Should You Sue Over Stolen Content That Ranks Higher

Jan 16, 2013 • 8:46 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Legal Issues in Search

legal expensesThere is nothing more insulting and demeaning to an SEO copywriter who sees their content being stolen by third-party sites and those third-party sites ranking higher in Google for that content.

It is not uncommon, happens often and is a major concern for many webmasters.

That being said, is it worth suing over? Is it worth taking someone to court over?

A WebmasterWorld thread asks just that and while some think you should sue over this matter, many say, the outcome will cost you way more in legal bills than you can recover in damages.

Lawyers are not cheap and going to court is incredibly expensive. Trying to win damages from a site that steals your content is hard, expensive and you have to hope that webmaster has the money to pay you after you win in court.

The most webmasters do in this situation is file a DMCA request with Google and the hoster and maybe send a strict legal letter to the webmaster and wait to see if it makes any difference.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for legal expenses icon

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01/16/2013 02:29 pm

Perhaps I'm naive, but if you know you can prove copyright infringement, and that the resulting infringement burdened you with a loss of business, then couldn't you seek compensation for damages and legal fees?


01/16/2013 03:02 pm

Its up to the Judge if they award it or not. Also the world-wide issues can be a nightmare, for example in the case of a site based in China or Russia. Its the main problem with DMCA is that if they contest it, then nothing happens unless legal action is taken, but on the flip side, do you really want people to be able to remove your content without legal action? We could do with some sort of organisation with the power to remove (only) the blatantly copied ones, leaving any one that there was some actual doubt to go to the courts.

Anon Reg

01/16/2013 07:14 pm

Best option is to sue the hosting company if they don't remove your content after being asked to.


01/16/2013 07:44 pm

Google is especially bad at this. There are so many examples of scraper sites ranking higher than original ones, it's ridiculous. Google has lost this battle completely. Also, by the time you decide to sue and the lawsuit comes to court, the scrapers are already richer than you are. If Google did their job, nobody should sue the thieves, however, Google fails miserably with this problem...

Lori Eldridge

01/19/2013 01:22 am

Instead of suing or filing a DMCA you can also rewrite your content and install Google rel=author which will eventually (hopefully) eliminate that problem.

Nicolas Andrews

01/26/2013 11:00 am

Internet is the freedom land...with any bad and good coming with this

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