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So to get to the point, others have started using this title on their sites - and it gets me a little annoyed.
It is really frustrating when you work hard producing good original content and think up good relevant titles only to see others copy & paste it into their code. What I cannot work out is, why would people want to be ranked below another site using the same title? IMO it looks unprofessional anyway.
Is this theft? Do I have the same rights over my titles as I do on the actual page content (which is also regularly stolen by others)
I guess that this would be virtually impossible to enforce legally but what would you do? Are we all at risk of having our titles reused?
The content is still king imo, tags play only a small part of things these days.
I can tell its my code as the keywords I have optimised for are still in the exact same order across the bottom of the pages, and get this... they have even left my code comments in the code!
I've only just discovered this and to say im pissed off is an understatement, im still considering what to do or if there is anything I can do!?
The stealing of a large body of text is definitely a copyright infringement - but a title?
Technically it may be an infringement, but it would be extremely difficult to prove. A no hoper in my opinion.
hat I cannot work out is, why would people want to be ranked below another site using the same title?
Let's say you're number one in the SERPS, and the competitor of yours is #9. Even if they didn't get ranked above you, #2 would get them a lot more clicks than being #9.
Are we all at risk of having our titles reused?
At this point and time : yes. Some of the engines are working on identifying multiple content (the same title, description, etc on multiple pages), but there are still flaws since the engines have no way of telling who to penalize for the stolen content.
None of the following are protected under US copyright law:
"Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents"
You can find out everything you'd ever want to know about copyright at [copyright.gov...]
Ha, welcome to my world, not only titles...
No kidding... I've had multil-mil companies steal entire websites and modify them like a 3 year might have done it.
DMCA works. Embarrassment threat works if they are well known enough, and you are well connected too.
Otherwise, like said earlier in the thread, they likely won't beat you with it. It hasn't happened to me yet, but I do know that it can be done from things I've seen.
As I know the dutch telecom company (KPN) uses 1 specific color of green and trademarked that color as their own.
They even send their own ink to the newspaper companies to print their advertisements in the newspaper.
I am wondering if they are charged extra for the extra work or get discount for providing the ink :)
They didn't trademark the yellow pages colour, and now they've sold it on, they are going to re-release their own variety again.
I believe copying a title tag may be to little for the copyright legislation. Remember, we can use short snippets of articles without seeking consent (I can't remember how much). The UK TV channels can use up to thirty seconds of another channels broadcast before they have to pay them, this allows them to report news items about other channels, for example. But they (or we) must state where the source was from. On TV, it often has 'Courtesy of ITV' or 'Courtesy of BBC' in little letters on the screen. Now, that is something that they have not done.
Of course, all the above is UK law, which is very similar to US law for trademark and copyright issues, but there are some differences.
Even if you where to press and drag your mouse pointer over the page every thing was there, yes even my company name and information was there.
I am still have not made much progress with most of the companies, but I know two of them have changed there coding, (not by much thou).
The biggest anger I have experienced in the last 4 weeks was when I found one of the companies is now #1 on google with my content after the latest update. After many letters, emails and phone calls I still have made no progress with the company in question, the next step I suppose is for me to remove the text myself or redirect the web address to the real creator ME.
And see if I get a response
PS. I an unrelated question does anyone know how to hack a website
The biggest anger I have experienced in the last 4 weeks was when I found one of the companies is now #1 on google with my content after the latest update. After many letters, emails and phone calls I still have made no progress with the company in question
I always trace the domain to their host and email their host with the subject "violation of copyright on one of your hosted web sites" and then explain that I have found my material (pics etc) on the site and it is in clear violation of my copyright. I have had to do this a dozen times and in half the cases it resulted in the web site being pulled down because they either couldn't get hold of them or they wouldn't take it off.
Web hosts take copyright theft very seriously because they can become liable if nothing is down about it. Most try to deal with it within 48 hours, they treat it that serious.
I've had one client (tourism) that I did a web site for and he refused to pay me. He set up a new web site using MY site. It was exactly my site right down to my images and meta tags which still had my company name on them. The client managed to blag his host to keep it on so I was told there was nothing I could do about it... WRONG! later that day I registered a www.******hell.com and uploaded the site I created on to it a submitted it everywhere explaining that the company didn't pay us and he stole my work. If you found his site you also found my site.
Guess who paid up :)
1.) Every month pick a unique long phrase from your site and do a search on google.
2.) You get a suprising list of sites who have stolen your words. (e.g. I get 5-10).
3.) Find the host name and email address of the culprits.
4.) Email the owners with somthing like this:
Your website has content copied from our website (www.mysite.com). We can prove our content is original using www.archive.org. Example of copied content on your site: .... Please remove any and all content copied from our website. If not removed soon we will:
a.) Report your site copyright violation to the major search engines.
b.) Report your site copyright violation to your site host (theirhost.com).
c.) Take legal action.
5.) If they do not remove the copied content start with a and b.
I don't worry about whether the search engines, host, lawyer etc will do what I want. If they know they have copied my work the prospect of being reported (with evidence) to the search engines and their host is usually enough.
I agree with kapow on the course of action. A few sites out there have stolen content from myself and clients and the first thing we always do is contact them, then if that doesn't work their ISP. Inform the ISP that one of their customers is hosting illegal (stolen) content and if they don't remove you'll take action against them. So far have found that the site is generally taken down in a couple of days. This is with content though and not keywords or titles.
Somebody from the UK mentioned copyright on colours. Well there's a company (I forget the name, dyna-something) that has copyright on the colour on their fleet of vans. It's a bright lurid orange and will give you a headache if you stare at it for too long. I would think this stands as it's a custom colour that they've come up with. I doubt that you could copyight #FF0000 ;-)
2) Lists, maps, recipes etc can not be copyrighted, BUT it still is a copyright violation to exactly copy someone's unique list. IE a cook book. Also the descriptions of a recipe have copyright protection. Also many map makers, list compilers insert a fake island/city/name or something to determine if someone copies their work exactly.