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Unless you are an expert on a topic or stating your opinion, have two or three authority sources to back up a fact. I think some of the search engines actually reward footnotes and citations, especially links going out to the sources.
Write in your own words, not the words of the sources. Use your own outline or structure, not that of the sources.
Some publishers 'spike' their content with identifiable innacuracies - a question in Trivial Pursuit that is unique and wrong, a town on a map that doesn't exist, or a jog in the road where the road is straight. This makes it possible to spot copyright thieves (though it can degrade the quality of the original content unless done carefully).
We had an email accusing us of stealing content from another web site (from a reader of theirs) - and ironically, it was the other way round.
We tend to publish cleaned up press releases and it is these which are reapearing in an edited format on the other site.
We know we are the source, as we often hold back less timely releases for quiet days - and the other site manages to also run their story on eactly the same day.
Now, our source is the original press release, and it is fair enough that they can use us as a "research point" then go to the press release originator for a clean copy to use.
Do you think we would be justified in complaining though that they seem to be just using our edited version as their source, and not crediting us?
We plan to add the odd minor typo to prove that they are editing our text, not using the original press release for their article.