While perusing the internet you notice that someone copied your website. As you write more content, the chances of this happening to you increase over time. It has even happened to me. One of my fellow attorneys here in New York copied one of my pages. What should you do?
It depends on how aggressive you want to be.
One option is to simply contact the other party. Let them know that that you have noticed that they have copied some of your content without attribution. Simply ask them to take it down and be cordial. This is merely a stylistic approach. Be natural.
Next step is to hire a lawyer (yes this is selly selly.) You may have already contacted the other party and they have refused to take down the material. You can then contact my office and I can draft a cease and desist letter asking for certain relief, such as taking down the information, asking for potential statutory attorneys’ fees and the like. The cost of is around $600 for around two hours of work. These cease and desist letters written by a lawyer is more likely to work because there is the threat of legal action, which is a bigger headache.
However, your business is larger and your content is your intellectually property and you want to collect money, then you’re going to have to do more.
You automatically own a copyright to your content that you published online. But to collect you need to….
REGISTER YOUR COPYRIGHT
It is remarkably easy and inexpensive to register a copyright to your website. Simply go to the U.S. Copyright website and register your copyright for your website for a mere $35. What do you have to lose? You then call my office and let the federal lawsuit begin. You may win money damages.
Frederic Abramson is a business attorney at the Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson in NYC. He represents companies and individuals in cases including copyright, trademark and litigation.