Will it never end? It seems many web surfers don't understand copyright. When something is published on the internet on a website or a blog, it is copyright to whoever wrote it. It is not up for grabs!
I don't know why folks can't grasp that an article I write, for example, and publish here on my blog or on one of my websites, is copyright to me. That means it cannot be published elsewhere without my permission. Think of this way - if you go to a Library and borrow Stephen King's latest book to read, you cannot copy it and republish it anywhere - online or offline, without Mr. King's permission. (which of course he would not give) If you do publish without his okay, even if you clearly state that Mr. King wrote the piece, not you, you can bet your life he will sue your (ahem) off.
So why then do some folks think they can come to a website, read something they like and copy and paste it on their own site? That is called COPYRIGHT VIOLATION! And you can be sued.
I have copyright notices on every page of my site. Yet some still continue to take my work and republish it as if they are entitled to do so. Some plead innocence when confronted but ignorance of the law is no defense. Some leave the author's name on it and even provide a link to the original website, as if that makes everything okay. But theft is theft and violating someone's copyright is, in my opinion, theft.
Many people also confuse plagiarism and copyright.
Plagiarism is when someone takes your work and presents it as their own. I've had that happen to me. A genealogist with a weekly newspaper column took an article from my website, published it word for word in a very large American newspaper and put her name as the author. After a thorough investigation, the newspaper fired her. These are serious offenses we're talking about. And I don't back down. If you take my work, I'll pursue every legal avenue available to get you to stop.
Copyright violation or infringement is when someone takes work which is protected by copyright laws without permission.
What can you do if someone takes your hard work without permission? You can write to the person and demand they remove it. I like to give two options - remove the unauthorized work within 24 hours or pay me a publication fee of $500.00. Those who violate copyright need to understand that an author's work is worth money.
If the person isn't compliant, file a DMCA complaint with their website or blog provider. Send the DMCA notice to the person who took your without permission.
Don't let it go. We should all protect our work and take what we do seriously. It is not okay for others to do a hit and run with no regard for legalities or respect for the work of others.