It shall not be an overstatement to say that with the
overabundance of information lying on the world wide web,
copyright infringement is something that should not come as
a surprise to you. This brings to light the fact that only
those who are adequately armed with the right course of
action on noticing a copyright infringement can adequately
deal with it. The better informed and prepared you remain
about copyright infringement and the laws governing it, the
better are the chances of you preventing it.
In the light of what has been said above, it becomes very
necessary that you know how to deal with copyright
infringement. Here is a step by step guide to deal with
1. Track the thief
Immediately after knowing that your content has been stolen,
the first step is to track down the thief. It may happen
that the content gets further stolen from the original thief
and links and copies of your content float at a number of
places on the internet which can make the task of tracking
the original thief difficult. Another issue that makes
tracking the original thief difficult is the presence of so
many anonymous blogs. However, following location and
resources can help in identifying the person:
· About Page
· Contact Page
· Footer notes
· Credit Page
· Email links in the page source code (search for “mailto”)
· Author Page
· In the web page source code meta tags
· Email forms
2. Request for removal
After identification of the thief, contact them with an aim
of communicating that they have done wrong and they shall
remove or modify the content. Your request will not only
give you more information about the thief but also act as
evidence if the matter escalates into a court case.
You may get variety of responses. Some people may
acknowledge their mistake while others may not care and
reject your request outright. It is wise to be calm and
professional even if the response from the other side is
3. Wait and prepare for further action
After you have requested the thief to remove content, you
may have to wait for sometime before they respond. Take the
following actions while you wait:
Gather Information and Evidence
Gather and compile all the information about the website
that stole your content. Create a paper trail by printing
the evidence such as screenshots of your content on other
website, your letter to the website administrator etc. along
with dates. They will be your ammunition if need be.
No matter how much proof you have about your content being
used by others, you first have to prove that you are the
original owner of the material. To do this, here are a few
· Take screen shots of original cache file with date and
also take a printout.
· Take a screen shot of your MySQL database record.
· Screen capture or print copies of dated comments made in
response to the original posting.
· Get a notarized copy of the article.
· Gather witnesses who read your blog/site consistently and
can testify to the date of original post.
Be prepared for resistance
You must be ready for resistance from the thief. He may even
send a reply that counters your claim of copyright
4. Resort to legal aid
When humble requests do not work, it’s time to resort to
legal action and use the arrows in your quiver that you have
saved in the form of evidence of theft and other documents.
Hire a professional copyright infringement lawyer to
advocate for you in the court of law. A good attorney can
get you relief from the court in the form of injunctions i.e
stopping the infringing party from using your content
anymore, damages i.e actual damages caused by the
infringement and statuary damages or account of profits.
With the increasing number of websites and blogs in the
internet, the website administrator is burdened with the
need to generate content to compete with others on the net.
Website administrators under such pressure are compelled to
steal someone’s content and post it under their name.
Besides online plagiarism, it is not uncommon to find
intellectual properties of poets, writers and thinkers being
stolen and republished under somebody else’s name. The tips
mentioned above, if followed in letter and spirit, can go a
long way in preparing you to deal with a copyright
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