What do you do when someone steals your work?

United States
May 27, 2009 9:25pm CST
Yesterday, I wrote an article for Helium about productivity rising in our bad economy. After posting it to Helium, I went over to Associated Content and posted it again (for page views, non-exclusive). It gets published immediately, so the article was up last night on AC. Today I get an email from AC telling me it was already published on another blog. Someone took the first couple of paragraphs (not even the entire article) and published it as their own. The blog has no email contact on the site. What would you do?
5 people like this
20 responses
@jazzsue58 (2672)
28 May 09
THIS is why I'm going into print publishing! It's also why, as of now, all the writing I've been paid for has been transferred rights i.e. I do what the customer wants rather than write to my own specs. What gets my goat, is that the people doing this are usually living in some tinpot country where they can't even speak the language they've stolen! GAF is forever offering 'writing' jobs at 50 cents per 500 words to 'rewrite' articles for blogs. The customers, I'm sorry to say, most often DO live in English speaking countries and use the hard work of people like us to get rich on - whilst openly breaking the law and passing the buck to a third party. THEN they complain because the person they - ahem - 'paid' decided to copy and paste rather than rewrite. To which my answer is, "Well, steal the money yourself then, you busterd." Two ways forward - contact the blog company admin(blogger, bloggit etc) or try running the blog address through an engine like Whosit (the one MyLot tasks uses to track down email addresses)Perhaps you could post a snotty note on the blog, but I doubt the person who stole your work even goes there. Blogs like that are a scam in themselves. I'm presently tidying up some stuff for Constant Content
3 people like this
@jazzsue58 (2672)
28 May 09
Sorry - that last line shoulda been deleted! I was going to add: but I doubt I'll bother now. People there have also seen their first paragraphs used elsewhere.
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 09
I am also a Helium member. I know that there is a no plagiarizing rule in the guidelines for the site. I am not sure who you could ask. I would look on the message boards and search under plagiarism for starters? I don't know if this helped.
3 people like this
• United States
28 May 09
Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't done anything with Helium yet. Not sure if the person got it from there or AC. I will go over and see if there's anything I can do from there.
@meandmy3 (2229)
• United States
28 May 09
Can you leave a comment on the persons blog and can you prove that you wrote it first...
3 people like this
• United States
28 May 09
Thanks for the suggestion. I did do that, but I don't really expect a response from the person.
• India
28 May 09
if some budy steals your work you need to caontact him directly and ask for reasons you can file a compalaint to cop or may be beatup him and last options you can steal his work
2 people like this
• United States
29 May 09
LOL...I like your last answer.
1 person likes this
@jazzsue58 (2672)
29 May 09
Except it wouldn't be HIS work she's stealing - but some other poor sap like her!
2 people like this
• United States
31 May 09
You are right about that JazzSue!
1 person likes this
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
1 Jun 09
You can find out who owns the blog. Go to who is and put in the web site address. From there you should be able to find out a contact link. If not, shoot an email to Helium at help@helium.com. Also contact the channel stewards. You can find their contact info in the forums. Specifically put in the subject plagiarism. The administrators should be able to help you track down the culprit and get it off the blog. Make sure you give them the link. This isn't the first time the admin has had to deal with plagiarism.
2 people like this
@Raven1 (577)
• Australia
28 May 09
This happened to me earlier this year. Someone decided to copy every post off my blog and put it on their own. I left a message on the plagiarist's blog, but his response was nothing but abuse. So I contacted the company that hosted his blog (wordpress) and told them what he'd done. They deleted his blog and suspended his account. He abused me further. I posted his full name, the address of the blog AND his email-abuse to me on my blog for all to see. Plagiarism should not be tolerated.
2 people like this
@jazzsue58 (2672)
28 May 09
Good for you Raven! Pity you don't know where his REAL address is, so you can send something a bit more personal.
2 people like this
• United States
29 May 09
Wow, your example is even worse than mine! I never would have known that the work was stolen if I hadn't reposted it over at Associated Content for page views. Just imagine all the people out there whose work has been compromised, and they don't even know it!
1 person likes this
@dreamr802 (987)
• United States
28 May 09
I would leave a comment on that person's blog...and there has to be something that you can do. What did AC tell you that you had to do? Did you explain to AC that the person stole your work because you have the whole article and they took only a part of it?
@GardenGerty (95520)
• Marion, Kansas
28 May 09
I would be interested in knowing what AC said, other than telling you it is already up somewhere else.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 09
Here's what AC said: "Your submission, Increasing Productivity in a Sinking Economy: What's Going On?, has been declined by Associated Content. http://webdingsmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/05/increasing-productivity-in-sinking.html * Thank you for your submission. This piece appears without your byline on at least one other Web site. While AC allows you to submit content that you have first published elsewhere under the Display Only-licensing tab, if we find the matching submission online, it must include your exact byline. Please do not resubmit this content without first ensuring that the bylines on both pieces match exactly. For more information on this violation, please consult this guide." I did email AC and explain the situation. Haven't heard back yet.
@Idlewild (6105)
• United States
31 May 09
This has happened to me with some articles I wrote for Xomba.com (and to some other users). But this was a few months ago and hasn't happened again. Someone with a blog apparently went to Xomba and copied and pasted articles on a bunch of different topics and put them on his blog. The blog was based in Albania or someplace, so U.S. law couldn't do anything about it. After a while there were no new stolen articles on the blog, which later disappeared.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 09
I feel for you. This experience has been very discouraging. And I can only imagine the trauma of losing one's identity because it feels like that. I know that people steal ideas all the time. I am used to that. But this was word-for-word, and then the site where you are trying to publish doesn't know you from Adam so you have to prove your own moral character. Anyway, AC did believe me in the end, but they said they would reinstate my article, but they haven't. I just don't know whether to pursue it or just drop it. Any advice?
