Is There an Internet Copyright?

Person Signing in Documentation Paper

Everything you need to know about copyright.

What is Copyright?

It legally protects the creator or writer of an original work. The protection given is wide and pertains to original drama, sculptural works, literary piece such as fiction, non-fiction books, poems, music and lyrics, choreography and pantomimes, moves and audio visual recordings, sound recordings, photography, graphic, architecture, and anything that has to do with artistic works.

Does this law includes the internet?

The current laws regarding the internet was done by the legislation or the court and the copyright law is one of them. This means, the law also includes the internet. So, anybody who breaks this law is not just violating the federal law, but expose oneself to criminal and civil liabilities.

Copyright only applies to physical forms of self-expression. A good example is writing down a concept on anything like a story. Once expressed in concrete form, the work does not have to be published to make the creation yours since you were the one who thought about it. But if you made the concept for a company you work with, the work belongs to the company. This is called unregistered copyright and it is shown with a c designation. Therefore, the unregistered copyright holder may do anything he/she desires like selling, performing or reproducing the work. You now have the right to file a legal case for a directive to disallow the use of the material you created.

Filing a lawsuit.

Get an Intellectual Property lawyer who will represent you in court, but before filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement, the material has to be duly registered at the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office in the U.S. is part of the Library of Congress. All records of copyright registration in the country remains at the office that includes a Copyright Catalogue. Creator or writer must file an application fee and pay the stipulated amount. Once this is accomplished, a designated circle r symbol shows the work is duly registered and officially copyrighted. The creator or writer now has the lifetime sole control of the material. The registered copyright is acknowledged for another 70 years even after the death of its creator or writer.

Copyright is no different from owning a property, it can be assigned to another person as owner by means of a  last will and testament.

Now, the person can enjoy the following rights:

  • The right to display the work publicly,
  • to perform the particular work,
  • to copy, distribute, reproduce,
  • and to create works that are based on the original work.

Are there exceptions?

The materials used for researching, teaching, criticism, news reporting or parody, and commentary are exceptions to the rule.

Final thoughts.

When the material is registered and copyrighted, it is now in the government record and they are protected by the Federal Copyright Act.  The copyright holder has the right to file a copyright infringement case, seek for injunction, financial damages and lawyer’s fees.



8 Tips in Protecting Your Original Content

check, class, deskThere is a big possibility that your content can be stolen…

even if you just started to blog either for a content websites or an online magazine. You will be surprise to see your content being reposted on personal websites, article websites, and other blogs.There could be times when your work will be copied from your website and posted to another website. To make it look original, your article will be altered. There could be times when your content will be reposted but with proper credit to you but without your permission. If you prefer your content to stay in your site, remove the duplicate content.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Go to Google Alerts to find the content stolen from you. Place a part of your article and specify the kind of websites to be searched. Give your email address for you to be duly informed on the result.
  • Find out if there is any abuse on your website. Make a survey on your logs and server. Find out if there is any sizable increase in your bandwidth for referrers or host. Know the quantity of your server logs.
  • Copyscape will immediately scan the whole web to look for duplicate content of your page. It will give you top results for a word for word comparison. There is a price for Copyscape, but it is all worth it for those who write and publish their content.
  • You can use trackback notifications ,which are provided by Movable Type, WordPress, and Drupal. These will tell you if someone is linked to your post.
  • Contact the site service that hosts the site who stole your content. You can also use Google, or Go to Who Is to remove the stolen content.
  • Go to Google Webmaster to report a complaint against the site that took your content. The site will be banned from using Google’s search engines. If your stolen content is earning money using Google Adwords, the account will be instantly closed and the thief cannot open another account.
  • Set up Google Search Authorship if you are actively doing online posting. This will convey that you are the writer or creator of the content. Google will likewise guide you on how to affirm the content that you created.
  • Post a copyright notice which should include the terms of use page to show that you are the true owner and no one has the right to copy the content without your permission.

When this happens to you…

Do not panic because you can still do something. Whenever you post what you have created or written, be aware that a thief is out there is waiting for the chance to steal your content. Learn different ways to protect your work, and apply the necessary precautions. When you have proven someone stole your work, gather evidences before calling the authorities.

What To Do When Someone Steals Your Website?

Website on a Browser

Oh no! Someone stole your content. How do you contact the perpetrator?

If you are in business, you surely have a website. What if someone stole your site from you? Someone could control your domain name and who knows what else could transpire. From there, the criminal can now control everything in your site including its content. It could be rerouted to any location the perpetrator/s chooses.

Getting back your site is no easy task, but if you really work hard for it, then the fight could be all worth it. Here are the steps of what to do, if it does happen to you.

  • Take a look at the email address of the offending website. If that is not workable, just go to WHO IS to know who registered the offending website. WHO IS  will provide you the website’s owner, and other pertinent information. Jot down all the contact information.
  • You should also find out who hosted the offending website. You can check it out by using WHO IS HOSTING THIS. Communicate with them because no respectable company will tolerate piracy.
  • Make use of Way Back Machine to review the past reviews on your site. This is a proof that you have been around longer than the offending website.
  • Provide a link to Google Cache to inform that Google Spiders found your content earlier than the offending site.
  • Do take screenshots of the materials stolen from you is another proof. If the whole site was stolen, it is wise to save the source code for future comparison.
  • Aside from taking screenshots, take note of the dates that the users made a comment on your blog to answer the original post. Gather all possible proofs and evidence. Do not forget to have your MySQL records. Get all the original and unedited graphics and images including the file date. Put together all backups of your site in the past which should include the modified dates.

After all the steps has been accomplished, contact the perpetrator. It is a good move to let the person know that you know that he or she has done a big mistake. And the reason for this are:

  • To inform the person about the theft.
  • Tell the person to modify, make correction, remove and then ask for a fair compensation.
  • Keep the line of communication open between you.
  • Make sure that the person knows that you have all the necessary information.
  • Mention that there is a paper trail of evidence to prove your authenticity.

When talking to the perpetrator, retain a professional tone and attitude even if the person is a bit hostile or defensive. Listen to the person’s side of the story. Never make a threat but just continue being professional. You gain the upper-hand when you do not show your anger. If everything else fails, seek for legal counsel.

To avoid the same thing in the future, make sure to have a stronger password. Change it whenever necessary. Choose a dependable antivirus software and often scan your computer for spywares. Get a Cyber Risk Insurance too. Prevention is better than cure.