Knowledge is good only if it is shared. As a new blogger, I had learned to change the Web template, and found out the tips, tricks, hacks, and tweaks of altering the Blogger template, customizing CSS, widgets, layout, blog design, inserting JavaScripts, HTML codes, Google AdSense, and other settings the hard way, through many trials and errors. For the purposes of this guide, I had started with the old Blogger “Minima” template. As I made the changes or learned something new, I had documented them. Before changing any template, please remember to save a copy of the current template. After editing the template, preview it, and save it when you are satisfied with the change. Hope this guide will help those who are finding the way around, just like me.

Search Tips for New Bloggers

We have extended our month-long vacation by a couple of days. We shall be posting articles the moment we return. We noticed that Google had updated the Page Ranks. New bloggers who have been waiting anxiously for this can check their blogs' Page Ranks. We have the PR checker link in our SEO Tools - Search Engine Optimization article.

The blog we created recently in Aug 2007, Blogger FAQ and Help, has also got its first Page Rank, a PR4. All our blogs are now ranked:-

Tips for New Bloggers - PR6
Business Fables and Management Lessons - PR4
Famous Motivational and Inspirational Quotes - PR4
Blogger FAQ and Help - PR4

Thanks to everyone for the support!

Jul 9, 2007

Digg This Story

Prevent Content Theft and Copyright Infringement

How annoying it is, spending an awful amount of time researching and writing articles for your Blog, only to find out that some people have stolen your articles and reproduced them in their blogs as though they wrote them. Over the weekend, we decided to take action against one of the several “thieves” and we relate our experience here so that you have an idea how you should proceed when you meet someone who steals your website or Blog contents. Our Blog is exactly 5 months old and if such incident can happen to new bloggers like us, it can happen to you too.


You see this legal term often. Basically, what it means is that if you are the author of a piece of work (writing, drama, music score, art, etc.), you own the “copyright” to that work. Under the laws of many countries, your works enjoy copyright protection. You can authorize or prohibit others from reproducing, distributing, publishing, displaying or performing your works.

In U.S. for instance, you need not register your work in order to secure your copyright. Copyright protection is automatic i.e., it starts the moment your work is created. Unlike the previous laws, there is also no longer a need for you to insert any copyright notice in your site reminding people of the copyright protection. You can put a notice, but you don't have to. Essentially, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Theft and Hijacking

These are how the internet thieves steal:-

a. Writing and Images

They block copy your original writing, paste it into their Blog post. They use your images, graphics and artwork as well. Nothing is mentioned about you. Readers will think they wrote these articles. They establish their pool of readers and earn revenue through their AdSense impressions or clicks. Even if there is a mention about you somewhere, all their contents are lifted from you. You put in the efforts but they enjoy the rewards.

These people even went so far as to ask us questions which their own readers asked them. Once we replied to these Anonymous queries, they in turn let their readers know, in the manner that the answers came from them.

b. RSS Feed

You can put other people's Feed headlines into your Blog. Go to Template -> Page Elements -> Add a Page Element and select “Feed”. Type in the RSS or Atom Feed URL of that site and you will have the headlines of their five recent posts displayed in your Blog. Some blogs have no original content, except for these Feed headlines from many different blogs.

Many of us don't mind having these headlines in other blogs. Readers who want to learn more about the article will click these links and be brought to our Blogs. However, these thieves go beyond that. Some of them reproduce the full post based on the Feeds. We saw commercial sites using Feed converters to save our contents and put the articles up for sale to interested parties.

We had therefore changed our Feed settings from Full to Short, so that feed readers will only get an excerpt of the articles. If they want to know more, they will have to visit our site to read the details. If you want to change yours too, go to Settings -> Site Feed and under “Allow Blog Feed”, choose “Short”.

c. Hijacking

Instead of just a couple of posts, these thieves can steal everything from the layout and design to the contents and links, thus the term “blog hijacking”. Your site is literally duplicated. When we obtained our first Google Page Rank, a PR5, we found this problem to be rather serious. People were trying to pass off their sites as if they were ours or related to ours.

