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How to Protect Online Content from Theft


Guest post by Keshav Arora. How to prevent online content theft? Writing content is not as easy as someone thinks, especially those who only know how to copy the content. You’ve to work hard to find a topic, spend hours to research on it, think to organize the thoughts and then you start writing. After writing the content, the SEO of your website works to promote it on article directories and social media Websites.

online theftThe other part of this hard work is plagiarism, i.e., stealing others content without prior permission. It is not new on the World Wide Web and hurts a lot when a content thief gets benefits from search engine rankings/preference. The situation becomes worse when search engine alleges you to have duplicate content even if you’re its original creator/author. Is there any way to protect your content? Yes, there are and we’ll discuss the ways to protect your online content in this write up.

File a Copyright

You should file a copyright of your online content published on your Website(s) in your Country. If you search on Google with keywords ‘take copyright of content’ then you’ll get dozens of URL asking to offer Government-authorized copyrights online quickly and easily. Please remember that taking a copyright is neither quick nor easy, it depends on a country’s policies and procedures, and most of the times Governments do not approve such online copyright filings from third-parties. We suggest you filing the copyright by visiting Copyright Offices physically or do an e-filing on their Website. Following are few URLs of copyright Websites for different countries: -

  1. United States of America – http://www.copyright.gov
  2. India – http://copyright.gov.in
  3. United Kingdom – http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy.htm
  4. Australia – http://www.copyright.org.au

You can also search to find the copyright Website of your country, but prefer to visit .GOV domain names. If no such authenticated domain is there in your results then contact your friends or find Copyright Office in your country. Visit the office directly to file the copyright. Few countries also allows e-filing from their websites only.

Take a License

Most of us do not have enough time to physically visit the Government’s premises for filing the copyright of online content. In addition, the new startups always try to avoid legal proceedings like registering their company and filing copyright until they earn some money.

In such cases, you can take Creative Commons (CC) License from Creative Commons Organization. This organization offers six different licenses allowing you either to share your work or to protect it. Follow below steps to take a Creative Commons License,

  1. Visit their Website – creativecommons.org
  2. Click on ‘Choose License’ button in right side
  3. Fill a form and select the appropriate options
  4. This will register your Website’s content in free and generate a script
  5. Affix this script in your Website to show you’re protected.

It is noteworthy to mention that you can also take a Creative Commons License even if you’ve already obtained a copyright in your own country. The Creative Commons License gives you an additional protection. If you want to distribute your work free with your permission only then you can go for GNU Free Documentation License. After taking GNU License, others have to take your permission before publishing your content.

DMCA Protection Kit

DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Online service provider companies including search engines, Web Hosting Providers, Internet Service Providers, and Websites follow this act to protect the copyrights. As per Wikipedia article on DMCA,

“DMCA Title II, the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (“OCILLA”), creates a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) against copyright liability if they adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to allegedly infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) if they receive a notification claiming infringement from a copyright holder or the copyright holder’s agent. OCILLA also includes a counter notification provision that offers OSPs a safe harbor from liability to their users upon notice from such users claiming that the material in question is not, in fact, infringing. OCILLA also provides for subpoenas to OSPs to provide their users’ identity.” ( source: Wikipedia)

You can take benefit of this act to show your Website and its content’s copyright is protected by DMCA. Visit DMCA Website, sign up, get a DMCA badge, and add it to your Website. If you think that your content is stolen or its copyright is infringed then you can purchase a DMCA Toolkit. This toolkit (Website Protection Pro) helps you to identify the content theft, prove its ownership and in claiming online service providers to take action against the alleged Websites/Publishers.

Prove Content is Yours

Yes, you’ve written the content from scratch on your own even without taking help of online resources. Still, you’re required to prove that your content is original and only created by you. How can you do this? You can check your content at following plagiarism-checking Websites and obtain their badges of protection: -

  1. Copyscape
  2. DupliChecker
  3. Plagiarisma
  4. Plagium

These services check whether your content has been copied from anywhere on Internet or not. In addition, they provide you badges to show on your Website that your content is protected and free from plagiarism.

Copyscape offers a nice paid service and you’ve to pay only 5 cents per search. You can check 2000 words per search as per Copyscape’s standards. If you’re writing for monetization then it is a very small amount to save you from legal proceedings. You can also signup with its alerting service, which notifies when someone copies your original content.

Conclusion

If there are ways to copy someone’s content and use it, then there are ways to protect your online content from theft. You can take Copyright in your country, get an online Creative Commons License or GNU Free Documentation License, protection from DMCA toolkit, and use Copyscape/Plagiarisma to prove you’ve original content.

Guest author Keshav Arora is a technical writer working with Ipraxa, a full service web agency offering a wide range of services that can be broadly categorized into web design and development, web application development, mobile application development and Internet Marketing services

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