your copied posts/photos. Then copy all of the urls of the posts from your blog that have been copied. Keep a record of all of these links in a file on your computer and when you contact the webmaster make sure to provide all of the links of the content that is yours and they copied. Give them a few days to respond and if there is no response or they fail to comply with either removing your material or properly crediting you then contact the web host.

In most cases you can find out the name of the company hosting the website in question by conducting a whois search. You can type in the domain of the website there and you should be presented with the administrative contact information and who is hosting the website. Once you know who the host is you can look around the host's website for a link usually titled something like "copyright" or "abuse." If none of those exist look for a "legal" link or a link to the terms of service. Follow the directions the web host provides for filing a complaint and make sure to provide all of the links from the website and your blog to show where the content originated and where it is being used. has free samples of letters you can use when filing your complaint with the person repurposing your content, the web host and search engines. That website and Lorelle on WordPress has good information on this subject.

One of the things you can also do is contact the company providing advertising to the site. The link and procedures for people using adsense can be found at the adsense DMCA page. I've not had to do this myself because usually the web host will remove the content if the website owner has ignored my request. This can seem a little complicated but if you spend a few minutes reading the links and information on how to do it you'll realize it isn't as complicated and can usually be done with a few minutes of your time.


  1. I have been following this thread for a few days now. I had no idea people/sites could do this. Thank you so much for explaining it so well. I don't have a large audience so I am not too worried, but I did change my feed to short.

    Thanks a million

  2. I too changed my feed to short, and also registered with feedburner.

    Thanks MBT :)

  3. Very useful information about feed length and -- thanks!

  4. This is very useful information.
    I was wondering how you know if your images are being used. Do you check by using the URL of the image or the HTML and do you use it the same way as checking for text that has been copied. I am seeing quite a few "images" on site meter as the entry and exit pages. I'm not sure if people are clicking on images to enlarge them or if they are being copied.

  5. If you want to, you could also get downright nasty. I had a friend who found out that a website was linking to all her images which explained why her bandwidth was going through the roof. What she did next was that she changed all the images into X-rated images and then reported the site. That site disappeared faster than you could click on a link.

  6. Tracy,green panther & Ohiomom glad you've gotten some use out of all of this.

    Robin's nesting place,

    In my case I know because people will sometimes email me and if you're feed is being scraped you can usually find your pics alongside the text. I could have sworn I saw a plug-in a while back for photoshop that allowed you to embed a bit of code into the file info of pictures. You could then use that file info to search for your pics on-line. Or maybe I just dreamt it. ;0) I'll ask around and see if anyone knows what I'm talking about.


    That is pretty funny. There is a website that is famous for pulling that switch with pics that are hotlinked. They're usually some pics of the Prez making goofy faces but they also use some x rated pics.



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