The Membership Guys

What To Do When Someone Steals Your Membership Content

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When publishing content online – whether freely or inside a membership – there’s always the chance that someone will copy or steal your hard work.

In truth the only way to guarantee that this won’t happen is to not publish anything online.

However this doesn’t mean you should just roll over if it happens to you.

In this episode I give my top tips for dealing with people stealing and copying your content, with specific examples of the process we use in our own business.

Episode Summary:

  • The two main types of content theft that membership owners are susceptible to, and what you can do about them.
  • Why the worst type of theft is the one where the offender likely doesn’t realise that they’re doing something wrong!
  • What copyright theft actually means, and how to identify and gather evidence on more nuanced cases
  • The process (and exact wording) that we use for approaching people who have ripped off our content

Key Quotes:

“If your stolen content appears on a blog or on a forum, usually the type of sites that list this content illegally get away with it because they rely on you not finding out. And so they’re very quick, usually they’re very quick to take the content down if somebody complains to them. Because they don’t want you reporting them to their web host and getting their entire website taken down.”

“Many people think that simply rewording a blog post makes it theirs and that it isn’t copyright theft. However, it absolutely is. It can be hard to approve this type of theft. And it’s more frustrating in a way because the offenders very rarely realize they’ve done something wrong. And in some cases, they will argue until they’re blue in the face that what they’ve done is not copyright theft.

“Ego does tend to lead us to assume that our ideas are unique, but it’s not always the case. Review the situation with impartiality. Ask someone else for their input, question the likelihood that the suspected offender has actually seen your content. Firstly, are they actually a member of your site? That’s obviously a big factor in whether someone’s likely to have seen your membership content in order to rip it off. Now that said, someone who is a bit more nefarious may well have signed up with fake details, but you need to really honestly assess the likelihood of that and ensure you’re not veering into conspiracy theory territory.”

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