December 9, 2021

New Fury Media

Music. Film. Media.

How to prevent academic theft: What should you do if you notice your term paper published online?

Any creative content is a subject of intellectual property that is protected by law. But on the Internet they forget about it and post other people’s photos or articles on their blogs, without indicating the source. This is considered copyright infringement and is equated to content theft.

How does text get stolen? If quality articles come out on your company’s blog, be prepared for them to be stolen. It is time-consuming, difficult and expensive to create copyrighted content. And sometimes, even with the resources, a person can lay eyes on someone else’s work due to a creative crisis. “Borrowing” someone else’s content, unscrupulous authors or site owners act differently:

Use the text as a source, reworking it entirely.

Rewrite the text. That is, they change the wording, choose synonyms and/or change the structure, but the content remains unchanged.

Completely copy someone else’s article in their blog without specifying the author or under their own name.

In the first two cases, it is difficult to prove that it is your text that is the fundamental principle. If the article has been changed a lot, you may not find it out. If your material was published unchanged (or with small changes), without specifying your name, this is considered plagiarism and is a violation of copyright.

What effect does stealing of a term paper have on a website?

First of all, in case you need a professional help with writing a custom term paper because you don’t know how to begin, proceed or feel like it requires changes, is an online service where everyone can buy a term paper, just apply for their assistance mentioning “write my paper please” and you will get it done shortly.

One thing is to buy and completely another when the results of labor are appropriated, which is unpleasant. But besides the moral inconvenience, theft of content carries more real risks. First of all – for the position of the site in the search results.

It would seem that if you post unique texts, there is nothing to be afraid of. But it so happens that the original article was published, and the plagiarist immediately copied it to his site. His site can be indexed by search engines before yours. Especially if the content is copied by a larger and more authoritative resource.

It is precisely because of possible problems with search engines that you should carefully monitor so that your content is not stolen. But millions of texts are posted online, and searching for matches manually through a search is slow and inefficient. You can solve this problem by using anti-plagiarism services.

What are anti-plagiarism services?

Anti-plagiarism services are websites or programs that evaluate the uniqueness of a text. They compare the text with all others published on the Internet. If there is no match, it is considered 100% unique. And the more “borrowings”, the lower this percentage.

How to find out if your text has been stolen and what to do next

Step 1. Use anti-plagiarism services

Check out the article on two to three different anti-plagiarism services. Look at the list of sources in the verification results. If they contain unfamiliar third-party resources in addition to your website and social networks, proceed to the next step.

Step 2. Make sure the text is stolen

Examine the context in which your material is used. For example, a fragment of it can be cited or used as an example and accompanied by a link to the original. In this case, you can check through Google Analytics what traffic this brings. Quoting with the indication of the source does not harm the promotion, but, on the contrary, strengthens the search position. If your text was published without attribution or under a false name, go to the next step.

Step 3. Contact the site administrator

First of all, you should try to contact the site administrator. If he agrees to remove your content without going to court, you will save time and money in legal fees. It may also turn out that what happened is a misunderstanding. For example, when a copywriter submitted a literally copied text, and the administrator did not check it before publishing. Then he, most likely, will meet your requirements, and you will be able to establish a constructive dialogue.

Contact an unscrupulous administrator using the communication channels indicated on the site. This can be mail for complaints and suggestions, chat, application form, etc.

Step 4. Make a pre-trial claim

In a free form, explain the essence of your appeal: what content was stolen, from which page. The claim must also indicate which article is violated and what compensation you are claiming.
Send the document to the offender’s email. This information may be freely available on his website. If it is hidden, submit the text of the claim via the Whois service feedback form.
If the person doesn’t respond or refuses to grant your request, you can threaten to “court the public”. For example, describe the problem in social networks, etc.

This will be effective if you/your opponent has a big name. Then the news will attract the attention of a large number of people, and the fact of theft will reflect on his reputation.

Step 5. Contact search engines

Search engines have different plagiarism policies. Google can block the page if you prove a violation of rights, but the content will still be available on other search engines and via a direct link. To file a content theft complaint, read the memo in the Google help article and create a request. After reviewing the complaint, Google will either remove the controversial content or block access to it.

Step 6. Go to court

If the copyright infringer refuses to settle the matter amicably, or if you want to compensate for the inconvenience, you can go to court.

What is required when going to court?

The safest thing is to prepare for protecting your rights at the stage of publishing content: certify the material with a notary or record the publication on an external medium and send it to yourself by letter. This is guaranteed to help prove that you are the content author.

In practice, however, this is a laborious process that is costly for each publication. Therefore, you can protect content in other ways. If the content has already been stolen, and you have not received notarization, it is better to do this:

1. Fix the violation.

A simple screenshot and a link to the page will not be enough. It is important to prove that the material was published by you before another site. To do this, you can use the blog post date. If there is no publication date, insert in the address bar inurl: the address of your article (without spaces). Do the same with the material posted on the offender’s site. Other evidence will also help to confirm the fact of theft:

anti-plagiarism check results, screenshots of your correspondence with the offender, a complaint to Google asking them to remove the content.

2. Order a notarial examination of the site.

You will have to pay for this procedure yourself, but if the outcome of the case is successful for you, the defendant will compensate for the legal costs.

Before visiting the notary, it is better to clarify by phone or on the website whether they will be able to do such a procedure. Some notaries rarely encounter such cases and may refuse.

3. Submit a claim.

In order for the document to be drawn up correctly, it is better to use the help of a lawyer. Make a statement enclosing the evidence you have collected and providing the full name and address of the offender. This data can be obtained upon a lawyer’s request or a request from law enforcement agencies. The request should be written to the address of the domain registrar. The information will be indicated in the Whois service

If the court upholds your claim, the offender will be required to remove the content and pay compensation.

Checklist: How to Protect Against Content Theft

If you publish content on the Internet, you cannot be 100% secure against being stolen. But there are ways to help reduce the risk of theft or make it easier to collect evidence in the event of violations.

1. Warn search engines about new content.

In order for the Google search engine to index your content in the first place, it is enough to enter the actual information about the new page in your sitemap: /sitemap.xml. Do this when posting new articles.

2. Place the rules for using the text on the site.

Explain that your texts are intellectual work that cannot be used without consent and attribution. This information can be placed in the footer of the site. Also, the rules for using the text can be described in detail and the information can be placed on a separate page. This method is used by online media, editorial offices and magazines.

3. Use the name of the company, links to the pages of the site.

This suggests a natural mention of the brand in the context of the custom article. The method will not help if your text will be changed: all names can be easily removed. However, it will point to the source if the text was mechanically copied and placed on another site. In general, we recommend using the brand more often in domains and content – this will make it easier for you to detect cases of violation of rights on the Internet using professional technological services, for example, proactive monitoring or one-time reports.

4. Make an article writing contract.

If you have a content department or an outsourced copywriter, sign contracts for all published texts. This will be an additional confirmation that the copyright belongs to you and will help to defend the truth in court.

5. Advertise on social media.

It will be a good idea to announce the release of the material on your social networks or mailing list after publication. This will increase the “publicity” of the article and strengthen the connection of the material with your company in the minds of readers.

New Fury Media