PowerHomeBiz.com accepts article contributions from other writers. However, we publish only a handful of those submitted to us (of the 100+ articles per day we receive, we publish 1 or 2 of that — either because we know the authors, or because we like the article because it is instructive and the topic/perspective is fresh).
One thing I’ve noticed though is the uptick of articles ripped off from other writers. Not just a paragraph or two, but the whole article! Some “authors” submit to us articles they claim as their own (they click “Yes” on the question “Do you own the copyrights to this article?” we have on our form). They keep the whole article and title intact save for the author’s name, which they replace with their own name.
One article submitted to us recently is an exact rip-off of an article we published 3 years ago. The fake “author” runs a subscription-only content website (no wonder it is members-only, possibly to limit real authors from finding out about his scam!), and has been very aggressive in submitting articles of late. I alerted the author of the original article that someone is passing off her article as his. I shudder to think where else the fake author submitted said article, and what websites actually published it thinking he owns it. Needless to say, any articles submitted by said “writer” is sent to the Junk bin immediately.
We also use Copyscape and other tools to alert us of content similarities of articles submitted to us. There’s this one article though that slipped through the cracks, which we published both in the website and in our newsletter. Thankfully, the rightful owner is a newsletter subscriber, and sent us a copy of his book where the content was ripped off word for word. We changed the article’s by-line to the rightful author, and banned the fake “writer” permanently.
With people harping on the effectiveness of article marketing — submitting articles everywhere to get free exposure and free links to your websites — more and more people are joining the game. Alas, not everyone has the brains to actually write a good (or even decent) article and instead simply steal another person’s article to be passed as their own. And it even puts publishers like us in peril. I know of an owner of an article directory who was slapped with a DCMA complaint after publishing a “stolen article” submitted to him. His mistake was taking the form submission at face value without checking the veracity of its claims.
Stealing articles is just plain wrong on a number of fronts. It is stealing. It is a violation of the rightful owner’s copyright. But it is prevalent, and growing. All we can do is to be vigilant about it, with publishers taking a more aggressive stance about it.