Sep 16, 2012
Imagine spending a lot of time and effort drawing a picture; carefully searching for the colors, struggling to find inspiration and time to paint, and it finally starts coming into the picture you had in mind. But just as it’s complete, someone grabs for it, go then claim it’s his!
While stealing is outrageous when a valuable physical object is in question, it happens thousands of time every day and goes unnoticed. From downloading music and movies illegally to copying work without permission, it’s not that strange to open a foreign website to find one of your articles, videos or photos surrounded by ads you don’t remember agreeing on, or under someone else’s name all together.
1- Publish an official copyright notice: some of the people who blindly copy/paste your content are not aware they’re doing something illegal. An official copyright notice does not, however, grant you any legal rights, but it helps putting the thought out there.
2- Create an explicit permissions policy: Be clear on what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to using your content elsewhere. Be specific and detailed, so the other party knows that if these terms were broken, they may have face legal charges.
3- Protect your content with a watermark: it doesn’t have to be a distracting black blotch, but it helps to watermark your photos; not because it would stop possible piracy, but it highlights your ownership to the content, thus making unpermitted usage worse.
4- To know if your content has been used without your permission you can use Copyscape and Plagiarisma to check for duplicates of your content, and also prove you own the original version, and Google Alert to notify you whenever a specified URL or keywords is published elsewhere.
5- You can easily get a Creative Common license for your content.
Finally, if you find out that someone has been copying your content, it’s best to contact the website’s owner and ask them to take down whipped content first. Copyrights regulation should not be exclusive to big-names companies, even if you have a starting blog or worrying your online photos might get pinched, you should plan a good strategy to protect your content.
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