Copyscape.com is a service that allows the user to scan the web for material copied from the user’s website. Copyscape allows users 5 free web page scans per month.
If material from your site has been copied you should defend your web turf in the following manner:
- Contact the site owner through the contact information listed on their site. You should seriously consider locating sound legal counsel. Your contact email, phone call, or message should be stern yet courteous as a site owner may be wholly unaware that he or she stole your material.
- The site owner may respond in one of three ways:
- “I was unaware that our webmaster copied your site’s content. I apologize for the inconvenience and have removed the stolen content.” This response is ideal.
- “Can you prove that the content in question is yours?” For this response, consult waybackmachine.org, an Internet archive that has pages from 1996 onward. It should be relatively simple to prove your case.
- The site owner may not respond at all! You can lookup the site owner using WhoIs (networksolutions.com/whois). If you are unable to locate any information you can contact the website hosting company and file a complaint. This may entail considerable time and effort and will likely shut the site down if it is confirmed that the site has scarped your content. This option should be used with caution and only after you have unsuccessfully reached the site owner.