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#Step 1 - Prepare for the possibility of theft by making digital and printed copies of your content and design. Mail yourself the hard copies and leave the envelope unopened. This gives you a clear proof of the conception date of your work.
#Step 2 - Document content theft by printing out the offending website and making a digital copy. Clearly define the areas of theft and place everything in a folder.
#Step 3 - Contact the offending site's webmaster by searching the website for an email address. Look for contact information in the "About Us" or "Contact Us" areas of the website. Domain registration information is also available using a Whois tool.
#Step 4 - Send the owner a request to remove the stolen content from the website and state a clear deadline for compliance. Monitor the site to verify the content is removed and continue to check to ensure the content doesn't return.
#Step 5 - Hire an attorney if you do not get a reply or content isn't removed. Give the attorney the supporting documentation and copyright information. Include copies of emails or letters sent along with dates.
#Step 6 - Take them to court if they are unwilling to remove the content. Copyright laws protect your content, images and design and are easily enforceable when well documented. Few cases reach court, as compliance is usually swift once the threat of legal action enters the dispute.
[edited by: caine at 4:42 pm (utc) on Feb. 3, 2010]
This gives you a clear proof of the conception date of your work.
eHow respects the intellectual property rights of others and requests that the people who use the Site do the same. If you believe that your work has been reproduced and is accessible on the Site in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, you may notify us by providing our copyright agent with the following information in writing:
the electronic or physical signature of the owner of the copyright or the person authorized to act on the owner's behalf;
identification of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing and information reasonably sufficient to permit eHow to locate the material (for example, by providing a URL to the material);
your name, address, telephone number, and email address;
a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
a statement that the information in your notification is accurate and a statement, made under penalty of perjury, that you are the copyright owner or are authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.
Our designated agent to receive notification of claimed infringement can be reached at:
15801 NE 24th Street
Bellevue, WA 98008
(425) 974-4780 (fax)
It is our policy to terminate in appropriate circumstances any Account for repeated infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyrights, and we also reserve the right to terminate an Account for even one instance of infringement.
I see the [four letter word] website turning up in a range of searches, and in topic areas where I have some expertise I recognize a lot of misinformation.
I’ve heard about a “poor man’s copyright.” What is it?
The practice of sending a copy of your own work to yourself is sometimes called a “poor man’s copyright.” There is no provision in the copyright law regarding any such type of protection, and it is not a substitute for registration.
...a creator could send himself or herself a copy by special delivery post (which gives a clear date stamp on the envelope), leaving the envelope unopened on its return (ensuring you also know what is inside each envelope in case you do this more than once). Alternatively you could lodge your work with a bank or solicitor. It is important to note, that this does not prove that a work is original or created by you. But it may be useful to be able to show the court that the work was in your possession at a particular date.
The emphasis added in the quote makes the situation very clear that in the UK the envelope trick may prove useful, but there is no certainty whatsoever.
I did a Google image search on their domain name and found several of my images (with my watermark on it!). I sent them the list with the url's of my images on their server.
`(A)(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or activity is infringing,
`(ii) in the absence of such actual knowledge, is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent, or
`(iii) if upon obtaining such knowledge or awareness, the service provider acts expeditiously to remove or disable access to, the material;
`(B) does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, where the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity; and
`(C) in the instance of a notification of claimed infringement as described in paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity.