Lesley J Vos's picture
Lesley J Vos from Chicago is reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins October 9, 2017 - 2:16am

Hi, fellow writers!

I am a web author contributing content to publications on writing craft, education, and other corresponding topics. I am here to ask for advice from professionals like you.

Here goes a story:

The issue of plagiarism in writing never bothered me: I didn't steal content from others, wrote articles from scratch, and, frankly speaking, didn't even check them via plagiarism checkers to see how much "original" they were. I knew it was me who wrote them, so it was logical for me that they were original.

And now, since 5+ years of my web writing for different projects, it happened: I've joined the team of writers at https://plagiarismcheck.org/ and inquisitively decided to check one of my old articles for duplications. I've found it copied by three Indian websites without any attribution! (Well, at least I could see WHO were those people who copied from me.)

Though I never considered myself naive and surely understood that many people copy-paste (read: steal) content from each other online, that case confused me... I checked others works of mine (published ones) for duplications, and...

Do I need to say 80% of them were copied?

Just wanted to ask how do you see if anyone steals your writings online? Plagiarism checkers? Google search? Any other tools? And what are your steps when you find your work copied? I simply wrote a couple of letters to webmasters of those sites where I found my stolen works: some ignored me, others deleted duplicated content from their websites at once... But with dozens of articles I create, I find it quite exhausting and time-consuming to contact every offender directly and ask to delete or at least attribute the writings they copied from me.

Thank you!

helpfulsnowman's picture
Community Manager
helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman October 10, 2017 - 2:16pm

I have an idea: Start an LLC with a legal-sounding name (Thurman, Thurman and Durham) and then send these folks an official cease and desist form letter. Don't represent yourself as a legal firm, just make it seem like a vague possibility. Then they'll either take them down or not. But once you've sort of asked, there's not a whole lot you can do that isn't so labor-intensive as to be a waste of time. 

Lesley J Vos's picture
Lesley J Vos from Chicago is reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins October 12, 2017 - 12:48am

Hm... A cease and desist letter is an option, indeed. Thanks! Shame on me, I didn't even think of this variant though heard of such letters before.