How To Lay The Smack Down On A Content Stealer

{Que scary movie narrator guy voice} Have you or someone you love been the victim of intellectual property theft? Well, then you're among friends. I suggest you read part 1 of my personal saga here: Catfished: That Girl Who Tried To Be Me Then Got Her Site Shut Down, Whoops

So once you've identified that someone is indeed stealing your content - whether words, photographs, or otherwise - what do you do? Assuming you've already cussed a good amount because that's clearly the first step in this process. Well I'm going to talk about the correct steps for reporting digital copyright infringement... and then I'm going to talk about what I actually did

At first, this whole thing seems completely helpless because the Internet is just a giant web of lies and fake personas - but it can be done! And it SHOULD be done - not only because someone else is taking credit for your original ideas, but Google also penalizes sites for having duplicate content. So, your own website is also suffering for merely containing the words you wrote.

What rights do you have for digital content? Under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) ANY content (print, digital, media) is protected under copyright laws. Meaning, all content published online is included - and here's the important part - whether or not it has a copyright symbol on it.

I'm going to outline the steps I took to get my stolen content taken down from Instagram, Facebook, and web! Yes, it's possible - if you just believe. Remember that pillow? Or maybe it was one of those posters with a snowy mountain-scape.

*NOTE: before you actually report anything- screen shot all content that has been plagiarized just in case they take it down before it gets reported.

Steps for reporting copyrighted digital material:

1. Get really mad. I think we covered it in the intro, but it's pretty essential.

2. For stolen content on a website: 

  • To find out what idiot owns the site, go to whois.com. If they're quasi-experienced, they will have paid for a private site which means their host's info will be listed instead. This info can help you if you desire to email them directly or file a complaint with their host. Or mail them a strongly worded letter.
  • File a report with Google by logging into Google and heading to the Google Copyright Removal page. They'll ask you for an excerpt of the plagiarized content and the page where the original content is located. Then you have to pinky swear you're not lying. Don't lie - there are already enough liars in this scenario.

3. For stolen content on Instagram (words OR photos):

I reported both photos and words that were posted in a caption on Instagram that came directly from a blog post I'd written. Now what if (as in my case) they've blocked you from seeing their feed? You will still be able to view it on the computer as long as you're not logged in. Or, go total creep on fleek and set up a fake account.

  • Head on over to this Instagram copyright infringement report form   
  • You'll need to do this on the computer as you'll have to access their Instagram post links and post them, along with your own original lnstagram inks
  • You should get a response within a few days, and you will be able to see the content was removed

4. For stolen content on Facebook:

  • Follow the instructions on the Facebook copyright infringement report form 
  • Again, pinky swear you're not a bold-faced liar like the person who stole your stuff
  • Wait for Facebook to let you know your stuff has been removed

The maverick (aka BRIT) way of handling it:

As previously stated, my content stealer had blocked me as a preventative measure. You can read all about that in part 1.

1. Create fake Instagram account so that you can see what's up. Or in most cases, you can just view the account via computer while not logged in. You have to be able to access it to report it, or in my case, call them out on your own post.

2. Screenshot a chunk of their feed that shows their account bio with your pictures and write FRAUD across the top. In red. Post this to your feed. Example:

 

3. Let your followers just do their thing, which, I didn't realize at the time would mean them leaving a crap ton of comments outing her on her own posts.

4. Get a series of threatening emails from said content stealer that don't make any sense. Yup, I said threatening. Again, you can read the deets in part 1

5. Ignore all emails, including fake "Seize" and Desist letter from fake attorney.

6. Post about this saga on Facebook, and let your friends start researching, which, I didn't realize at the time meant they would uncover like, 7 different internet personas and companies tied to this girl. Then have them alert you to the fact she has also used your content on Facebook.

7. Be like, what. the. heck.

8. Spend the day in research. Uncover that her website is almost all stolen content from other bloggers YOU KNOW. Also note that she has more Instagram followers than you do, yet she's using all your stuff.

9. Be like, what. the. heck.

10. Proceed to step 1 of how to report copyright infringement as previously outlined in this blog.

Silver lining:

I'm happy to report her site was permanently taken down. One of the other bloggers had reported it since ALL her recipes were on there. All of her Insta and Facebook posts of mine were removed. She still has the same Insta account. Threatening emails and fake letters from fake attorneys have stopped.

The world is right again. So tell me -do you have any experience with this?!?

Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation. Like just about everything else on this site.