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Keyword Copyright

     
11:16 am on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Can a webmaster claim copyright on Meta keywords?

I look after a site for a photographer and have keywords such as "photographer, studio, London, portrait, family portrait" ... etc

We have been contacted by another photographer, located in/around London, who is saying that we have infringed his copyright by using the same words!

Surely this cannot be possible. Does he own the dictionary? They are generic words associated with the business and area.

So my question is this -

Same words, different order - Infringement?

Same words, same order - Infringement?

He has threatened C & D under DMCA, solicitors ...etc, but I just would like other peoples PoV so I can pacify the website owner.

Many thanks all

1:25 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i suppose it all depends on whether you've copied them from his source code. if it is obvious that you have lifted it directly from his page, then he may have a point.

but is it worth all the hassle? keywords don't affect your search engine ranking at all now. in my opinion they are only useful if you have an internal search engine set up. so if you have copied them from him maybe you could save yourself a lot of bother by just changing them.

2:31 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"keywords don't affect your search engine ranking at all now"

- is this correct?

4:55 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In the UK you cannot copyright an idea.

You cannot copyright individual words.

A sequence of words in the same order may be considered as a "work", same as book would be.

If you change the order of the words I don't see how they can claim infringement.

Oh... this is advice from some bod on the interweb - #*$! do I know :)

4:58 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't worry about any copyright claims in the slightest if all that is at stake here is a list of just a few generic words. On the face of it, your antagonist is being absurd.

If however, you were using words/phrases that they had trademarked, that would possibly be another matter especially as you're in the same business.

If the list of words has been directly copied from their site then claims of unethical behaviour could be bandied about, but I reckon that's about it.

If in doubt, seek proper legal counsel, etc...

Syzygy

3:03 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"keywords don't affect your search engine ranking at all now"

- is this correct?

"[meta] keywords don't affect your search engine ranking [too much] now"

- this is correct.

6:07 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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so if you have copied them from him maybe you could save yourself a lot of bother by just changing them.

I couldn't agree more.