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Work at Home MomsGeneral Internet Marketing Articles > Copyright Law

Internet Copyright Law & Internet Copyright Infringement

Internet copyright infringement is rampant on the world wide web. The scary thing is that you may not even know when someone infringes on your copyright.

This article provides you with some general information on Internet Copyright Law and how to protect yourself and your intellectual property. Please note that this article is for general information purposes only. For specific advice on Internet copyright law in your country, please consult the appropriate government authority or a lawyer.
In the United States, Canada, UK and Australia , your intellectual property is automatically copyrighted. However, there are steps you can take to protect your copyright.

Here's what you should do to protect your copyright:

1. Always post a notice on your website pages that includes the following -
- symbol or the word “copyright”
- first year of publication
- name of the owner of the copyright (this can be your personal name, company name or website name ~ as long as it's a name you are generally associated with)

For example: 2002

2. Consider registering your copyright. This can get a bit tricky with a dynamic website whose content is always changing, but try to register your content on a regular basis.

Find out if it's possible to register your copyright:

USA: United States Copyright Office or use the low cost C-site copyright protection to simplify the process.

Canada: Industry Canada

UK: Intellectual Property Government Website

Australia: Intellectual Property Government Website

(Would you like to see your country's website added here? Email the author with the link, if you have it, or send a request to find it. )

How to Keep Track of the Copyright Infringement

Unfortunately, with the vast size of the Internet, much of the copyright infringement that goes on will likely be undetected.

1. Keep an eye on your website statistics. Check the websites that are giving you referrals. You'd be surprised at the number of copyright infringers that will use your bandwidth from graphics they have "borrowed" or they may even link directly to your website.

2. Check your competitors regularly. This will help you with your marketing plan, but will also help you detect any possible copyright infringement.

3. Partner with a few other website owners who are familiar with your site and be sure to keep an eye out for one another's intellectual property. Report any possible infringements to your partners.

What to Do When you Find a Copyright Infringement

Remember, you can't copyright ideas...just tangible form of expression. If someone has duplicated your content or graphics, then you are likely the victim of copyright infringement. Here's what you can do:

1. Contact the Web host: Look for a place to report abuse and provide them with the details. Many web hosts will disable a website that is found to be infringing on copyright. Find out who the web host is by consulting the WHOIS WHOIS for the domain.

2. Contact the Website Owner: Send them a formal request to remove your copyrighted work from their website. Give them a certain time limit (ex. 48 hours) and tell them you will take further action if they do not comply.

 Usually one of the above will solve your problem, but if not, you will likely have to send a formal cease and desist letter by certified mail. If you cannot resolve the issue on your own, you may want to seek legal counsel to help you understand your right and obligations in your country.



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