Steps to take when contents are stolen

1. Stay calm

It is natural to be angry at the thief. Let not anger taint our decisions. We must act professionally. If you are tempted to spam the thief's blog with threats and insults, please don't. You may in the process get yourself into unnecessary legal trouble. Not forgetting, a person who has no qualms stealing your contents can probably do you lots of other harm if he/she wants to. In that same spirit, although we shall make references to the thief who stole our content, we shall not be naming him. We shall call the thief Mr X in this article.

2. Identify what has been stolen

Before making any claim, we should be certain as to what has been taken from us. In our incident, it was a clear-cut case of hijacking. Mr X used a Blog title that could mislead the public into thinking that it was related to us, the description of the Blog was exactly the same as ours, the posts and pictures were an exact duplicate, and the post titles, colors and labels were the same.

Excerpt of Mr X's Blog description:-
Content Theft and Copyright Infringement

Excerpt of Mr X's post titled “Add Video Clip to Blog”:-
Content Theft and Copyright Infringement

It is important to save these as evidence of infringement. Go to the offending Blog site, click a “Print Screen” button on your keyboard. If you have a printer, save the printed copies. Otherwise, if you have a Photo software, open a new image file, paste the image and save. Note down the date and time these images were taken. We took only a few samples because there were simply too many; all the 23 articles on Mr X's site were ours.

3. Find the thief

Most of them do not have email addresses or contact particulars in their blogs or profile pages. Even if they do, they are likely to be fake. Nonetheless, there are several ways to ascertain the identity. In this case, Mr X had several other blogs under his profile page. One of them was titled Mahathir bin Mohamad, the contents were an exact replica of the page at Wikipedia relating to the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. There was another blog titled “Kelantan history”. We went to our visitor stats, tracked by Statcounter and Google, zoomed in on the unusual visitor activities, and identified the IP address of one that was from Kota Bharu in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. We could be wrong. The person could have routed his traffic through Malaysia. He could very well be a U.S. citizen interested in Malaysian politics. Be that as it may, we had a possible lead.

Next, we visited his source page. In Firefox, go to “View” and “Page Source” or press Ctrl+U. In Internet Explorer, go to “View” and “Source”. From the source code, look for “google_ad_client” to find out his Google AdSense publisher number. Most of these thieves steal your content so that they can earn advertising revenue from visitors to their sites. Invariably, they will have some form of advertisements. If it is not AdSense, just look for any other Ad codes. Take note of all these. Better still, save a copy of the source code as evidence.

Read all the blogs by this person. Often, the remarks made in the comments or chatbox may give you an indication as to who the person is.

Search the net for other links to this person's identity. The blog may be registered in some blog directories. Start with Technorati, and move on to social networking sites. All you want is to gather as much information as possible regarding this person or his internet activities. If the matter becomes contentious, a court action may have to be filed and notice served on the offending party.

4. Contact the thief

After you have done sufficient homework, write your first note to the person. If there is no email address, leave a message in one of the posts. Our first message to Mr X was polite and non-confrontational. This was what we wrote:-

While I am honored that you have found my guides useful, copying them wholesale and reproducing them as if they are yours is an outright breach of copyright. Please remove the articles immediately.

We waited for a day and checked back. There was no response and the blog was still what it was. That was when we adopted a stern tone, and our second message was this:-

I have written to you yesterday informing you that you have illegally copied and reproduced my articles from my blog. These are original content of which I, as the author of the articles, own the copyright. Your act in reproducing them without my permission is clearly illegal under the laws.

If you do not take immediate action to remove all the 23 offending articles, I shall proceed to inform all the relevant parties, including but not limited to Google, search engines, advertisers and the authorities. I reserve as well my rights to claim for any damages and costs as a result of your illegal action.

