This week I’ve been learning about copyright infringement and what to do when someone steals your work. The site I publish the majority of my meat-and-potatoes articles on alerts me when my work has been copied (in whole or in part) and posted elsewhere on the internet. Recently, a couple of my articles were posted on two different sites without my permission.
Not only was I not credited as the author of the articles, but key information had been edited out. (Most notably, my disclaimer about not being a licensed therapist). It was mildly annoying, but this seemed like something that could easily be remedied by filing a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaint. Sounds easy, right? The problem is that with less reputable and smaller sites, it can be tricky to find a contact email.
It’s not what my blog is about, so I’m not going into detail on the subject of copyright infringement and DMCA complaints, but I wanted to touch on it because it’s been my main focus for the past several days. In short, one of the websites that used my content had a DMCA page on their site, so I emailed them a Notice of Infringement. They responded promptly, with an apology, and they removed all of my content from their site. I was unable to find contact information for the second one, so I requested that the hosting company remove my article. It’s been two days, and I’ve only received an automated email confirming receipt of my complaint.
After I told my husband about all of this, he teasingly asked me wasn’t it flattering that others wanted to pass my writing off as their own. It is not. The process of getting one’s content removed from offending websites is inconvenient and time-consuming, and I hope this isn’t as common as I suspect it to be.