There are several ways to check if your material is being repurposed elsewhere
on the web. Here are a few:
Search for text.
Using the search engine of your choice, search for a likely-to-be-unique
text string (a sentence or two will do) from the body of your website, using quotes
around the text. If the search engine finds sites other than your own, something fishy
may be going on.
Your competitors may be using your company name or proprietary product names in
their PPC ads. Read Chapter 10 to learn more.
Use a page comparison site.
Copyscape is a website specifically designed to help site
owners find copies of their content online. A major limitation is that it searches only
HTML content, not PDFs or other document formats.
Search for media.
Stolen media such as images, audio, video, and Flash content is consid-
erably harder to find than copies of your page text—for the very same reasons that search
engines struggle with these formats in general. If media content is a significant portion of
your site, you’ll need to become an expert at using the media search options discussed in
Chapter 8, “Month Two: Establish the Habit,” to help protect your rights online.
It’s often easier to prevent media theft than react to it. If you’re concerned about this,
check in with your design team to make sure they’re savvy to copy prevention options
such as adding watermarks to images, building your Flash files in multiple pieces, or
embedding your server information in media files.
Review your server logs.
Other websites can display your media content such as images,
audio, video, and Flash and make it look like it belongs to them. It’s not uncommon for
these nefarious nerds to point their links directly to your content on
. Not only
does this infringe on your copyrights, it also puts an unfair burden on your servers, which
are forced to serve up the content for someone else’s site! Your server logs can help you
find this sort of hijacking—yet another reason to make a habit of reviewing your stats.
Now you know how to look for misused materials on the Web. But what will
you do if you find any? With any luck, a simple communication with the content
thieves will clear things up. If not, you may need to contact the website host and
request that the page be removed. Detailed advice and links to sample “cease-and-
desist” letters can be found at
Choose one of the methods listed in this section and search for copies of your web content. Begin
pursuing any that you find.
c09. 8:10 248