Prevent Content Theft

If you are concerned about material from your site being used without permission, there are several steps you can take to help reduce the risk. However, remember that there is no way to fully guarantee the complete protection of your work. (After all, this is the internet.)

If you believe your content has been used withour your authorization, please review the necessary steps to file a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice at our DMCA page.

Be sure to specify what kinds of use you will and will not allow on your site to avoid confusion. Here is an example of the kind of copyright notice that could be used:

© [Full Name] and [Site Name], [Current Year or Year Range]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’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 Site 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 the widgets pane in the Customizer.

Your wording of the copyright notice should differ, depending on the type of site you currently maintain. The aforementioned example notice is most appropriate for your standard blog, so you may want to modify the language accordingly.

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2. Use an appropriate Creative Commons License.

Similar to the previous option, you can designate precisely what kinds of use you will and will not allow and adopt a recognised license that meets these requirements. Free licenses may be obtained via Creative Commons. Even if you decide to obtain and use a Creative Commons License, it is recommended that you still include a copyright notice, as illustrated above.

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3. 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.

Be aware that this will reduce the readability of your site for some users.

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4. Search for your content using Google.

Your content could be used without your permission on sites that you aren’t even aware of. To help combat this, take snippets of your content and search for it on Google or other search engines. For a more precise search, you can enclose the contents in quotation marks. If you discover that your content is being stolen, you might consider filing a formal DMCA notice.

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5. Set up a Google Alert to scan for your name or site name/title.

You can set up a custom Google Alert. Note that you will need a Google account to use this service. Once you set this up, you can choose to be notified of any new search results via email.

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6. Use Copyscape.

You can use the service’s search feature to check for unauthorized copies of your pages and/or include a free banner on your site. There are also paid services, including automatic web monitoring.

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7. Protect your images.

Consider adding a watermark to the images on your site. Although it won’t completely prevent them being copied or used, it can help make clear that you are the author. You can see some of the different kinds of watermark you may choose to use here.

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