For most, being plagiarized is an inherently emotional experience. Finding out that someone else copied and claimed something that took hours to produce is bound to produce some negative feelings.
This has lead some to wonder if fighting plagiarism is more about revenge than practicality. To some, it is better to simply forget about the plagiarists, ignore the emotional response and go about one’s business.
But as tempting as ignoring the problem is, it doesn’t look at the consequences of inaction. Though we might like the idea of covering our eyes and looking the other way, doing absolutely nothing can be detrimental to one’s success online.
Though it is tempting to look at fighting plagiarism as nothing but an irrational knee-jerk reaction, considering the following issues that might arise from not taking action.
- Search Engine Penalties: Though disagreements remain about the duplicate content penalty (possible nsfw) as it pertains to scraping, one penalty is certain, increased competition. Even if there is no algorithmic “penalty” placed on your site, the plagiarists will still show up for in your keyword results. For example, if you had a keyword unique to your site, you’d be number one for certain. If you were plagiarized six times, you’d be just one of seven, possibly not even first.
- Business Concerns: If you run a business, plagiarism hits much harder. You spent a great deal of time and/or money coming up with your site’s content, if someone steals it, they avoid those expenses. This means they can offer their products cheaper and enjoy higher profits. That translates to money out of your pocket.
- Reputation Issues: If you’re a new artist and you leave plagiarism unchecked, some will believe that you are the one stealing the content, not the others. This can make it hard to grow a following and establish a reputation on the Web.
- Destroys Market Value: If a work is widely plagiarized, its market value is destroyed and any attempts to sell it will be thwarted. Many artists have to create new works specifically for interested buyers just to counter the damage that plagiarism has done