Plagiarism

The internet is such a treasure trove of information that it is incredibly easy to do research online. As a copywriter, you want to create content that is informative, interesting and widely read but you also don’t your work to be copied and passed off as somebody else’s. If you have worked hard to create content then the last thing you want is someone else taking credit for it.

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can protect your work from plagarism.

1. Run your work (preferably sentences with a high probability of being completely unique within speech marks) through a search engine like Google. If you suspect that large chunks of your original work has been copied then a simple Google search should bring up results.  Make sure to try Google for sections of your content without surrounding speech marks also for people who spin content.
2. Run your work through Copyscape you can check any URL to see if written content has been copied elsewhere.
3. If you use WordPress as a blogging tool then check out their plugins. Developers are creating new plugins all the time to help assist bloggers in the fight against content thieves.

…and what should you do if you do find your content has been stolen?

As frustrating as it might be to see your work credited to somebody else, you do need to give the website’s owner a chance to put things right. It may even be the case that they are innocent and they had contracted copywriting out to someone less honest. First you need to send a cease and desist notice to the website owner giving them a set time to remove the content or credit the author followed by the action you will take if this is not done.  Most decent people tend to remove plagiarised content pretty quickly but some may be defiant, rude or completely ignore you.

There are loads of templates available online if you do need to send a cease and desist notice but the key is to make sure you are talking to the right person and to follow through with your threats if your requests have not been acknowledged.  You can send a DCMA notice to a website’s server which can get the content taken down if you hear nothing back.

But what if you are on the other side of the fence and are impressed with something written by somebody else?

Ask the author’s permission to use their content!

Alternatively, most content creators are pleased when others are inspired by their work. There is nothing wrong with being influenced by others if the final piece is completely your own words. Just as it is at university, remember to make sure you credit all your references, nobody likes a content thief.

To find out more about how Juno Copywriting can help your website, contact David Wiltshire on 0845 544 1764.

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