Copyscape, DMCA and getting back at illegal scraper and duplicate content websites and content thieves!

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Copyscape is easy to use and a great resource for putting a stop to copyright infringement.


We all know that good quality content takes time to create, edit and then post. Depending upon the niche in the topic chosen it can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to do it correctly. Then all of a sudden comes along a scraper site or some Yahoo idiot that just copies and pastes your content to their own site to try make money off of Google ad sense until they get caught for hosting tons of duplicate content. It’s frustrating for anyone and everyone.

The problem is is that if someone steals your content until the search engines like Google figure it out they could possibly outrank you for your own content. That is frustrating and ridiculous and illegal. That’s right it’s 100% legal to steal someone else’s content. When you copy and post someone else’s content without their permission it’s called plagiarism and it’s also a copyright violation. That means that the idiot that does the copying is many times unknowingly opening themselves up to both criminal and civil problems.

Now how do you handle it if someone steals your content? Generally, lawyers will recommend that you contact the offending individual or website in writing (preferably from the lawyer) and specifically tell them that they do not have your permission to host that content and that they need to remove it immediately. Many of these websites are not even located inside the United States so they figure they can get away with this because they’re for all practical purposes safe from civil litigation – who is going to sue someone living with their parents in a foreign country with no assets? That would be a bad financial decision as you would never recover your legal fees and costs.

But there is something called the DMCA (Digital millennium copyright act). This gives the original content owner the right to file a DMCA complaint with the search engines like Google and have the offending content removed.  The content will then be removed by the search engine and they may possibly even remove the entire website.  It all depends on the circumstances and how pervasive an offender they are.  Some of these scraper sites are completely one or percent duplicate content that they’ve stolen from other sites.  When Google is made notice of a situation like this they tend to do list the whole entire offending website and may even ban it permanently.

Now the offending website does have the right to file an appeal, but in so doing they are opening themselves up to a lawsuit and if they really are carrying stolen content on their website they’re basically giving up all their rights and ability to fight a lawsuit.  Basically the appeal is like having a conviction in court – it is seen as an admission of guilt if they are found to be guilty of plagiarism or copyright violations.  If the offending party does live within your country or state, they are very easy to sue into oblivion.

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And, as sometimes may be the case, if they are a minor living at home with their parents, well I’m sorry for the parents, but they are 100% legally responsible for their children.  That means that if their children have caused any financial duress or similar and the court awards any amount of money the parents have to pay all of it.  They can’t get out of it by saying they didn’t know what their children were doing. 

Another great avenue that all websites should use nowadays is Copyscape.  This website will tell you an alert you if anyone is copying or scraping your content.  It is bound to happen if you have a website that has quality content on it and drives significant traffic you will have scrapers and eats copying your content to post on their own sites.  With Copyscape you can check any page of your site you want from your home page to the deepest linked page on your website to see if someone is actually copying your content.  They also have a button or logo that you can put on your website that warns visitors that you check your content diligently with Copyscape.  This will many times deter the scrapers and content feeds out there – they know that armed with this you can turn them into Google and get them delisted or even banned permanently.

Google takes copyright infringement seriously and will immediately remove content when it is submitted a DMCA complaint.  Another great feature of the DMCA complaint and Google is that for a out of country offender to appeal they have to agree to the courts and jurisdiction of California.  This makes it much easier for a website owner that’s being infringed upon to bring suit against the offending infringer.  In most cases overseas infringers remove the infringed content and move on to easier prey.  It’s just like thieves and burglars.  If you make yourself a tough victim they will 99% of the time move on to an easier victim.  The same holds true on the Internet. 

So stand up for your rights if you think that someone has stolen your content illegally, file a DMCA and report your complaint to Google and the other search engines.  Don’t let them get away with stealing your content.  And be diligent and use a program or website like Copyscape to alert you to the scrapers and content thieves so you can stop them quickly.

Our policy here at ReportYourComplaint is that we report any copyright infringement or content theft to Google Adsense, Google and then the hosting company of the offending website in that order. So, as a message to scraper sites and content thieves don’t copy our readers posts or any material from this site without permission unless you want to get permanently banned from Google.


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One Response to Copyscape, DMCA and getting back at illegal scraper and duplicate content websites and content thieves!

  1. Anna Serotnik on July 25, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    I have used copyscape.com for about a year now and I have caought many copycats that have pirated my copyrighted material. I was able to use copyscape and prove to Google that my content was the original content and then I filed a DMCA report against them.

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