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    15 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2008 12:21 PM by MDF2008

    How to deal with copyrighted violations?

    NatOnline Tracker
      Hello everyone,

      I suppose many of e-commerce have this problem to deal with sooner or later.

      When I find copies of my contents on another e-commerce that make me mad, and I don't understand why people in business don't take the time to create a subject and hire a professional copyrighter.

      This is painful but I am going after each content thiefs by different ways.

      What have you experimented, and what did you do?

      Thank you for sharing.
        • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
          NatOnline Tracker
          "professional copyrighter" I meant copywriters :-(
          • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            My action depends on whether the violator is directly selling something I wrote/recorded, or just using my words or voice to promote something of theirs. If it's the first, I notify my attorney and she handles it fairly aggressively. If it's the second, it depends on how I feel about being associated with whatever the unauthorized use is. If I'm okay with it, I write a letter notifying them that are using copyrighted material without permission, cite the copyright date and holder, and offer to grant permission free of charge provided they add the copyright citation I provide. (Having your name show up on lots of other people's sites can be a good thing.) If I feel the association would be negative or damaging to me, I write the same basic letter only I ask them to remove the material instead offering to let them use it. Either way, I give a deadline date for compliance, copy my attorney on the letter, and reference the applicable USC chapter and paragraph, as well as the U.S. Copyright registration number assigned to the work.

            What have you tried?
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                NatOnline Tracker

                Almost all complaints I had went through the site owners, registrars, hosting companies search engines customers service.

                I contacted an attorney once but found another solution at the last moment. If my business would be in trouble, I will contact my attorney, but in general I try to avoid as much as I can expensice cost.

                I had in the past my e-commerce highjacked by a proxy site, my partial contents on e-commerce selling related products, thiefs contents for Adsenses sites, and now kids blogs with my contents article used without a link to the source (my site).

                I am monitoring this because this is not good for my business and my e-commerce.

                Hope to answer your question.
              • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                merchant1 Newbie
                I found someone that had ripped off my unique content on a mortgage related website I built. I called the guy up and after talking to him and explaining that it was copyrighted he took it down. I have about 5 sites that I have built for myself and others using orriginal content and check them regularly on
                Also, on copyscape you can put a warning banner about plagiarism on your pages to help deter would be theives.
                  • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                    I'll second the notion on CopyScape, but I take it one step further with weekly automated monitoring by the same company, under their CopySentry service. For about $12 a month, I have 25 pages (almost my entire website of content I've written) that are checked each week for copied content. And it can be as little as an entire sentence (not just the entire page) found as stolen from my website.

                    This was happening at least every other month (must be something right, right?), and since I signed up for this service (over a year now), the various thieves have been found quickly. I then find out who their website HOST is, and send a form letter to the host, based on the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) format. Hosts and Google (why let them stay in the index for your content!) respond best to this format, and the hosting firm is required to act very fast, or they in turn become liable for the infringement as well. And the fines are steep for non-compliance (I think they are something like $50,000 - no joke).

                    Having your content actually copyrighted (filed with US Copyright office) gives you even more legal weight than relying on poor man's copyright (as you then have proof of when you filed, instead of relying on vague memory).

                    Well worth the $45 to file copyright (for ALL the content on a website, not just page by page), and the $12 a month for the monitoring service (for about 25 pages a month).

                    And I too have the warning link at the bottom of every page of my website.
                      • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                        NatOnline Tracker
                        I was thinking to put the copyscape warning message on each articles I've got, but I am hesitant.

                        I know and use to check my articles. As for the hosting, I think it works pretty well.

                        I have not yet used a DMCA but I have threatened to, once again I am hesitant to do that particulary when a teenager uses my entire article in her blog.

                        This is sad to have to do that.
                        • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                          NatOnline Tracker
                          Here we go, I fill up a DMCA with Yahoo to remove one of my article stolen on a Yahoo 360 blog by a person who doesn't answer me via email.

