As plugins for WordPress become more sophisticated, many people are running blogs that use some of these kinds of plugins to scrape and copy your content. This is different from syndicated content where people publish your content, but give you credit for that content and provide a link back to your website.
What content scrapers are doing, in essence, is stealing your hard work and calling it their own. Content scraping plugins do not credit the original website nor do they provide a link. Some webmasters will actually do a search for their keywords and then copy and paste your article to their website, not even changing it up a little to make it unique. Not only is this blatant plagiarism, it is just plain lazy!
So what can you do to prevent theft of your content by plugins and thieves alike?
Use Summaries in your posts
WordPress allows you to modify posts by changing your settings. Simply go to “settings”, then choose “reading” and finally, under the selection “for each article in a feed – show summary”. Save this and then exit. Now, when you post content, it will simply show a summary. After you have done this the result is that if RSS Feed plugins grab your summary, what they will get is one paragraph only from your article, along with a link back to your website.
Add Hotlink Protection
Find the thief
Your next move is to contact the owner of the webpage. Tell them that they are using your content without your permission and ask them to remove it and to cease and desist. Make sure you keep copies of all of this correspondence. Be sure to remain professional at all times. Some people do not even realize that they are stealing your content, and will be more than happy to remove it at your request. You must remain calm and keep the dialogue open, even if your first instinct is to be brutal. You will have to prove that the content is yours, and you can use backed up data to do this or the “way back” website.
Most people will remove your content that is copied to their webpage without much fuss. This is because they were either unaware that the content was stolen, or they had no idea that the content was copyrighted. Ignorance is not protection, however, and it is up to you to be ever vigilant and be aware of people taking your content and calling it their own.
Once you have been in touch with a webmaster and they have responded to you, you can give that person several options:
- Remove your content from their page altogether
- Provide the original link back to your website in the post and state that it is reproduced
- Pay you a certain sum of money for the use of your original copyrighted content.