They say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, but in a world where copyright infringement and plagiarism is taken very seriously, with severe legal and financial consequences, that imitation may be costly. Add in the explosive potential for AI writing and you have a recipe for duplicate content, copyright infringement, plagiarism and more.
So how can you as a content creator go about preserving the originality of your content? Even more importantly, how can you find out if someone has used your copyright text elsewhere or outright duplicated your content entirely on their site? Keep reading for all the details.
Why Check for Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement?
In addition to protecting yourself legally and financially, doing a check for copyright text helps maintain your own integrity and authenticity as a writer or content creator. Original content is sought-after content, and over time, sought-after content builds recognition, credibility and trust.
Beyond building authority, consistently writing high quality content and avoiding plagiarism and copyright infringement forces you as a content creator to improve. It gets you to understand concepts on a deeper level while being able to reproduce what you’ve learned and draw conclusions in your own words; building upon your own ideas and the way in which you express yourself.
Types of Text Copyright Infringement
There are several types of copyright infringement that are most commonly done with text, and it’s worth being aware of them so that you can spot them while you’re researching and protecting your own work. These include:
This is the most common type of copyright infringement and is also the easiest to check for copyright text. It simply means that someone reproduced the copyrighted text without permission. That can include everything from photocopying a book without permission to publishing copyrighted material on another website or elsewhere.
Derivative works happen when someone creates a work based on one or more pre-existing copyrighted works without permission. If you rewrote a story or an article with only minor changes, it would be considered a derivative work. The same applies if you create a screenplay from a novel without the permission of the author.
Public Display and Performance
If you display copyrighted texts or read them aloud without permission, it could also be considered infringement. This includes displaying copyrighted text on a public screen.
This happens when copyrighted texts are shared without permission. It can include selling copyrighted materials without a license or even forwarding copyrighted material to large groups (via email or other methods) without the permission of the author.
Digital infringement is rampant and includes everything from hosting copyrighted ebooks for free or paid download without permission, to sharing copyrighted research papers, marketing materials or articles on unauthorized platforms.
In some cases, digital infringement can extend to online service providers or OSPs who are hosting the content. Although the U.S.’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides some protection nationally to those OSPs who comply with takedown notices, others need to act quickly to remove or prohibit access to the infringing content or pay hefty legal or financial fees.
What About Fair Use?
Fair use may be able to be used as a defense against copyright claims. It allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission depending on the reason. For example, you can criticize, comment or report on copyrighted material. You can also use it for research without permission.
Whether or not something is considered “fair use” or not depends on everything from the nature of the work, to how much of it was used, to what effect (if any) it had on the market or the value of the original.
As you can see, copyright infringement can quickly become a tangled legal mess of complexities. If you’re concerned that your copyrighted materials have been infringed by someone or you want to know whether or not something could be considered “fair use” or not, it’s best to consult a legal specialist who can help in this regard.
What Are Some Tools That Can Help Detect Copyright Texts and Duplicates?
There are a variety of online tools that can help check for copyright text and act as a duplicate content checker. Some of the most popular ones include:
Grammarly - Although mostly known for its grammar and spell-checking capabilities, Grammarly also offers a premium plagiarism scanning feature to check for duplicate or copyrighted text. Read our full Grammarly review here.
PlagScan - A well-known online plagiarism scanner which finds potentially infringing content across the internet and several databases. Check out our in-depth PlagScan review here.
CopyScape - A favorite of web content creators, Copyscape allows users to include a URL to see if their content is copied anywhere else on the web.
Originality.AI - Check for AI writing, plagiarism and copyrighted text on the web and across several databases with our complete all-in-one duplicate text checker platform.
How Can Content Creators Maintain Originality?
Preserving your originality as a content creator is vital for not only upholding your own ethical standards but also reinforcing the credibility of your work. Information online is accessible and there’s a ton of it, so being able to strike a balance between doing good research and presenting that information in a way that’s actionable and easy to understand can be a challenge. Here are a few ways that you as a writer, author, publisher or content creator can keep creativity and quality strong at the same time.
Cultivate Your Own Unique Voice
Find your own unique style and study other writers to see what sort of styles and tones most resonate with you. As you continue to write, your own voice will start to shine through your content. Practice makes perfect!
Conduct Deep and Involved Research
Rather than relying on one or two sources, check a variety of sources including scholarly articles, interviews, podcasts and more. Having a large base to draw from will let you develop a fuller understanding of the content and give a fresh and unique perspective at the same time.
Read, Write and Reflect
Reading different genres and subjects can expose you to different styles of writing and ideas, which then lend themselves to your writing as you work. In addition, freewriting, which is just where you write without a specific structure or end goal in mind can help you stretch your creative muscles and find new ways of communicating and expressing yourself.
Don’t forget to also take a step back from your work from time to time and reflect on what you’ve written. This allows you to subconsciously process your writing and the information you’ve shared so that you can come back to it with fresh, renewed ideas.
Preserving your originality as a writer means embracing the idea of continuous learning alongside ongoing practice and self-awareness of your own patterns and the challenges you come up against when you write. It also means having the confidence to be able to express yourself without leaning on the writings and ideas of others as a crutch.
Remember that copyright detectors and content checkers can help you just as much as many other writing tools, but at the end of the day, they are tools designed to help you protect and build on your existing skill-set rather than replacing it.
Try Originality.AI’s detailed plagiarism scanner, AI detection writer and our many other all-in-one tools to improve readability, keyword density, check for duplicate content and much more. As you continue to optimize each piece you write with a focus on quality and accuracy, your writing will shine through naturally!