Stop web content thieves from taking your work

Plagiarism is an ugly word.  Have you ever wondered if you are a victim of web content theft? 

A few months ago, I happen to get on a new internet news site where contributors get paid by the click on their story.  I also happen to discover that a story posted by a babysitter-turn-news contributor actually was written by a reporter friend of mine who works for a major newspaper.

The woman who copied and pasted parts of my friend’s story did not credit him.  Sure she only took parts of his story, but it was taken word for word.    Why the news site managers didn’t look into this; that’s another story.   Of course, I told my reporter friend, and he took care of the rest.

At a social networking conference, I learned about a site called Copyscape.  It’s a free plagiarism checker.  Simple to use and right now appears to be the only web tool out there targeting plagiarism.

How does it work? Just put the URL in the search box that you want to check for plagiarism and submit.

Copyscape does the search for free.  It even offers a banner that you can put on your own website that warns people that you use Copyscape for checking.

If you want more bells and whistles you have to pay for it, but that includes a service that is constantly looking for your work for plagiarism and alerts you.

Copyscape has had several favorable reviews by major publications and internet news sites.  http://www.copyscape.com/press.php

Rebecca Aguilar is a freelance multimedia reporter based in Dallas.  She has 29 years of experience and has numerous awards for her work, including several Emmy awards.  She’s also on the board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  Rebecca conducts reporting workshops around the country (Finding Sources and Stories, Networking, Live Shots, Getting the Best Interview, Writing to Video, and The Basics Of Multimedia.) She can be contacted at aguilar.thereporter@yahoo.com.

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