How can bloggers protect themselves from content thieves?

Verizon recently scraped this blogger’s content without asking for permission or providing attribution — and then failed to make things right. Is there anything bloggers can do?

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Your boss asks you to create a new marketing plan for your company. You go to a competitor’s site and like what you see. So, you copy the competitor’s original content (even the illustrations), and claim it as your own marketing material.

If I did something like this in the business world, I would probably get fired. Yet on the Internet this is a common and accepted practice. If you are a blogger, expect to be copied, cheated and ransacked. Expect to be treated like a piece of meat.

For example:

The Verizon tipping point

These examples involve small-time players brashly using bloggers’ content for commercial gain — but even Fortune 500 companies do it.

I pay writers like Kerry Gorgone to create original material for {grow}. She and I were shocked to find that one of her posts was swiped — in its entirety without reference to her or {grow} — and posted on Verizon’s company portal as if it was Verizon’s post.

One of the world’s largest companies boldly took copyrighted content from an individual blogger and used it on its own promotional site. It was pure luck we even found it.

I tried to get a response from Verizon, as I was curious as to how and why the company did this.

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