I wrote a bit yesterday about the day at the Blogher conference. One of the little tidbits I collected from the conference was a tool that you have if people are stealing your content. This is always a problem I have had where I find my articles on the Internet without any acknowledgement that I wrote them. When this happens, I usually write and ask the person nicely to take the information down. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. In one of the workshops, a person mentioned that people having this problem have a resource that can get your content taken down quickly in many cases even when you have had little luck on your own: Google (GOOG).
Google abides by the the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and in doing so, you can contact Google directly if someone is using your copyrighted material on their webpages without your permission. Why might Google have more luck that going about it on your own?
The main leverage is that if the person uses AdSense to earn money, they can be taken out of the program for using copyrighted material without permission. In addition, Google can still be successful even if the website doesn’t use AdSense because they can also have their website taken out of the Google search engine. The possibilities of either of these two situations happening will usually get your material taken off right away.
The person said that she has had great success using this method including websites that use rss aggregators to take the entire post and place it onto their page. I haven’t tried this yet, but will be doing so soon with some of the people that have ignored my requests in the past.
Also a note to teachers that have students turn in uncharacteristically good papers which you have suspicions might have been copied – Google a few of the sentences with “–” around the sentence. If it was taken off the Internet it will likely show up.