Copyright Safeguard

Copyright Safeguard™

Find Unauthorized Copies of Your Work

If someone copies your work on the web, there are several things you can do to defend your rights. However, first you need to find the copies.

One way to find unauthorized copies is too ask your friends and associates to watch out for them. This is surprisingly effective. People who copy your work are sometime connected to you in some way... for example, they might be members of the same groups, and see your work. But that means that the copier may also be connected with your friends and associates, who may therefore see the copies.

Another, more systematic way to find copies is to regularly search for them, as explained below.

If you find a copy, learn what you can do to defend your copyright.

Finding Online Copies of Your Text

You can look for unauthorized copies of your text by using a search engine. Pick a distinctive phrase or sentence that appears in your document or website. For our example, we’ll use this sentence.

Copy the sentence and paste it into your favorite search engine, in quotes. The quotes are important!

Text Search

The search engine will return all pages that contain the exact sentence. You can check each of the results to see if your page has been copied.

If the search engine returns a lot of results that are not copies of your page, then try a more unique sentence from your document.

Repeat your search regularly to find new copies, if any. You can also set up a Google Alert, which will automatically notify you if Google indexes any new pages that contain your search phrase. Remember to use quotes when setting up the alert.

Finding Online Copies of Your Images

  1. Go to Google or Bing and select Image search:
    Image Search
  2. Next, click the camera icon in Google Search, or the image match icon on Bing:
    Image Search
  3. Finally, enter the URL of the image you want to search for, or upload the image from your computer:
    Image Search

You should pick a regular time - perhaps once a month - and search for the most important or popular images from your site.

For more information on Google's image search, and some advanced search techniques, visit Google's Search By Image help page.


There is an alternative to Google or Bing for image search, a service called Although TinEye does not index as many images as the major search engines, it has a plugin for the major browsers that makes image searching easier (so you're more likely to do it regularly).