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December 30, 2013

Blogging Battles: How to Handle Virtual Malice and Content Theft

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Blogging is hard as it is. You read everyday, write like your life depends on it, put your experience, thoughts, insights, and opinions into each blog post, not to mention back them up by research.

You’ve been marketing your blog and getting traffic in spades. Ever so slowly, your blog seems to be growing in popularity and reach. Your readers begin to engage with you, comments seem to be flowing in, and a community begins to develop.

All of that is good until you hit the point most bloggers dread: you also begin to receive malicious comments or hate mail. read more

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November 26, 2013

How to Protect Your Content From Plagiarism

how to prevent content theft

For bloggers and writers that put their heart and soul into the content they create, it can be soul crushing to find out that your content has been stolen and published somewhere else. However, there are steps you can take to prevent and monitor content theft online. read more

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November 16, 2009

5 Copyright Hazards to Avoid

Most bloggers understand the importance and the value in creating original content. Most would be at least somewhat upset to their own writing used on other sites without permission or attribution and many actively track their work for misuse.

However, there is more to being a good copyright citizen than just writing your own content, quoting only what you need to in your entries and attributing your sources. Your blog is much more than just text and there are many copyright “hazards” that even well-intended bloggers can step in.

That’s why last year, almost to the day, I wrote an article about holiday copyright hazards for bloggers to avoid, But while the holidays are an especially dangerous time for copyright issues, they are a potential thorn in the side year around.

So with that in mind, here are five copyright hazards to avoid, regardless of the time of year. read more

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September 14, 2009

UK Media Still Fails To Attribute Sources

skysportsFor bloggers it can be a long and difficult road to reach success and occasionally come close to your subjects and conduct an interview with them. It was great to see that UK Manchester United blog Red Rants had the opportunity to run an exclusive interview with world star Nemanja Vidic. This would be the ultimate dream for many a sports blogger but things aren’t always as nice as they seem. Content theft often is an issue, especially when exclusive entries, interviews are scored.

Red Rants was no exception to this rule. Only some later, today, two main stream UK media outlets used the interview without attribution. Both published quotes of the interview without referring to the source. The Skysports article consist of more than 50% quotes. Surprisingly Skysports Terms and Conditions do NOT allow reproduction and even don’t mention Fair Use. read more

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August 10, 2009

Copyright, Jurisdiction and You

In copyright law, the big news is always made by cases such as the Jammie Thomas verdict, the Tenenbaum trial or even The Pirate Bay trial in Sweden. As importance as these cases are, their legal applicability to the average person is dubious, especially since the RIAA has stopped suing file sharers.

For the cases that could have a direct impact on your life, you often have to dig deeper. This is true for the case of Brayton Purcell LLP v. Recordon & Recordon, a seemingly dull case about two law firms in a dispute over content posted on their respective Web sites.

However a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case, if upheld by other circuits or the Supreme Court, could have a drastic impact on the way copyright issues are litigated in the United States.

How big is the difference? The dissenting judge on the panel said the following, “Under the majority’s opinion, every website operator faces the potential that he will be hailed into far-away courts based upon allegations of intellectual property infringement, if he happens to know where the alleged owner of the property rights resides.”

In short, if you are accused of copyright infringement, it is no longer safe to assume that you would be sued in your own district, but rather that you could be forced to litigate in the plaintiff’s court, enduring the extra costs and expense that comes with it. read more

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April 23, 2009

Year of Original Content: Make Money From Copyright Thieves

Ask First Copyright badge - by Lorelle VanFossenI and Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today have long been advocates of copyright protections and education, leading the way with projects such as “Ask First,” the Year of Original Content,”5 Content Theft Myths and Why They Are False,” and “The 6 Steps to Stop Content Theft.”

It seems that the rest of the world is waking up to the fact that stolen content is big business. Within the past two years, there are a variety of services you can use to track where your online content has gone, report and stop it. A new project is underway called the Fair Syndication Consortium that might put a dollar amount on that stolen content, paying you for others abusing your content. read more

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April 6, 2009

It’s Your Work: Prove It

Story Updated 04/08/09 (see end) Jon Engle is a graphic designer from New Mexico. He has done work for many TV shows and TV networks as well as countless Web sites.

However, a recent series of events has put Engle’s reputation at risk. According to a post in Engle’s blog, a stock art site has accused him of copyright infringement. They have presented him with an $18,000 bill, threatened him with a lawsuit and even contacted his previous clients, claiming that he was under investigation for infringement and that the work he did for them “may have been stolen from their client.”

The problem, according to Engle, is that he created the works himself and that he believes someone uploaded them to the stock photography site without his permission, and in violation of that site’s terms of service. But the company, feeling that the uploads were legitimate, are aggressively protecting what they see as their intellectual property, using their copyright attorney.

However, it doesn’t matter who is in the right in this case. For either side to clear their name, they are going to have to prove that the work is theirs. Unfortunately, as Engle admits, this will not be a simple matter as he “would never have thought to plan for something like this”. Though he has some incidental proof, namely upload dates to LogoPond and metadata in the files themselves, these are hardly ideal since Engle is not completely sure when the images were lifted.

Engle’s story highlights the need for writers, artists, photographers and other creators to be aware that there are a million ways their work could come into dispute and to prepare for such a situation in advance. The end goal is be in a situation where, no matter what happens to your work, you always have proof that you created it first. read more

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February 26, 2009

Year of Original Content: FairShare Helps Track Content Theft

FairShare logoIn honor of my declaring war on content theft with the Year of Original Content,” FairShare is offering a limited number of free registrations for readers to try their copyright infringement tracking system currently in private beta testing.

Jonathan Bailey recently reviewed FairShare and said:

FairShare, unlike Attributor’s current business service, is targeted at bloggers and Webmasters who want to track how their content is being used and where, but do not require advanced tools and filtering. It works with Creative Commons licenses and tracks where content reappears, how much is used, if the content is linked and if the site displays any advertisements.

Though the service carries with it many different limitations, for bloggers that can not afford or don’t have the time to use a more advanced system, it is likely a very good choice.

FairShare creates a feed based upon your blog’s URL that is matched against the sites that FairShare monitors and tracks across the web, comparing the content against the original by checking the number of words copied, whether or not the matching site links back, if there are ads on the site, and other copyright violations in accordance with your selected Creative Commons license. FairShare supports all six v3.0 Creative Commons licenses. read more

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February 16, 2009

The Advantage of FairShare

Back in November, Attributor released a study that many Webmasters and content providers intrigued. According the report, for many Websites, most of the viewings of their content do not happen on their page or their RSS feed, but on other sites.

Earlier this month, the same company announced the public beta of its new product, FairShare, a free service designed to help help bloggers track their’s content’s usage, check for license compliance and understand who is using their works and how.

Though the service has some limitations, it can be a valuable tool for bloggers to get a glimpse at how their content is used on the Web and where some of their untracked readers may be hiding. read more

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January 19, 2009

Avoiding Copyright Scams

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It seems that every week a new product or service is announced that promises to protect your work in some way or another. Whether it is helping you “register” your copyright, detect plagiarism or even outright prevent infringement, there are tons of companies that want to take your money to protect your work.

However most of these products turn out not to live up to their hype. At best they are a waste of time, at worst they are an outright scam.

So who is out to scam you and who is here to help? Well, here are some of the more common types of copyright protection services and what you should look out for before you sign on the dotted line. read more

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