Since day one, we, at Royal Road, have expressed how much we take plagiarism seriously. While we cannot combat copyright infringement and plagiarism all over the internet, we can do so on our platform.
Accordingly, all fictions that get submitted to our platform are required to go through a verification process in order to make sure that the authors or the copyright holders are the ones who are publishing their works.
However, if for some reason something bypassed our verification process and you’ve noticed it, please either report it by opening a support ticket or contacting us directly via e-mail at [email protected].
We have a second layer of copyright protection in which if we are notified about a Royal Road author's content being available elsewhere, with a reasonable suspicion that said content is being plagiarized, we will then contact the author ourselves and inform them. This will be done on the assumption that no one else has done so already.
It is said that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." As such, many readers and authors have become indifferent to plagiarism. Even if you truly don’t mind it, you should still take a stand to protect your work if only to tell the industry that plagiarism is not acceptable. In fact, we reject 10% of submitted content, with the main cause being plagiarism. We define plagiarism as content that is mainly written by someone but then claimed to be written by a different person, falsely claiming to be the original author. Whether the intent behind that is pure or not, if it is done without the permission of the original author we won't stand for it.
If you find plagiarized content on our platform or find a Royal Road author’s content on another platform and have reasonable doubt that it is being plagiarized, please notify us and provide any proof you can. Additionally, you can link an author to this post to know what to do when faced with a similar situation.
As an author, it is important to know your rights and the steps you can take in case something happens to your content.
Thanks to regulations, most websites provide a way of dealing with copyright-infringing content in a direct manner by simply contacting them or reporting the fiction. We, at Royal Road take action as soon as possible when we are made aware of the violation. However, some of the other platforms do not. In these cases, don’t lose hope as you can request a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice.
The DMCA provides protections for sites regarding content that is posted by their users, especially for sites that do not know about the infringing behavior. However, in return, copyright holders can file a DMCA takedown notice in which they state that there is a copyrighted content of theirs being infringed upon. It puts pressure on the websites to take down the infringing content within a set timeframe when a legitimate DMCA notice has been issued.
This is how you can file it:
1. Find the hosting website’s internet provider
If contacting the site directly fails, you can contact the website’s internet provider and report it to them. You can do so by using any “WhoIs” website (Such as https://hostadvice.com/tools/whois/ ). Once you find out who their internet provider is, you can then search in google for [Internet Provider] DMCA. The results should lead you to the relevant page. However, take note that each provider has its own requirements which you will need to check out and follow. You then need to send a DMCA takedown letter, which should have the noted requirements to be successful. For simplicity and ease, you can use one of the many templates that are available online.
** Remember to take screenshots of the violations as you might need them as proof later on, especially for steps #2 and #3.
2. File a DMCA form via Google’s Webmaster Tools
This will remove the reported pages from Google’s results. Google will do their own review, so give them as much evidence as you can. If you have notified the website already, show that to Google and include a screenshot of the contents that are in violation of your copyright. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-dashboard
3. File a DMCA form via other search engines
We recommend submitting the DMCA form with Bing https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster/ as well since it is the second most used search engine.
Please remember to give the hosting website the necessary time to evaluate and act on your claim of plagiarism. However, if that fails, use the tools available to you. Note that filing a DMCA takedown notice is very serious as sites that have been filed against can submit a counter-notice. If you provide falsified information, you can be sued. Therefore, make sure to file a takedown notice only if you truly are the copyright holder or their agent.
If your content made it to Amazon:
In similar cases in the past, it has proven successful for the author to contact amazon support directly and to request the removal of the listing.
You can read from amazon's site about the steps that you can follow in this situation: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201995100
Sometimes, however, they require further verification that you are the original author. If you are published on our platform, you can direct an email to [email protected] for assistance.
Please note that if your content on Royal Road was affected, we would appreciate being updated about the situation regarding what steps you followed and how long it took you to resolve the issue. Any new information an author may provide could be beneficial to others to make the whole process easier for them in case they also got affected by plagiarism.
Royal Road team.