Every few months I get obsessed on some topic and write an article - and I usually spend about 40 hours over the following month polishing it to make it just right. And then I find it copied and pasted somewhere without any credit to me. This has been happening more and more. Today's examples is this article on soil ph which has been copied here.
When I contact these folks, I want to convince them to change it to "here is an article I like" - maybe have a paragraph and then a link to my article. Instead, about half the time I get some bullshit about how they wrote it first. So then I go to the wayback machine and prove I wrote it first. Then they say that there is no such thing as copyright on the internet. They are nearly always livid pissed that I could be such an asshole about it. Well ... it just ends up a big hassle. In the end, they usually delete it and I feel like crap for having hassled them.
So I already have a way of confronting them that turns into a big shit storm and ends up with them sending me all sorts of nasty and after all sorts of pain, they finally delete it.
I want to find an approach so that the response is "sorry about that - let me make it right by making a link to you and telling folks your stuff is good!"
So I'm fishing for suggestions. Any ideas on how to approach these most recent offenders?
Here is a quick draft of what I'm thinking of
I was surfing the net today and came across your article at _______ and thought it was really good. And then I noticed it sounded really familiar. It took me a moment to figure out that it is a copy of my own article!
I'm really glad you like my stuff. I hope we can figure stuff out so that we can both be happy campers.
My biggest hope is that since you like my stuff so much, that you might make links to more of my articles. I have an article on diatomaceous earth I would really like to get more links to.
I'm sure you are trying to fill your site out a bit, and I think I can be of help with that. The trick is that having more than one copy of article makes google mad. Google thinks we are trying to trick them, so they penalize all copies. An odd thing is that if you have a couple of paragraphs on _________ and you then link to a page about _________ then google likes that a lot.
So if it is something you are okay with, I would like to come up with a strategy that is mutually beneficial. Maybe I could write a few paragraphs for your site and that would include a link to my original article. Then we could erase the penalties from google and actually add something good to both sites.
And then we can, if you are comfortable with it, talk about some of my other articles?
How does that sound? Too much? Should I make it shorter?
I do think it needs some polish. Some parts come off a bit klunky - I need better phrasing.
And, of course, if the party on the other side turns out to be icky, then I can contact their host with some scary legal stuff.
IMO Paul you're being Canadian(Ref : How I met your mother S-4 E-11).
I would draft like this. Hi! You have copied some or all of my contents of particular article. This is called plagiarism. XYZ gives me pain.
XYZ could be - you did not link to my webiste for ref.- You are generating revenue from plagiarism. - My material is not for free. - I want some part of that revenue.
Please do ABC to relieve me from pain. else I will contact your hosting company and you will start getting pain.
In other words, be straight and tell what makes you uncomfortable. Just my opinion.
One question, how active the internet police is in such situation?
I like Paul's approach better -- why be confrontational right off the bat if a possibility of win-win cooperation exists? I think that the time to get nasty is after they've proved themselves to be tools.
I would go for a mix between the to drafts. Something like
[Small confrontation] Copied an article of me. Plagiarism. Forbidden by law.
[Sharing] No problem if just a few paragraphs and link
[Solution] If changed and you'll use the same approach in the future then no problem.
"Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand." --- Martin Fowler
Please correct my English.
When i have contacted these folks in the past, some seem to think that there is no such thing as copyright. I think that document goes a little further in helping them understand what the consequences can be.