Notifying a Thief It’s Time to Back Off

In our last episode we discussed several factors you should consider before choosing a course of action against the thief:

  • What is the extent of the harm to you? (your reputation, brand, finances)
  • Can you easily identify/locate the thief?
  • Is the thief making money from your content?
  • Could the thief have made a mistake without realizing it?
  • Could the thief be exercising their rights under the law?

The decision to claim your property must be based on a careful evaluation of the following four factors:

  1. Purpose of the use
  2. Nature of the content used
  3. Amount of content used
  4. Effect on the market for the content used

This decision must ultimately be made by a judge.

If you have decided that you need to move forward to reclaim your Goldmine, consider the following solutions:

What’s the ideal solution for you?

  • The thief apologizes, removes the content from their site, and stops using it.
  • The thief gives you credit and provides a link back to your site.
  • The thief pays you use for the use of your content.

You’ve decided it’s time to defend your rights.

Five steps to defending your rights:

  1. Notify the thief via emailthat they have used your work without permission. Include in your email and offer the 3 options above. Be sure to add a deadline of at least 2 weeks for a response. Keep in mind that emails can end up in the spam folder.
  2. Contact the site that is using your property and ask that your content be removed. Each social media site also has a copyright infringement section with instructions to request removal.
  3. Hire an attorney and go to court. You can probably get a free consult, but you may find that the legal costs would far exceed what you could recoup. Do you have a strong case?
  4. Chalk it up to the cost of doing business and let it go. 
  5. Contact me for clarification. (Complimentary 40-minute session )

The most important thing you can do to
Guard Your Goldmine
is to certify that your site is protected and secure from thieves.

Image by missavana from Pixabay

 Next episode: 

© 2019 Barbara Ingrassia All Rights Reserved.

Information provided here should not be construed as legal advice. If you need assistance for further clarity, please consult your attorney.

barb@managecopyright.com    

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraCopyrightServices/

#Business #Entrepreneurs #Womeninbusiness #copyrightinfringement #TermsofUseanddisclaimer #TermsofUseandprivacypolicy #trademarkvscopyright #USCopyrightLaw #Websitereviewsession #ManageCopyright #copyrighttheft #Fairuse

Oh Crap! You’ve Been Robbed

Your content has been used without your permission.

Now what do you do?

Remember that story I told you in the previous video about the person whose content on the web had been stolen.

Content theft

That was bad enough, but  it was stolen and used by a friend, or someone she thought was a friend. Copying may be the greatest compliment, but not in this case. The damage has been done to your reputation, your brand, and your finances. Now what do you do?

There are several points to consider before you choose a course of action.

First reason to consider: Given the situation, what outcome do you want? and second, Do you want to spend the time and money to pursue it?

So what are the other factors to consider before choosing a course of action against someone who steals your content? 

You might be asking these questions:

  • How might this hurt my business?
  • Can I easily identify/locate the thief?
  • What if the thief is making money from my content?
  • Do I believe that this thief is just clueless about copyright law or do they deliberately want to hurt me?
  • Do I have my protection in place? (Terms and Conditions)
  • Could the thief be exercising their rights under Fair Use?

Fair Use is part of the U.S. Copyright Law. In fact it is in the very next section after the list of what is protected as the copyright owner’s bundle of exclusive rights to copy, distribute, create derivative works, display or perform publicly and to give permission to others to use any of those rights.

Let’s examine the facts:

We know that your content qualified for copyright protection.

We know that someone else has copied and distributed at least a portion.

So where does FAIR USE come into this situation?

Looking at the video above, let’s see how Fair Use fits into the digital age.

That 29-second video, often called “Dancing Baby” became the court case Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. In 2007 Stephanie Lenz posted this video of her son dancing to Let’s Go Crazy, by Prince. on YouTube. Universal Music Group enforces Prince’s copyrights and filed a takedown notice under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can imagine the  public’s outcry when they heard about this takedown notice: Prince and Universal Music Group in court against a baby dancing in a 29-second video? Outrageous!!! Amazingly, this baby had turned 12 years old by the time this court case was settled in 2018.

