There is a crime that many do not really consider as such - treating content on websites or blogs as anonymous and using it at will! Because of this content theft is a common thing online and most times small content owners, like bloggers, are often the target.
According to Wikipedia.com,
“Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is "the right to copy", but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other, related rights.”
Unfortunately, many are unaware of these content copyright issues while most of them deliberately rip off content from other websites/blogs and use it as their own. If you own a website or a blog – especially if it generates revenue – it is important that you take preventive measures to protect your content. The last thing you want to see is your content benefiting someone else more than you.
The following are some tactics on how to copyright web content and keep them away from content thieves.
1. Protect Your Content With Plug-Ins
The first preventive measure is to add protection plug-ins. Use RSS Footer and Antileech to make sure that even if your content is copied, you get full credit for it. These WordPress plug-ins either add your website link below your content, or spin it to make it look different. You should also disable the use of "right click copy paste" on your website to make your content difficult to be copied.
2. Include A Content Copyright Notice
Content thieves often target websites and blogs without a copyright notice. This gives them an idea that either the creator is a novice, or unbothered about his/her website's content being copied. Create a copyright notice mentioning what you allow and what you don't. Usually, it should state that the content on your website can not be used without your permission, and if used calls for legal action. If some websites use your content, they are liable to give you full credit for it. Let people know that you are aware of your rights.
3. Get A Creative Commons License
Your content copyright notice should scare most of the thieves away, but to be sure, get yourself a license. A creative commons license will legally make you the owner of your work, and can be used like a weapon if ever needed. If your website generates revenue, it's most important that you get your content copyrighted. The license would legally define what you are willing to share and what you strictly don't allow.
4. DMCA Protection
Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes all websites to adhere to the copyright laws. Register your website with DMCA and add their badge to your website to ensure the safety of your content. You can also buy the DMCA tool kit to find anyone using your content without your prior permission.
5. Protect Your Images And Other Documents
Image theft is also a common form of copyright violation. If the images on your website are your own – created by you or purchased – insert a watermark. People often search images through Google and copy the unclaimed ones. Placing a watermark is enough to warn them. It's an effective and reliable method to protect your images from being used for profit.
The above content copyright measures though simple are effective in preventing content thieves from copying your content without crediting you. Follow them and you wouldn’t need to be worried about your content being copied. Because even if is copied, the responsible person/company is liable to face legal action. Usually, reporting to search engines or web hosts is enough to sabotage any plagiarism or theft attempt. Just keep a track of your website's content using Copyscape.com and, make sure it is not misused.
Your comments and views on how to copyright content will be appreciated. If you support content copyright or not let us know in the comments below.