@jakill (835)
30 May 09
It's good that AC is checking work for plagiarism. You would never have known about this otherwise. If the blog is hosted, you should definitely go to the blog host. If the blogger does this once, s/he is probably stealing from others too. There has been a recent spate of thefts from Constant Content with their authors' work appearing at AC, so they may be feeling a little sensitive about it at the moment.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 09
I agree. I wouldn't have known without AC. I just wish I had published it there first and avoided all this hassle. AC told me that they would reinstate my article, but they haven't done so. Ugh.
@hanah87 (1846)
• Malaysia
28 May 09
If i be you,i will contact the crazy person who steal my work or tell other people about their cheating work.I think they will afraid to do it again after get the bad lesson.Thank you.
2 people like this
@polachicago (19077)
• United States
28 May 09
I would send them a original file in word to prove when it was written. Computer files creation data is always save and hard to change.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 09
Thanks, I do think that Associated Content believed me, particularly because the blogger had only used a part of the entire article. They said they would put my article back up, which made me happy, but they haven't. (heavy sigh) The saga continues...or not.
@ElicBxn (60674)
• United States
28 May 09
tell them that you published it first and that person stole it
2 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 09
Thanks for your suggestion. I did tell them, and they offered to fix it, but it never happened. So I guess I am just out of luck, but at least I am not mad anymore, so I guess that's something.
1 person likes this
@Aurone (4758)
• United States
28 May 09
You could look at it this way, they thought it was good enough to steal. AC might reconsider when you get to working with them, I have had troubles like this before, non one has stolen my work but I have posted things on Helium and other places and AC thought it was stolen from myself. They are pretty understanding.
2 people like this
• United States
29 May 09
Thanks for the compliment. I didn't want AC to think I was the one doing something shady! They did agree to put my article back up when I emailed them. I am not sure if the person stole it from Helium or AC. I am guessing it was Helium because I put it up there first. It's just been a real hassle for me...and discouraging to think that people are out there doing this. If I hadn't posted it to AC, and just left it up on Helium, I never would have known. I bet the blogger was counting on that!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (95520)
• Marion, Kansas
28 May 09
I do not know what I would do, I do not know what recourse you have. I am registered at both sites, but have never put up anything at AC. Would it work better to put it there first and then at Helium? Can you rework the part that is left, and add the first couple of paragraphs back in in the middle and retry AC?
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 09
I posted what AC told me (above, under your first comment). I guess I could rework the beginning. It's just so frustrating...as you might expect. That's a practical suggestion. Thanks.
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
28 May 09
I had almost the same thing happen with a college paper I did. The guy borrowed my notes on a major report I was doing and copied the notes word for word! He turned it in as his work, and almost got me expelled. I was furious and told the guy off big time. He of course flunked the class (I got an A ). I have always made sure that my notes weren't made available to ANYONE, and as much as I would love to join Helium and some of the other sites, I have tended not to for that reason. I would definitely publish an article about plagerism and put it on both sites as rapidly as possible. I know it won't change the damage that has been done to you, but at least you can inform the idiots about the fact that when you publish a work on a site, it is copyrighted and that if they do plagerize the work you can and will sue the person for lost income and compensitory damages.
1 person likes this
@jazzsue58 (2672)
28 May 09
I wonder if there would then be a spate of plagiarized articles on the subject of plagiarism though?!
1 person likes this
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
28 May 09
Of course. Some people are so lazy that they won't even try to think for themselves! I have worked with the public for years and still can't believe how little they can think. I've had them stand in front of me asking for something that is right beside them. The other thing is they don't observe either. Even my own Mom would miss things that a thinking individual would observe. I remember a day outside a store where I was waiting in our vehicle for her and she came out of the store and started walking in the oposite direction of where we were parked. I hollered like an idiot (everyone else in the parking lot stopped) and Mom kept going. I had to run across the parking lot to catch her and find out where she was going...because she was heading for a vacant lot! A person is NEVER totally secure in what the write or produce, all we can do is do our best to fight back and get the plagerists reported, sued and under control.
1 person likes this
@TrvlArrngr (4058)
• United States
3 Jun 09
i guess you need to feel proud of yourself that you wrote something worthy enough for someone else to take it. what else can youdo?
• United States
4 Jun 09
Thanks for the compliment! You made me feel better!
• India
28 May 09
yeah leave a comment at the site.. and try to get in touch with the admin of tht site and report this incident to them. Even show them a link of your very first post. I know how annoying it is when someone copies my work.. People have become to shameless these days!!
1 person likes this
@paid2write (5202)
28 May 09
If you have visited the blog you should report it to the host site if you can, and the whole blog will be deleted. You hold the copyright to anything published at Helium and this person is using your work wihout permission and has plaigiarized your writing. Plaigiarism is a violation of conditions of use the blogger agreed to when registering on a blogging site or webhosting site. Terms usually state that any illegal use of copyright material is not permitted and will result in removal of a blog if it is reported to the host.
1 person likes this
@th52096 (469)
• Philippines
28 May 09
Sue them for copyrighting!!
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
1 Jun 09
You can prove when you submitted the article on helium and the blog post will have a time stamp as well. It is hardly coincidental for two articles to have the identical wording and other posts are likely to be questionable as well. There may not be an email contact on the site but there are ways to track everything online. I'm guessing that you have come up with something by now.
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
4 Jun 09
I would give them a week or so to sort it out. It's kind of like when you have to be refunded money on a bank card. They can debit you in an instant but it takes forever to get your money back. If by the end of 10 or so "business" days it hasn't been restored you can contact them again. In the meantime you can still earn by writing an article about this experience.