Yesterday morning I began my day by checking emails while enjoying my morning wake-up coffee. There was a series of messages from members of an online group I’m with where one of the members had just found 3 websites that had copied content from her site. In one case, they copied the info from her ‘About Us’ page!
This prompted other members to check their sites by entering their URLs into www.copyscape.com. Then it came to light that a 3 or 4 others found part of their sites had been copied too… including me!!! To make matters worse, this person had come to me for help when they first began their business and I spent many, many hours helping them to get established, including referring several long-term clients to them.
After spending the morning fuming and upset that another business person could be so lazy, rude, unethical and several other adjectives that I won’t insert here, I decided that there’s no point in taking it personally. I’m sure this person was only thinking of themselves and they probably didn’t even think about me. Yes, I have been in touch with them to advise them of the situation and ask that they remove my information. And I was, I believe, professional in my request, taking into account that they perhaps didn’t realise that what they did is illegal and unethical, or that perhaps they didn’t even write it. Maybe it was written by a third party. We’ll see what happens there…
If you would like to know more about how to protect your web content, have a look at this VA Directory blog. It has detailed information including several great resources that are invaluable if you want to stay on top of this unfortunately not-so-rare occurrence of plagiarism.