What to do when your contents are plagiarized?
First off, after realizing a couple of my entries were copied by someone else and were placed in her blog as if its her own, I...
- - had to wait till I've calmed myself down before doing something I might regret. It's very common to feel pissed and fogged when you're mad. The best way is to keep your calm and try to think of what better way to do rather than bombarding the plagiarizer's site with maddening blabber of nonsense. (This is what I felt when I realized that the only thought running in my head when everything was still fresh after finding out what happened is: "Why have you done this? How dare you steal my contents? They were simple emotional posts! Why the hell would you be interested in copying it? Duh!" Imagine if I wrote that as a comment, right? If I was the plagiarizer, I wouldn't be convinced in cooperating with myself with that attitude.)
- - know your enemy. Or simply put, do more research about the person who copied your contents. Scan the rest of the site and see what else is wrong with it. When I did that I found out I wasn't her only victim. There were other posts including about me descriptions that were copied from other blogs as well. Doing more search within her blog and other links, I found out what her email address is (and her mobile phone too!).
- - seek help from the right group of people. Since I am a member of the Pinoyblogosphere yahoo group, I was able to post my problem through the group's email. There I had a number of responses suggesting options that I could try to solve my issue. Whether or not it were sound advices, the point that really meant a lot was the thought that there are people willing to help which certainly works great on boosting up your confidence on doing something and standing up for yourself. My deepest thanks to the Pinoyblogosphere community.
- - inform her other victims in case they didn't know. I went to the blogs whose posts were copied on the plagiarizers blog as well. I told them what I discovered.
- - address the plagiarizer in a formal way. After being able to exchange ideas with the bloggers who responded to my email, I have already calmed myself, therefore my mind was clear enough to write a direct but polite letter to the woman who copied and pasted my contents on her blog. I sent her a message through her friendster account, since it was a friendster blog, indicating my disappointment with what she did, but telling her that I am willing to let her retain the posts only if she would acknowledge me as the author for it. I also explained to her that what I'm suggesting is the right way of quoting or acknowledging articles or posts that someone liked and had decided to re-post the entries on their sites.
- - leave a comment on the posts that was copied from you. On the entries that I was sure was mine, I left her a comment in a not so aggressive way. It was simply a call-to-attention tone where I sort of inquired whether or not she knew that what she's doing can be thought of plagiarizing someone's work. (To prove that it was yours, you can also leave the link of your original post...)
- - send her a message through her contacts, links, or friends (if you have the means). After sending her my first message through her Friendster page, I realized she had blocked me from sending her more messages. I couldn't even reply on her email that said she had deleted her blog already (though when I checked it was still up and running with all the posts still there). So what I did was to ask a favor from her Friendster's featured friends to forward to her my messages, explaining why it had to go through them and the issue at hand.
- - send her a direct email on her personal email address. This probably spooked her the most. Because she had blocked me from sending her a message on Friendster, I decided to scare her a bit by sending her an email directly to her personal email address. She must've thought she wouldn't get any messages from me but my email definitely took her by suprised. She must've thought I had her detected, hacked or whatever for there was no way I could have gotten her email add. Luckily, glitches from Friendster gave me the chance to see her email address unexpectedly, thus, my ace on deck.
- - send her a message on her mobile phone. I bet by now you've already realized that I have come to a point where I'm already becoming pretty annoying and unless she does something about it, I'm not going to stop. I wouldn't dare try contacting her anywhere else if she had managed to answer me back and allow me to write her back. But because she had blocked me from messaging her and did not get a really good reply, I thought she wasn't interested in solving the problem. Therefore, I decided to keep messaging her until she gives up.
BEG... like this: " please do delete the posts you copied from me. My entries means a lot to me. I poured out my emotion on it and it wasn't something I just made up. Everything I write is based on experience and what I felt that time. You can easily come up with one, just please don't take something and pretend its yours. Especially my posts."
Just a TIP: In case you're wondering, and to those who are not aware... as much as possible, do not share or expose the link of a plagiarizers site on your blog post. If it was meant to receive traffic, you would only be helping them get more views and visitors if you direct your readers to their site. Be smart. It would be better if what you'll do is expose the real name of the plagiarizer (only if the person did mean to steal your posts!). In my case, since she had cooperated, I gave her the benefit of a doubt and decided not to highlight who she is nor her blog's link.