Copyright Theft has become Rampant on WordPress
I often have to defend my food blogs from Copyright infringement (people taking and using my photographs and or text without seeking my permission even though I clearly claim copyright on my photographs and text, but it has become Rampant on WordPress.
Why does this matter?
My blog traffic and sometimes work is generated by the posts (recipes and articles I write). So I defend my property, because when I don’t it costs me money or opportunities to do a travelogues (I have done in Croatia, Austria, Spain and Canada amongst others or be a chef judge at a food show in the UK, Ireland, Spain and France.
Your rankings on google and other search engines are closely connected to the posts you write and publish, in simple terms the more they are seen the the higher they will climb the rankings. But if you allow someone else to post your work it may help them, but hurt you. For example if they are better at SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) their version of your post could rank higher in search engine results than the original. Over the years blogging since 2006 I have learnt if i don’t defend my intellectual property then not only could it hurt my Search Engine ranking but others can make money on my work.
In recent years I have notice more and more occasions when my copyrighted images and text have been used without my permission. Usually, in the past when I fill in a DMCA take down notice then WordPress will make the blogger remove the post.
But every day I am finding more and more anonymous blogs with no one named as the owner, no information as to where they live and much of their content re-blogged posts from other WordPress bloggers.
June 15th 2021
For example I found a blogger called Cheflytical who had copied and posted a photo on their blog without the owners permission, this is theft. https://cheflytical.wordpress.com/2021/03/02/grilled-steak-tacos-foodie-crush/
Original post here https://www.foodiecrush.com/grilled-steak-tacos/
The reblog button at the bottom of many bloggers posts compounds the problem if then others unknowingly reblog a stolen photo, and the poor author has to chase WordPress and hope in time their stolen property does not end up on multiple sites.
Whether a person is blogging as a hobby, creating a diary or trying to make money their posts should be protected by the blog platform, especially since they are already making money on our content by selling adverts. It adds insult to injury when the WordPress system allows theft to happen so easily.
When I set up my main food blog in 2015, I removed the reblog button and expressly claimed copyright all of my posts in the hope readers will respect my wishes and not repost my images and text without seeking permission.
But then I found that if people only see and like my posts in the WordPress Reader they can share my work without knowing I have claimed copyright! This is outrageous and I have sought help from Automattic (the company that deals with copyright infringement for WordPress and is infact the global distributor of WordPress. The CEO Matt Mullenweg was the lead developer in the open source WordPress. So far neither Matt or his assistants have bothered to reply to my plea for help.
My exit from WordPress
WordPress say they have no plans to remove the reblog button and its ability to steal my copyright material without my knowledge in the Reader.
Of course to move my well established blogs to another platform is a very large, time consuming undertaking, which in the short term will hurt my google rankings and obviously loose me followers, but I feel I have no option unless WordPress the now imperious juggernaut recognises that whether a bloggers chose to share their content or not…that choice should be theirs and theirs alone.