As my site is growing and has more and more original content published on it, I'd like to find ways to protect that content from being copied and pasted onto other sites. What steps should I be taking to achieve this?
I've recently put a CopyScape banner on the site, but I don't believe that's a strong enough of a deterrent. Could I be using CopyScape in some other way to protect the site content?
Thanks for the helpful reply Alex, yes you are right, I don't want to do anything that would impact on our user experience.
Is there any way that I can automate that process? The only way I know how to do it now is by copying and pasting the content from my site and checking it in Google or Copyscape.
Good idea Alex, thanks for that. I already use Google alerts to notify me of mentions of the site on the web and will try to think of phrases that are commonly used on the forum to see if it picks up anything. It won't catch everything but it might just catch some illegal copying.
Thanks tke71709, you're right about it being expensive the forum has over 4,000 pages indexed in Google and the "$0.25/month for each additional page" charge just would not work.
Or you could just use the Copyscape service to monitor the web for infractions.
There's a link to it right on the front page of Copyscape
The price is a little ridiculous in my opinion though.
You could look into using Google Alerts, what it does is automatically search for new instances of a string and send you the results. Perhaps it's a bit unique of a way to try and resolve the problem but it works surprisingly well. You just add an alert on a string of text (which will be used for monitoring) and if someone happened to use the exact same text as that Google would report back to you with the link to the material. Think of it like a honey pot, it's actively looking for repeat material that matches precisely what you entered. Granted it won't stop the people who rewrite your content, but it'll catch the outright snatch and grabbers.
Unfortunately, when you put content on the web there's no foolproof way to physically stop the copying from occurring, all the methods that currently exist only end up hurting the legitimate users of your website (and they won't deter bad people) and I doubt that's an appealing solution for you (it certainly wouldn't be for me). The best thing you can do is continue to monitor when people do copy your content (through stuff like Copyscape) and then take action against those violators as they occur by filing DMCA takedown notices and threats of legal action. The web is a free and open platform and with that comes a problem of trying to prevent thieves from stealing your stuff, unfortunately you're just going to have to go after them to take the content down as such events appear.