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How do I find out if someone is infringing on my Copyright?

Anyone running a blog or other websites these days has to content with way to prevent plagiarism of their copyrighted materials. In this article we will go through some of the cheap or free ways in which you can yourself check online for plagiarism of your work.

For the most part no matter how you look at it you will need to put aside some time each week or month to check for plagiarism yourself. This can be done through a number of ways and should pick up the majority of those copying your work.

This article will cover how to find out who is plagiarising your work and next article we will show you the various methods you can undertake to do something about it.

None of the articles in this series are legal advice but rather a compilation of information and experience I have gathered over the years. If after reading any of these articles you feel you have a case please seek legal advice from a solicitor before proceeding.

Firstly the most important thing to do is a few preventative measures. Check my Article on how to protect your content online. Then there are a few other preventative measures you could take. One of these is if you are using a CMS like WordPress make sure your articles have a link to another article or post on your site where ever possible. When another site steals your content quite often these links will go with it. WordPress and other CMS’s automatically notify of these trackbacks. WordPress these will be found in your comments section. So you will know straight away when someone copies your content.

One way to see if anyone is infringing upon your copyright is to do a search through Google. Cut and paste a paragraph of your text into Google and see what comes up. Put quotes around the section of text you copy to Google to make it search for exact copies of your work.

Pick two or three paragraph of your text and search for each one individually. Make sure one of these is your first paragraph. Statistically speaking this will be the most copied section of any post. Some sites will copy this paragraph alone as part of a review or even promoting your site. Check them out to see if they are violating your copyright anyway.

Other more accurate tools may be available online. For example CopyScape allows you to put in the URL of the content you want to check. It will then return likely copies of your work for you to check through. Although after a few searches that they do for free you do need to pay for their service.

Another good service you should be using as well is Googles Web Master Tools. In the side menu under Your Site on the Web -> Links to Your site. Then sort by the Linked pages Column.

You could also create a Google Alert using the exact title of your posts. Do this after each time you make a post and Google Alert will email you every time a new post is indexed with the same title as your site.

This works well for text but what about images? We can still do the same as text. For this we need to use a reverse image search engine such as TinyEye. By upload a copy of our image or photo of our other artwork to these search engines we are able to search the web for copies of our work.

These image search can also be used to track down text that has been copied if the image was used to illustrate your text. If they copy your text they will often copy the images that go with it.

What about video or my images being used in video? With improvements in visual recognition software reverse video search are now possible. And they don’t just apply to video either. By uploading and image to a search engine such Vechos we can see if there are videos containing our copyrighted images floating around on the net.

Hope you found this article helpful. This article is part of a much larger series on Online copy right. The previous article was on How do I ask permission to use another persons Intellectual property/copyright? and the next article is on How do I take action against those infringing on my Copyright?

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