Busting Online Copyright Thieves
Busting Online Copyright Thieves
By Jim Edwards
Copyright © 2004-2007
How safe is anyone's copyright online?
imagine my surprise when I clicked on a website link to discover that someone
had not only copied my website to their server - but was selling my ebook and
undercutting me in the process! Some dishonest person operating from Eastern
Europe had literally stolen my entire business and I discovered it only by sheer
After some very lengthy and threatening emails I got them shut
down, but the question remains, how safe is your copyright online and what can
you do to protect it?
Traditionally written works have enjoyed copyright
protection not only through the rule of law, but also because of the physical
difficulty in stealing another person's work. Let's face it, photocopying a 200
page book rates about as much fun as watching paint dry and at 5 cents a page
you're talking a quick ten dollar printing bill.
If you steal someone's
book, print up a thousand copies and try to get it onto the local bookstore's
shelves, the chances of getting caught rank pretty high.
But the online
world has changed those rules and physical safeguards significantly. The
Internet, email and the Web make it easier than ever to steal someone else's
work. With the most basic skills and a few mouse clicks, someone can take your
book, your website, and along with it weeks, months, and even years of your hard
Though intellectual property and international copyright laws apply
to online works, enforcement of those laws is expensive and, in many cases, hard
Well don't despair, you do have options if you find someone
has violated your copyright online. Anytime I find someone violating my
copyright, which isn't very often, I take these three steps in rapid-fire
First, make 100% sure the other person realizes they have
violated your copyright. You can send them a nice but firm note telling them to
stop whatever activity violates your copyright. If that doesn't work move on to
Second, once you know with 100% certainty they understand they
have violated your copyright, yet refuse to respond or stop, you need to shut
them down by eliminating their ability to do business!
Send them an email
with a carbon copy sent to their Internet Service Provider (ISP), their credit
card processor, their web hosting company, and even the company that sold them
their domain name.
Finally, follow this email up with a hard copy letter
to each party sent via registered mail. In the email and letter detail exactly
how they have blatantly violated your copyright and you want them to desist
By taking this approach you can often just bypass the
offending party because the companies enabling them to transact business don't
want any trouble. If you can show copyright violation they will shut the
perpetrator down to avoid getting sued themselves.
Though not foolproof,
this strategy can help you when facing down a blatant online copyright violator.
Just remember to act quickly, thoroughly and don't hesitate to contact your attorney
copyright is basically as safe online as it is offline. However, if a sneak
thief entered your home - you'd call the cops. Well, now you know what to
do if a sneak thief ever gives you trouble online!
You can also get more
information about copyright law by going to http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/
Note: By no means let this article dampen your enthusiasm for
operating your business or selling your ebook online!
In my opinion there is no better way to make a living!
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way to see if your web material has been copied is to use the free