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Topic: Nicking copy off websites
Message: Posted by: Mary Jane (Mar 8, 2010 07:31AM)
Hi All

I saw magician at a wedding fair yesterday (whilst I was checking out shoes and dresses)out of curiousity I checked out his site on my return and to my horror and fascination found out that two of his pages are more or less copied from an older version of my fiance's site (which I wrote and worked on).

We don't use this copy any more but have our old copy on record and there is no doubt he's been lifting our stuff. We have a high ranking on Google in our area so we are easy to find. I suspect we can't do anything about it as it wasn't copywritten but I can't believe this guy just did a cut and paste on his site.

Has anyone had experience of this?

M
Message: Posted by: AaronTheMagician (Mar 8, 2010 02:38PM)
Well, I'm no expert but I do know that anything you publish can be covered under U.S. Copyright Law's Creative Commons chapter.. 106, I believe. Basically, if you created it and can prove you did it first, it's yours. Copying it to his site was plagiarism, without buying rights to it or changing it quite a bit.
If he blatantly copied and pasted text without changes, you may have nothing to worry about if you were to take legal action. Realistically, he is in the wrong, it's certainly frowned upon, and the least you could do is ask him to remove it under threat of violation of Chapter 106 of the U.S. Copyright Law.
Again, I'm not by any means an expert, but that's a good starting point for you.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 8, 2010 03:44PM)
As the internet becomes more and more ubiquitous this is becoming a larger and larger problem. How brain dead these people must be to not even be able to come up with their own copy about their own shows -or even worse, their own PERSONALITIES!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120303234117369959.html ("The Cut-n-Paste Personality")

http://www.americanscientist.org/science/pub/technology-social-networking-plagiarism-profiling-and-more

http://www.netfamilynews.org/labels/imposter%20profiles.html (a "save the kids" type site with a good link to this sort of activity)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Mar 9, 2010 03:07PM)
I hope you go after this sleeze-ball. We must oppose the thiefs and scofflaws else they will run the world... or do they?
Message: Posted by: Mary Jane (Mar 10, 2010 02:57AM)
I'd love to approach this guy and challenge him - but it has been pointed out my stuff didn't have copyright and we have amended it since. Still it does bring to my attention that I have to make moves to protect my current site.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 10, 2010 03:19AM)
Since you wrote it anyhow, can you share the copy that was ripped off? Heck, you could even cut and paste it! I'm sure we could then use this new thing called "The Google" to see who's using it presently...
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Mar 10, 2010 11:27AM)
Well, if it means anything, I got some rather expensive legal advice on that very subject, and was told by the specialist attorney that copyright was not required if you could prove prior publishing...
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Mar 18, 2010 04:59AM)
If your site was cached on the wayback machine, you have your proof. Another note to google pointing out the duplicate content, and his site could very well be blacklisted. You might want to point that out to him.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 21, 2010 06:17PM)
Here's a site of interest. Enter yours and see what it pumps out,
http://www.copyscape.com/
Message: Posted by: Nosher (Mar 24, 2010 09:27AM)
Mandarin's expensive legal advice was correct. Here are a couple of paras from the U.S. Copyright Office website :

"When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 24, 2010 10:49AM)
If you want to sue, you need to officially register the written work, then pay a lawyer an extremely high fee to sue someone who doesn't have any money, to stop them from reproducing that written work.

It costs money without any recovery. The most you can do in most cases is to stop them from using your written work.

Den
Message: Posted by: courtmagician (Mar 31, 2010 01:12PM)
Mandarin is correct - although if you were to pursue this legally, you would need to go through a process, but mainly just through lawyers, and from there you'd have to prove some kind of monetary recovery or you'd be shelling out a whole lot of money just to have a couple of internet pages taken down.

[quote]
On 2010-03-10 03:57, Mary Jane wrote:
...but it has been pointed out my stuff didn't have copyright and we have amended it since...
[/quote]

Do you mean you approached him, or did someone else just point it out to you? My suggestion is to send him a friendly email asking that he remove the pages he copied from you (which you hold the copyright to) to see what he does. He might be nice about it and just remove the pages - as far as you know, he hired some hack off Craigslist and didn't know the site had copied pages.

In my experience, the friendly email wins more often than not. Good luck!

~Nidal
Message: Posted by: rogerpierre (Nov 25, 2012 08:08PM)
Even if not under copyright, you are protected under the law and can order a cease and desist, you just cannot have any damages as you would under copyright.
Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (Nov 26, 2012 08:18PM)
March 10th is the last post from the OP and we are waiting to see what she has done. Roland over at Weekly Magic Failures loves to expose bad guys like this who steals from others. Drop Roland a line and discuss your case if you do not want to personally out the thief. Here is the link:
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com
Message: Posted by: billmarq (Nov 27, 2012 12:25AM)
The first thing to do in a case such as this is to send the offending party a cease and desist letter. This is not necessarily required by law but it is the right thing to do. I am not an attorney but I am familiar with a person who was the subject of a multi-million dollar law suit over copyright issues after she published on the Internet several screenplays that were the intellectual property of a major studio. Part of her defense was that she had never received a C&D letter.

Most often this is all it takes to resolve the issue and it is by far the easiest route to take.