Protecting Your CopyRighted Articles

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
December 5, 2007

How to Protect Your CopyRighted Material

Are you doing everything you can to protect your copyrighted articles? In the fast moving internet blogging world there are many articles and many websites looking to hook up with each other. Some people think nothing of grabbing sentences, paragraphs or even whole sections of your copyrighted articles and placing them on their blog or forums. What can you do to protect yourself?

Well, I have found a couple of instances on the net of people inappropriately grabbing large sections of an article I wrote and just placing it on a forum. In one case the person that did that actually gave me credit for the article and a link to the actual article. But, it is still wrong. I don't know if they meant to steal my article and destroy the copyright on it or if they just thought it was important information and wanted to share it with others.

There is a right way and a wrong way to quote other's works without messing up the copyright of the article. The way this guy did it was wrong. It is generally okay to summarize an article in a brief paragraph of maybe 2 or 3 sentences without copying the article word for word. Then place a link and a meaningful anchor title for the link next to the article and have the reader go to the source to read the rest of the article.

You might want to protect your copyrighted articles, but you may be wondering how to find websites that have ripped you off? Well if you are in the top 10 results of the SERPs and you suddenly find that you have dropped off, you might want to look at the web pages ahead of you. Read their articles and see if they have copied your article into their pages.

Another thing you want to do is to find articles that link to your website. Because some people aren't being malicious and they want to give you credit for the article, they just didn't do a good enough job of summarizing. I actually found the latest abuse just in this manner. I placed this query, "youcanlearnseries com", in Google and then began to look at some of the web sites that had referenced my website. I wasn't specifically looking to find someone copying one of my articles. But, some things will pop out at you and make you want to question how they were using the information. When you dig deeper you might be surprised.

Why should you care if large portions of your original article is stolen?

What effect will the copying have on my original article and the copyright of the article? It could lead someone else to claim credit for your original document. They could make a ton of money off of your article and you might get nothing.

Plus, further down the road the Google robots could see the two articles as duplicate content. Now, which one do they choose? Your original copyrighted article that you are trying to protect or the article the other guy placed on the web? I would think you would be concerned that traffic is being redirected to the other page. And everyday your article is seen on the other website you lose.

How do you stop them? Well, you have to be vigilant. Whenever you find someone has copied your document you need to contact that person immediately. If it is on a person's blog you ask them to remove it. If it is on a forum, contact the moderator or administrator. Ask to have the article removed immediately. You don't have to be rude about it, but you should be confident and concerned. Hopefully that will be enough to have the article taken down.

The recent problem I had occurred on a forum called I don't think the person who placed the information on the forum had an ill intent. He was just a little too ambitious with the amount of the article he placed on the forum. I want to shout out a loud KUDOS to Fergal the administrator / owner of HostBidder. He immediately took action on the original placement in the forum. He was even kind enough to leave the link to my site. I really appreciate it.

What else should you do? I read an article just last week about Why You Should Register Your Copyright. This article was written by Sarah Bird, Esquire, of It is a must read article for anybody that writes articles and places them on the internet. You write an eBook, an article, whatever, make sure you follow the suggestions of this lawyer. Now not all of the United States laws apply internationally, so that will always be a problem.

This article will help you out as you write your thoughts and research and place the information on the world wide web. Some people will copy your articles out of ignorance, some will steal your articles for their personal gain and others will just do it to be mean. You have to be like a company with a brand. You have to fight to protect your investment in time and effort. You have to notify people immediately when you see a wrong occur and not be afraid to take them to court to protect yourself and the articles you write.

Success is Achieved by doing the fundamentals - Are you happy with the results. Did we get the number of visitors we wished for? Did our visitors click on revenue producing links and ads? Were our page views up for the year or down? Did users visit more than one page? Did they make it to the order form and then abandon or did they continue and purchase our products?

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