Whether you’ve written the content of your WordPress site/blog by yourself, or you’ve outsourced it by paying a ghostwriter to write it for you, one thing is for sure; you don’t want anybody to mess with it. By saying, mess with it, we mean that you don’t want to risk your content being copied, shared, scraped, framed, etc. without any attribution to its creator or owner that is you and your website. In other words, you don’t want to see your valuable content to flood the Internet without you reaping the benefits of its creation and publication. All the above consist forms of copyright infringement. This guide will tackle this dangerous situation and will provide you with all the tools you will ever need should you want to protect the content of your WordPress website from being used without your consent. Please make sure you don’t skip any session of this guide, as each one of them showcases different ways to protect your WordPress site from copyright problems. Reading this guide in its entirety and combining all these techniques will allow you to fortify your website against most, if not all kinds of copyright infringement.
If sharing my content is good, why should I be warned if anyone “stole” it?
Before we delve into what it takes to protect your WordPress (WP for short) site against content thieves, we must clarify things a bit so that we can all understand how serious it is for your site if someone gets your content without your approval.
One one hand, social shares, pingbacks, even the posting of some excerpts of your content on other sites (containing links to your original content, of course) can prove very beneficial to your SEO (i.e. Search Engine Optimization) and to your WP site popularity.
On the other hand, however, when copyrighting comes into play, it’s definitely something very different. In fact, it can be very harmful to your website. The reason is that there are many tricks that someone could employ to present your content as their own. For example, they could also use it in a book (printed or e-book) without you getting any rewards for your spent time or investment. Also, there are many hacks that a content thief could use to bypass the timestamp of your content and trick search engines by making them think that it was you who stole the content. Simply put, they first take your content, then they make your website look spammy. Terrifying isn’t it? Now we got your attention let’s see what you can do to protect your site by following some simple steps.
Copyright Protection 101: Tell those bad boys you know how to protect your property.
Imagine a thief lurking outside your home, and you’re aware of his existence. What would you do? Would you kill the guy? We don’t think so (not at first, at least). Your first step would be to warn them. Wouldn’t you put a sign at your house entrance saying “Hey! Badass! We know you’re there, but for your own safety, be aware! We can protect our property”. Similarly, if you feel that the content of your website is at risk, you should place an “All Rights Reserved” statement somewhere your content thieves would see it. Your footer is always a good place to do so. You could also use the copyright sign (i.e. ©) likewise. The two measures mentioned above could act as deterrents to possible content thievery. To put it simply, they could scare most thieves away and make them leave your content alone. They can also be used if you need to sue anyone who eventually steals your content.
How about some more active protection for the content of my WordPress site?
Apart from warning any lurking thieves using “Copyright Protection” signs, you could always use the help of the “digital” police. In other words, you can register your website using the DMCA protection (http://www.dmca.com/). This will allow you to take-down (i.e. force the removal of) any content that was stolen from your site. DMCA provide you with some awesome badges that can further scare any content thieves.
If you need any additional information on how to register your copyright for your website, please refer to the following link by Stanford University. http://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/faqs/registration-and-enforcement/
Are there any plugins I could use to copyright my WordPress site?
Of course, there are! In fact, this is what you (and we) have been waiting for! Let’s see what our options are when it comes to WordPress plugins for copyright protection.
First of all, you can use the free “Current Year and Copyright Shortcodes” plugin which will allow you to insert the Current Year (auto-updates) and the copyright sign. The plugin provides shortcodes which make the whole process a piece of cake. Here’s the link for the plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/jonradio-current-year-and-copyright-shortcodes/
Let’s see now what you can do to deny almost any copying of your content. There is a powerful, yet free plugin which provides copy-protection of your WordPress site content. What this means is that it will render your visitor’s mouse commands and any copying keyboard shortcuts unfunctional. Also, whenever a visitor tries to copy parts of your content, the plugin will only allow them to copy blank text. Cool, isn’t it? Here’s the link to the “TG Copy – Protection” plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/tg-copy-protection/
What about my WordPress photos and images? Can anyone steal them?
Of course, not! Besides, any photos and images you upload to your WordPress site are your property as well. You don’t want anyone to steal and use them without asking your permission. To protect them, apart from using the “TG Copy Protection” plugin which will not permit their copy, you can always place a watermark symbol on any image appearing on your WordPress site. Do not worry! You won’t have to Edit each one of the separately. You don’t need to be a Photoshop expert either. The only thing you will have to do is install one of the following Plugins.
• The “Image Watermark” plugin. https://wordpress.org/plugins/image-watermark/
• The “Alti Watermark” plugin. https://wordpress.org/plugins/alti-watermark/
Both plugins allow you to watermark all your WordPress images automatically. Their best feature, however, is that they can also watermark all images that already exist in your Media Library folder, even those that are already uploaded. This feature is a great time-saver, don’t you think?
Is that all I must know to copyright my WordPress site?
Wait! We’re almost there! There’s another dirty trick that a content thief could use if they really want to copy your WordPress content. As we didn’t leave them with many options, after installing all the above plugins, they could reside to using your entire website inside their website. “Whaaaaat? Is that possible?” you might be wondering. Of course, it is. In fact, it’s a very easy process coming into two forms; website framing and website scraping.
Framing a website means that you can create a frame inside your site which will contain another website making it appear as if it was YOUR website.
On the other hand, website scraping consists of using PHP or ASP code to gather contents of a website and transfer them to your own site.
If you’re shaking out of horror, please worry no more! The “ScrapeBreaker” plugin tackles both these issues. You just have to install it, and this excellent plugin will take over from there. It will reject almost any effort of scraping or framing of your precious WordPress website. Here’s your link: https://wordpress.org/plugins/scrapebreaker/
A bonus idea for your website copyright protection
Not everybody who wants to copy your content is a bad person. In fact, they could be someone who might want to “borrow” your content providing you with a link to your website, or even money, as a reward. You don’t want to send these legit website owners away, do you? That’s why you’re suggested to have a contact form always on your WordPress site. You never know when such an opportunity will knock on your door, or better said, on the door of your website.
This concludes our guide on how to copyright your WordPress website. This has been a massive guide, but we honestly think there’s a lot of value contained in it. You’ve learned everything there is for you to know on how to proactively protect your WP site from any content thievery attempt using the copyright sign. You’ve also known how to refer to the DMCA to allow them to protect your website content if someone steals your content. More importantly, though, you’ve come across some powerful and free WordPress plugins that will leave no chance for any content thief to steal your precious content. Using these plugins, you can secure your site from illegal copy, non-legit use of your photos, as well as framing and scraping.
What you have to do now is to install these plugins immediately on your WordPress websites and rest assured for the safety of your content. It’s simple as that. Secure your current content, focus on the creative part of your work.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide! Thank you for reading!