|Received notice of copyright infringement/plagiarism|
My site received an email from someone notifying us of copyright infringement and plagiarism for an article that had been on the site for almost three years in its current location, and for a couple of years prior to that on another page.
The person who wrote the article for us isn't a professional writer, and said that they only consulted the factory repair, troubleshooting, and servicing documentation for the assembly when they wrote the article, to make sure it was accurate. They don't spend much time online, and I've known this person for many years and don't believe they based the article on someone else's work, as it's not in their character at all.
We removed the article, and asked the person who wrote it to re-write it.
A search using Copyscape didn't turn up anything else, except for other pages on our site that referenced the article. I searched Bing for a similar article, but turned up nothing.
The person who wrote the article has asked how it needs to be changed, and I'm not certain what to tell them. They mentioned that some of the information is of a factual, technical nature, and expressed that there's only so many ways to present it accurately.
The article was well rounded, and I asked if there was anything new that could be added to it.
The thought occurred to me that perhaps this was an attempt to remove us from competing in search for this topic, which isn't in a highly competitive area at all. I know there are repercussions for making accusations of this nature that are unfounded, but we'd rather avoid the legal hassles.
Has anyone come across something like this before? I searched, but didn't find anything similar. Is shuffling around the order, using different descriptive words and terms, and changing the tone of the article enough? I feel like the person who complained may have been hit by all the recent updates, and they think by removing other pages theirs may rise to the top. Since I can't find anything, I have nothing to compare our article to.
Did you ask for proof?
|My site received an email from someone notifying us of copyright infringement and plagiarism for an article |
If I were you I would be telling them that AFAYK the article was written for you and that if they feel that it is an infringement they should be able to prove it.
@BeeBeeDubbleU: No, we didn't ask for proof. This is the first time we've ever received such a message. I'm going to help with the rewrite and see if we can improve and expand the article, then republish. I suspect doing this in an attempt to remove all competition because they got slammed by the recent Google updates.
Evidence of that is I can't find their article anywhere, even in Bing.
Thanks, hopefully there won't be a next time, but if there is we'll ask for more information before being so quick to remove content.
I would still go back to them and tell them that your investigations indicate that the content is yours and ask them to prove otherwise.
My two cents--I have found that when I am taking notes from a text that I tend to duplicate the grammatical structure of the text I was taking notes on. I have to force myself to use different words. It could well be that something like that happened with your writer using the manual as a reference.
I was also told in terms of plagiarism that a text has to not be recognizable as the original text. This does take work, but it's more tedious than difficult. This includes technical stuff. It might seem there are only a few ways to say something, but there are really plenty. I did this a lot when I was ghostwriting, which was often technical and science stuff.