A Webmaster’s View – How to Protect the Copyright on Your Blog Articles
Of all the website security questions I hear from clients the foremost blogging concern is about copyrights and plagiarism. Who can blame an author for wanting to protect the blog articles they’ve invested their time and intellect to create.
A May 26, 2010 article on , “China’s Plagiarism Problem” discusses the international and economic ramifications of “borrowing” the intellectual property of others. In China plagiarism is running rampant in industry and academia. For years Graphic Artists Guild has waged the “Ask First” campaign to enlighten the public that it’s better to ask before using online images created by others. It’s a worldwide problem, compounded by the assumption that if it’s online it’s there for the taking.
I’ve had my own experiences with the reuse of my content. Each event ended with positive results. It’s important to remember that most people who engage in the taking of website content don’t realize they are doing anything wrong. Therefore, most people when caught will be accommodating in removing the content from their website. In the two events I’ve experienced I found that a polite email to the offending webmaster resolved the problem.
Blogs are meant to be shared, so you can expect your content will be shared online. However there are some safeguards you can use to be sure people know it’s your content.
Copyright it. It’s simple, but at times forgotten: have a copyright noted on your blog.
There’s a plugin for that! If your blogging program uses plugins check to see if there is one that will attach the copyright to your feed.
Do what the big guys do. Have your ever noticed that UPI and AP newspaper article always have their credit at the beginning of an article. Include your bi-line in your blog feed.
Vex the thieves. Often blog articles are grabbed without reading or consideration. So, mention your business name in the article. It’s likely it won’t be removed when it shows up on the thief’s website.
Be diligent. There are no Internet police, so it’s up to you to do searches for your content and to request its removal (if you want it removed).
Not all reuse of your content is bad for you or your website. It’s the use without credit that’s at the center of most client concerns. If you are happy with the additional exposure, my advice is to ask for credit.
When your blog is configured to give you credit you can blog with confidence.