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Friday, April 07, 2006

You've been plagiarized! What to do...

The internet is a virtual home for a lot of great people. It's also a great platform for unscrupulous and criminal activity. I see alot of people in the first group trying to find ways to protect themselves from those in the second.

As a content writer, I know a lot of other writers who discover their words and hard work have been ripped off by plagiarizing thieves. As someone who makes a living from my words, there are few things I find more frustrating and potentially damaging for my industry than content theft.

So, you've been robbed. Now what?

That seems to be what people want to know. They've somehow discovered the act and they want a way to correct it. Unfortunately, most don't know how to really go about protecting their rights.

"I am not a lawyer nor anything close to it. I am just a legally-minded Webmaster who is taking a stand against the epidemic of plagiarism online." That's the disclaimer on the site Plagiarism Today. It's one of the few blogs I check every day. It's completely dedicated to online plagiarism issues and the writer/administrator, Jonathan Bailey, has shared some of his viewpoints on plagiarism and related issues here. He always has interesting insights and is an ally to all writers due to his commitment to eradicating plagiarism.

I've plugged Plagiarism Today before, so that isn't really what this post is all about. Instead, I wanted to point those who have questions about how to handle instances of content theft to a series of posts over at PT that address the matter in some detail.

From the main page of PT, you will find an "Around here" section on the right sidebar. Among the items listed are a series of articles under the heading "Stopping internet plagiarism." These entries basically comprise a handy six-part tutorial taking one from how to check for content theft in the first place all the way to the "long haul."

If you have been victimized and want to know what to do, I recommend heading over in that direction right away. If you haven't yet been hit by a content thief, you should still check it out so you'll be prepared when it does happen (and these days, the odds would suggest it probably will).