Mr X responded and said in our chatbox, “hello bro..sorry.i still new blogger.i delete all that article already...sorry again.” [No, he is not our brother. As I understand, it is their form of greeting.] His excuse was that he was new to blogging. Our response was simple - “I don't think copying or plagiarizing has to do with new or not new blogger. And from the way you copied, I think you know enough about coding, maybe more so than us.” There is no excuse for committing illegal acts and we are not going to feel bad just because they call themselves new bloggers.

With that, we let the matter rest. However, we want to let you know what we had prepared in the meantime while we awaited his response.

5. Contact directories

The first place we searched was one of our favorites - Technorati. We saw Mr X's blog and contacted the staff. We highlighted the infringement and requested for a temporary suspension of the offending blog while we proceeded to take the necessary actions. The staff was very prompt in their response and upon their review, they temporarily suspended the blog. Note that in this instance, every one of the 23 articles he had were ours. If it had been just one or two articles copied, the staff may not readily agree to a suspension of the listing. Since the articles have now been removed, we had written to the staff updating them on the matter.

Locate all the listings in the various directories and keep them handy. Often, if it were a genuine case, the administrators will take action or advise you on the cause of action. This is a damage control step. We want to minimize the exposure of these stolen content to other net users.

6. Contact advertisers

We were prepared to contact the Google AdSense staff since we had on hand the publisher number of Mr X. Under the AdSense policies, there is a term that reads:-

Copyrighted Material

Website publishers may not display Google ads on web pages with content protected by copyright law unless they have the necessary legal rights to display that content. Please see our DMCA policy for more information.

You can report the incident to them, although in order for them to act, they are likely to request that you file the official notice of infringement.

The details can be found at the Google page on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We prepared a draft of the notice which we would have used if Mr X did not respond. You have permission to adapt from this draft if you have to serve a similar notice to Google AdSense in future:-


Google, Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support, AdSense DMCA Complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

[or Via Fax: (650) 618-8507, Attn: Google AdSense Support, DMCA complaints]

Dear Sirs

Copyright Infringement Notification for AdSense

I am the author and copyright holder of the original articles at [blog address]. Among the copyright protected material are these articles at:-

[Titles and URLs of original articles]

I found out that another site at [thief's blog address] bearing the AdSense publisher ID [number] had used the abovementioned material without my permission, namely by reproducing them in their site as follows:-

[Titles and URLs of offending articles]

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials as described above is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Yours faithfully


[Address and contact particulars]

If there are other advertisers, contact them too. No advertiser will want to be embroiled in a copyright infringement battle. Chances are that they will withdraw the advertisements, temporarily or otherwise. Without advertisement revenue, the theft of the content becomes worthless for the thief.

7. Ban from Search Engines

The offending blog can be removed from search engine listings too. You can find out what you have to do for search engines like Yahoo, Google, and MSN when you come across sites that have stolen your Blog contents.

Update: Thanks to all our readers for the support. Jonathan Bailey and The Beading Gem, who shared their comments below, had correctly pointed out 2 major areas which we have not included in this article. Here are the updates.

8. Contact Blog Host

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title II “creates a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) against copyright liability if they adhere to and qualify for certain prescribed safe harbor guidelines and promptly block access to allegedly infringing material (or remove such material from their systems) if they receive a notification claiming infringement from a copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent.” Although worded differently, a quick check on the Copyright Acts of Commonwealth and other jurisdictions suggest that the spirit of their laws are similar. Under the terms of service, most blog hosts and service providers, like, will act on notice of copyright infringement and take actions which may include “removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity and/or terminating subscribers.”

We have talked about contacting Google AdSense and Google search engine. Although is owned by Google, being a big company, there are certainly different sets of people handling complaints like this. If the person's blog is registered with, you may use the above draft letter but change the addressee to:-

Google, Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support, Blogger DMCA Complaints
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

[or Via Fax: (650) 618-2680, Attn: Blogger Legal Support, DMCA Complaints]

These are the links to the detailed copyright protection policies of some of the popular blog hosts:-

9. Creative Commons License

If you do not want a full copyright protection, you can use a Creative Commons License and give certain rights to people to use, distribute or build upon your work. Read the terms of the various types of Creative Commons Licenses that you can use and choose the one that best suits your purpose. Click on the logo and you will be brought to another page where they give you the HTML code to place the appropriate logo into your Blog. If you want the logo in your sidebar, login, go to Template -> Page Elements -> Add a Page Element at the sidebar, choose HTML/JavaScript and paste the code. With the logo, viewers will know what license applies to the material in your Blog.

