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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Track down plagiarism with Copyright Spot

CopyrightSpot Alpha 

Watch out plagiarizers! There is a new sheriff in town and he means business. Copyright Spot is web-based service that lets you find out other sites that are leeching content off your website for its own gains. This service is quite similar to Copyscape. However Copyright Spot does offer some distinct advantages over Copyscape, at least its free version.

* Number of queries per site – Unlike the free version of Copyscape that is restricting the number of queries per month for a site, Copyright Spot currently allows unlimited queries.

* Number of Search results – Copyscape restricts the number of number results in the free version. Copyright Spot is currently giving away all the results without any restrictions.

* Quality of results – This one was a big surprise. Copyright Spot gave much more relevant results than Copyscape. I selected a random post from my blog and ran it through both of them.

The result obtained from Copyscape (L) and Copyright Spot (R).

Copyscape and Copyright Spot

As evident, save the second entry, all the results thrown up by Copyscape are sites where I am registered and some snippets of my blog are meant to appear there. So this result was hardly helpful. Copyright Spot on the other hand listed out those additional sites [marked in red] that incidentally have almost all the posts from my blog with all its content posted there. Would this change if it was tested using the premium version of Copyscape? I don’t know. It does appear that Copyscape is making use of Google’s cache for the lookups while Copyright Spot is using Yahoo!’s. Did not find this page listed in Google’s search either while found it in Yahoo’s. Just a hypothesis.

* Convenience of use – Copyright Spot allows you to simply enter the URL of your site’s feed and it will list out all the posts made on the site. To check weather a particular post is being plagiarized, you simply have to click on its URL. Copyscape on the other hand, makes you enter the URL of each post you want to check for plagiarism – a tedious task IMO. Copyright Spot scored big time over Copyscape on this front.

The service is currently still in Alpha stage and have announced that they would be introducing some premium features soon. Weather they would continue giving away these existing features for free in the future is unknown, but as of today if you need some free lookup service, then Copyright Spot it should be.