In order to protect herself, Stephanie (the baby’s mom) was required to sue Universal Music Group on a claim of Fair Use. In 2008, a district court in California ruled that “the failure to consider fair use when sending a DMCA notice could give rise to a claim of failing to act in good faith.” Fortunately in this case, Stephanie and her baby won, but imagine how much it cost her to do so.

The message for us: Consider Fair Use before you act.

But what is Fair Use?

Fair Use is defined as follows: “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

  1. 1.     the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. 2.     the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole;
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.”

How clear is that? Not very.

So let’s work through an example:  

When you want to apply it in a specific situation, it can be a matter of interpretation. In fact, Fair Use is intentionally ambiguous and flexible to accommodate various situations unimaginable when the law was written in 1976. Professional organizations have developed evaluators and checklists, but they are only a guide. Some points of fact in the specific situation may favor Fair Use while others may oppose Fair Use.  A Fair Use analysis is both art and science; it is not a slam dunk, but it is a right provided in the Copyright Law. It is definitely worth considering. The final decision that a use is a Fair Use can be determined only by a judge in a court of law.

The Fair Use analysis must be done prior to using the copyrighted content. Document Document Document, Date it and save it in a secure place, (Don’t forget where you put it. You may need to present it in court next week, next month, next year, in five years, in ten years, or never.)

If you need support, contact me today for your complimentary 40-minute website review session to set up your first line of defense and Guard Your Goldmine.

https://managecopyright.as.me/website40RiskAssessment

Next episode:  You’ve Been Robbed: Next Steps

© 2019 Barbara Ingrassia  All Rights Reserved.

Information provided here should not be construed as legal advice. If you need assistance for further clarity, please consult your attorney.

barb@managecopyright.com    

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraCopyrightServices/

#Business #Entrepreneurs #Womeninbusiness #copyrightinfringement #TermsofUseanddisclaimer #TermsofUseandprivacypolicy #trademarkvscopyright #USCopyrightLaw #Websitereviewsession #ManageCopyright #copyrighttheft #Fairuse

Guard Your Goldmine from Internet Fraud

Have you ever seen your content on someone else’s website?

‘Frustrating, isn’t it?

I’m sure you’ve heard stories about people who have received letters from an attorney accusing them of using someone else’s images or blog content without permission. The next sentence in that letter is always a demand for payment for improper use. In response, that person probably said the same thing you might say, “But I didn’t know I couldn’t use that.”

Recently I was talking to a colleague who happens to be a copyright attorney. She mentioned that she gets a barrage of angry clients wanting to press charges for web theft. She went on to explain how frustrating this is for entrepreneurs who have paid their dues for their web content. Her most recent letter was sent to someone who had actually stolen someone else’s About Me content.

What could they possibly have been thinking? Was this person so insecure that they needed to be identified as someone else? The attorney was flabbergasted and said she had never seen a case like that in all her years in practice.

I know you think this will never happen to you, but as Nicole Kohler reported on the FX BLOG “Content theft happens every day, and the amount of stolen, lifted, and scraped content on the web is increasing. With content marketing a hotter topic than ever and websites desperate to rank, some unsavory individuals may choose to copy your hard work instead of doing their own.”

It’s not a matter of if, but when, so I’m going to give you some tips here on how to protect yourself.  Start by posting clearly written Terms and Conditions in the footer of your website.

They should include the following types of information, at a minimum.

  1. User rights and responsibilities

Licenses granted to the user. Licenses the user grants to the site owner concerning how the owner may use content contributed by the user.

Example: “In these Website Standard Terms And Conditions, “Your Content” shall mean any audio, video, text, images or other material you choose to display on this Website. With respect to Your Content, by displaying it, you grant [COMPANY NAME] a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute it in any and all media.

2. Permitted and Prohibited uses of the content on the site

For example, the making of copies, how/if content may be shared.

