Let's Talk: Content Theft On The Internet & Ways To Prevent It

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Content Theft & Ways to Prevent It

Let's Talk

This has always hung around in the back of my mind, something to be despised, but not something that I necessarily worried about a ton. Then... I got a wake up call. Admittedly a small one, but still jarring. I got one of my book photography photos stolen and reposted without credit on My experience is laughable compared to some of the stuff other bloggers have to deal with, but still it hurt to see someone else take credit for my work, especially on a picture that took multiple takes to get right.

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Luckily for me, this person wasn't all too smart. They copied over the caption as well as all the hashtags including #quartzfeatherphotography, which is hashtag basically only used by me. So it was quite easy for someone else who'd also had their photo stolen to track me down and notify me. So I'd just like to ask that if you ever see content theft please report it and contact the owner.

How To Prevent It

Now let's get onto a few methods you can use to prevent your own stuff from being stolen.

  • If it's an a blog graphic or a photo you want credit for or don't want reposted, always add a watermark. It doesn't need to be fancy or anything, it can just be some text, like your account name or blog URL, which can be edited in with almost any photo editor, even MS Paint. Also make sure to put it in a spot that can't easily be cropped off. While there are most definitely people out there with, say photoshop who can remove that little watermark this will fend off at least 70% of people out there looking to steal graphics and photos.
  • Use plagiarism checkers. I have two to recommend Small Seo Tools and Copyscape
    • Small Seo Tools is better if you're just targeting just one or a part of a post. However there are a few downsides. This one only looks at your post and tells you what is one of a kind and what exist elsewhere on the web. If you want to find out who's stealing your content then you'll have to look for them yourself. But it's quite easy to just type the phrase into a search engine and look through the sites that come up. Do take note that sometimes it might just be some common phrases ringing the alarms.
    • Copyscape is better if your looking at you're entire blog/website. Just type in your URL and voila, all offending websites pop up on your screen. Though small warning to all people who have blogspot in their URL's, a variant might pop up in your searches. For example Copyscape thought quartzfeather.blogspot.nl was stealing my content, but in reality it's still just me.
  • One last tip, this one's for social media. If you have a unique hashtag kinda like my #quartzfeatherbookphotography I recommend you check it occasionally. {This kind of really only applies to Instagram by the way} Just scroll through looking for duplicates, and maybe you'll catch someone who also copied the hashtag. Though this is rare it still happens, and while your at it you might as well take some time to admire your old photos.

Have You Ever Has Any Of Your Digital Property Stolen?