The internet is filled with people who take advantage of content creators by unlawfully copying, reproducing, and distributing their work without permission. The culprits either intentionally disregard the importance of intellectual property or ignorantly share, copy or reproduce your content. Either way, copyright infringement is illegal and the culprits should be brought to book. It, therefore, becomes important to enlighten a blogger on the possible course of action that can be taken when copyright infringement occurs. Below are the apt steps that should be taken:
- Identify the content and its unfair use
It is important to establish whether the copyright infringement applies to an excerpt from a post or an entire post. A blogger needs to take note of the URLs involved: the infringing URL and own URL where the original content can be found. Next, it is important to confirm the unfair use of the content. Some fair use principles are considered since the law allows for certain use of content without permission. For example, if someone posted a review of writings or articles, it may not be wise to submit an infringement notification. It is therefore important to gather enough evidence such as identifying the source and creating a paper trail. A blogger also needs to establish content ownership, register copyright materials and be prepared for any resistance.
- Track down the culprit
As a first course of action, it is recommended that you track down the culprit and request him or her to take down the stolen material. This is not guaranteed to work since the contact information of the culprit may not be available or he or she may ignore requests. If no response or action is taken, a cease and desist order should be the next course of action.
- Cease and desist order
This is a legal warning that lets the culprit know that legal action will be taken against them if they do not stop what they are doing. It can be described as a threat for action. The letter or email sent needs to be as official as possible and in case the logo of the complainant is cartoon-like, a more professional one should be created so as to give the letter the seriousness it deserves. If this fails to work, even though it works it most cases, more serious actions should be taken.
- Contact culprit’s advertisers
In cases where the site owner fails to give expected response, their advertisers can be contacted. Most advertisers wish to be in business with people who are reputable and uphold integrity. The advertisers need to be informed that their advertisements are being shown in content that has infringed copyright laws. The letter or email should contain the specific copyright infringements, copies of requests to remove content as well as the cease and desist order. This may make the advertisers to cancel the advertising contacts with the culprit.
- Request a ban for the materials on Search Engines
The content creator has the right to file a request to stop the copyright infringement. Once the ban request has been filed, the culprit does not have the opportunity to resist or retort. A DMCA notice is submitted to a web host. Given that this is a serious course of action, it should be the last resort.
Since prevention is protection, register your copyrights if copyright infringement worries you. A copyright notice needs to be permanently included in the blog.