diberry - 5:43 pm on May 8, 2011 (gmt 0)
A website has copied one of my most popular pages. It's very obvious - their page is copyrighted 2011, and mine 2008. It's all very simple. I sent them a Cease & Desist (at the same time, I sent several others, all of which have taken down the offending material, which was submitted by a user), but they ignored it. So I filed a dupe content complaint with Google and contacted their host, HostGator.
HostGator's Terms and Conditions [hostgator.com] say:
""Use of our services to infringe upon any copyright or trademark is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to unauthorized copying of music, books, photographs, or any other copyrighted work... If you believe that your copyright or trademark is being infringed upon, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the information required. A list of required information may be found here [hostgator.com]. If the request is of a licensing issue, we may require further documentation."
But when you click to the "here" URL, you're informed you have to file a DCMA complaint by mail or fax, not email. Okay, fine, but:
"As with all legal notices, a copy of the notice may be made available to the public and sent to one or more third parties who may make it available to the public."
I've been back and forth with them for clarification, and what this actually means is that HostGator does absolutely nothing about copyright infringement except pass the DCMA complaint onto their client, who already ignored a Cease & Desist. Then, if their client wants to post my personal address, name, phone, etc., maliciously all over the internet, well, that sucks for me. Or if the client doesn't respond, that also sucks for me because apparently I would have no way of getting the client's personal information so I can start a suit.
Now, in the past, I've had hosts be happy to get a client to take down infringing material or, failing that, suspend the account to get their attention.
I'm going to confer with an intellectual property attorney to find out what my rights and HostGator's legal responsibilities REALLY are.
Have any of you had experiences like this in trying to enforce your copyright? Do you have any suggestions for me? Or do you want to hear more about how this turns out?