Recently I had the misfortune of finding my home page on someone else’s site! I must admit my first reaction was shock and disbelief—then anger set in. I felt like I’d been violated with a slap in the face. It’s one thing to reblog content, but it’s another to steal someone’s content and put your name on it. Which, by the way, he did. If it weren’t for my trusty WordPress Reader—I never would’ve found it. There are many sites I follow, but manage to get through them all in about two days. Until recently, was following the culprit using polite reciprocity, since he was following me; and it appeared we had a common interest—the Word of God.
In search for information to not only help myself, but also my readers; found this sort of thing is to be expected and bound to happen, eventually, to us all. It now becomes a process of being informed and prepared to cut your losses when your content is stolen. Apparently, website hijacking is on the rise. Instead of putting in the hard work that comes with constantly reinventing or creating new content, some find it much easier to hijack it. That’s what happened to my home page. It was, literally, hijacked. Your content is known as intellectual property and stealing it is illegal. Just because it is on the Internet does not mean it is up for grabs or free to be taken.
…none of us in the blogging community are safe from digital theft…
The reality is none of us in the blogging community are safe from digital theft. However, there are some precautionary measures we can take to make it difficult for digital thieves to prosper.
- Make sure each page is copyrighted. Under the DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, all content published online is protected under copyright law, regardless of it having the copyright symbol on the page or not. Any content, no matter the form it takes (whether digital, print, or media), is protected under copyright law. Although my home page had a copyright notice on it, the perpertrator took the information anyway.
- Register your website/blog with the DMCA and add one of their badges to your website to let potential copyright infringers know that your content is protected.
- Add an additional band of security by using Creative Commons licenses. (If you look at the bottom of this page you can see it.)
- Use Google Alerts. Although designed to help us find new content, you can also use it to track certain key phrases within your articles and receive notification if/when those phrases are copied by someone else.
- CopyScape. Simply type your web address into the seach box and it will reveal if that content appears anywhere else on the Internet.
- Blacklist People in WordPress. You can block (Blacklist) people in WordPress. Go into settings > discussion scroll down to the “blacklist” area. Enter their username, email address, and if they included one, their website address. I tried it—it works.
By using my homepage information allowed him the prospect of siphoning my readers if they were not careful. The thing that is so hurtful is the fact he claims to be a brother in the Lord!
—he has yet to answer my comment.
Upon finding out this information I first contacted the owner of the website in the comment section of his blog. As the day of this post—he has yet to answer my comment. The culprit is, literally, ignoring me. Then I contacted the Help Desk at WordPress via my admin dashboard. Gave them the link of the perpetrator and then my home page link for a comparative analysis; to which they immediately gave me a link to WordPress’ DMCA notice, where you fill out all pertinent information as per the documentation’s request. In essence making a request for the perpertrator to take down my information.
As of February 19, DMCA took my info off his site with this notice: “Some content on this page was disabled on 19th February 2021 as a result of a DMCA takedown notice from Rhema International. You can learn more about the DMCA here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/copyright-and-the-dmca/ .”
Thank God! I was very fortunate to have found this information and was able to act on it. But, what could’ve happened if I hadn’t? That is something we all REALLY need to think about.
The saying,*Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery is a proverb that means trying do what someone else does, own what someone else owns, or think like someone else thinks is a compliment to that person. But in this case, the thief was trying to own what someone else owns illegally. In the Blogosphere I suppose one must have the attitude of a Boy Scout…Always be prepared. The site you save just might be your own. Beware! There are content thieves out there. Be careful, know who’s following you.
For more indepth information, here are some other posts you might find useful.
- What To Do When Someone Steals Your Unique Web Content.
- What to Do When Someone Steals Your Blog Post.
- How to Find Plagiarized Content Using Google Alerts.
- How to Protect the Copyright of My Web content.
*Definition from grammarist.com.
Thank you for your continued support and readership. Until next week…Blessings and Peace.
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