|Competitor copied pdf|
Using my copy to sell cheap lookalike poduct
I sell special widgets on my website. As a service to users of my special widgets, I have downloadable product information sheets posted on my website in pdf format.
One of my competitors has launched a product that looks like my special widgets, but has a number of shortcomings (to try and get round patent issues). It is not as environmentally friendly, is of lower quality, and does not perform as well, but sells for a lower price. This I can live with. Many companies have to put up with low-quality, cheap imitations of their products.
What has really annoyed me is that the competitor has copied the text from my datasheet and used it on his own downloadable datasheet. I would say 80% of the text is identical. All that has changed is:
1) The brand name.
2) Certain sentences have been changed where the imitation product can not match the performance claims made for my own product.
Stupidly, I now realise that I did not put a copyright notice on the datasheet. However, I feel that I must have certain rights to protect against this plagerism.
>>did not put a copyright notice on the datasheet
A copyright notice isn't need for your work to enjoy copyright protection. C&D should do the trick.
Thanks digitalghost. I'll try a C&D and see what happens. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that the person in question is the kind of bluffer that won't give in until the day before he's due in court. I can see that protecting copyright can become very time-consuming for people with a lot of copy on the web.
If this competitor has offered this on his downloadable .pdf, why not contact his ISP directly with a Notice of Infringement and/or C&D? Cc'S and Bcc's to anyone involved, including your attorney. In other words, bypass initial contact with Substandard Widgetmaker (instead) with a NOI sent to webhost, cc Substandard Widgetmaker, and cc your attorney.
Hit them all in one fell swoop, then take a nap and chill out.
There is the possibility your ad copy was provided to them by a professional, albeit plagiarizing, copy writer. However, given your opinion of how you believe they would handle the matter, they probably stole it themselves.
Unless they are broadcasting their own web site (widget server box running from dark closet in Substandard Widgetmaker's basement), it would seem you have a legitimate claim for infringement/plagiarism, which would most likely be a violation of the competitor's web host's TOS.
At least your widget competitor would have to write their own substandard copy for their own substandard widgets, be inconvenienced (and possibly embarrassed), and their web host has a big heads-up from the get-go with the power to MAKE them remove it.