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Copyright Theft

What must I do?

     
6:58 am on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A person stole about 80 unique, paid-for articles from my site and submitted it a site with free reprint articles, claiming he is the author. Some of my "unique" articles have already been published on 10+ sites with a link to the site of the copyright thief.
7:04 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Legal advice we can't give here. Consult an attorney. But we can give opinions and I suggest to look at the DCMA and filing a complaint to the website and their host. This is very effective in the US and has some value Canada and UK. But if there is MONEY involved in these thefts your BEST COURSE is to contact an attorney and let them handle...and get an attorney who knows and practices Intellectual Properties (copyrights, trademarks, etc.)
7:09 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Tangor, I know you can't give legal advice.

So far I could handle all the infringements but this is a tangled web. The problem is, the copyright thief did not put any of those articles on his own site.

7:18 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You go after the sites that DID. Just like stepping on cockroaches. You do it until you get 'er done. Same opinion applies. Don't envy your problems and hope you can resolve them as quickly as possible!
8:04 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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also before bothering with an attorney make sure your articles are recorded in the US Copyright office or you may be out of luck anyway.

We just had this issue with an image that was used in a national tv ad printed from the web. The image wasn't registered and the legal fees were much higher than the value of the image. If it was registered it would have been much easier to claim and would have had a higher infringement award automatically.

8:12 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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make sure your articles are recorded in the US Copyright office or you may be out of luck anyway

an initial consultation with an attorney won't cost very much. They can advise whether or not it's cost effective to move forward.

8:16 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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too much information is correct regarding registration offering Plaintiff benefits in the US (in particular), but registration is not a requirement under copyright law ala Berne Convention, of which the US is a signatory. Everything is in copyright when in final form. Without the above mentioned registration you cannot seek treble damages (or what passes for same) though recovery of damages is still possible AND the infringer can be brought to justice in court with fines and/or jail time as well as monetary damages. OP, you indicate authorship for fee for these articles (if I read it correctly) and third party took the property, applied his/her name, and posted on OTHER sites. Again, I urge that you seek an attorney. Put the miscreant in jail, or at least put a dent in their pocketbook.
11:58 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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> OP, you indicate authorship for fee for these articles (if I read it correctly) and third party took the property, applied his/her name, and posted on OTHER sites.

Yes, that is correct.

1:01 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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also before bothering with an attorney make sure your articles are recorded in the US Copyright office or you may be out of luck anyway.

Not necessarily. There are several approaches you can use to get stolen articles removed even if not registered with the US Copyright office.

The image wasn't registered and the legal fees were much higher than the value of the image. If it was registered it would have been much easier to claim and would have had a higher infringement award automatically.

If you received this information from an attorney, I suggest a second opinion from another attorney with a specialization in intellectual propery law.

Not to nitpick but words mean things and can give people a false impression. Terms like "infringement "award" and "infringement award automatically" can give the wrong impression.

If registered, there are statutory penalties and attorneys can/will ask for a settlement amount from the thief as a means of the thief avoiding court proceedings.

FarmBoy

1:08 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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SusanPilot,

I believe this post was moved here from the AdSense board - are you or the thief an AdSense publisher?

See these links:

[google.com...]

[google.com...]

Also, have you visited the site where the articles were submitted? The better sites have information on how to notify them if your content was submitted by someone else.

Have you contacted the ISP's for the sites where the articles are appearing?

FarmBoy

5:51 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Farmboy,

I am an Adsense publisher, the thief has a shop in the UK. I have already notified the free reprint articles site, but they have ignored my emails (their ranking on Alexa is just over 1000). I have also notified some of the site owners who unknowlingly posted one or more of the copyrighted articles. Thing is, there are so many reprints now (in less than a month) because the person who writes most of my articles is expensive, but really very good.

[edited by: SusanPilot at 5:56 pm (utc) on June 9, 2009]

6:12 pm on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Have you notified the host of the free reprint articles site? A carefully-worded DMCA with all the rules followed will oblige the host to investigate, and that might make the reprint site pay attention.

From what you say about this, you are exactly the kind of person who should be protected by the provisions of the DMCA. If you keep pushing you should be able to get satisfaction.

6:37 pm on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Purplecape,

The author is working with me. I have already decided, no matter how big or small the sites are, or if they have published the articles knowingly or unknowlingly, the articles are mine and I will fight for the exclusive rights. I have paid for them, after all. Will keep you posted.

3:57 am on June 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This is important. Has the copyright been assigned to you as part of your agreement with the author? If you are not the copyright holder, DO NOT file a DMCA takedown, have the copyright holder do that.

If the various article sites do not respond, then send takedowns to Google, yahoo and microsoft. People start noticing when their traffic from search engines starts to dry up.

4:57 pm on June 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

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> Has the copyright been assigned to you as part of your agreement with the author? If you are not the copyright holder, DO NOT file a DMCA takedown, have the copyright holder do that.

Yes, I own the copyright.
Susan