Article by Wendy McCance
A few years back I wrote an article called, What Should You Do If Your Articles Are Used Without Your Permission? At the time, someone had used a personal article of mine and posted it on WordPress. It was a very personal account and truly uncomfortable to see that the blogger copied it word for word and posted it as though it was their own story. A communication with WordPress and the entire blog was taken down and the person banned from the WordPress platform.
Well, it happened again, although this time the user wasn’t on the WordPress platform. I had to research how to get the article taken down, and it was actually very easy! First I wrote a comment below my article on the website where my word for word article was found demanding the article be taken down. The comment is still in moderation. It was never answered and the article stayed up.
After some research, I found a way to contact Google and complain about copyright infringement. Here is the link in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation: Google Complaint Form
Filling out the form was easy and Google contacted me when the situation was being resolved. Here is an excerpt from the email: In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have completed processing your infringement notice. The following URLs will be removed from Google’s search results shortly.
So, how did I find out that my article was copied? In this case, I got a notice in my comments that showed a link to the offending website, my article’s link and the word source. I went to the website because I had no idea what “source” meant and there it was. My personal article about how I deal with fibromyalgia was posted. I have no idea why the article was used. The site is strange. There is several random articles (all say source) and I’m assuming no one else knows their articles are being used either. I would give out the link so you can check out the strange site, but I don’t want to encourage traffic to their site.
So, this is just a heads up so you have information on what to do to keep your own articles safe from theft.
Have you had to deal with this issue? What did you do to resolve it? Did it work? Leave a comment below and share your experience.
Information we can share with each other can help the writing community deal more efficiently with our hard work being so thoughtlessly repurposed without our permission.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]