Protecting your work from content predators

15 September 2011
cute cross-eyed kitty
It's a crying shame that the world never runs out of copy cats.  For blogger, artists, writers and freelancers alike, nothing can be more disheartening than to find your work stolen right under your nose.

Posting banners that read, "Do not copy" or "Do not plagiarize" eat up valuable space and do not often work. So, what do you do? You give the copycats a hard time stealing and claiming your precious content.

  1. If you must create a sample write-up, then craft a teaser only. Teasers are not full-length pieces of work. On the average, 150 to 200 words should be enough to show your writing style.

  2. Do not e-mail customized samples to a prospective client. Publish the work first on your online portfolio, and then give only the link. 

  3. Make sure you include a by-line and a date to your blog posts. A by-line is a one-liner text that mentions the name of the creator of the content (you).

  4. Mail the blog posts to yourself right away and save the e-mail for future use. (Subscribing to your own feed is a fine way to automate the process). The e-mail will serve as proof that you were first to create the entry and hence the original author.

  5. Disable the right-click and copy-paste functions of your blog site. The measure will deter manual copy-pasters from stealing your blog entries. Check out HyperGurl's site for HTML codes, Javascripts and detailed instructions.

  6. Go easy on RSS feed readers. While these are meant to be shared and enjoyed by loyal readers, some people will tap on full RSS feeds to pirate your content. You may want to set your feed reader to syndicate your content partially.

Note: There are no-fail-safe measures to protect your work from content predators but by making copying difficult for site visitors, you discourage people from trying. Individuals who are too lazy to create their own work will most likely just move on to steal the content of the next unsuspecting target.* 
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