While the concept of plagiarism or content theft has always been present, but with access to the Internet, it has become even more prevalent in the current day. With the help of various sources available online, anyone can copy and paste somebody else’s work and take acknowledgement for it.
Although content fraud is more prevalent in education and news industries, more and more businesses are falling preys to it lately. The consequences of plagiarized content can be unfavorable for a business – whether big or small. If a company is found indicted for copying content without citing the original source, it can lead to a ruined brand image and issuance of a public apology.
But before you understand the different risks associated with content stealing, you should be thoroughly acquainted with what exactly counts as plagiarism. In a broad sense, it’s the act of mimicking someone else’s work without mentioning the references properly and publicly. Rephrased stolen content is just as severe of a crime as stealing the content in its entirety.
Plagiarism presents many risks to business owners. These risks can be individual, professional, moral and judicial. When a business is using duplicated content, one of the major risks involved is the loss of its reputation and market standing. Once the business reputation has been smudged and smeared, it can be tough for it to get back to its routine operations. For the employer involved in the content theft, the outcomes can be even harsher. It can cost them their entire career as they will likely be dismissed from their current job position and they can even find it tough to acquire another respectable job.
The legal perils of content stealing can also be severe. With the multiple regulations associated with copyright violation, no business can steal or duplicate somebody else’s copyrighted work without citing them. Copyright laws allow the author or originator of the work to sue the person or company responsible for the deceit. Some occurrences of copyright breach may also be held as a criminal offense, leading to a prison sentence and hefty sums of money as penalties.
As a business owner, you may not see content theft as a felonious or public offense, but this sort of copyright violation is more pressing than you think. If your business is caught plagiarizing content, it runs great risks of being prosecuted in federal court by the companies or authors who hold the legal rights to the content, possibly damaging your business reputation.
In some rare cases, you can even imitate someone else’s content inadvertently without even realizing it. But whether it’s a mistake or not, the ends of plagiarism can always be crushing. However, with some simple tips, you can effectively avoid the repercussions of content theft.
The first thing that you can do is to exercise proper citations and sources. When you’re restating someone else’s work, ensure that you avoid any of the words or phrases that have been mostly used in the original source. In situations where you are incapable of finding a substitute for any of the terms or expressions, you should quote them and cite the work.
Content writing about subjects that cover specific ideas that are not your own can be especially challenging. However, by citing the original source and crediting the author, you can do it properly under copyright standards.
While you can use quotes, there has to be something unprecedented about your content and it should bear minimal resemblance to the original work. There are a number of things you can do to create your original content. The best ways to achieve this is by reading the original work thoroughly and then writing down everything you can recollect off the top of your head. Once you’re done writing, go back to the real content and ascertain whether the information you penned down is accurate and detailed.
Always remember to use plagiarism checkers to inspect your content for any red flags that may imply it’s duplicated. There are many online tools such as Grammarly, quetext or duplichecker, which can save you from the likelihood of being accused of content theft.
Businesses posting plagiarized content online also run the uncertainties of being spammed by search engines. Every search engine has a bot to generate search engine index listings which can detect whether the content is copied or not. A crawler is Google’s own bot that has access to all the websites and page information available. It is also known as “Google bot”.
If you don’t want to lose your Search Engine rankings and suspend your business operations, you must ensure that you use original and non-plagiarized content for marketing or advertising objectives.