Example: “Other than content you own, which you may have opted to include on this Website, under these Terms, [COMPANY NAME] and/or its licensors own all rights to the intellectual property and material contained in this Website, and all such rights are reserved.”

Example: “You may view and/or print pages from [THIS SITE] for your own personal use    subject to restrictions set in these terms and conditions. “ “You must not: Republish material from [THIS SITE]; Sell, rent or sub-license material from [THIS SITE] ; Reproduce, duplicate or copy material from [THIS SITE] “

3. Accountability for online actions, behavior, and conduct

Code of conduct when using the site and consequences for violating these Terms and Conditions

Example: “In the case of a visitor who may infringe or repeatedly infringes the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of the Operator or others, the Operator may, in its discretion, terminate or deny access to and use of the Site. In the case of such termination, the Operator will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid to the Operator. “

4. Privacy policy outlining the use of personal data

Describe the personal information you collect, how you will use it, and how you will protect it. Since May 25, 2018, it should be compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Example: “We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting personally identifiable information you may provide us through the Website. We have adopted this privacy policy (“Privacy Policy”) to explain what information may be collected on our Website, how we use this information, and under what circumstances we may disclose the information to third parties.”

5. Disclaimer/Limitation of Liability clarifying the site’s legal liability for damages incurred by users 

Good faith efforts for accuracy and accessibility, limitations on damage claims, indemnities, warranties, process for filing and settling disputes, under what court jurisdiction, etc.

Example: “This Website is provided “as is,” with all faults, and [COMPANY NAME] makes no express or implied representations or warranties, of any kind related to this Website or the materials contained on this Website.”

6. Owner and Operator of the site. 

Be sure to include your company name, address, contact info, email address

Remember:

If it’s not in writing, there is no proof. Conversely, if terms are in writing, it is evidence you can use in court. Protection requires planning. Properly executed, the users of your site are legally bound to honor your TERMS AND CONDITIONS as a contract.

You may browse the Terms and Conditions posted on other sites, but do not copy them. One size does not fit all. Every website is unique, requiring its own specific Terms and Conditions. Additionally, Terms and Conditions on a website, are protected by U.S. Copyright Law.

Here’s how to avoid becoming a victim of Internet fraud.

Watch for next week’s episode to find out what to do when your content has been stolen. 

© 2019 Barbara Ingrassia  All Rights Reserved.

Information provided should not be construed as legal advice.

Don’t be tricked out of your copyrights

I know. You’re excited by the opportunity to be published.

But don’t sign anything before you read–and understand–the entire Agreement.

If you are the copyright owner, you have the exclusive rights to:

  • copy/reproduce
  • distribute
  • create derivative works
  • display publicly
  • perform publicly

OR authorize others to exercise any or all of those rights.

RETAIN your copyright; grant only those rights that are absolutely necessary to complete the particular project at hand.

  • Read the “fine print.”
  • Think about how you may want to exercise your rights in the future.
  • Negotiate.
  • Ask questions until you understand what you and the other party are agreeing to do.
  • Get it in writing. Signed by both parties.

Don’t be tricked out of your copyrights, contact me for more information. barb@managecopyright.com

Leave a comment below!

Barbara C. Ingrassia, MLS, AHIP, CCM
Certified Copyright Manager, Speaker and Trainer
508-277-0709
Manage Copyright. Don’t Let it Manage You! 
Get your FREE Report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes that Small Businesses Make (that could land you in court)..And How to Avoid Them online at  www.managecopyright.com
Connect with me online:

 

I am not an attorney. The information provided should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney with expertise in copyright law.

 

Pirates want to steal YOUR Content!

In honor of

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

(Sept 19):

I created this short video to remind us all that there a people out there who want to steal our content for their own sites. Some even grab published books and offer them for sale on bogus websites. (The scammers may just take the money and not deliver anything–except frustration. Then again…)

We devote our time and talents to create original content.

Our livelihoods and our reputations are at stake.

 

 

Remember, it’s about COPYRIGHT LAW.

