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I tried everything! I sent polite e:mails asking for their removal. I put up a page titled "Internet Pirates" and listed all the companies using my stuff and notified them of the page and its url.
Last week I finally got some action. I sent the following letter to one of the companies to see if it would work ... and it did. I now plan to do the same for the rest of them.
I hope this helps some of you in the same boat!
Dear Sir or Madam,
Kindly be advised (for the final time) that the photographs of the (whatever) and the content of the page appearing on your site at: www.whatever.com which you claim as your own and have placed a copyright notice at the bottom of the page, ARE NOT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS OR CONTENT! Should you require further proof as to the ownership of these photos, I invite you to check the "Way Back Machine" here: [web.archive.org...] versus your site here: [web.archive.org...]
These photographs were taken by myself and the content was written by myself in its entirety and are the property of my company name. The original page from which these photos were taken may be seen at: [mysite.com...]
As previously advised, your company is named in our "internet pirates" page at: [mysite.com...] as having "borrowed" our photos and content without any sort of permission from myself or my company. Apparently, such public notices are not embarrassing to you. At no time did you request permission to use these photos, nor would permission have been granted.
Following my first request, you did comply and take the majority of shots and content down but have since decided to put them back up on your server. Why you think you are able to "borrow" my copyrighted material is beyond me!
Should this request go unheeded once again, I shall not hesitate to inform Google of your infringement of the Digital Millenium Copyright [google.com ] and ask that they remove your site from their index immediately.
The company representing the product in question, are aware that the photographs are mine and that at no time have I permitted any competitor to use my photos or content.
I do not wish to take legal action or in any way harm your company by reporting your infringement of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act to Google and asking that they remove your site from their index ... but I most certainly will should you force my hand. I have given you ample time (nearly one year) to take your own shots and write your own copy or replace my "borrowed" materials ... with someone elses "borrowed" materials.
I dislike being put in a situation which requires something more than a polite request ... but you have brought this upon yourselves. Please remove these photos within the next 48 hours ... permanently. Should I find them on your site again, I will report you to Google without further communication or notice. Any damage to your company or persons within your company resulting in such removal from Google's index is entirely within your control.
Please note: other search engines are now beginning to enforce the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, so I strongly advise you comply with this final request.
I did not receive a reply from my competitor, but the "borrowed" materials have since been replaced with someone elses "borrowed" materials! :)
Well done! :)
Im going through a similar situation, except my competitor is stealing other peoples content in order to boost his new site!
Do you have any other pieces of advice?
I have contacted the webmasters of the sites he has taken from (but Im pretty sure a couple of them borrowed the material from elsewhere too!).
Im off to read up on the DMCA just incase!