You work. Hard.
Everyday, you push out content that makes people cry like their sanity depends on it (from laughter, inspiration or reflection). It took you a moment to settle into this whole “blogging” thing but the moment that you accepted it was more than a thing (read hobby), everything moved to the next level.
Now you see the possibilities and you are ready.
You are finally over the fear that kept you from realizing your full potential and you know that you deserve this.
Superstar blogger? That’s you.
You went from working 150% to 500% in full-hustle-overdrive because you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. You work and live on the internet.
Then one day…
You see your words. Your fancy linguistics. Syllable by syllable, line by line… plastered on someone else’s website.
What do you do?
- First, immediately capture screenshots of the infringing material.
- Then, register your work (blog post) with the U.S. Copyright Office if you have not done so already. Registration gives you the right to sue in Federal Court (if it goes that far) and provides a leg-up in the DMCA Takedown battle.
- Leverage your rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA provides a formal process for people whose work has been infringed to seek removal by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and it requires ISPs to review and act on the complaints.
Find out what company hosts the website where the infringement occurred. Visit Whois or the U.S. Copyright Office’s Directory of Service Provider Agents.
prepare the DMCA Takedown Notice. It must include:
● Your physical or electronic signature;
● The identity/description of your work allegedly being infringed;
● The specific URL for the website where the infringement is occurring;
● Your contact information (i.e. your address, telephone number, and/or email address);
● A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained was not authorized by you, someone representing your company, or the law,” and
● A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury. If someone is submitting the Takedown Notice on your behalf, then they must state that they are authorized to act on your behalf in regards to the exclusive right that is being infringed.
Then, the following process happens:
- The ISP will review the notice, and remove the content.
- They will then notify the person who you allege jacked your content.
- The alleged offender can submit a statement if they truthfully believe that the content was wrongly removed and it did not infringe on your copyright.
- If that happens, you (the copyright owner) has to bring a lawsuit within 14 days. If you don’t the service provider is required by law to restore the content to the website.
As a final move, you can also send DMCA Takedown notices to the major search engines. They will follow the same process, and cut off infringing link(s) to the thief’s website. Here is the link for Google since I know that most of you are Google-obsessed like me.
This post is a part of the iBlog legal series. Read the rest of the series here.