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Your Content Is Your Content - Except When It's Not

We see an occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, about content protection.
How do I prevent other blog and website authors from stealing my posts?
This is a question that has plagued authors, for centuries. It's not new, in online life.

Before the Internet, most authors would simply register a copyright, using their governmental registration. The USA, for instance, has "Copyright.Gov", which is now part of the US Library of Congress.

Many other countries have their own registration services.

Whatever service is provided by your government, presumably they will let you register online content, such as your blog - or maybe pictures, in your blog.

A government office may register your work.
Even if registered, a blog won't be sacrosanct. The USA government - and probably most other world governments - will register your work. Enforcement of protection won't be on a 7 x 24 basis, with automatic and immediate prosecution of offenders.

As a Blogger blog publisher, you're not getting special protection from Google, either. If another Blogger blog owner is audacious enough to steal content from your blog, and pass it off as his own, you can complain to Google.

Google, Tumblr, and WordPress will protect you - from abusers using their services.
Given a righteous complaint from you - or from any other Blogger blog owner - or owner of any blog or website hosted anywhere on the Internet, Google will take action, on your behalf. But their action, when taken, is limited to anybody who publishes an infringing Blogger blog (or Google website).

If someone publishes an infringing WordPress website, WordPress will take similar action. Likewise, Tumblr will take action, against an infringement using their service. But neither Google, Tumblr, or WordPress can help you, if your infringer uses an anonymous hosting service located in China, Nigeria, or Russia.

Any complaint which you register will be subject to scrutiny. Legal penalties, for fraudulently placed false complaints, are reputed to be substantial.

Third party registration may or may not be useful.
There are various online copyright registration services (some free) which will provide you a decorative icon, for your blog. But if you install a pretty icon on your blog, read the fine print on the website. Some may be no more than another devious traffic generation scheme, to benefit the website owner.

Some online legal assistance services may offer copyright registration - but are they providing any more than registration with whatever governmental registration office protects you? Read the fine print - especially if they charge for their services.

Read the fine print!
The bottom line? If you choose governmental protection, either direct registration or using a private online service, read the fine print. And consider what you would be doing, if your rights are infringed upon by a Google, Tumblr, or WordPress publisher - or by one using a third party host, registered in Vanuatu.

Comments

stalin maxwell said…
thanks For posting

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