It is a common trend, today, that online content is often found to be republished on other websites without permission being asked from, or credit given to, the original author of the writing. As more professionals make their work available online, protecting it is of primary importance. It is imperative that writers and publishers take steps in protecting their work from people who use it for personal gain. Copyrighting all their online material, gives writers and producers the safety that is needed to protect their work.
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, architectural and certain other intellectual works.
Only the owner/manufacturer/creator of the work has permission to:
- Copy the work.
- Create derivative works based upon the work.
- Sell, rent, lease, and lend copies of the work.
- Publicly perform literary, musical, dramatic, a motion picture and other audiovisual works.
- Publicly perform sound recordings.
If you do not own text, graphics, music, audiovisual or other intellectual property that you want to make copies of, or use for your projects (such as Web pages), you need to get permission from the owner. Once the entire process of copyrighting is done, you need to make sure that internet users are aware of the fact that your material is copyrighted. Make sure that your website has a copyright notice as this helps reduce the amount of people using your material without your permission.
The Web is a medium that allows you to find out whether your articles and your copyrighted work has been stolen. There are popular websites which immediately tell you whether there are other websites using the article, whether it is being used in part or in whole. This helps you pinpoint the source of infringement and take action against it.
Once the guilty party has been established, it is necessary to contact the person(s) through email and let them know that they have been caught. If the guilty party owns up and removes the information from their website, then the party should be warned and left alone. However, in most cases the party will deny having copied the material from someone else and refuse to own up. If an email is not enough to seek the attention of the person, then send a letter to physical mailing address, along with a legal notice of your lawyer informing them of the consequences of copyright infringement.
Even after so much work, if the guilty party does not own up, then the case should be directly taken to the hosting or ISP Company of the person re-producing your work. They should either be informed through telephone or preferably through email about the facts and details. Most ISP companies take note of the information, will immediately shut down the website within 24 hours, and lodge a case of plagiarism against them.
Keeping the above process in mind, can help you stand in good stead against plagiarism that takes place on the internet, and keep your material safe from being copied.