What to Do When Someone Steals Your Stuff

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You write a great article either on your blog or as a guest post, and one day you find it on someone else’s site with no credit to you whatsoever. In the case of what happened that prompted this piece, an article I wrote was lifted and tinkered with *slightly* and then reposted onto someone else’s site. What do you do if that happens?

Well, it’s certainly a hassle but it’s one you should consider following up on because stealing someone else’s work – especially stealing it and repurposing it, is not right and certainly a copyright infringement.

steals

When you discover this, the first step is to contact the site as I did after I got an email from someone at Joel Friedlander’s site, The Book Designer, to tell me that they’d discovered that this piece:http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/07/amazon-algorithms/ was reposted here:http://publishingpush.com/blog/understanding-amazons-algorithms/#comment-630

After my initial contact, they added me to the bottom of this piece as a “resource.” I emailed them again, reminding them I’d written this and to please cite me as the author. They wrote back, said they had – and they hadn’t. As this point it just became a game of chicken so I decided to take this a step further.

Your first plan of attack is to find out who their domain is registered with which in this case is GoDaddy. I found that information by going here: https://who.is/ and plugging in the URL. That will also pull up owner information, etc. that could be helpful to your case. Once you have that, go to the domain company and file a complaint. Here is a link to the complaint form on GoDaddy, and I suspect that most domain services have a similar form:

https://www.godaddy.com/agreements/showdoc.aspx?pageid=TRADMARK_COPY

Next, you want to file with Google. Their process is a simple, online form that you can find here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-notice?hl=en&pid=0

POSTED-when-someone-steals-A-012222015-blog_pin-200x300Once that’s done you wait for them to make their determination and let you know if the website has been contacted and what the outcome will be. What I can tell you from past experience is that both domain companies and Google take a very hard stance on trademark and copyright infringement so they tend to act quickly.

Yes, it’s a bit of work to do this but we must not allow people to steal the work we’ve created. Resolving this for issues related to piracy, etc. isn’t always possible but when it is, you should take action.

I will post a follow up to this (updating this blog post) to let you know what happened.

Good news – here is the follow up: http://www.amarketingexpert.com/winning-plagiarism-battle/

Reprinted with permission from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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