Based in the UK and working worldwide, WebsiteCop, we work alongside and offer support to solicitors, barristers, lawyers, attorneys and other IP professionals. Our comprehensive and effective strategies to the problem of internet copyright theft, infringement, breach and plagiarism and much sought after.
Unfortunately, many people see nothing wrong with cutting and pasting masses of text and images from the internet into their own websites, blogs, and social network sites. 'Everyone does it, it's normal'. WebsiteCop exists to readdress this problem. There is nothing worse than discovering that someone has simply copied a large proportion of you website that has taken YOU blood, sweat and tears to produce, as well as a considerable investment in time and money.
Website copyright breach means taking someone else's design, text, and graphics and using them on another website without permission. The key issue in resolving a legal dispute is not that an infringement has taken place, but that of ownership of the material. If you cannot proof that you are the original owner of the material, then the other party can claim it as their own, and, god forbid, launch a counter claim against you.
Registering your website design, pictures and text with our Copyright Bank gives you irrefutable, professional third party evidence of website content ownership from the date is was uploaded.
At an affordable cost of just £1.67 per month, it represents incredible value for money. It gives you complete peace of mind that your website is protected should a copyright dispute arise.
In many countries, including the UK, there is no official government copyright and IP authorities with which to register. In other countries, such as the US, there are government run systems of copyright registration. It is not neccessary to register with any organisation to prove copyright ownership and it is not neccessary to display the copyright symbol but using it will create awareness of copyright issues with potential perpetrators.
Using one of out FREE banners on the bottom of your home page will definitely stop potential infringers in their tracks.
In an online context, Passing Off occurs when a business website confuses customers by looking suspiciously like a competitors website. It may use the same layout and colour schemes as well as direct copying of text and graphics.
This type of flagrant website copyright breach is often used to commit short term fraud before they get closed down. The people that do this are usually serial fraudsters and know exactly what they are doing.
We have also seen examples of near duplicate websites from professional businesses that frankly leave us speechless in their audacity. How they ever thought they could get away with it, is beyond comprehension. Strangely enough, photographers, who rage against people using their photos illegally, think nothing about cutting and pasting substantial amounts of text from other websites.
One example of this was a studio photographer, who had duplicated the website of a competitor in a neighbouring town. He had used his own pictures but had left all the text unchanged, including the package details and incredibly, all the prices. We issued a Retrospective License Agreement on behalf of our client and received a substantial payment through his solicitors plus complete removal of all material from the website
This is a rampant form of copyright infringement. It is also one of the easiest for solicitors, lawyers and legal teams to enforce as long as the copyright owner has kept the original files at high resolution. A recent example is one of our clients, Kodak Express, had placed an original graphic on their website of a cine projector. This was used on a competitors website. We sent them a Retrospective License Agreement. The competitor initially disputed the copyright claim through a solicitor. We pointed out that our client had all originating files at high resolution (on the website the graphic was only 300x300px). We also pointed out to the infringer that by getting into a legal dispute over copyright which he could not possibly win, his legal costs were rising all the time. Within 24 hours, the competitor had paid the requested license fee and all our expenses in full.
With 1000's of websites coming online every day, how is it possible to find out who has is using your design, content and pictures?
This is probably the thought that goes through most peoples minds who are contemplating stealing copyrighted website content. Our advice is not to do it.
Normal search engines such as Google can easily be configured to email notifications of duplicate content as soon as it is found. There is also specialist copyright search engine software that locate duplicated content any were in the world within seconds.
Stolen copyrighted pictures and graphics can easily be located. For example, a picture of a landscaping contractor laying a patio will be used to illustrate a page about landscape patio design. A simple Google image search will find this. Again, there is third party software that can locate duplicate images within seconds.
Enforcing copyright against owners of infringing websites half way around the world can be problematic. What have they got to worry about?
It is generally recognised throughout the world that 'publishers' of copyrighted content can be held to account. This does not just apply to website owners, but also to businesses that provide the hosting space and also to search engines such as the mighty Google, Yahoo and Bing.
If a 'publisher' knowingly allows copyrighted material to be 'published' they can face expensive legal action. The DMCA came into effect to provide 'safe harbour' for internet service provides, hosting companies and search engines. They cannot face legal action for publishing copyrighted material on the internet as long as they take appropriate action when informed that copyright breach is taking place.
Once informed of copyright breach, as long as these companies remove the copyrighted pages from their databases, they are safe from prosecution. So, if the website owner refuses to cooperate, you can launch a DMCA Takedown Notice with the hosting provider and search engines, the most important of which is Google. This can be devastating - No Google Listing equals No Website.
WebsiteCop have considerable specialist expertise in the field of Berne Convention Copyright Law and DMCA Takedown requests. We work with associated lawyers, attorneys and IP professionals in many countries including USA, Australia, and Europe.
Protect your website from design and content theft now with one of the most affordable, cost effective, specialist IP copyright services on the web.
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