How to Fight Plagiarism

By | December 17, 2017

Plagiarism is no laughing matter, especially when you have spend hours writing that perfect article for your website; only to find that somebody copied your work. Keeping it honest is not only hard, but can be an expensive exercise.

Here at Rizonesoft we take pride in the fact that our contents are unique. We write all our contents ourselves. Or we buy the rights to all the images we use on our site. Note: Just because we have the right to use these images does not mean you have the right, but that makes for another discussion.

Plagiarism

Everything on the Internet is free?

Some bloggers have the idea that because contents (articles) are freely available on the internet it is free. They feel that they can use it anywhere and everywhere they like. The moment something is published on paper or digitally (on the internet), it will be copyrighted automatically under the name of the publisher, unless otherwise specified.

The contents will always remain the property of the publisher until it is officially transferred to another person or business. This is normally done in writingStop the madness and start being a little more creative. The lack of creativity is destroying our generation!

So, what is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when you take a piece of literature and publish it, claiming that it is yours and unique. Plagiarism is not only immoral; it is illegal in every sense of the word. Sure, it is easy to get away with it, but getting caught can lead to a costly law suit against you and/or your business.

Sometimes you need to quote another person. Do this by encasing the quote with quotes with the source clearly indicated or if you are using the popular WordPress platform, use the <blockquotes></blockquotes> tags, for example:

Many people think of plagiarism as copying another’s work, or borrowing someone else’s original ideas. But terms like “copying” and “borrowing” can disguise the seriousness of the offense – Plagiarism.org

If you are not a writer and believe me, not everybody can, find somebody to write professional articles for you.

How to fight Plagiarism?

Place a copyright notice under every article you write. This can be done by using the © (html: &copy) symbol followed by the date and then the name of the copyright holder. See the example at the bottom of this article.

Try an automatic plagiarism detection system like Copysentry from Copyscape. It will automatically scan the internet for copies of your contents and report any violations to you.

How to detect plagiarism?

Copyscape SealOne of the best online tools you can use to detect plagiarism is Copyscape. Copyscape is a free service that will search for duplicate content on the internet. All you need to do is provide the website address you would like to check and Copyscape will handle all the hard work. Click on the Copyscape seal to the left of this paragraph and check if you have been plagiarized.

Copyscape banners warn potential plagiarists against stealing your content. Choose a banner from the gallery below and click to add it to your site. Please use banners only with content that belongs to you. Grab yours now!

You’ve been Plagiarized, now what?

Do not start prosecuting the moment you find something suspicious. Many plagiarizers are innocent and do not know about the incident. The content could have been created (copied) by a web designer or an unprofessional writer. You will legally be forced to give them some time to remove the offending contents first. Here is the procedure you need to follow:

  1. Go to the offending website and look for a Contact page and send a ‘Cease and Desist‘ letter to them asking for the offending contents to be removed immediately.
  2. If the site is a blog you can leave a comment and the webmaster should pick up on it. If you do not find any way to contact the creators of the site, try using a Whois service to acquire the relevant contact information.
  3. If you get no response from them within a reasonable time, you can file a notice of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement with some of the top search engines like Google and Bing.
  4. Lastly, after trying everything you can to resolve the matter, start gathering evidence and start legal proceedings against the owners of the offending website.

We can Help!

Rizonesoft has procedures in place and the backing of a professional law firm to help you deal with plagiarism in South Africa. We will first investigate to see if plagiarism was committed, find the relevant contact information, compile and send a professional ‘Cease and Desist’ letter to all the offending parties, file a DMCA complaint with all the top search engines, collect all the required evidence and start building your case. You can contact us for more information.

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