Prevent Content Theft
- Include a very clear copyright notice on your blog
- Obtain an appropriate Creative Commons License
- Configure your RSS feed so that it displays post summaries
- Search for your content using Google
- Set up a Google Alert to scan for your name or blog name/title
- Use Copyscape
- Protect your images and other documents, as well
There are several steps that you can take in order to prevent your material from being used in an unauthorized manner. Keep in mind, however, that there is no way to fully guarantee the complete protection of your work (after all, this is the internet).
If your content is found to be stolen, please review the necessary steps to file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice:
Include a very clear copyright notice on your blog
In this, be sure to specify what you will allow and will NOT allow. Here is an example of a valid copyright notice that may be placed on your blog:
© [Full Name] and [Blog Name], [Current Year or Year Range]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Your Name] and [Your Blog Name] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Place the copyright notice in your sidebar so that it may be visible at all times; this can be accomplished using a text widget from Appearance -> Widgets in the menu. Moreover, be sure to include a copyright note in each and every one of your blog posts (either at the beginning or end of the article).
Your wording of the copyright notice should differ, depending on the type of blog you currently maintain. The aforementioned example notice is most appropriate for your standard blog. If you have a photo blog (or blog that is highly focused on some sort of document type), you may want to modify the language accordingly.
Obtain an appropriate Creative Commons License
You can, similar to the first option mentioned above, designate precisely what you will and will not allow regarding your personal work and obtain an official license according to these guidelines. Free licenses may be obtained here. Even if you decide to obtain and use a Creative Commons License, it is recommended that you still include a copyright notice, as illustrated in the first point within this article.
Configure your RSS feed so that it displays post summaries
This will add an extra layer of protection against scrapers using RSS feeds to illegally obtain their content. You can set this option from the Reading Settings.
Search for your content using Google
This is fairly easy to do; simply take chunks of your blog posts, and search for the identical contents on Google and/or other search engines (enclosing the contents in quotations helps). Otherwise, you may never know if your content is being stolen or scraped; bloggers are not always aware of unauthorized use that is taking place. If you do, in fact, discover that your content is being stolen, you may take the necessary steps to file a formal DMCA notice.
Set up a Google Alert to scan for your name or blog name/title
You can set up a custom Google Alert here – http://www.google.com/alerts. Note that you do need a Google account.
You can use the service’s search feature to check for unauthorized copies of your pages and even include a free banner on your blog. There are also even paid services, including automatic web monitoring.
Protect your images and other documents, as well
Although you are not able to completely prevent the copying of your images and documents, it is highly recommended that you place a watermark on them in order to thwart any unauthorized use. Normally, this can be accomplished within the files’ respective editing programs (Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, etc.). Run some Google searches or check out the documentation of your particular software package for more information on this. There are also several third-party applications that allow you to add watermarks to images.