« Interview with Chuck Ingwersen, greeting card writer/designer | Main | Christina Katz & Time Management For Writers »

Copyscape: effective plagiarism-preventing service or not?

I came across a "Protected by Copyscape" banner in a writer's blog and was curious enough to check out the service. From their About page:

Copyscape is dedicated to protecting your valuable content online. We provide the world's most powerful and most popular online plagiarism detection solutions, ranked #1 by independent tests. Copyscape's products are trusted by millions of website owners worldwide to check the originality of their new content, prevent duplicate content, and search for copies of existing content online.
Copyscape provides a free service for finding copies of your web pages online, as well as two more powerful professional solutions for preventing content theft and content fraud.

I've heard mixed reviews about this service -- has anyone used it? I tried it with pages from my site but didn't have much luck because of my site layout: because I have navigation sidebars that repeat throughout the site, Copyscape kept picking up that text so the results always gave me my own site pages. I was using the free service, however, so was only seeing the first 10 results.

Anyone else have luck using this service?

Reader Comments (4)

I've tried it, and it does find the occasional "thief"--usually bloggers who have scraped an article off The Purple Crayon to reuse in full, possibly weakly paraphrased, on their site.

Seems odd to me that you had that problem with nav bars, as I haven't.

On the whole, probably not worth paying for the advanced service. Over the years, the copied content I have found through Copyscape or through people telling me about it has not been a threat to my site, simply because Google and other SEs didn't pay any attention to it. I think you would find the same.

So, I tend to check a few key pages with Copyscape every once in a while to make sure there is no widespread copying, and leave it at that. If a problem developed, then I'd consider paying.

January 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHarold Underdown

I haven't used this service, and don't plan on doing so. They are only good for so much. The problem lies in what happens when someone has lifted something (in its entirety) from your web site, as happened to me. just recently.

One of my short story was posted on someone else's blog, in order to help promote *their* blog, and even though they had given me full credit on *my* story, with a link back (fools) which is how I found them, I had a devil of a time trying to get them to remove the story from their web site. That even after writing to the hosting company (Blogspot/Google) which was an utter waste of time. And, after months of trying, never did win and have it removed.

It seems it will for ever and always be an on-going problem that doesn't appear to have much resolution, given the Hosting companies make us responsible for the burden of proof. I've got to the point where I am now question what's the point of sharing anything I write, online, with anyone? :(

January 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I use it sometimes for my About.com "stuff" and it works pretty well. I also use it when I hire other writers--I run their articles through it.

January 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllena

I have used the paid service provided by Copyscape; since I need to check contents in bulk. Copyscape is not so stringent tool for checking plagiarism. If the order of your words is changed from the sources then Copyscape gives no result. But, I think only changing the order of words are not enough for rewriting. It also somehow violate copywrite rules and thus you can not always expect good ranking of your page on the search engines.

Recently, I have found a more powerful tool; it’s AAfter Search. You need to paste your document in the search box as follows 3 stars (***) and click the web search button. AAfter gives the result in the form of percentage of similarity between two documents (original document and re-written document), so that one comes to know about possible copyright violation, if any. It’s a free service and perfect for webmasters, students, journalists and bloggers.

January 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>