What should you do if someone pirates online content?

Glenn W. Peterson

When you provide online content in California, you usually ensure that your work is original and does not copy another person’s content. Sometimes, though, you may find that your own work has been pirated. It is important to know what you should do in this situation.

You should usually document any evidence of pirated work. According to Kissmetrics, it is a good idea to take screen shots of the material that has been plagiarized so you can demonstrate that the material is actually yours. In some situations, you may not need to report this person. Sometimes someone might agree to remove your content from a website if you send him or her an email.

If the person who has pirated your content refuses to remove the material, it is typically best to report him or her. You might contact the company that hosts this person’s website. Sometimes, though, you may simply want to file a complaint. You can usually do this through Google. When you file your complaint, you generally need to describe the material that was plagiarized and include links to the content on both your website and the other person’s.

It is a good idea to use a system such as Google Alerts so you know when your content has been plagiarized. Additionally, you may want to include a copyright notice on your website. You might also want to consider adding watermarks to your images before you post them online.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.