Tips for professional divorce bloggers: How to protect yourself against Internet thieves who lift your work

As a divorce professional who also hosts and maintains a blog as a way to market your business, you have probably at one time or another found that someone was blatantly stealing your content. And it’s pretty freaking infuriating, isn’t it? I have to tell you that one thing that gets me talking in French pretty quickly is when people come on to my blog and lift my work and try to pass it off as their own. It happens a lot. Where I am researching for articles, and I find my work lifted sometimes the entire post! on someone else’s site and there is no link or attribution back to Divorce Saloon. This is theft. This violates our terms of use. And it is copyright infringement which is actionable in the law.
The thing is, how many people can you sue? Arguably, you only have to sue one to get the message loud and clear that when you go to a particular website, don’t take what you didn’t produce and pretend that you produced it by putting it up on your site. I’ve had many culprits in the 3 years I’ve been doing this blog. But today’s culprit was the author of a site called Texas Divorce Resource a site that ran almost verbatim portions of a piece we did yesterday about a Cornell University study that shows that when women are the main breadwinners, they tend to have a higher rate of divorce. (You can find the post and their version here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/new-york-cornell-university-study-shows-that-divorce-rates-are-higher-for-women-who-make-more-than-their-husbands-higher-infidelity-rates)
The thing that angers me is not that someone liked what we wrote and quoted it. It’s the lifting of a significant portion of what we wrote but failing to attribute it back to us. So, someone who goes to their site or blog will think they, not us, are the authors of the article. This is plagiarism. Plain and simple. It is copyright infringment, a civil wrong that is actionable in law and equity. If people only knew the amount of time and work and blood, sweat and tears it takes to do the work I do on this blog. I’ve had days where I spent 12 hours on this thing, slaving away with no thanks or praise, except for bandits who think it’s their right to take what they want as they see fit.
Have you had the same problem with your own blog or website? And what can you do? Well, worse case scenario, you can always bring a lawsuit against the blog or site owner for copyright infringement. Haul them into court and send a message to others that you won’t tolerate this nonsense.
But you may not have the time, resources or inclination to do that.  Or you may want to explore other options. Well, what makes me feel better is leaving comments on their blog in response to the offending post giving them a piece of my mind. And I clearly ask them to take the post down. And sometimes I tell them in French (an patois version) that is not all that ladylike. I always check the blog or site’s IP address to see how owns the site, and take a number of other steps. But why should I reinvent the wheel?  Problogger has done a magnificent job of detailing certain steps every hard working writer can take to protect themselves from these thieves. Check out the link here for what you can do:
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2004/12/21/what-to-do-when-someone-steals-your-blogs-content-blog-plagiarism/
Stop these thieves in their tracks.
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