It is your GOLDMINE. GUARD IT.

Take a next step:

I speak to groups about the impact of copyright in our daily lives. If you know of a group or organization that could use a speaker or trainer on the basics of Copyright, please connect me!

I also offer a complimentary Copyright Consultation. Would like to know ways to protect YOUR OWN content from others stealing or using it without YOUR authorization?

 

 

Have You Ever Done a Google Image Search?

If you have, you’re one of the millions who have done a Google Image Search. You probably got hundreds of results. However did you know that the majority of photos out there on the Internet are protected by some type of copyright? And YOU do NOT have authority to just use them.

The good but not so good news is that most companies and people do not police their copyrighted images and content very well. Meaning, they may never know that you have copied and pasted it or saved it or used it in some way.

However… as technology continues to evolve, IF you can FIND images to use, you can be FOUND using them.  It’s just a matter of time

There are those few companies out there, including the stock image photo companies themselves, who already actively POLICE their content and will slap a lawsuit on you so fast it will make your head spin!

You want to be mindful of using photos online so you don’t get a “cease and desist” letter from an attorney, because by then it’s too late!

Therefore, you want to know how to legally use images from searches on the Internet.

Here are some sources for Free or Paid Images or Content Online (there are more options but this can get you started – see me for more resources and advice!):

  • Pixabay.com – Copyright-free images. Safe to use–even for commercial purposes– without asking permission or giving credit to the artist
  • Dreamstime.com – Royalty-free does NOT mean Copyright-free. You will pay a license fee.
  • Canva.com – You can use their images and layouts to create fun images for your website, social media and marketing materials

Remember, it’s about COPYRIGHT LAW.

You could be breaking the law and you don’t even know it!

2 things you could do now to AVOID TROUBLE and/or take a next step:

I speak to groups about the impact of copyright in our daily lives. If you know of a group or organization that could use a speaker or trainer on the basics of Copyright, please connect me!

I also offer a complimentary Copyright Consultation. If you would like to know:

  • if YOU or YOUR COMPANY is already breaking the law
  • what you can do to avoid those “cease and desist” letters
  • how to update your systems to utilize copyrighted materials safely and legally
  • how to protect YOUR OWN content from others stealing or using it without YOUR authorization! 

    Leave a comment below!

    Barbara C. Ingrassia, MLS, AHIP, CCM
    Certified Copyright Manager, Speaker and Trainer
    508-277-0709
    Manage Copyright. Don’t Let it Manage You! 
    Get your FREE Report:
    The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes that Small Businesses Make (that could land you in court)..And How to Avoid Them online at  www.managecopyright.com
    Connect with me online:

 

Avoid Costly Letters From Attorneys – 5 Min Video Tip

 

People put content—all kinds of good content—on the Internet: photos, articles, videos, music, drawings, and more.

You need some content–maybe an article. Add a photo to attract readers.

You search; you find just exactly what you need.

You copy; that’s so easy to do.

You paste.

There. Done. You’ve saved a lot of time. Why re-invent the wheel?

Well, it’s about COPYRIGHT LAW.

You could be breaking the law and you don’t even know it!

I speak to groups about the impact of copyright in our daily lives.

I bring some FUN to an important but confusing, complicated, and potentially dull but very relevant topic.

For an overview of what you want to know about COPYRIGHT, I urge you to watch this 5-minute video.      Don’t let this happen to YOU!

 

 

Let me know if/how I succeeded in injecting some FUN while providing helpful information about copyright.

Leave a comment below!

Barbara C. Ingrassia, MLS, AHIP, CCM
Certified Copyright Manager, Speaker and Trainer
508-277-0709
Manage Copyright. Don’t Let it Manage You! 
Get your FREE Report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes that  Small Businesses Make (that could land you in court)..And How to Avoid Them online at  www.managecopyright.com
Connect with me online:

Does Copyright Law Scare You? NO! It Doesn’t Affect Me!

         ©  trick-or-treat     mummy-head2-240x240      

Copyright Trick or Treat

Does Copyright Law Scare You?        

