Fighting online plagiarism


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I made & presented this when i was asked to help fashion designers in various institutes, whose designs are frequently stolen & copied. However, this is applicable to everyone who shares any of their original work online through their websites, social networks, blogs and content sharing websites.

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Fighting online plagiarism

  2. 2.  If you discover your content published illegally on another website without permission or attribution, the first step is to send a polite email to the owner of the website.DMCA Notice of CopyrightInfringement – Overview &Sample Template
  3. 3.  Content plagiarism is a serious concern on the Internet. You spent an entire day to get that perfect picture from your Nikon D80 DSLR camera only to realize that hour later, some lesser-known websites , blogs, pages have reprinted your pictures without giving you any credit. To get your content removed from the another website, the first step (that works in 99% of the cases) is to send a friendly email to the owner of that site/page. But sometimes finding the email address of the person, who ripped off your content, may be the toughest part. Following are some indirect tricks to help you locate email addresses of offenders.How to Find Email Addresses ofPeople Who Plagiarize Content
  4. 4.  Step 1. If the offending site is self hosted, you are very likely to find the email address of the website owner through the public whois database. I prefer for quick retrieval of website registry information. Step 1(a). If the website is self hosted but the whois information is private, try the following query on Google (replace abc with the actual site address) - This might show up some real email addresses for that domain. Step 2. If the site is hosted on Blogger, WordPress or other blogging platforms, leave a comment in any of the blog posts. Most bloggers generally read and respond to user comments. Step 3. Now the trickiest part - theres no "Contact Us" form on the website and theres place for you to write comments. Well, dont give up yet because you still have good options:
  5. 5.  3(a). Use Technorati or Google Blog search to find other sites / blogs linking to that offending site. Its quite possible that the offender may be maintaining multiple websites that are cross-linked for maximum Google Juice. There are chances that contact information is available on one of his/her legit sites. 3(b). If the person is blogging under an alias (say “coolstranger4u") - search for that term on Google. Its very likely that he has used the same alias when registering on other web forums and social networking websites. When you get hold of his public profile on some site like Digg, MyBlogLog or say facebook forums, look for the IM aliases. If his YIM! is abc, you know that an email addressed to will, very likely, land in his inbox. Alternatively, most web forums allow Private Messaging. Sign up for that forum yourself and send a private message / email. That may be the last resort. You can flood his facebook page, he will hide/ban you again and again, but that really won’t make a difference. Keep doing it and message the most frequent users of the page and ask them to help.
  6. 6.  Never quit - I know it takes some effort to track down the plagiarists but that should not deter you from actively pursuing your case. Remember that search engines, including Google, still have issues figuring out the original source of web documents.
  7. 7.  If the website owner fails to respond to your email requesting removal of plagiarized content, it may be time for you to send a formal DMCA letter to his web hosting company and also to his advertising partner(s) (like Google Adsense / facebook ads manager) that are helping him monetize content which is actually owned by you. While web hosting firms and online advertising companies will immediately comply to your requests, they will also ask you to send them DMCA notices in a proper format with all the necessary details and proof. Lets take a fictional case - Mr. Karan Seth of finds his content on another website called www. Following is a Sample DMCA Notice that Karan can submit to the web host of and also to Google.
  8. 8. Subject: Notice of Copyright InfringementThe copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on www. and www. URLs where our copyrighted material is located include and can reach me at for further information or clarification. My phone number is +91-9324612905 and my mailing address is Karan Seth, 16/729 Sion East, Mumbai : 400 037.The email address of the website owner, who has reprinted our content illegally, is have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.Karan Seth September 11, 2010 [14:50]FORMAL DMCA Notice of CopyrightInfringement
  9. 9.  If your DMCA Notification letter meets all the requirements, the web host will expeditiously delete (or ask the customer to remove) that material. While most web hosting companies will accept your DMCA notices via email, Google (for Blogger and Adsense) requires you to snail mail or fax the DMCA document with your signatures. As a workaround, you can take a picture of your signature and paste that as in image in the Word Processor. Then you fax the document to Google DMCA department via Skype,Email or online.
  10. 10.  Please review the websites DMCA procedures which follow the OCILLA. Also note, the sworn statements and all other information listed on their DMCA page are not only required but mandatory for any DMCA report. This will allow you to specifically identify the intellectual property that you own and is being infringed upon, which is required by law. There are many verified third party DMCA/COPYRIGHT agencies who act on behalf of the intellectual property holders who can verify and submit these claims on behalf of the intellectual property owners. This will insure that legally, the intellectual property owner and the ISP is protected in the event of an account termination.Please Note
  11. 11.  In most circumstances, the thief will be planning to monetize your content using advertising from Google Adsense or Yahoo Publisher Network or some other service. Once he sets up advertising on his site, your job get even easier - just complain to them and immediately, the ads will be pulled off from the offending site.Everything else fails - Complain tothe Site Advertisers
  12. 12.  The Best Online Tools To Help You Know Everything About Web Sites :::: tools-for-webmasters-know-everything-about-websites/2744/ How to Find the name of Web Hosting Company from the Site URL::: web-hosting-company.html SoftLayer DMCA information see section 2 - 2.1 take- down example. see section 512 - 3 Elements of notificationIMPORTANT Bibliography
  13. 13. Rahul Krishan Ahuja IPR and Internet consultant Cyber Forensics Analyst Cyber Crime Investigator CEO AdEventureZ 022-24093351 09324612905 BB : 220CF5B0Get In Touch