These days many businesses are taking their business online and its with good reason. People love the convenience of being able to get information about products and services straight from their smartphones or computers. Any savvy business person would take advantage of this fact and immediately launch a business website so as to reach a bigger customer base.
With that being said, most businesses will Google their competitors just to see what their websites say. After all, their competitors have already done all the hard work of getting all their thoughts together and putting them in writing. Their thoughts are well organized into interesting and informative content so all that needs to be done is swipe some of their writing; perhaps a sentence or two here or a page or two there. Some business websites go as far as copy pasting entire web content from their competitor websites.
Does this make creating website content easy? Of course! Is it legal? No! Its called plagiarism and you could get into trouble for it. Think about it. Would you like it if someone just copy pasted your content onto their website without giving you credit for your creativity?
Dont Let Content Thieves Benefit From Your Creativity
Copyright protection gives an author exclusive rights to adaptation, distribution and publication of their OWN work. In other words, if you did not write it you do not own it; so if you plagiarize it, it is considered a violation of copyright laws.
A website does not need to indicate that its content is copyrighted so that does not mean you can borrow it. It is technically copyrighted provided it has been posted on that website. The author of the website owns the intellectual property.
So What Should You Do To Copyright Your Copywriting?
The last thing that you want is a competitor benefiting from your creativity and hard work for free. The first thing that you should do is state somewhere on your website that all content on your website is copyrighted. Yes, you should do this even though by virtue all content written on your website is copyrighted to you.
You can further send the message home by indicating that you prosecute plagiarizers and you use software like copyscape.com to find websites that have appropriated your content. Copyscape is software which detects duplicate content on the internet.
What Should You Do Once You Find Your Content Has Been Duplicated?
Well, you could sue the plagiarizer but this is not really practical for many people. First of all, it is expensive to find and prosecute a content thief and secondly, plagiarism is so rampant on the World Wide Web; you would spend sleepless nights looking for and prosecuting every thief.
Sometimes all you have to do is threaten the content thief with a lawsuit if they do not remove the plagiarized copy.
Alternatively, you can simply threaten to file a Notice of Digital Millennium Copyright Act Infringement with major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, demanding to have their website banned from search results. This should work especially since many website owners know that being removed from search engine results could be far more detrimental to them than a lawsuit.
Plagiarizers should not keep you awake at night. Ensure that you put a copyright statement somewhere on your website and be vigilant in protecting your content.