Find out this week in Copyright Trick or Treat

“I don’t own any copyrights, so I don’t have to worry about copyright law.”

TRICK

Since 1989, a copyright notice © is no longer required, nor is registration with the US Copyright Office. An original work of authorship is copyrighted the moment it is fixed in a tangible medium: paper, audio, video, web page, blog posts, social media, etc. This applies to original literary works, art works, music, etc.

For more on this, SEE:  https://managecopyright.com/2015/09/ok-what-is-copyright-all-about/

So?

So… that means that we all are creating something every day that is copyrighted. It might not have monetary value, but it is protected—automatically.

We all are CONSUMERS and  CREATORS of copyrighted works.
How are YOU protecting YOUR original works?

 

Meanwhile… Click here to sign up to receive my free report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make [that could land You in court]…and How to Avoid Them

Copyright © 2015 Barbara C. Ingrassia     All Rights Reserved.

~Barb

barb_headshot
Barbara C.  Ingrassia
Certified Copyright Manager and Speaker
Manage Copyright! Don’t let it Manage YOU.
508-277-0709
Email: barb@managecopyright.com 

P.S. Get your free report:
Click here to sign up to receive my free report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make [that could land You in court]…and How to Avoid Them

Information provided in this blog should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, consultant an attorney with expertise in copyright law.

Copyright © 2015 Barbara C. Ingrassia     All Rights Reserved.

Try Copyright Trick or Treat: Government documents?

         ©  trick-or-treat     ghost-with bag

Copyright Trick or Treat

Does Copyright Law Scare You?        

Find out this week in Copyright Trick or Treat

“What about content created by the US Government?”       us-capitol-building-826991_640

TREAT !!

Most works issued by the U.S. Government are not protected by copyright and are free to use.

Works created by US federal employees in the course of their assigned duties are not protected by copyright. They are a great source for an amazing array of material

Browse: https://www.usa.gov/

NOTE: Some collections include items not created by a US federal government employee, so always check carefully and provide a citation as directed.

Meanwhile… Click here to sign up to receive my free report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make [that could land You in court]…and How to Avoid Them

Copyright © 2015 Barbara C. Ingrassia     All Rights Reserved.

~Barb

barb_headshot
Barbara C.  Ingrassia
Certified Copyright Manager and Speaker
Manage Copyright! Don’t let it Manage YOU.
508-277-0709
Email: barb@managecopyright.com 

P.S. Get your free report:
Click here to sign up to receive my free report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make [that could land You in court]…and How to Avoid Them

Information provided in this blog should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, consultant an attorney with expertise in copyright law.

Copyright © 2015 Barbara C. Ingrassia     All Rights Reserved.

Does Copyright Law Scare You? Try Copyright Trick or Treat

         ©  trick-or-treat     zombie-head3-205x240      

Copyright Trick or Treat

Does Copyright Law Scare You?        

Find out this week in Copyright Trick or Treat

“If there’s no © on a work, it’s not copyrighted and I can use it in any way I want.”

TRICK!
Since 1989, a copyright notice © has no longer been required, so its absence is not a reliable indication of its status.

Assume that a work is copyrighted until you can determine otherwise.
Meanwhile… Click here to sign up to receive my free report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make [that could land You in court]…and How to Avoid Them

Copyright © 2015 Barbara C. Ingrassia     All Rights Reserved.

~Barb

barb_headshot
Barbara C.  Ingrassia
Certified Copyright Manager and Speaker
Manage Copyright! Don’t let it Manage YOU.
508-277-0709
Email: barb@managecopyright.com 

P.S. Get your free report:
Click here to sign up to receive my free report:
The 10 Biggest Copyright Mistakes Small Businesses Make [that could land You in court]…and How to Avoid Them

Information provided in this blog should not be construed as legal advice. For legal advice, consultant an attorney with expertise in copyright law.

Copyright © 2015 Barbara C. Ingrassia     All Rights Reserved.