I have been writing content online for nearly a decade now, and I have to admit, I enjoy it. I enjoy writing content that people love to read, I enjoy earning a passive income, and I enjoy researching my work, broadening my horizons.
What I do not enjoy is the pure amount of firefighting I have to do to stop content thieves drowning out my work. Every week I pick an article I have written at random. For each one I will search for instances where it has been stolen and distributed across the internet. Usually I will have to send out between 30 -70 DMCA notices. Considering 90% of the time I will have to who-is the domain and contact the website host, this can easily take an entire day to do.
Even doing this vast amount of administrative bull is not enough. I know that within a few weeks the content will have been copied and redistributed across the internet once more, and the firefighting dance will just have to continue.
2011 might bring a change to all this however. I would say the majority of the sites which steal my content use Google Adsense, and in a Press Release by Google, there appeared a very tasty bit of information.
The Google Adsense team has announced a much more stringent policy on copyright violators. Specifically, people who violate copyright will be removed from the Adsense program.
What does this mean to writers such as you and me?
It has the potential to mean a LOT. If someone steals your content and they are displaying Google Ads, click on the Google logo and report them for copyright violation. Include a DMCA style report in your comment to Google. Several of these will see the thief removed from Google. Hopefully it will not take long for people to realize that stealing your content is theft, and there will be repercussions. While a DMCA is a good way to get stolen work removed from a website, the loss of an Adsense account should make people think twice before they copy your content.
So remember, if someone steals your work, hit them where it hurts and get them removed from the Adsense program! Spread the word, and pretty soon content theft will be an insignificant problem compared to its current epidemic!