Busting Online Copyright Thieves

By: Jim Edwards

How safe is anyone's copyright online?

Well 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 luck.

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 work.

Though intellectual property and international copyright laws
apply to online works, enforcement of those laws is expensive
and, in many cases, hard to enforce.

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 fashion.

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 step two.

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

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 immediately.

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 for advice.

Author's Note: By no means let this article dampen your
enthusiasm for operating your business or selling your ebook

In my opinion there is no better way to make a living!

Your copyright is basically as safe online as it is offline.
However, if a sneak thief entered your home - you'd call the
cops. WellPsychology Articles, 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/

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