Let us as Blog owners be united in protecting our legal rights. If we come across any infringing sites, keep each other informed. In that way, we can protect our works and justify the blood, sweat and tears that we have put into them.

© Tips for New Bloggers

Found this article useful? Mention us in your post, subscribe to our feed, link to us, or bookmark this site. Thanks for your support!AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Jonathan Bailey said...

First off, thank you for writing this article and taking a stand on the issue. I'm very glad to see more sites getting involved with this.

One thing that I would like to add though is that, if contacting the plagiarist doesn't work, you can file DMCA notices with their host, provided the host is within the U.S. or in a country with similar laws, and get the work removed that way.

Most hosts have a policy to remove infringing works and, in many cases, that is my first stop. In many cases, tracking down the thief is more trouble than its worth and creates unneeded drama.

Still, I leave that decision up to each person. It's just important to know that the DMCA is an option.

truthdancer said...

Thank you very much for this article!

Just yesterday I discovered a site that was copying my material... it is very annoying.

I now have some steps if the person did not remove my posts from her blog!

Big thanks,


Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

Congratulations on following through and thank you for sharing it with us!

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

As usual, a useful and carefully-written post. I am sure that this type of thing is going on more and more, so your advice will be welcome.

Best wishes


The Beading Gem said...

Excellent and informative article. The vast majority of bloggers are pretty good about not copying wholesale but will quote/ use own words and credit.What do you think about Creative Commons Licences? I do have one for my blog.

goodearth said...

Great, excellent and useful. Your blog is sooooooooo nice.

Uzair said...

Hey biz I have been checking your cbox long time ago and i have seen the person you talk about. But let me tell you, when I agree that the copyright infringement is a big issue right now especially for bloggers, but it is not right to tell everybody to that your data is being copied. There are a lot of things you must know about copyright and you may also be interested in checking this article from Smashing magazine

bizwhiz said...

Hi Uzair

I am not sure what you mean by "tell everybody that your data is being copied." I have used this experience to tell everybody how they should deal with the problem. No names mentioned. I had even carefully omitted that Blog title in the images. If there is something you feel that is not right, let me know.

As for understanding copyright, I understand enough of it. You may want to know that publishing on the net does not give you any right to use the material unless the author has given his consent. I have told you that before.

If you happen to know that person, you may want to ask him to speak to a professional (lawyer or legal counsel) instead of relying on posts and comments on the net.

Karin said...

I believe most content thefts are not being done by human beings. It’s done with software called “blog scrapers”. I have found several. These content scrapers are perhaps even webhosts themselves.

As for Wordpress: Sometimes content thieves are hosting their own sites and they have their own installation of Wordpress. Then Wordpress has nothing to do with what the content thieves do with their blogs. So, you can´t report abuse to Wordpress.

To search for e-mail addresses, and then try to contact a person behind a splog is hopeless. The e-mail addresses you will find are bogus.

I have recently tried to deal with a Russian registrar (estdomain), who had a Brazilian host (svservers) and a Washington DC IP address..., (Swedish is my first language, you know, and I´m not saying every webmaster that uses the estdomain registrar is a cheater, but there is something strange going on there).

I went through a lot of trouble, That´s for sure.

However, I finally got rid of the scraper.

These content thieves are a problem. We mustn´t ignore them. They produce duplicate content, which may impact your own SEO, both directly and indirectly. Content thieves target the search engines, using embedded links to improve rankings of their other sites. When you click on links at those sites, they are sometimes linked to pornography and other junk.

Anonymous said...

Firstly thanks for this excellent blog.I'm trying to read all your articles and learned so many things thanks to you.

