When your work is plagiarized, it means that someone has effectively stolen what you have written and put their name to it, claiming that they created it. Sadly, this practice happens a lot, especially now that so much writing is to be found online. Although unscrupulous people will continue to plagiarize other people’s work, there are some things that can be done if it happens to you.
Get In Touch
If you still feel that your work has been plagiarized, the first and most sensible thing to do is to get in touch with the person who has posted the writing. You should be able to find an email address on their website or blog, and it is far better to contact them in this way rather than posting something public on their comments section or social media pages. However, if there is no response, then this more public contact can be made at a later stage.
To begin with, don’t be angry in your email or message. Point out the fact that you feel they have plagiarized your work and ask them to remove it immediately. If you want to really make them understand why you are not happy, remind them how long it would take to write such a thing, and how hard you worked on it.
Some people are simply not aware that plagiarism is frowned upon, especially if it is a blog post that they have copied and put onto their own blog. With a simple apology and an addition of a link through to your own blog, the matter can easily be resolved.
Send A Cease And Desist Letter
If your initial contact heralds no results, then you may need to go a step further and send a cease and desist letter. This letter will ask the person to take down the copied material immediate and should have a deadline by which it must be done. You should also remind them what the consequences will be if the post is not removed. This should never be done in a threatening manner, but they do need to know that you are willing to take things further (perhaps even go to court) if they don’t comply. In the worst cases, you may need to take further action to have the content removed. This happens very rarely, but if it does, you will need evidence to back up your complaint. This could be gained from gaining access to emails, for example. You can read more about digital forensics with Secure Data Recovery.
Although it can be extremely upsetting to find that your work has been plagiarized, you do need to stay calm. Reacting quickly to the situation can mean that mistakes are made, and you need to take a step back and assess the situation so that you can work out the next move. It is also better for your health – especially your blood pressure – to stay calm and clear-headed.
Something that may look like plagiarism, to begin with might, under close inspection, not be. For example, there might be a link to your original work, or a statement letting people know that you are the author. This is why reacting to the initial impression that you get is not a good idea.