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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Has anyone ever pursued article "thieves"?

 5:00 am on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been writing and submitting articles to three of the top article submission sites. In searching for my articles by the title, I've found them republished on other sites, but without the requisite link back to my site as required by the article submission sites' terms of service.

The article submission sites seem to take the position that it's my responsibility to contact the owners of the offending sites.

Has anyone here done more than complain to the owners of offending sites? For example, has anyone filed a complaint with Google, or threatened legal action?

I get pretty steamed when people break the rules.



 5:03 am on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Your better chasing the offending site first. If they are not interested in working something out with you, try contacting their hosting company. They are the people hosting the offending copies of your copyright work and are legally obliged to remove it, if you can prove it';s yours.

I have done this in the past and the hosting company got straight onto the phone with the offenders and the page was removed within hours.


 6:50 pm on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Brig, Out of curiosity does the offending site just move to another hosting company?...KF


 7:51 pm on Dec 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't understand.
Please explain this a bit further.

I have a web forum with this very same problem.

There is no way for me to prevent copying of the articles posted in the forum.

Any registered member can screendump, print, read/write cope or simply copy and paste. This is something the members know and wish to do themselfs, it is a forum for sharing knollege.

There is no way for me as site owner to prevent this as it is the main purpose of the place and the reason the members go there, to share info and experiance...


 12:53 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think your expectations for "article submission sites" are way too high.

They hold out the promise of getting something (backlinks) for nothing.

Is it a realistic expectation?


 4:49 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Is it a realistic expectation?"

Yes, it is a realistic expectation. Most of the sites that republish my articles obey the rules and link to my site.

It's the ones who break the rules that I want to hurt.


 4:59 am on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I find it is best to be polite and send them a friendly email stating the terms first.

Fortune Hunter

 5:46 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I find it is best to be polite and send them a friendly email stating the terms first.

I agree, I have seen many posts in this forum where the first response is to roll out the big artillery and pulverize the offender. I am in no way justifying the theft of content, but I am saying sometimes a little honey is much better than largest cannon. If they still refuse to be decent about it after you have been nice then pulverize them.


 11:24 pm on Dec 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

"There is no way for me as site owner to prevent this as it is the main purpose of the place and the reason the members go there, to share info and experiance..."

In the past week I have had to deal with a couple of people who were taking pages off my site and posting them as their own writing on a closed forum in order to "share the info and experience." In fact, after I contacted them telling them to remove my copyrighted material, one of them put up a web page about how we would never have gotten anywhere if we didn't all share our knowledge. The fact is that I was already sharing the knowledge--on my own site. And so are the people who wrote the articles your forum subscribers are ripping off. The way you can deal with this issue is to have moderators doing their jobs and to educate your forum members about what copyright is and how to respect it. I have seen forums do this, so I know it works. There is nothing wrong with putting up four lines of an article and then giving the url to the rest of it.


 12:40 am on Dec 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

This I can fully understand.

If there was several people on the forum that reacted, I would try to find some way around this.

I agree education is the way to go, and educate the members!

But that does not help situation that is current.

The matter at hand that set this of has been resolved.

The guy who posted the info on his page deleted it and that is not the issue any more, The guy who had this text taken has previusly not cared about this, infact encureged sharing.

He turned 180 and is angry at all and evrything, with more or less reason!

If there is 1400 members, 40700 posts and one complaint in 3 years!
We are a special place with guy's that look to find info about the hobby we love.

Copyrightsa is not a big issue to many, but I thought I would try and find out a way to prevent this in future.

It was not as easy as I thought.


 6:15 pm on Dec 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is nothing wrong with putting up four lines of an article and then giving the url to the rest of it.

Yep. And if you go to the U.S. Copyright Office's site you'll find the above fairly accurately defines the concept of "Fair Use."

The problem is some people don't think the law applies to them .... until they get a wake-up call.



 6:21 pm on Dec 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think your expectations for "article submission sites" are way too high.

I read a study a few weeks ago where some seeded articles were submitted to various article sites. After a period of time, those articles were searched for using a variety of search engines and something like 5% of the instances where the articles had been copied were the links back to the author still intact. In other words, they were removed 95% of the time.

That requires a lot of "hunt & kill" to find those 95%.

I think it's important to have realistic expectations about article sites. Are the results worth the continuous effort of tracking down those who don't play by the "rules"? If YES, submit away.

Are you comfortable submitting your articles knowing they will be copied and used without proper attribution? If YES, then again, submit lots of articles.



 11:56 pm on Dec 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I believe if you check with some tools that college professors use, you will find fee-based services that will scour all media outlets for copy right violations. College professors use similar tools to see if students are plagerizing term papers.

You also want to register your work with the US Copyright office or similar office, which is not free. If you register within 45 days of the date of creation, any attorney fees are paid for by the guilty party.

Webmasters will probably go with the "periodical" registration, rather than every time a web page is changed. Lets say you change your web site once a week, you can register a copy of that web site as a 52 week periodical?

And I have seen more than one forum claim ownership of all posts as an intregal part of the license agreement of users participating on the site, all posts become property of the web site, not public domain.

The problem of course will be determining if you can enforce a violation, you may not want to post some material on the internet simply because an offender may be in a foreign country that you have no control over.

It may be better to market your material to traditional printed methods, which is easier to control?


 1:07 am on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)


I have seen forums that claim ownership of all info posted, but this is not something I would want or like to be forced to do.

I belive the writer of the post should own it and have the rights for it as well as obligations.
Problem is when a poster thinks that what he put's in public is private. It is not.
He owns it but it can (not saying it is or will be!) easely be used by others with or without approval.

For me and the forum I have it is not possible to use papers.
We involve too many people and sources of information for this to me practical even thru email.
there can be 30 sourses of info and page after page of cotrodicting litteratour to be compiled in one or two sentences.

Eash member must share what they wish, when they have time and are in the mood. Evryone has a choice to publish it or nor, if it is forum, book or other media.

In the forum the facts are kept as a piease to complete the big puzzle of history in this subject of interest.
Once in a while someone get's the urge to look over what is gathered with in a speacialety of the hobby, very narrow fieald of search and is only possible to do this way.

Even if it is Possible for forum to over ride the creators copyright it is not fair in my opinion.

Those who wish to be named in the "credits" should be and others like me who don't should not be.

This is a wonderful hobby for us that give joy and satisfaction... And a lighter wallet to carry around...


 1:52 pm on Dec 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have had so many articles used by other web sites, which is fine, however they ruin their formatting, and neglect to make the link to my site clickable. They are no doubt, classed as thieves if they do this!
I had written an article about html, however when people copied it, it turned to mumbo jumbo.. The html in the article was told to perform an action, not told to show up in the article. This is all over the internet. It makes me wonder if anyone looks at what they are publishing on their site..Too busy ripping people off!

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