How To Help Stop Somebody Stealing Your Blog Posts

I recently stumbled upon a blog where the author had copied and was using my blog posts. No pingbacks or mention that I was the original author, just plain copy and pasting of some of my posts and images. It left me feeling angry, yet I also felt honoured that my work must be good enough if somebody wanted to copy it.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, with the internet being such a vast and open space used by billions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility. Whether it be photos, fiction, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.

Take action

In my case, I contacted the blogger concerned and asked them to remove all of my content from their blog. When that failed, I contacted the blogging platform hosting the blog and filed a copyright claim against the blogger. Within a few days, the blog and all of its content had been deleted.

Click here to find out what to do if a WordPress.Com user has infringed your copyright.

However, there is something we can all do to try and stop our hard work being copied. What I am about to advise you to do may not stop somebody else copying your work, but it acts as a warning to anyone thinking of copying or duplicating your work, without your permission, that they could face the possibility of prosecution, a fine, both, or having their blog deleted by their host.

Display a notice

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

I recommend that anybody who has their own blog or web page to clearly displaying a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. There are many places on the internet that offer ‘Copyright and Disclaimer’ notices free of charge, and who give instructions on how to copy and paste one of these notices to your blog or webpage.

WordPress offers some excellent advice and instructions on how to display a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. Click here to view it.

Widgets and menus

If you use a theme on your blog which displays widgets, and ‘I’ll come to widgets later, I recommend you display your copyright and/or disclaimer notice as one of your widgets. I use the Tortuga theme on my blog, and the widgets I use are displayed on the sidebar to the right of my blog posts.

My ‘Copyright’ notice is the last widget at the bottom of my sidebar, while my disclaimer notice (Disclaimer & GDPR) can be found on the menu bar at the top of my blog.

You are welcome to use these as the copyright and disclaimer notices for your own blog. All you need to do is copy and paste them to your own blog and, where necessary, change some of the wording to reflect your own name and the name of your blog.

Click here to use the free copyright notice I use on my blog. Full instructions on how to copy and paste the warning on to your blog are included.

If you’re not sure what ‘widgets’ are or how to add them to your WordPress blog, click here for full details.

Copyright every blog post

I always add a copyright mark at the end of all my blog posts. All of my posts finish with Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved. Doing this also helps as a deterrent against copying my posts. Remember to change the year when a new year begins.

Protect your photos and images

Image by Ishant Mishra from Pixabay

Many of us also include photos and images in a post, and while you may display a copyright and/or disclaimer notice on your blog, I recommend that you also watermark any of your own photos that you use.

Most computers come with plenty of software that help edit photos you have loaded on to your hard drive, but there are also other ways to watermark your photos.

I use an Apple iMac and use an app called ‘Photobulk’ to watermark all my photos. It’s a straightforward app to use and usually costs $9.99 to download, but can often be found either on offer or free of charge to download from the developer’s website. Click here to visit the website. (The link is not an affiliated link, so I do receive any payment from it.)

I simply drag any photos I want to watermark to Photobulk, type in the text for the watermark I use (in my case I use © hughsviewsandnews.com), press ‘start’, and my photos are then watermarked with my details.

There are also free watermarking apps for Apple products, too many to mention here, so check iTunes for more details.

What about Android users?

Image by Pasi Mämmelä from Pixabay

Click here for a free photo watermarking app for android. I’ve never used the app as I use an Apple iMac, but the reviews for this particular app are excellent.

Don’t forget you can also add copyright notices as a caption on photos. Your copyright details will then show under the photo.

Finally, always ensure you download the latest updates for any apps or software you use; otherwise, they may not work correctly.

If you have any questions about displaying copyright and/or disclaimer notices on your blog, please leave me a comment, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Have you ever had your blog posts and/or photos/images copied and used without your permission? What do you do to help stop your blog posts, photos and images being used illegally?

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Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

162 comments

  1. I’d heard of posts being stolen but not previously come across someone who had suffered it. I’m pleased that the action you took was effective. This is unlikely to be a problem for me: no one in their right mind would steal my ramblings!

    1. I thought the same thing, Clive, but it’s now hapened to me three times. I’m glad that WordPress has a good process in place, even though most of the work has to be done by the person who is the victim of copyright infringement. Still, it’s worked well each time I’ve had to go through the process.

