I regularly Google myself to see if my articles have been referenced (or stolen). I hadn’t thought to run my name through Yahoo until today, and I regret that.
Apparently a firm calling itself Financial Times Ltd has been claiming copyright on articles from my student newspaper and licensing them to article directories.* This includes the highlight of my days there — a delightful little investigation into student government funding and related shenanigans.
Since I can’t find the actual culprits, I’ve spent more of this morning than is fair contacting article directories and telling them to change the information.
Tips for getting this done include:
- Call them, if there’s a phone number. Ask for tech support. (They tend to have a ‘Let’s fix it and move on’ attitude)
- Be super nice. Odds are whoever you actually speak to has done absolutely nothing wrong, and they’ll be sympathetic if you’re polite.
- Be able to refer to the specific publication by date, etc. If you can offer an editor’s contact information, even better.
Try to contact the editor of the publication that your article appeared in. You may not be the only writer being ripped off.
Other than that, all I’ve got is hoping that some karma finds these guys. There is no protection against this sort of thing if your articles are anywhere online. You can only be vigilant and respond.
*The cowards may have stolen their name as well, so I’m not gonna point to any website.