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Does warning people NOT to copy challenge them to copy?

     
9:03 am on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ive seen where some sites have a link at the end of there sales pitch about copyrights. At this webpage there are warnings about getting in trouble, getting fined if you copy the content etc.

Do you think a warning like this will deter people from ripping off your content or do you think it would just reinforce how valuable it is and perhaps even become more of a challenge to some?

12:05 pm on Feb 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It usually just makes me laugh at the idea that the person thinks their precious sales copy is so valuable!

I think most content thieves would not be deterred by such a warning -- they already know what they're doing is wrong, and they don't care.

There seems to be a tiny number of people who think that if there's no warning about not stealing, that things are okay to steal -- those people, at least some of them, might be deterred.

There also seems to a be a larger number of people who see such warnings as red flags. Purely because of the warning, they'll steal it even if they don't want it.

2:36 pm on Feb 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What would be the best message then to avoid encouraging the no-warning-just-take and the bad-warning-just-take types?

'Please don't take this copy, I can't stop you and I won't do anything if you do.'

12:26 am on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe a simple "All Contents Copyright 2008" would be a good balance warning the people that had no idea but not angering people with a bunch of empty threats.
3:02 pm on June 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As I am publishing high-quality unique content, I am constantly plagued by hotlinkers; a while ago I put some time into re-formating the copyright/disclaimer page, and find that this has helped to keep the hotlinkers in check. Where in the past it was up to 30% of all visits coming from hotlinkers, it's consistently 'just' around 20% these days.

The changes I made:

1) I explain exactly the allowed uses and the *not* allowed uses of the material. I mention explicitely all cases, including blogging and hotlinking in forums.

2) In the section about the licence granted to visitors of the website, I put all copy outlining forbidden uses into ALL UPPER CASE, in bold and in red.

3) Same goes for the section that explains possible legal action for those violating the rules.

I see that the copyright/disclaimer page is accessed often. The new copy seems to have decreased the hotlinking by one third (from 30% to 20%), and I think this is a small success.

11:05 am on June 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Most people go ahead and do what they want, but at least such a warning will clearly state that they can be taken to task if traced.
1:53 am on June 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Most copy sites don't stick around long. People eventually find the source of the material and the copy site is ignored. Originality always wins.

I actually don't mind if someone takes a small section of my work and links back to me with the rest. It's a trade-off that I win - their visitors see the content, check out the link, and stick with me. If I find a site plagarising me I usually check if a deal is applicable first before sending the "take-it-down or I will smite you" letter.

8:13 pm on June 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have added "No reproduction without permission" to my copyright blurb (symbol date company name), which is on each page. I have had fewer problems with copy theft since putting that on each page. I have thought about putting something more extensive up, but I figure if they can't understand "no reproduction without permission" or just are determined to take my copy, then it's pointless to explain it further. Also, when I contact people who take my writing, I don't start talking about the possible consequences. IME, that makes people dig in their heels and get ornery about it. I have more luck with just being business-like and then taking it to a higher power if necessary without informing them.
7:32 am on June 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have contacted people that stole my content several times, and noticed what seems to be some kind of surprise that they "got caught". They seem to think "the internet is so big, who will notice me copying some info". Since then I've put Copyscape buttons on many of my content pages, and it seems to help. Making it clear will deter the little thiefs for sure, I feel.

The bigger thiefs, the ones that steal for a living know how to cover their tracks, and feel less vulnerable. But I doubt it those will see a warning as a challenge. They want easy money, and are better off breaking into your neighbours' house when they hear the dog barking in yours. You never know how big the dog is, do you? Overall, I think warning has more pro's then con's.

10:53 am on June 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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" YourName all rights reserved", and optionally with a link to a page that explains in more detail what this means. I think there are a lot of people who just don't understand that the copyright laws apply to them.

As I am publishing high-quality unique content, I am constantly plagued by hotlinkers; a while ago I put some time into re-formating the copyright/disclaimer page, and find that this has helped to keep the hotlinkers in check. Where in the past it was up to 30% of all visits coming from hotlinkers, it's consistently 'just' around 20% these days.

Zett, I don't know why you don't just do a .htaccess block. There's also a css trick to stop people from copy and paste image infringements, so that when the image appears on your website it looks normal, but when it's on someone else's it has a big fat copyright notice on the bottom. That might be worth looking into.

 

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