What to do When Your Content is Stolen and Published Online

We started as a research website way back in 2016. Our viral articles have been copied and published many times by opportunist bloggers who couldn’t write their own articles. Since December 2017, we stopped writing viral content and the amount of our articles being copied has dropped, and the income of the people stealing our content has dropped as well.

Despite our move to publish more serious topics, copy-paste bloggers are still doing their best to milk on our content.

A blogging platform altervista.org has been used by people stealing content as their most important medium to copy our content and make money through Facebook Instant Article. One of the most notorious blogs is the now suspended localhero.altervista.org.

Before Altervista suspended this blog (after our request), it published 100% copied content not only from our website but also from other sources. We tried our best to contact the owner through Altervista and Facebook only to fell on deaf ears. We were prompted to exhaust all possibilities and the result was in our favor.

Our experience in shutting down sites that copy our content is worth sharing online so if you have a problem with people copying your content, read.

What to do when your content is stolen

Reporting to Facebook

If you see your article published on another blog and shared on Facebook, you can directly report it by visiting this link. Facebook is known to have worse support but reporting a copyright violation is Facebook’s highest priority. They reply within 2 to 4 hours if you report through this link. Make sure to provide the correct link to the offending Facebook post.

Reporting to Google

Google can remove the content from its services like Google web search, Blogger, or even Adsense account suspicion if it finds probable cause of a violation. I have had several successes in reporting to Google especially when the offending site is an Adsense publisher. Use this link to report your stolen content to Google. Just select the right Google product.

Reporting to Website’s Host

This may not apply sometimes to hosting companies outside the US but it works most of the time. If the website is hosted free on some blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, Weebly, and others, it is easy. Just contact their abuse/legal department. In our case, we contacted abuse.altervista.it and the offending site was suspended within 12 hours.

If the site has a paid domain, visit www.whois.sc, enter the domain in order to find out its host. Ex ns1.bluehost.com, or ns1.namecheaphosting.com. Contact the hosting company and report the violation.

Our site was hosted with namecheap.com and one of the sites that copied our content is also hosted with Namecheap. Namecheap took care of everything after we reported the violation. Contact information is always located on the host’s website. Use the chat option (if available) for a faster response.

Contact the Ad Publisher Network

Most ad networks prohibit their publishers from publishing ads on stolen content. If the offending site has ads on it (of course they always have as this is the reason why they steal your content – to make money), you can report the site directly to the ad network company.

Most ad networks used by content thieves include Propellerads, Mgid, Taboola, Infolinks, and others. You can contact these companies directly through their website and tell them that your content is stolen by one of their publishers. In our case, Mgid took immediate action after we reported the stolen content.

Reporting to Domain Registrar

This might be the last option we can do if all of the above won’t work. You can find the domain registrar by going to www.whois.sc. If contacting the host did not solve your problem, contacting the domain registrar is the best thing to do. In our case, we almost contacted Tucows.com (registrar of altervista) if the latter did not hear our complaint.

The above lists are your best options to avoid hiring an attorney. The response is on a case-to-case basis but rest assured that your complaint will be heard in no time. We were successful in shutting down at least seven offending sites since 2016 using the above methods. There is no reason why you can’t. Good luck!

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