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ePublish a Book » Resources, The Legal Corner » What to do in case of Copyright infringement?

What to do in case of Copyright infringement?

As writers we are doubly exposed to plagiarism and content theft.

  • Our book might be offered for free by unscrupulous distributors or “idealists” promoting the idea that everything on the Internet should be available for free – obviously, they have not thought it through as they have no problem paying for a physical object ordered through the internet, they seem to believe that only content should be free, regardless of the work involved in producing it…
  • Our website/blog content might be ruthlessly plagiarized by lazy site/blog owners preferring to steal content rather than create it.

Thanks to the US Digital Copyright Millenium Act, there are now things that can be done to remediate digital copyright abuse.

 For content theft, the first thing to do is to identify the offending party This can be done for free through a manual search of extract of your content with Google Blog Search – By permitting searching exact phrases, post titles or author names,  the advanced search feature on Google Blogs search enables finding other sites publishing one’s work.

There are also automated solutions available for a monthly fee such as:

  •  CopyScape –A plagiarism detecting tool where you can enter your web address to find other sites that may be publishing your content. The free version can be used for manual check.  The Premium versions enables checking specific content and the CopySentry tool will monitor the web regularly for newly  published content.
  • Grammarly – This tool combines checking your content for grammatical mistakes and detecting plagiarists, sending warnings when any content piece is plagiarized.

The first thing to do if any of your content is has indeed been pirated is to contact the offending website and request that they remove your content.

 Then if a polite request to remove stolen content remains unanswered or if there are no contact numbers, you can turn to the following places and follow their guidelines:

Finding if websites are distributing your book for free without prior permission is a bit trickier. Typically, the risk is higher after running a free download promotion, as this is when free riders collect their wares and redistribute it. The good news is that they also tend to copy the blurb as is, which means using the content theft tools above can track most of the free riders. Then again, it is a question of contacting them, asking them to remove your book from their listing and use the resources above to complain.

To limit the potential damage of book theft, include links to your other books inside each of your books. This way, even if your book is stolen, you might gain some new paying readers for your other publications.

Filed under: Resources, The Legal Corner · Tags: , ,

7 Responses to "What to do in case of Copyright infringement?"

  1. May says:

    An Australian poet used a top model’s photo as her author picture for her pen name. Then, she cried afoul publicly that other people were plagiarizing her writing. What a hypocrite! And shame on her! But, she got back what she was putting out… she also started cyber-stalking with this picture/profile, and stopped use of the photo and name only after she was served with a public legal notice to stop harassing people.

  2. Kelly says:

    First of all this is the first time I’ve visited your site & I do appreciate all the information you have provided! As with this article, I my self am not a writer per say, but I have started to do some blogging on authors I find and interact with, I can see how much work you writers go through to create the content then have to publish it & finally promote it. That’s a lot of work to find out one day someone has taken your project & posted as if it was their pain & suffering efforts! Wrong just Wrong! Thank You for the wealth of knowledge one can gain from this site. Kelly – kmapjr

  3. Eliza Green says:

    It is the biggest concern out there and writers should protect themselves any way they can.

    I send a copy of my work by registered post to myself. It ensures that I can prove the work originated from me.

  4. John Chapman says:

    As well as writing books I also run a genealogy help website. I wrote a history of parish registers in the UK. I was amazed to find one of the major online genealogy websites had lifted my content word for word and posted it on their website, complete with the deliberate mistake I made.

    I raised the issue with the site owner who told me a university student had produced this ‘work’ as part of his coursework and given him permission to post it. (He got an ‘A’)

    In this case the site owner was given the option of keeping it provided he gave the source but chose to rewrite it completely.

    1. Patricia says:

      That is an “amusing” story. At least you got an “A” :-). Did you get credit for your work from the university as well?

  5. Robb714 says:

    Having invested hundreds of hours creating, promoting and increasing my online brand and being the country bumpkin that I am, I would not have thought of this as a problem to watch out for. Thank you for this valuable information on plagiarism and content theft. I would have just thought imitation was the best form of flattery until you pointed out the down side. Now I have to dedicate more hours into protecting my work, great.

  6. Ron Morgans says:

    Hi, Patricia. Just want to say what a useful and knowledgeable post this is, as are all of your postings. Thanks for sharing the knowledge with us.

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