My Website Was Stolen! Real Life Stories of Copied and Stolen Content on the Web

So you became a blogger because you want to share your ideas and stories with the world.  There are so many websites that are in business to make money, but to make money you need content to drive people to the site.  The unscrupulous and profiteering websites have no problem copying or being heavily inspired by other’s content.  This plagiarism is more widespread than you might think.  See these real life stories of stolen content on the web:

They Will Steal Your Entire Content

Just found out that this website stole my article with all the photos and text. Also noticed that it stole a bunch of other bloggers’ content.  What would you do in this case?

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A website copied my most popular blog post and is passing it off as their own. Now, I am being questioned by another company as to why there is duplicate content of my blog post.  Here’s the real kicker: The copycat fabricated a publish date on their blog post that is EARLIER than my publish date.

I know there are ways to see the ACTUAL publish date of a blog post, and I need to do this to prove that the copycat duplicated my content—but they’re clever! The 2 ways I know of (doing an “inurl” search on Google and viewing “Page Info” on Firefox) they bypassed! They found a way to hide their publication dates on those 2 methods. I even tried Wayback Machine, but that page of the copycat’s site has not been crawled.

Do you know of any way I can prove that they copied me, and not vice versa? This is important for a business deal. I hate that my integrity is being questioned like this.

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Just found a load of my posts including images stolen/copied on this website (thanks to google alerts), they have a shed load of content so I assume they are doing the same to others

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****Theft of blog post alert******* 
I found this site –  copying two or three blog posts word to word with my photos under their author ship. I reported them to google yesterday.
Please check if your pages are not copied by them as they have thousands of destinations which look like copied from big travel blogs…
Please suggest other than reporting to Google more I can do on this?

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I just checked the backlinks for my travel blog and looked at a website that showed a few do follow links to my site.It turns out that this person copied my complete article (doesn’t contain any affiliate links) and the internal links I put in this post go back to my site. Is there anything I should do about it? There is no contact page or anything like that on the site. I am a bit worried because it is duplicate content but also someone has stolen my content and uses it as theirs.

They Will Use Your Photos Without Your Permission

Hey guys I’m looking for some advice. Someone stole one of my images and put it up on a free stock photo website. I have contacted the website and they have removed it with minimal hassle, though now this image is on so many freakin websites and the owners all thought it was a free for use stock photo. What is the best way to go about getting the photo taken down from these websites? It’s going to take some time contacting each owner individually, but that’s the only resolution I see. Or do I just let it go and move on to more important things …

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Someone used my photo in a widely distributed newsletter without giving me credit.  I contacted them and they said they used a free stock image.  I think they found the image in Google Images which is NOT free stock photos.  I asked them for credit in a future newsletter but they’ve published a couple and didn’t give me credit.

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Chick posts a pic on fb that looks identical to mine. Turns out she stole it from a site that isn’t mine. That site, hosts a pic that is identical to mine. 
The problem; it shows more top of the image than my Instagram pic. And the article was published two years before I posted my pic…. is it remotely possible that we were actually both there at the exact same time taking a pic. The clouds and shadows are identical. Theft or same time are the only options here.
What can I do?

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New way to discover if someone stole your images! If you right click in Chrome -> Search Google for image, you can see if anyone stole your images. I also strongly recommend watermarking them as most thieves are lazy….and my image on their website states ALL RIGHTS RESERVED…so it’s pretty cut and dry although I recommend a less ugly/subtle watermark. I did a PDF print of their website just in case.

I did it just wondering how it worked…and I just found out that a Slovenian radio station republished my blog post with stealing my images (as well as some of yours)… and I’ve sent them a DMCA notification. There is a program called CopyTrack that will help.

They Will Steal Your Pinterest Pins

Hi everyone! I just discovered a guy on Pinterest who’s sharing THOUSANDS of stolen pins leading to his own website. I saw my pins over there and recognised many more stolen from other bloggers I know. It’s so annoying how these people can steal so easily and apparently get a pretty good traffic as well.

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FYI, this pinterest account/board seems to be stealing a lot of people’s pins, and directing them to their own site.

They Will Copy Your Content but Change a Little Bit

My website was copied almost 1:1 looks like they automatic change some words to synonyms. It reads really weird.

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There is a website that stole my entire post and images, translated it to a new language and didn’t give us any credit or ask permission.  I have already submitted a claim with copytrack.

They Will be Heavily “Inspired” by Your Content

Hey all! I need a piece of advice on plagiarism today! Here’s a situation.  I have a post on my blog about regional cuisine and the regional dishes one must try in a city in Russia, which is my hometown. As there’s no proper information about the food of my region even in Russian (let alone English) I took some time to do research, met with local chefs, and asked local restauranteurs to write the post so it came out truly unique. There was nothing like this on the Internet until Fifa World Cup 2018 happened and everyone started writing about hosting cities.

A few months ago I accidentally came across an article on a famous travel online magazine about regional dishes in this city which is largely based on my post with an addition of a few extra foods. I reached out to them and got in contact with an editor asking for at least a link and a note that their article is based on mine. To which she agreed which basically means she admitted that I was right (and not paranoid as I first thought). After a few emails, she stopped replying. I reached out several times, tagged them in tweets, but my following, at least on Twitter, is not so big to really make any damage.

Iit’s not a copy/paste situation, but say out of 6 dishes they recommend – 4 are in my post.  I can’t prove it. It’s really the little things… like I included a burger on that list as a joke, because one restaurant calls their burger after the name of the city and makes it with local ingredients. Obviously, it’s not a regional dish, it was just my creative take on it, but the large website that copied my post has it too.

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I caught a “journalist” from Iowa writing about my state on a popular site.   She getting paid for her listicles and NOT visiting the places she’s writing about. This site is taking work from paid and unpaid people and using it to generate money as a for-profit enterprise.  Sites like this completely diminishes the work that is done by journalists and creative content writers.

Who is Most Likely to Steal or Copy Website Content?

  • Fly by night travel booking companies
  • Other bloggers
  • While it’s hard to prove, big name websites clearly use blogger content and pass it as their own
  • Aggregator Sites, which pass off as big name websites.  I see so many of these posts shared on Facebook and I’m sad that most of their content is heavily copied, whether they give photo credit or not. 

Have you ever had your website content stolen?  Leave your story in the comments below.

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