I recently received an email asking me what to do when a post is “stolen” and used by another blogger. In this case, my reader assumed the website was a spam site and she wanted to get the post (and her associated “Linky Party” links) removed right away. (If you don’t know what a “Linky Party” is, check it out here – it’s one of my other online business ventures that has been very useful and popular).
Here’s my response to this reader’s concern about their content being stolen:
Not much you can do about the scummy content stealers… I know it’s irritating but it’s just part of being online.
You can file a report with Google, but Google is actually pretty good at figuring out who the original source is so I’m not sure how much extra good comes from that effort.
The offending blog owner themselves are not going to respond to you. They are thieves, they do this all the time. They are used to ignoring threats and emails. So don’t waste your time trying to contact them. The email and contact form probably aren’t even real… they are good at hiding. You can’t even find out who hosts or owns them.
While they may attract traffic in some cases, the links all go back to you and your list. Short of your content ending up on some site that slanders you, or makes you appear to approve of something you are firmly against, you have to ask yourself how much time and effort you want to spending trying to fight them. Once a blog gets really popular, you can expect every blog post to be stolen numerous times….
I’ve seen my own content get stolen from time to time; and, if your blog is well-written and full of useful content, your stuff will get stolen too. It’s understandable that you’d get irritated but, as I mentioned, there is little you can do about it. Take it as a compliment that your stuff is worth stealing. And to be honest, if your stuff is stolen enough times, it just means more and more people will see it. They will most likely make their way back to you eventually.
To sum it up, in my opinion, there is very little to be gained by pursuing it or being stressed out about it. It’s just part of being online. Invest your time and energy directly on your blog instead.
Answering questions is by far one my most favorite online activity. What questions do you have?
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