Last week a client contacted me with news that she had discovered a web site that was using her web copy. It was a site offering the same type of service and operating in the same geographic area. Not good news.
I suggested she contact the site owner to point out the obvious copyright issues. After an initial acknowledgment and a promise to fix things the site owner is now refusing to make any changes.
Turning to an attorney is the next step but I have also suggested contacting the hosting company of the offending web site and making a copyright infringement complaint. I took this approach many years ago when copy and images ( even code) from this web site were taken. The hosting company suspended the infringing site very quickly which paved the way for immediate discussions and a solution.
My customer’s experience has spurred me to to a little research on our own web site today and low and behold I have discovered a web design company who have stolen huge chunks of our copy. They have been contacted and ask to amend the site and I have put in a copyright infringement complaint with their hosting provider.
Here is a list of resources that can be useful in these sort of cases.
Useful for details of the domain name registrar and hosting provider
Search for copies of your page on the web. Has a premium service
Free service to check for plagiarism, simple enter your URL
The way back machine. Useful for establishing timelines
Notify Google of the infringement – must be done via snail mail or fax