Of course I have a blog and planning to publish your articles after translating the articles into my native language.I'll give a link to this blog of course.I think there is no law infringement, is there?

bizwhiz said...

Hi Anonymous

It is a copyright infringement unless I have the URL of the Blog and have given my permission to have the articles published.

Anonymous said...

Ok sir,
As I mentioned in my former post, I want to translate and publish your articles in my blog.
There is no problem with my blog address, I can give it but the second condition makes me think.
What is the criterion that makes you give the permission?How can I ask for permission?Is there a form,an application e-mail address or something else?

bizwhiz said...

Well, if you continue to remain Anonymous, I shall say NO right away. I don't see how I can be saying otherwise to a non-entity. Anyone else who had ever posed that question always began by introducing themselves and it was only with a relationship and trust that we could consider further arrangements.

UltraJob said...

Nice Post...
But I made a code that it's happen's hard to copy something from a blog.......

See the feature I added to my blog

Give me feedback about this feature..
But disadvantage of my code is that it need flash player installed in browser of visitor to save content from being copied.....

Ray said...

hi my name is Ray i resently found out that a next blogger was copying my images and tutorials of my site. so my question is if you find out that someone is copying your site content and you want to contact google how do you? cause i cant seem to find any contact info on

bizwhiz said...

Hi Ray

The particulars and fax numbers are already provided in this article. Fax them the notice and they will take it from there.

Kukuh said... have a very informative article to share with.

You see...I have some serious copyright violation issue, which is very disturbing me. I have a design in my blog(about photoshop brushes set which are free to download, under CC License of course). I search down my article on Google with spesific keyword: "Round Corner Photoshop Brush" then these hijacking sites show up at the top search ranking...

I feel like I want to do what you've suggest in your nice article...but as a ordinary Blogger, I also worry if they will attack me back with another kind wicked things (fraud ads, or something like that). Its like a dilemma...

They share my design without clear attribution nor link back. Simply erasing my watermark on my preview design, and replace it with their own logo.

What's your comment on this? thank you.

bizwhiz said...

Hi Kukuh

We believe that you are well aware of your rights and the possible actions you can take. Whether you want to proceed with any course of action is a decision you have to make. You can seek legal advice, though any good lawyer will eventually ask for your instructions, meaning to say only you can decide on the next cause of action.

Alzs said...

My son & I have just come across your blog & we're so excited. Being absolute newbies, we thank you so much for your tips & assistance. We just followed one of your tips & it worked :-) Thanks again for coming up with a great blog.

Anonymous said...

this article is awsome...visite mine too

Cheryl K. said...

What a great post! I'm a new blogger so I have lots to learn. One of my concerns is how to incorporate information from other sources into my blog without infringing on the work of others. This is a valuable resource. Thanks!

Murali said...

I amreading your blow to make my blow more effective..I am very thankful to you for sharingyour knowledge with all. I am a software developer..I am having some skills in weel known programming languages and frameworks.
so I thought of starting a blow where I can put my my doubt os the information/knowledge I am sharing is most some common questions/senarios one can cme across while using these programming there might be web sites which might be addressing the same issue..but the answer which i am giving and the others are giving might look very here am i doing wrong??even I am coping from others..please let me know..I really want to know..

Anonymous said...

This is powerful information thanks!

D Warner said...

Thanks for the tips, I actually a little problem about this a while back but managed to sort it out.

Keep up the good work
D Warner

H. Hadigja said...

hye bizwhiz..

First of all i wanna say out loud my deepest appreciation to you for this very kind amazing blog. I found your blog are very informative. THANK YOU!

(By the way, I come from Malaysia and Malay Language is our national language).

For your information, blogging just recently becoming an uprising trend in Malaysia. However, I found it very difficult to find a very informative guide and tips on how to blog such as yours; but written in Malay language. For me, this is such a disadvantage for my people who do not really understand English (we speak Malay since birth until we die if you wanna know ;p).

Thus, as the title of this post is concern, I want to ask you one question.

Will you allow me to use contents from your blog, translate it in Malay Language and publish it in my blog?

