I know I’m supposed to be out smelling the roses, but somehow a stinkweed was delivered to my inbox.
You see, I’ve set up Google Alerts for a few of my blogs (only the ones that generate income). In my alert it not only notifies me of my latest post, but I also get to see related posts on the same topic. I like to keep up to date in certain subject areas.
Imagine my surprise when my alert came through with my latest post (along with a sentence or two snippet of my post) and a duplicate post. The duplicate post had the same title and the same snippet but with a different URL. Huh? What’s going on?
Naturally I clicked the URL and wasn’t too happy with what I found. I found my first person review on someone else’s blog. They used it word for word! Ugh! I so hate plagiarism.
What to Do Next
Not waiting for a response, I did a “Who is ” search to find out more about the plagiarizer. In addition to finding the name and address of the administrative/billing and technical contact (all the same person), I found that the blog is hosted by HostGator.
Since my sites are hosted on HostGator, I signed into my account and submitted a ticket. I gave them a link to my original work and a link to the copied work. I also provided the Who is information and asked them if they could contact the owner to have them remove my work.
HostGator’s Plagiarism System
HostGator responded with a long email containing instructions on how to file a DMCA complaint. DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (of 1998). If you want to read the act, you can download it and read it in your spare time.
HostGator makes it easy to file a DMCA complaint because they have a quick and easy online form. All you have to do is insert the following information:
- Your contact information
- Link to the original work
- Link to the plagiarized work
- Click two check boxes which affirm that you are not filing a fraudulent claim,
- Sign and date the form then click “Submit”
You’ll shortly receive an email notification of your DMCA complaint along with a link to the ticket. They promise to address the request within 12 to 24 hours and send a confirmation once processed.
A Plagiarism Bright Spot
According to HostGator they implemented this system “…to make submitting notices of alleged infringement to us as straightforward as possible while reducing the number of notices that we receive that are fraudulent or difficult to understand or verify.”
So, if someone does plagiarize your work, just hope they’re hosted on a HostGator server. It makes getting rid of them so much easier. I just hope that the offender removes the plagiarized material quickly.
Now back to smelling the roses (which are buried under knee deep snow and ice). 🙂