HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOUR ONLINE CONTENT?

We have recently had two clients ask us, “how can I protect my online content?” We figured the answer could help a lot of people and decided this would make a great post subject!

The first step is to make users aware that your content is copyrighted and protected. Place watermarks on your images and have copyright links on your website pages to your Terms of Use page. Make sure you are making your terms clear with text like, “You will not copy, reproduce, sell, modify, or distribute any content from this website in any manner or medium without permission.”

Another way to make it clear your content is not to be used by anyone without permission is with a DMCA badge. We have not used this DMCA website, but we found it in our research, it has good reviews, and it looks like it could be helpful. The site belongs to a business that specializes in helping people keep their online content safe. One way they support website owners is by offering free badges that you can add to your website as another way to tell people that your content is not allowed to be used. This website claims that if someone steals your content 30 days after you have installed this encrypted badge, they will help you get the stolen content taken down at no charge.

Disable the right-click, select and copy option from your text and images.

If you are using WordPress, there are free plugins you can install to disable the ability for a website user to select and copy your text or right-click and save your images. As designers, we are often asked by clients if we can go to their websites to grab a logo, picture, or text to use in a design we are creating for them. Having us gather content that way is often easier than the client having to find and send it. It’s not uncommon, and it’s okay if you have permission, but if you don’t, just disabling those abilities can be a great way to remind people that your content is off-limits. This won’t necessarily stop someone really serious about stealing your content, but it can be another barrier. Disabling those functions is a distinct message that your content is not to be copied and will make it harder for someone to claim they didn’t realize your content was not for free use.

Check the internet for duplicate content.

You can also protect your content by checking the internet for content that is identical to yours. You can actually set up a free Google Alert if you have a Gmail account. They will notify you via email if Google finds content that matches yours. Copyscape, Dupli Checker, and TinEye are some other free tools that check the internet, if you are worried your content has already been plagiarized.

What if you found your content has been stolen?

If you find a small amount of your content has been duplicated, like a few sentences, and you feel the person was NOT maliciously and purposefully stealing from you, one option is to request credit from them. If they are willing to give you credit for your content and provide a link back to your website, that can actually be beneficial for SEO. As long as their website is credible. That is a whole other subject, but if you feel like going down a rabbit hole about backlinks – go here!

If you find that someone has stolen your content, you can file a DMCA takedown notice. DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and here is a link to learn more, if you are interested. The theartistsjd.com has an easy to follow procedure for filing a takedown notice. You will basically contact their website host, for example, GoDaddy, and the website host will most likely shut down their website. We have actually been on the receiving end of this, and we were NOT attempting to steal content. Before you file a takedown notice, please make sure it’s a clear case of theft, because you can really do damage to people if it’s not. That being said, if people are obviously stealing your content – file away!

GET IN TOUCH

The incredible thing about the internet is that we can work anywhere! Woodchuck Arts is geo-located in Newark, Ohio, Caledonia, MI and Toledo, OH. We serve clients from Seattle, Washington, to Washington D.C.

Email Heather at heather@woodchuckarts.com or call 724-281-0559
Email Erin at erin@woodchuckarts.com or call 616-528-2747

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