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What to do when somebody seals your web content?

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

As a long-time publisher I'm very disturbed at the propensity of people to "borrow" the works of others in violation of US copyright law.

But, what can you do when somebody steals your content?

Here is an outstanding blog entry by Lorelle VanFossen with all of the details on how you can protect your intellectual property in cyberspace, one of the best summaries of IP law that I have ever seen.  Lorelle starts with a eloquent summary about why it is important to defend your copyrights:

Understand stealing content is illegal, be it photos or writing. By going after someone for stealing your content, you are protecting the millions of others who let it slide.

It is important that we all get educated and know what to do when someone steals our content, and we need to teach others that this is wrong - very wrong and very illegal.

Lorelle also notes common myths and misconceptions about web-based intellectual property:

  • Going after someone for theft and copyright violation is NOT time consuming or expensive.
  • It does NOT require a lawyer.
  • It might NOT require anything other than some simple actions.
  • The protection of copyright laws should NOT be left to the "companies with the money".
  • Protecting and defending copyrights is NOT complicated.
  • WRONG: The companies with money think nothing of violating copyrights, so there is nothing to do about it.
  • WRONG: Everything on the Internet is/should be free.
  • WRONG: You put it on the Internet, what do you expect?

Removing infringing web content

De-Googling stolen content is also addressed under the jurisdiction of the DMCA, whereby the offenders content can be removed from search engines and ISP's:

[The DMCA] creates a safe harbor for online service providers (OSPs, including ISPs) against copyright liability if they promptly block access if they receive a notification from a copyright holder or their agent.

This means that if you contact the online service provider, including search engines, they are compelled to work for you to stop the copyright infringement and violation.

According to Google's DMCA statement:

It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws, which may include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity. If we remove or disable access to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we will make a good-faith attempt to contact the owner or administrator of each affected site so that they may make a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of that Act.

We then see statement of the relevant laws, and sample cease and desist letters.

It's a crime:

We also see that copyright violation is a criminal matter, as shown in this article noting the arrests for copyright violation in online piracy:

The following individuals were charged with criminal copyright infringement in Charlotte, N.C., the Department of Justice said: Kevin Fuchs, 25, of West Amherst, N.Y.; and Cuong Quoc Trang, 35, of Parker, Colo., were charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and copyright infringement.

 


 

 

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