Monday, September 29, 2008

New Thing #262--Safeguard

I have a wide variety of entries on my Blogroll; I'm not even sure how I found some of them, but I enjoy reading each one. Scribbit is a blog about motherhood in Alaska. Michelle Mitchell, the author, writes about a wide variety of topics. I was particularly interested in what she had to say on September 23, when the topic was How to Protect Your Blog and Your Copyright.

Now that my daily readership is in the double digits (HAH!), my ego hopes that some day something that I write will be good enough to tempt someone to use it. I try to attribute everything I use, but I know that not everyone does, so I wanted to be ready in case there was a problem. Today I took steps to protect my intellectual property.

I was surprised to learn from Michelle that anything I produce is automatically copyrighted. The copyright symbol can be compared to a "Beware of Dog" sign; it lets people know that I recognize my intellectual property rights, and will take steps to protect them. I followed the advice and checked two places to see where my posts may have appeared in cyberspace:
  • Technorati lists links to my blog. While I was there I actually found someone I admired who'd added me to her Blogroll without letting me know. I felt honored!
  • I used Copyscape to search for copies of my page on the Web. The site searches for words matching text in any of my posts. Although I didn't find any exact duplicates, there was actually someone who did a Numerology quiz (which I did on September 12th) who had the same answers as I did. Great minds think alike. There was also a flurry of posts from people who used the obscure words (September 24th) that have been proposed for deletion from a dictionary; as we were all using the same list of words, there was a great deal of overlap.
All was good; however I decided to be proactive and head off any problems that might occur in the future. I placed the copyright symbol at the bottom of the site, and in the footer for RSS feeds. I also set up Google Alerts for terms I wanted to monitor. I chose to keep an eye on my URL and my blog name. If these items appear anywhere on the Web, I'll get an email telling me.

Michelle had a whole section in her post about what to do when someone does plagiarize your work, but since I'm not there yet I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


  1. Good ideas. I've done those things, too, but I've still gotten "scraped." I hate to say scarping is inevitable, but it sort of is.

  2. I'm glad it all worked for you--and Kathy is right, scraping is pretty inevitable.