How to detect blog plagiarists?

I have a personal blog/website that I believe has some high quality, original content.

I am not trying to make a profit out of it, but I don’t want people to steal my articles, especially since I’ve done weeks of research for writing some of them. Is there some automated tool that checks the web for plagiarists?

Google. Just pick a few sentences, put quotes around them, and see what turns up.

You can also set up a Google alert for the sentences, so you’ll get an email if it goes up.

It’s impossible for people on the Internet to “steal” your articles; the worst they can do is to copy them without your consent, possibly passing them off as their own. While this is a despicable thing to do, it’s not legally theft since the original works remain in your possession.

That said, RealityChuck’s suggestion of using Google alerts is a good idea. Consider also that if your articles are good enough that random people on the Internet are copying and reposting them, perhaps you should consider submitting them for publication in a professionally run online magazine or other website. It will get you more exposure, you’ll might get paid, and the publisher might take up the burden of chasing after plagiarists.

The people behind Cooks Source found out different.

This. It may not be “theft” but those works are copyrighted at their moment of creation, regardless of how you decide to share them with others.

I’m confused why you introduced the nitpick about “stealing” and “theft” as I don’t see either word used in the OP.

Never mind.

It’s also not legally murder, rape, or jaywalking. It’s still illegal, though.

If you don’t normally call plagiarists murderers, rapists, or jaywalkers, it doesn’t make much sense to call them thieves either.

Certainly it is proper to call it theft. They are benefiting from using someone else’s property.

The fact that the original person still has the property has nothing to do with it.

The most likely way your content will be stolen is by an autoblog - a spam site set up to automatically copy articles and re-publish them laden with ads. Most of the time they’ll advertise themselves to their victims by sending pingbacks or trackbacks to the sites they’ve scraped the articles from.

There is a site called Copyscape that claims to detect copying. I’ve seen many small blogs with a sidebar banner indicating they use it, but never heard a success story.

My suggestion is to include a small signature block in the body of your feature articles, “written by Joe Bloggs on 2014-01-01” or whatever you like, with a link to your About or Contact page. And enable pingbacks and trackbacks on the About page. That way you’ll often receive a pingback from sites that re-publish it.

You can send a DMCA or C&D notice to the web hosts of sites that copy your work. Plagiarism Today explains how.

May be semantics but it is theft of intellectual property, like when the @$$h0le at work “steals” your idea and gives it to the boss as their own.

Oh, indeed. I was just pointing out the non sequitur statement wasn’t exactly on point.