With the function of “copy” and “paste,” it becomes too easy to be a victim of copyright issues. People are anonymous online and they can duplicate content and claim it as their without proper credit given to the rightful site owner or web administrator. Thus, every online publisher may fall as a target and if businesses are not looking enough, their content may be stolen without their knowledge.
1. Claim What’s Yours
Claiming your digital content is not as easy as writing your brand name or the author’s name beside or below the title or anywhere on the same page. This goes beyond publishing on your website or blog. The legitimate way to do that is through signing up with the DMCA and adding one of their badges to your page. This will hinder potential infringers to snip parts or whole sections of your content online.
To further let the public know that you are highly aware about the issue, adding a copyright notice will also help as a preventive measure. This is like warning robbers at the front of your house that robbery is wrong and it is not legal.
2. Use Monitoring Tools
Once you’re done with claiming copyright on your material, the next step is to use monitoring tools. These tools can help determine whether your content has been published in other sites with or without your knowledge.
For instance, Google Search scans different online pages and runs a query to detect if there’s a copyright infringement. Google can also send notification through email to the content owner when such infringement occurs.
Another example that does the same job as Google Search is Copygator which can be used for free. It tracks duplicate content online and monitors blogs for exact or similar phrases published in different pages.
3. Take the Right Action Against Offenders
When you have an active monitoring and scanning tool, it will be easier to identify offenders. Those who commit plagiarism can be punished by law, and in most cases, their sites will be taken down. Content owners have the right to sue them as soon as the crime has been discovered.
It is important to gather all the evidences that prove your ownership of the content such as drafts of works before publication. Some companies even take eBook conversion services to have a copy of their digital content in a more organized format for documentation. Contacting the plagiarist to formally ask about the case is usually done before any serious legal matters follow. If there are no responses, taking the issue to court and filing a copyright complaint are common ways to deal with it.
In this age where people can share digital content and write whatever online, it becomes relevant and important to know ways on how your digital can be protected and then take the right actions. Before attempting a lawsuit, take screenshots and prepare all signs of copyright issue to support your case.
Kimberly Marie Gayeta (Kimmy) is a Communications Degree holder, currently working as an online Marketing Representative for SPi Global Content Solutions: eBook Conversion Services.