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To explain... I just ran across a copy of an article I'd written, carefully indexed in the "Articles Library" of the "Resource Center" of a direct mail and online marketing company. They called it a "cache" of the original article, a "snapshot of the article when it was entered in our database." They also say, "all articles in our cache are copyright their respective authors and not property of blank-blank Marketing."
I don't want to resurrect Google cache questions here. I do think these people are perhaps purposely distorting the word. I trust my much smaller "cache" of their comments isn't a problem.
I've sent them a cease and desist email, and I've indicated I'd be phoning them to discuss compensation for the use they've made of the article. They may have also included the article in one of their newsletters.
Any creative suggestions on how I can put their feet to the fire... assuming I can get them to empty their cache?
Within a week they phoned (not e-mailed) and agreed to resolve our differences.
As to whether complaints will lead them to reform, they've built a good part of their site around this practice.... I'll let you know what happens next.
The crux of the matter is that she thought that because the site is a "free resource" and they didn't charge people to read the articles, that it was OK for them to use my article. I'm paraphrasing her email here: "This is just a simple situation of our posting the article for people to read."
Apparently, most of the authors had been notified and were agreeable to having their articles posted on the site. She didn't have a clue what "cache" meant technically, but hadn't meant it to be deceptive.
I come away from this now realizing that...
(a) It's wise to spell it out, along with the copyright notice, that "this article may not be reproduced or distributed without the permission..." etc etc.
(b) That even though they say that ignorance of the law is no excuse, it is probably one reason why online material is appropriated. I'm sure it's not the only one.