[00:00:30] First of all, you have to know your rights. You have to understand copyrights. Also make sure that you prevent that certain things in your business are getting copied, for example by getting the trademark for it.
[00:01:00] Then, make sure you are the first person who gets notice when something gets copied. [inaudible 00:01:09] For example, you can use Google alerts to yourself, or Copyscape is another free website service, or there are certain plackets for work who automatically inform you if your content appears somewhere else on the internet. If that happens, evaluate the situation. Is it really copied? Pick your battles very wisely.
[00:01:30] To do so, you might need some legal help. I, for example, use one of the lawyers I met at LegalZoom, who helps me with those battles. Then, grab screen shots. Document, document, document and reach out to the offender. For example, via email, and tell them that you are aware they copied content from your website, and add those screenshots.
[00:02:00] If they don’t remove the content in a good bit of time, then you have the ability to report the offender to the search engines or to the hosting provider they host their website on, and you can file something that’s called the DFCA report with a removal request.
[00:02:30] This is one that both Sylvie and I have experienced, probably Sylvie more than myself, and it’s extremely frustrating. It’ll make you really angry when it happens because it happens. It happens more than you think it does. There’s two situations here, though that I want to clarify. One is imitation and similarity, where someone takes something and they recreate it but in a way that’s very, very similar but not exact. That’s a situation where you just kind of have to suck it up and grit your teeth and bear with it, because there’s not much ground to stand on if someone has taken a really awesome concept and then used it as their own. No matter how much it appears like yours, if it’s not exact, word-for-word copying, there’s not much you can do about it.
[00:03:00] Now, if they take the verbiage on your website, or they take testimonials, that’s happened to me, copied them on their own website, or photos or your website template, all the things that are exact replicas, that you have grounds to stand on. If you see anyone taking any specific verbage from your website and copying and pasting it and using it as yours, then you absolutely need to address it. Please, please, you send a letter, a very technical letter, you document it, you capture it, you screenshot it, so you’ve got it for your own records and you wait on a response, and then that’ll tell you if you need to take further, more serious action.