Copyright infringement, what can you do? Have you found your website content on another website? Found others using your trademark name? Found a website that has snatched your own personal images?
How to resolve copyright infringement
There are several things you can do to get the offending site owner’s notice and protect your own copyrighted content.
The first step is to send a notice with a formal takedown request. Give the website owner 10 days to take action or respond. Make sure you keep copies of your email or written correspondence.
Be specific in your request, but reasonable. Ten days to remove content or images is about the norm.
At the end of your time period review if the copyright infringement has been resolved. If not, now it’s time to contact the webhost.
Go first to Who Is Hosting This, and do a search on the site’s domain name. Then contact the web host and ask that the site that is infringing on your copyright be taken down. Make sure to mention the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and ask for a DMCA site takedown.
The host will typically take immediate action and take down the entire website, contact the site owner, and demand the offending content be removed before the host will relaunch the website.
You’d better believe that this gets quick action from the website owner who may have initially disregarded your removal notice. Don’t just take copyright infringement, protect your own intellectual property.
We have some excellent blog writers – real quality people and outstanding creative writers. In fact some of our writers are so good that clients ask if they can include our blog pieces in their books. In fact we’ve had two incidents lately where this has happened.
I have to say it is flattering when this happens but is troubling to me as well. We pay our writers typical blog writing rates for blog posts. I have to say it can be good money for a prolific blogger but is certainly not a way to get rich by being a writer. Web content and book writing is typically paid at a significantly higher rate normally $75 to $125 per hour including research time or even $1 per word. It rubs me the wrong way when we have a client take blog posts and pass them off as their own writing in a book and then make a large profit on the book without looking back.
It seems incredibly unfair to the writer and in fact simply does not square with me when this happens. I work hard to help our writers be productive, learn great technique, and make money blogging. If I get more money, I share with them. Their hard work is our success story and we create a partnership with each writer to help them be all they can be and to receive fair compensation for what they do for us in a great work environment.
Based on this new query of book use, I will be putting a clause in our letter of agreement that blog posts may not be used for books. Our writers simply must receive more compensation when a written piece is used in a professional arena such as a book or professional magazine.
One other big issue to consider for clients to just take blog posts and compile a book from them (one actually told us) is that we reserve the right to use the content we create for marketing and promotional purposes, as we see fit on our website. If a client takes blog post content and passes it off as their writing in a book, it is highly possible that on a Google search the same content will turn up on our website stating that we are the writer in our sample content section. For a high profile book this could be potentially embarrassing for an author.
It is by far better to be upfront with us, negotiate fair payment for what you will using content for. This way you will not be hurting yourself or your reputation in the future if you are suddenly outed with not having written your own content for your own book. Just my thought for the day. you may agree or may not.