I am talking about copyright infringement on your website here.
Say, one morning you wake up to find that someone has copy and pasted your homepage (among other pages) text onto their homepage. I am sure you would get rather peeved at the sight of that. I mean, it’s not a trivial matter here. Website copy costs good money. There are keywords you have to think about and research and many, many more variables that led you to place that copy on your web page. For someone to just steal it like that is very frustrating, to say the least.
So, what can you do to deal with the situation? Well, according to Wikipedia, there are a few things you need to do:
1. Establish ownership
2. Establish actual copying
3. Establish misappropriation
These are the items you need to get squared away before anything else. Again, I am just getting these things from Wikipedia.
There is something out there called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that kind of governs the whole online copyright issue. It was signed into law on October 28, 1998 and extends the reach of copyright to protect online assets as well.
With this new online protection, it makes handing the issue over to your attorney much easier and less expensive. They have something concrete to work with, and since we all know how attorneys get paid by the hour, that matters.
Once your attorney has the information they he/she needs, they can go ahead and send a notification claiming infringement to the website hosting provider of the website that copied your work. According to the attorney I work with, the hosting provider usually takes the site down rather quickly upon receiving a letter like this. I would think they don’t really want to get in the middle of this kind of thing.
The owner of the website can always go ahead and set up shop with a different hosting provider, but that shows a certain amount of audacity on their part and I would think you could go after someone like this personally. In my opinion, it is much easier to change the copy on their website than to fight you in court.