People always say "oh that would never happen to me." They usually say it about something tragic... "A car accident? Oh that would never happen to me." "Cancer? Nah, that'll never happen to me." It's been said about almost anything and everything.
"Having content stolen from my blog? Nope, that wouldn't happen to me."
Or at least, that's what I thought until just a few nights ago. I'd heard about some copyright infringement issues, but I figured "well, I have a disclaimer/disclosure page, so that will cover me if anything happens. Of course, nothing is going to happen."
And it happened.
I Google my blog once in a while just to see what comes up about it... usually it's just posts from my blog or guest posts I've had on other blogs or places where I have my blog profile up (bloggers.com, blogaholic.com, etc.)
So when a post of mine showed up on a site I never recognized before? I got kinda scared...
I clicked on the link and it took me to this other blog that had a post of mine IN ITS ENTIRETY posted there. My pictures. My words. My everything. It was a weird feeling, seeing something I had written on a site it shouldn't have been on... clicking on the pictures took me to some spam site. Not what I had when I initially posted it.
I did more Google'ing to find out what I was supposed to do in this situation. I was able to file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement complaint with Google for them to look into the matter. Filling out the forms was a pretty serious matter. I had to give them my full legal name, explain/describe the content that I was claiming was mine and show where it was originally posted as well as sharing the information for the infringing site. (note: I would've contacted the owner for the other blog first to request it be removed; however, there was no contact information that could be found).
It's a happy ending story in that Google responded in less than 24 hours and removed the content from the other site (thank you, Google!) I was very impressed with the service, and it's caused me to become more aware. Aside from just my disclaimer/disclosure page, I've also registered my blog with Copyscape.com and MyFreeCopyright.com. I just don't want to take any chances of something worse happening in the future.
So, take this as a warning, dear friends. Anything can be taken from the Internet and claimed as someone else's. You can't stop everyone, but you can take the proper steps to try to protect yourself.
Have you ever had any issues with someone stealing your content or re-posting without your permission?