Have you ever had your blog content stolen by another blogger? If so, you know how incredibly frustrating it is and honestly, how heartbreaking it can be.
I’ve had my blog content stolen many times and I’m sure there’s still some of my content floating around on the internet that I didn’t give permission to be shared. So, I thought I’d share with other bloggers out there what they can do if their content has or is being stolen by another blogger.
First things first, do you have a Copyright Statement on your blog in plain sight? The first time my content was stolen the guy that stole it kept stating that since I didn’t clearly state on my blog that the content wasn’t to be used without my permission that he had a right to use it. This made getting my post off his site incredibly frustrating.
So, if you don’t already have a copyright statement on your blog, make it happen right now. Mine is on the footer of my site so it appears on every post and page to my blog but you can put it anywhere on your site so long as it’s in plain sight and on every post/page.
Here’s the lingo that I used in my statement but you can totally make this your own:
“I love it when you share! Please keep in mind that all images and text on this site are property of The Budget Mama, LLC. Feel free to use one or two photos provided that a link back to my original post is included. Please do not remove any watermarks, crop, or edit any of my images without first obtaining written permission from me. Please do not replicate or copy any content from The Budget Mama, LLC without written permission from me. All free printables offered are for personal use only. Pinning is always welcome and appreciated! Thank you!”
Now a Copyright Statement isn’t going to keep everyone from stealing your blcontent, but as my Daddy used to say “it’ll keep the honest folks honest”.
Make Contact First
Believe it or not, many bloggers don’t understand that they cannot copy and paste an entire blog post without the owner’s permission to their own blogs. I know that sounds silly, but trust me, many do not understand that this is in fact stealing because they include a “link back” to the original site/article.
So, before you start looking to hire lawyers, contact the blogger and kindly ask them to remove the post. Here’s my email template:
“Hi [INSERT BLOGGER NAME IF KNOWN]!
I’m Jessi Fearon from The Budget Mama and I noticed that one of my blog articles is on your site: [INSERT BLOG POST LINK]. Although I appreciate you sharing my post with your readers, I ask that you take the post down, as I did not give permission for my post to be shared. This also hurts both of us in terms of SEO since there are now duplicates of this post.
I ask that the post be taken down in 24 hours or I’ll have to file a DMCA Take Down with [INSERT THEIR HOSTING COMPANY NAME] to have the post taken down.
Thank you so much for your understanding in this matter and I appreciate your help getting my post removed.
This email is usually all that I have to send since the blogger usually removes the post pretty quickly. Sometimes they respond back apologizing because they didn’t realize that it was stealing and they’re truly sorry and other times, well most of the time, the blogger just deletes the post and I never hear from them again.
Either way it’s a win in my book.
Filing a DMCA
Okay, so if the email above doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to follow up with that DMCA that you mentioned in your email to them. The first thing you’ll want to do, is to look up their hosting company on ICANN WHOIS. (Note, if you can’t find any contact info for the blogger when you’re trying to send them the email, go to the WHOIS site and you’ll be able to get their email address from there.)
This is the hosting company’s name that you want to use in the above email template but it’s also who you’ll want to file the DMCA with. A DMCA take down will force the hosting company to take down your blog post from this blogger’s site. Usually hosting companies give their clients a three strikes you’re out kinda deal, so this blogger can only have a DMCA filed against them three times before the hosting company will completely shut down their site. So don’t expect their entire site to disappear if you file a DMCA Take Down as this usually only happens after they’ve been filed against three times.
There are a couple of options for issuing a DMCA – the DIY kind and the pay someone else to do it for you kind. I’ve done the DIY route and it works well but having someone else manage the headache may work better for you.
Hopefully you won’t have to go this route but it’s good info to know in case you do.
Cease and Desist
If filing the DMCA is something that you’d rather avoid, you can send them a Cease and Desist letter to get them to take the content off their site. But this usually is best done if you can reference an actual law firm in your letter. Many lawyers will provide these letters for a fee (usually around $50, but I’ve seen them as low as $20) but you can find your own templates online if you choose to write one yourself (I’d still suggest having an attorney review it for you though).
Businessese is a site that was created for bloggers looking for legal stuff – they have templates for all sorts of things but they also offer help with many other areas of legal help. So, if you’re looking for a place to start with an attorney that “gets bloggers” they may be a great fit for you.
I hope that this post helps you navigate the frustratingly confusing waters of getting your content off other sites. If you have any other advice for bloggers looking to get their stolen content back, please share below!
****Please note that I am not an attorney. The views expressed here are simply based on my own experiences after having my blog content stolen multiple times. This is not meant to replace the advice given by a professional.
Want to increase your affiliate Sales?
One of the ways to monetize your blog is through affiliate marketing and it's easier than you might think to get started! This free ebook will walk you through the process of getting the most out of your affiliate sales!