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February 22, 2016

Heads Up! Bloggers Check for Unauthorized Use of Your Content

One of my Legacy Family Tree articles
published in its entirety without my permission
Copyright issues have raised their head again. The following website, TORGGG Blogger: Toronto Galician Genealogy Group, has many bloggers' articles on its site. Perhaps you gave permission for your work to be republished there. I did not give that permission, yet two of my articles written for Legacy Family Tree were found there. 

My articles and images, including graphics I created personally, were taken without permission and published on TORGGG. My name was also missing as the author. 

Other bloggers have reported on Facebook that their unauthorized work is also found on the site. I wrote to the owner, Jim Onyschuk, to demand he remove all articles written by me which he published without my permission. 

There is an article outlining how to write such an initial take-down letter at Lorelle

In the one and only email I send to the person who used my content without my permission, I give 24 hours as the timeline in which such articles must be removed or a fee for the article must be paid to me

I make it clear to the webmaster that if one of these actions is not take when the 24 hour deadline rolls around, I will file a DMCA notice with his webhost, any ad services he uses such as Google AdSense and feed services if they are used. And I do it. I don't hesitate, I don't give second chances, I file the DMCA notice. I then copy the webmaster on my filing of the notice.  

You can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice by following instructions on How to File a DMCA complaint

My word of caution for today is to go and check out the TORGGG Blogger site if you have concerns that your work might have been taken and published without your permission.  

I won't link to the site and give him a nice backlink. Just use your favourite search engine to search for TORGGG BLOGGER or copy the link you can see in the graphic above.  If your work is there and you don't want it there, please do follow up with a takedown email to the webmaster or a DMCA complaint or both.

Copyright issues, splogs and using content without permission is not okay! We must all fight this attitude that if it's on the internet it's free for the taking. Anything published online is copyright to the author the second it is published. Don't let your rights be trampled on. Don't let your work be devalued. 


Cathy P said...

Question: If I really like your article and on my own website I link to it, and recommend people read your stuff and follow you, is that a violation?

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Cathy, Thank you for asking a good question. The short answer is: That is NOT a copyright violation. It is always okay to link to other websites, articles, etc.

Copyright violation is when an author's work is taken without permission and published somewhere else.

Here is a legal definition of Copyright: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work)

Thus a copyright violation is when those rights are violated. Basically it means if I write and publish an article on my blog or my website, and you copy it without my permission and republish it elsewhere, you violated my copyright. It does not matter whether or not you gave attribution to me as the author, it's still a copyright violation.

You might want to read Monday Musings: Copyright and Plagiarism

Copyright violation is not the same thing as Plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.

Read more at The Plagiarism Problem Rears its Ugly Head