  2. Thanks Hugh. I “have” know about this but got slack I guess. I found your post via Deb’s World. Will use the copyright. I have a wordpress blog but it’s independently hosted so will add the bits myself. Cheers, Denyse

  3. I had this very thing happen to me years ago. I contacted Google and the blog disappeared as well. I wonder how people sleep at night. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Reblogged this on Waterstone Way and commented:
    If you aren’t already copyrighting your content then you should check this out. I hope I learned this in time to prevent potential issues. I’m going through these steps ASAP and you should consider it too.

  5. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    Protect your blog contents! This extremely helpful post by Hugh’s Views and News will tell you how. (It’s on my ToDo List and I’ll be getting it done as soon as possible, myself!) Thanks to Hugh for sharing this, and I hope some of you will find the post as informative as I have. Check it out, and don’t forget to pass it along. 🙂

  6. Hi Hugh,
    Really a shame that as busy as we are, we have to jump through these hoops and overcome hurdles, because people aren’t honest. (Do you like my track runner analogy? =).
    Janice

  7. Thanks for the advice, Hugh! These are things I know I should be doing and some that I do. I need to be more diligent. 🙂

  8. Good grief you must have been so annoyed! Thanks for posting this Hugh, I did add a copyright widget through your advice quite a while ago, but I hadn’t thought of adding it at the end of every post. I’ll start doing that. Great advice as always

    1. Yes, I was, Sam. I never imaged why anybody would want to steal my blog posts, but if they’ve nothing exciting to write and publish, I guess taking other bloggers’ work (and claiming it’s their own) is something they hope will bring them followers and comments. I’m delighted that WordPress has a process in place for dealing with data thieves. I hope you never have to use that process, but it’s easy to use if ever you do.

  9. I have had work stolen. I don’t like it. Thank you for posting this clear information. I do have copyright notices, but that doesn’t stop everyone. Maybe I show post more attention-getting notices. But so far I think the violators have no shame. There would have to be real consequences to get them to stop.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had work stolen, Barbara. While copyright notices won’t deter every thief, I think some would be put off from copying and claiming other people’s work as their own. In the three cases I’ve come across of my own work being stolen, two of the bloggers took the post down after being threatened in having their blogs deleted if they took no action. The third blogger had their blog removed after ignoring a DMCA notice issued by the hosting platform. Blogging platform providers do take these cases seriously. It’s good to see they have clear guidelines of what action to take if your copyright is violated.

  10. An informative post on a very important subject. I guess I should get to work spot checking this from time to time. It would annoy me to no end if I found out someone was generating traffic and/or revenue using my content without my permission.
    Thanks for this Hugh.

    1. I occasionally do spot checks for my most popular posts, Norm, although it’s been other bloggers who have highlighted two of the three copyright infringements on my work. It’s great knowing that we have extra eyes out there looking out for us.

  11. Hi Hugh, Loved this post! Really needed! Just a technical point. A proper copyright notice (maybe excepted for fine art and photos) requires a copyright notice (c); the date – 2019; the name of the copyright holders. I would recommend that you follow the example of Microsoft – Copyright (c) 2019 Microsoft Corp. – All Rights Reserved. The reason for adding the “All Rights Reserved” is because many foreign countries laws don’t quite match those of the U.S.
    Chuck

    1. Chuck, thank you so much for informing us about adding ‘All Rights Reserved’ to copyright notices. It’s something I will now add to all future posts. I’ll also update the notices on my blog.
      Thanks also for reblogging the post and sharing it with your readers.

  12. Wow! You have uncovered a whole lot of unscrupulous bloggers, Hugh. I can’t imagine stealing another’s work. I display copyright notices in each piece and my sidebar and watermark all my original photos. Apparently the thieves won’t be deterred by these warnings, but I’m so glad you took action and WordPress dealt with them. I have google alerts for my name, but not sure how I’d have enough alerts to find plagiarism of my posts.

    1. They may not deter all thieves, but I think they will stop some, who may move on to another blog and check to see if there are any copyright notices, Molly.

      If you want to find out if any of your blog posts have been copied illegally, try Copyscape (link to it via one of the links in this post). Unfortunately, for the free version, you have to cut and paste the URL of the blog post each time, but Copyscape will scan the whole web and show you any possible infringements. I now use it for my most popular posts.

    1. You’re welcome.

      I found out about two cases of copyright infringement from other bloggers. It’s great that the blogging community also acts as our eyes. The third infringement I caught when doing google searches of some of my most popular posts. I’d already taken the advice of WordPress and set up Google alerts, but I’m now also using ‘Copyscape’, a free site that scans the web for copyright infringement by simply adding in a web address of a blog post.

      Thanks too for pointing out the typo error in the post. I appreciate it.

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