your website can be one of the most exciting times for a business owner. After
all the planning and hard work, the whole world now has access to your
products or services. You have invested alot of time and money creating website copy to be proud of and now
that it is out there for the whole world to see, it may be a target for all
kinds of unscrupulous individuals.
infringement is a very common occurrence on the World Wide Web. How do you
protect yourself? And, what can you do if someone steals your content?
important for you to know that anything you have written is copyrighted. You can
register a copyright, but you don't need to in order for it to be illegal for
someone to copy or reproduce your work without your permission. Any written
text, painting, drawing, musical composition, photograph or computer program,
whether published or not, is protected by copyright law. Unfortunately, just
because your work is copyrighted doesn't mean it is safe. Some individuals
don't know that copyright laws apply to the Internet, and others simply don't
millions of websites out there, it's difficult to know if your website has
been targeted by thieves. A great tool to use in the protection of your website
content is www.copyscape.com. Simply enter your website URL and it will scan
the web for you. This is a free service (limited to the top 10 results), but if you have been a frequent victim
of copyright infringement, you might want to consider their paid service for more results, or Copysentry which automatically monitors the web for copies of your pages, emailing you as soon as they appear.
What do you
you are one of the unfortunate victims of copyright infringement? How can you deal
with the offender and avoid the high cost of litigation? The following are some
simple steps that you can take to ensure that the" infringer" removes your
material from their website.
the offender. You can usually visit the "contact" page of the
offender's website to obtain their contact information. If for some reason you
can't find their coordinates that way, you can perform a search for "who
is" to find many sites that can provide information about the website
owner by simply entering their URL - go to www.whois-search.com. The website owner's contact information
should be posted here, but if not, their website host will be and you should
contact them. Keep your first contact civil. Calling or emailing the
responsible individual with a stern, yet professional demeanor will be much
more effective than yelling or name calling. Remember that the owner of the
site isn't necessarily the writer, and if they are, then being nasty may not
have the desired effect and in fact may create more problems for you in the
2. Send a
cease and desist order. If your initial contact didn't get the desired results,
your next step should be to send a cease and desist order. You do not need to hire a lawyer to create one for you. A simple search
for "cease and desist order templates" should give you an order that
can be altered to meet your needs. Send one copy by email and one copy by
registered mail and make it look as official as possible. Include a date by
which the material should be removed. You want the offender to know that you mean
business. For more information about "cease and desist" in New Zealand visit:
If action is still not taken, send a cease and desist order to the offending
party's web host. Again, the host information is available when you perform a "who is" search. The majority of hosts will take action by
temporarily removing the offender's site until the copied material is removed.
4. The situation should be resolved at step 3, but one more step that
can be taken is to notify search engines of the infringement. Performing a
search for the "DMCA" or "Digital Millennium Copyright Act"
policies for each search engine will provide the information you need to
contact each of them in order to request that the offender's website be
removed. Here is a link to Google's DMCA policy for your information - www.google.com/dmca.html.
Finally, it's always advisable
to protect yourself by keeping records of the dates your content was placed on
your site. This ensures that the other party can be proven wrong it they claim
to have posted their content first.
website and it's content on the Internet for the
world to see is a great marketing move, but it's nearly impossible for you to be able to
prevent the theft of its content, but this advice should help to resolve the problem should this happen.