Is this plagiarism or PLR content, and is there a way to tell?

An old acquaintance of mine is running their own private ebook publishing/selling website, and so far every book I have come across has been a copy and paste job from another private source on the internet. All I had to do was type the first two sentences of the chapter into Google, and the story/novel came up on another personal blog or fiction writing website, often times from years earlier. One book actually still had the person's email at the opening of the first chapter (poor editing/formatting job). Another book was a classic erotica story, and when I Googled it, it was actually being sold (under the original author's name) on the same site as the newer ebook for less. It also had a strict copyright warning. All of their "books" are essentially like this. Only names of characters have been changed (in some instances).

Since the people have admitted to using PLR services before in their updates (and I know some people will sell their work), it is hard for me to tell if these stories were bought with full attribution licenses or if they are outright plagiarized. Many of the "articles" and "blogs" that they write and post to their site (alluding to the fact that they wrote them themselves) have also turned out to be copy/paste jobs. I am really not sure what to think here. If these stories are plagiarized, I would potentially like to notify the original authors. But I don't want to act prematurely, and ruin their business when it is just starting out either (if it turns out I am wrong).

2 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is going to be extremely difficult to tell if this is plagiarism or Private Label Rights content. If it is private label rights and the publisher has paid to use that content then he can publish the content according to the terms of his purchase.

    If they have stolen the content, and you contact them, they will more than likely deny the charge and lie about it.

    Trying to find the original author is going to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you happen to know who the original author is and you see their work being copied and pasted online then you can contact the original author and notify them. Otherwise, if you do act prematurely you could end up harming your friends business.

    Amazon Kindle had the same problem with people publishing private label rights in their Kindle books. And their market was flooded with low-quality content. Amazon, being unable to determine who the rightful owner was, has now banned duplicate PLR content.


  • 8 years ago

    Contact a couple of the authors if you can, you will then find out if these books are pirate copies or not. Copyright law dictates that written permission has to be acquired from the author to distribute free ebooks. And no way should they be sold. If they are indeed PLR books then your friend will be OK to sell them.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.