                          How long it takes to remove my article from this blog? I have done that 2 days ago and I've got no answer from Yahoo.

                          What do you suggest?

                          • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                            Buffalo Adventurer

                            What happens when you change the content on your website? Do you have to get another copyright? Or does the copyright cover whatever is on your site no matter how often it changes?
                              • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                                NatOnline Tracker

                                I think if you want to copyright everything in your site that will cost you a lot, then you need to spend minimun $1000 to go to court with an attorney. Some search engines like Yahoo will handle poorly copyright violations, they dont care even if the thief did not respect their guidelines about copyrights.

                                If you take an attorney, be sure you can get compensations to all your expenses from thiefs and search engines or else.
                                  • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                                    Lighthouse24 Ranger

                                    Nat, here is the problem you may have: ". . . information that is common property (taken from public documents or other common sources) . . . is not protected under federal copyright laws."

                                    Where did YOU get the information in your articles? Unless you did the original research and discovery, and were the first to write about the benefits, tips, and facts that appear in your articles, it could be argued that you don't own the rights to them anyway -- that they were in fact derived from other sources.

                                    The best way to solve your particular problem, I think, is to revamp the articles so that they DO include clearly original content -- for example, add paragraphs with quotes from you ("There's nothing more romantic than a fragrant, candle lit bath," says Natural Elements' owner Nat . . .). You could also add feedback or experiences from specific buyers/customers. Not only would this provide something more "protectable," it would mean that other sites would either have to do the work to edit your articles when they "steal" them, or help spread your name and your business' name through the web. As I noted in my earlier post, if I actually said it or wrote it, and other people want to help spread the word that I said it or wrote it, that's cool!
                                      • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                                        NatOnline Tracker

                                        I understand what you just post, we hired a copywriter and ask to write unique contents but she doesn't work for us anymore. It seems like she took some information from encyclopedia online for 2 articles. Well at this time I did know about the copyscape site and I will not go after everybody to claim copyrights.

                                        I think I need someone to re-write the articles involved and remove parts. Like you suggested perhaps to include some personalized sentences in the text.


                                        The funny thing on one of our entire article copied, the person took also 3 Internal anchor text links, pointed to our product pages lol, anyway I wil move one because Yahoo seems to show bad faith to remove that.

                                        Thanks for your help Lighthouse24

                                    • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                                      I don't know exact answer, but my lawyer told me small tweaks to content over time are still covered by a copyright filing, and that once a year, you should refile the entire website for a new protection.

                                      The fee is $45 (not the $1000s someone else mentioned) and one form - you do have to print out EVERY PAGE. No lawyer needed. (I had my lawyer doing it for me since he was doing trademark stuff and changing corp names as well, it was an easy add-in.)

                                      I also copyrighted the 4 articles I give away when people sign up for my free newsletter, and each was $45.

                                      Copyrights do come into existance at the moment a article or website content (writing) is done, but the official filing gives you a stake in the ground for establishing a timeline of ownership/creation, which you can then use to beat the offender with (and something about automatic damages under DMCA).

                                      For a few hundred dollars, I felt it was like insurance - I'll be thankful when I need it in play.
                                • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                                  Citadel Newbie
                                  I use DMCA whenever I can to solve infringement problems for my clients. It's much more cost effective than other legal alternatives. Find yourself an attorney who specializes in this area by contacting your local bar referral service or PrepaidLegal; that's how my clients found me.
                                  • Re: How to deal with copyrighted violations?
                                    MDF2008 Wayfarer
                                    *+_Fresh Content is *
                                    *Do you have legal budget? *

                                    *Is it worth spending the legal dollars and your valuable time in the long run? *

                                    Adjust your gameplan and spend your time focusing on your business sales

                                    that is the key point at winning vs a loss leader legal battle; unless you have deep

                                    $ pockets and you can go the is not worth the loss dollars.

                                    What is your goal? Do you have a business plan?

                                    *Keep selling and you will beat them;you know about them! *

                                    Best of Luck, MDF2008