Theft in the blogging industry is a common occurrence. We bloggers always complain about our blog content being stolen. I have heard of bloggers complaining about other bloggers being a little bit inspired, and stealing their blog ideas. Having said that, we can argue about the fact that no idea is 100% original, but that would be a topic for other day. This blog post is all about blogger thieves & how to deal with them.
It is very hard to keep track of every blog post published or image shared. Once content is shared, there is always a possibility of it being republished on another blog/website with or without credit. This sucks but it is the reality. In the last couple of weeks, I have caught 2 bloggers with their pants down, stealing my blog content. These bloggers stole a couple of my blog posts word for word, and even with my images. One blogger thief linked back to Fashion and Style Police on the stolen posts, and the other didn’t bother.
The First Blogger Thief
How did I find out? The first blogger thief linked back to me so I got an email. I have emails set up whenever any blog or website links back to me. I went to have a look, and I was flabbergasted at the amount off blog posts copied word for word, and with my images. After I got over my shock, I became really angry. This was the blog section of a business website, and the fact that the owner felt it was OK to steal from me was super annoying.
I tried contacting the website owner but there was no contact details (surprise surprise), so I left a comment on 1 of the stolen post, expressing my disgust. A few hours later, I checked to see if my comment has been approved/replied to, and found out I couldn’t access the post anymore. It was asking for a password. So the website owner knew exactly what he was doing and couldn’t be bothered. I was so mad.
I went on a mission to find out who the website owner was. Going on WHOIS helped, I got the name of the host company. I had to fill out a take down form, and wait to have my content taken off.
The Second Blogger Thief
Now this blogger thief is the funniest thief I ever met. He thought it was ok to copy and paste my blog posts, and he did copy over 5 of them, word for word, image for image. I found out pretty much the same way I found the first blogger thief, I got an email notifying me of a link back. I should mention the fact that it was never the intention of this blogger to link back to Fashion and Style Police, the inbound link was in an existing post he copied, which led to the notification.
Like the previous blogger thief, there was no way to contact this one either (it must be a strategy). So I left a comment asking for my blog posts to be taken down immediately. He ignored and went on to copy and paste another blog post I published after leaving that comment. I reported the blog to WordPress and got my content taken off within 24 hours, which was amazing. I was impressed with how quickly WordPress acted on this case.
The blogger thief later left a comment on my blog expressing his annoyance of me reporting him to WordPress and getting my content taken off his horrible blog. His comment made me laugh so hard, because he called me greedy and a fool, for reporting him, which I found more funny than annoying. I hope he learnt a thing or 2 from this experience, and would hopefully stop stealing people’s work. I guess he has because he hasn’t posted a new post since then. Maybe he is too scared to steal now, which is good for other bloggers. His blog is filled up with various blog posts from different bloggers, and I find it very sad. Blogging is clearly not for everyone.
Going Forward with Blogger Thieves
Blogger thieves will always be around and there is nothing we can do about that. What we can do is to make it very hard for these thieves to steal our work. I have installed a plugin – WordPress Content Copy Protection. This plugin stops anyone from copying and pasting my blog content. The plugin has pros and cons like any other plugin, but the pros outweighs the cons massively.
I have also added a contact form on my contact page, so people can reach me easier. A Brand Rep informed of how frustrating it can be to grab my email off the blog because they can’t just copy and paste.
Have you ever had to deal with a blogger thief? Please share your experience in the comment section.