Currently I just started my very first blog named "Blogging Made Easy" written in English. I am really really a newbie and better for you not to look at it. It's terrible.

Anyway, I very much appreciate your approval if so!

Thank you.

Ulisse Di Bartolomei said...

Dear Mister Bizwhiz!
I thank you for the fantastic service that you produces.
Through your suggestions I have been able to improve my blogs adding the third column, and a lot of other improvements I can do.
Reading about the copyright topic I have seen a case that directly concerns me.
A Rumanian commercial site from four months withdraws part of my literary texts to build some commercial site (or blog)
where adsense is used together to other advertising iniciative.
I am sure that they likes my texts and by now are three the sites built with my url: and my content. My impression is that nothing can't be done because the thief is in Romania and to act against by legal is impossible.
(Let's forget Italian justice: doesn't work)
These are the url defrauds:


This last is directly my URL used like a site name. This is what appears in the serps of Google:

CALCOLO DATA PARTO LUNA- 4 giu2008-05-31 18:55:51 Fin dal parto è
preferibile rivolgersi ai bambini con parole vere o discorsi semplici ma ben ... - Pagine simili - Salva risultato

CINZIA PRIMO VERO AMORE- 4 giu2008-05-31 18:37:15 Grazie a loro
conosciamo l’amore vero pur non potendolo pienamente gestire. ... - Pagine simili - Salva risultato
The site with my url as title doesn't appear under other Rumanian dominion but i guess they are same people:

MALATUS- 4 visite - 9 mag - [ Traduci questa pagina ]2008-04-11 19:08:02
Assistiamo cosњ alle pi© svariate forme estetiche che potremmo identificare nei seguenti ... - Pagine simili - Salva risultato
(searching my url they immediately are found)

My perfectly indexed blog
suddenly disappeared by the searchmotors and has been darkened for three months before I succeeded in discovering the theft and I reported it to Google.

The question: can something technically be done to fight this plague? It's so easy to effect this fraud
that even if a thievish site came banned are enough few minutes to do another and the people that uses
internet to earn on the shoulders of the other ones is growing up!

Thanks still for the beautiful blog that I will follow with attention.
Ulisse Di Bartolomei (in preparation)

Hipatic said...

Awesome blog!

Hipatic said...

I guess this is the wrong place but could you please tell me how to include adsense in a specific post only.

Ryan said...

Hello Sir,
This article was very useful. Thanks a lot. I have a query. Do i need to register my content to get that copyright policy. I am resident of India.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I was looking for your post on how to change the older-post links to images, and I found it. On someone else's site, it seems.

Talking about content theft. Kinda glad my blog isn't popular or useful. I'd go mad trying to find all this!

chokilala said...

good article! thanks!

Anonymous said...

How do you know if someone has copied your blog? Is there some sort of tracking gadget or something else that will let me know? Can I post pictures on my blog without allowing others to right click and then copy the photos onto their own computer? Thanks in advance.
Emily B.

Blog Tactic said...

very comprehensive tips

Tips4pc said...

Why give all your hard work away for someone else to profit by?

I have had stuff stolen and I really had no idea what to do or where to start. Thanks to this post I will be confident that I can get to the offender in some way.

I have a folder of bookmarks that is called article thieves. LOL

Media Komunikasi Visual said...

I've followed this discussion, and many thanks to all of you guys.. The most important is: To appreciate and respect to someone's creation, though and ideas. Hopefully, there will be smart solution technically from Blogger team in order to prevent similiar cases in the next.

Sukant said...

Hello...Thanx for sharing this highly informative article.I have got this weird problem where it is not only copyright violation but copying of my website in entirety.

I launched a graphics website on 1st January 2009,the first of its kind,in my native language.Recently I found a website which had not only stolen the entire graphics from my website and is even projecting itself to be the first of its kind in my mother tongue.

After lots of toiling I found out his email id but he seems least bothered by my mails.The site is booked and hosted at we are based in India.

Can you suggest what can be done to deter him or stop the website in toto??