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How to Respond to Web Plagiarism

If you have found out that someone has plagiarized your web content, you must act fast to have it taken down. As copyright laws greatly vary, it is always a good idea to seek proper and professional legal counsel before going further. The following are some appropriate steps to consider in this situation:

  1. Search for the transgressing website’s contact information and send a polite message requesting that the material be removed. If contact information is not on the website, email webmaster@ the domain.
  2. Another method is to use a Whois service to find the site owner’s name and telephone number. Just put the domain name in the search box and the owner’s name should come up at the bottom of the page.
  3. Once you have done all of this, consider contacting the webpage’s hosting company to inform them of their customer’s flagrant plagiarism of your material. This can also be found through a Whois search.
  4. If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods, send a formal ‘Cease and Desist’ letter to notify them that they must remove all stolen content from their webpage. There are some sample letters on the internet to help you craft an official looking letter.
  5. Another thing to do is to file an infringement of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) with the most popular search engines, like Google. They will then remove the transgressing site from their search engine results.
  6. To have proof of copyright infringement, use the Internet Archive to prove that the content had appeared on your site earlier than on the transgressing webpage.

    Also, check out these copyright infringement reporting resources.
  7. Protect your site from being copied by placing a plagiarism warning banner to warn potential plagiarists against stealing your unique content. Choose one of the three sizes below to add it to your site. We advise you to use these banners if you own the content that you are protecting.
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