even hotlinking stuff from my site
One day I get an email from Mr. X, saying he likes the layout I did for a client. He wants me to sell him a template page of the site so he can use it for a similar establishment. I get edgy because he hints that he doesnt really need permission, that if someone just changes a pixel of a graphic its not copyright infringement.
I tell him I'll sell him a page to use, but I never hear back from him. Today I find a site (his site) 95% identical to the one I did. The only thing changed was really the nav options, but every single graphic used has the exact same filename and appearance. Even the rollovers have the filename of my client's business. The text on the home page is word for word save for the business name/location, he even hotlinked audio from my clients site/server to play on his own.
I read that I can do the cease and desist thing, but do I have any options as far as lawsuit stuff? I took some screenshots of his site, saved a few of the pages. I just want the guy to pay me what we agreed upon, but if he gets funny and doesn't want to, what can I really do?
|if someone just changes a pixel of a graphic its not copyright infringement |
He is completely wrong. If he wants to produce a derivative work he needs the copyright holders permission. There are no pixel counts, percentages, or any other tangible factor that can thwart copyright, be it of images, music, text or anything.
C&D is the first step; if it doesn't do anything then take him to court.
I know it's the kind of situation that is probably making your blood boil (especially if you cannot afford to take legal action), in which case all I can suggest is that you feel proud that somebody has been inspired by your work; try to forget about it, and move on.
You could however drop one of the journalists at The Register an email - they like outing companies that have selfishly ripped off other websites.
Don't have anything of real value to offer here. However, there are perhaps two courses of action that can be pursued.
The first is the legal/money option. For the best part, copyright legislation is hardly worth the paper its written on. This, from the position that in order to make it work and to obtain "justice", "deep pockets" are required. You need to to decide whether legal action is going to justify both the cost and end result.
Of course you could pursue a "small claims" action for unpaid bills but then you will need to prove that a "transaction" took place or that that an agreement of some kind was exchanged.
The other option is "exposure". In many ways, this is perhaps the more effective tool. That is, to draw attention to enfingement and fraud in everyway possible. Bring such matters up in forums and other Internet based services, issue press releases, write articles and get the message out in every way possible. Embarrass the guy off the Internet.
Again, one has to be careful. There's that thing called "libel". So be sure of your facts and ring that alarm bell as loudly as you can. Good luck.
Consider reporting to Google, to drop them from the index:
Plus further copyright info:
And on Apache, you can use .htaccess files to try to prevent hotlinking.
Or better, record a new sound saying "this site is stealing my design from www.widgets.com" and save it as the same filename. But for the original sound, you can just edit your page to link to it.
So your client is happy and they guy gets a little punish.
|The other option is "exposure". In many ways, this is perhaps the more effective tool. That is, to draw attention to enfingement and fraud in everyway possible. Bring such matters up in forums and other Internet based services, issue press releases, write articles and get the message out in every way possible. Embarrass the guy off the Internet. |
An option - but be wary. There was a "famous" case a few months back when a company brought attention to the world of a website that had allegedly ripped off their entire website and business idea, changing nothing but the company name and contact address.
I am convinced it was entirely staged, and was rigged up just to generate the massive amount of media coverage that it received, but then i'm a cynical sod :)