How do I take action against those infringing on my Copyright?
In this article we will be covering the various ways we can go about taking action against those who infringe on our rights as a copyright holder. We won’t just be covering the standard methods but also the other ways we can take action that most people would not think of. How can we use Google to take action for example. Taking action can be expensive if we have to go through lawyers etc. This article is to show you the main ways you could go about taking action on your own without this extra expense. However it is still advisable to seek legal advice before proceeding.
None of the articles in this series are legal advice but rather a compilation of information and experience I have gathered over the years. If after reading any of these articles you feel you have a case please seek legal advice from a solicitor before proceeding.
Issue a Take down Notice
We won’t be covering how to issue a take down notice in this article as I have another two articles dedicated to this. However it does need to be listed here as it is the most commonly used method to handle copyright infringement. This is the main method that solicitors use. If you can issue one yourself before involving solicitors it will save you a lot of money because in 95% of cases it is all the action that is needed.
Remember when writing a take down notice to give them time to respond. 24 hours is usually considered to be enough time. Make sure you allow them that time to respond before proceeding to any of the other actions that are listed in this article.
Filing Digital Millennium Copyright Act Complaints
These complaints are not actually filed with the website or blog that is stealing your content. They are filed with other organisations that deal with them. You should lodge one with the web hosting company that hosts their site. They themselves will issue take down notices with the person stealing your content. If they fail to take action they will then shut the offending website down until they fix the problem. You can find out the hosting company and who to contact to do this by doing a whois lookup for the URL of the site in question.
You do need to show to the hosting company that you were indeed the first one to publish the article. So keep your backups and using services like the free wayback machine on a regular basis will certainly help your case. And as always keep backups of all revisions of your work, mockups, brainstorms etc,.
While you are at it file a DMCA complaint with Google as well. By doing this and following their process Google will credit your work as being the original for the purposes of searches etc. If they fail to respond Google may even completely remove the offending site from their search engine index.
The main reason people steal your content is to make money off it through traffic. They usually do a better job than most people in search rankings so this will not only help remove the offending pages but will also help your search rankings as well.
Google Adsense and other Advertising.
Look at the site that is copying your content. Usually if they are copying your content they are looking to make money off it. This is usually done with the use of advertising through services like Google Adsense. For most of these service it is against their terms and conditions to use copied content.
Look at the ads and somewhere in the corner will usually be a link telling you who provides the ads. Follow the link and lodge a complaint with them( there should be a link to lodge complaints at the bottom of the page). Successful complaints with these services will see their ads being removed and the websites income will be crippled. This will force a removal of your content in all bar extreme cases.
Seek Legal Council
If you are unable to get a suitable response from someone infringing on your copyright you should always seek legal council. Contact a solicitor to get help removing the content. Most solicitors offices will be able to provide the service however if they cannot or don’t have the resources to help you they will usually put you in touch with another office that will be able to help you out.
Hope you found this article helpful. This article is part of a larger series of articles. The previous article was on How to find out if Someone is Infringing on my Copyright? and is followed by How do a Contact someone to Issue a Take Down or DMCA Notice?