Jan 18, 2017

Copyright Infringement - Step by Step directions on how to fight it, and why it is important.

Types of Copyright Infringement 

    1. Hotlinking, Inline linking, or direct linking your images Hotlinking or direct linking is a techniques used to make an image from one website show up on another website. The infringing website simply links to an image in your image files on your website from it's own website. Why you should be concerned about this type of copyright infringement: 1. Website owners are using your bandwidth to serve images to their website. Basically you are paying for their content, and they get free content.

2. Most websites that "hotlink" will hotlink many of your images, not just one. This slows down your website which affects your web ranking.

3. Also Google ranks websites on unique content. When other websites use your images, it could lower your web ranking because it doesn't have unique content, and this could cost you potential customers.
2. Derivative Works Derivative works are basically copies of an original work with some basic changes. If a work can still be recognizable as coming from the original work, then it is a derivative. Derivative works are copyright infringement. Note, unless the work is exactly like yours, it is very hard for you to get it removed without hiring a lawyer. It is best just to ask the person who is using your work to give you credit and a link back to your site. If they refuse, you can offer to exchange links. Always place your url and copyright date on your images before publishing them.
3. Using your Images without Your Permission It is illegal to copy an image and use it on a website without the permission of the copyright owner. Make sure you place a copyright use page on your website that describes how your images can be used on other websites.
Not Always a Bad Thing
Remember you do want backlinks because this is also good for web ranking. However, you have to decide which are good backlinks and which aren't. You don't want a disreputable website linking to yours because this can also affect your web ranking.  If you see a website that is using your image and they are reputable, make sure that they are giving you credit and linking back to your website with an active link that doesn't have a rel="nofollow" on the link.  If they put the "nofollow" on the link, they are basically telling Google that this link is not important. You may get some credit for that link as far as web ranking goes, but it may be considered lower. Google says they don't follow rel="nofollows", but every image on Pinterest has a nofollow and they definitely follow those.

Nofollows - You will have to look at the source code of the website (the html) in order to find out if the link has a rel="nofollow" on the link. This is done differently in different browsers. Chrome: Safari:
If you can get the web owner who is using your image to give your web site credit and link back to your website without using the nofollow this can be of benefit to you.
Reporting Copyright Infringement I have been reporting copyright infringement for many years and have developed a technique that works for me. Here are some tips. 1.First put your url - web address - on all your images so it can be clearly seen This is important because no matter what you do there will be images that you just cannot remove from the web. If it has your url, at least people can see where to go to find out more about the image. 2. Place Clear Copyright Regulations on your Website on a Separate Page Tell people what they can and cannot do with your images. Post a link to your copyright regulations on every page of your website, after every image or entry. 3. Contact the Infringing Website Owner if Possible This isn't always possible, but if it is, try to contact the website owner and let them know that you aren't happy with their infringement. Many people do not understand copyright law. They think that if they state where the image or text comes from they aren't in violation of copyright law.  Be polite and explain that this is not true, they must have permission and follow your copyright regulations.
4. Determine the Web Host of Infringing Website

The first step is to find out who hosts the infringing website. There are several websites that can help you find this. You can use the following website to find the web host of infringing websites:

5. Fill out a DMCA Takedown Notice and Send it to the Host
You can use a template or use a DMCA service to make the DMCA report (see below).
Note: If you find an infringed image on a website, report not only the page the image is on, but also the image address. This is where they are storing the image on their website. If they are hotlinking your image from your website or another website, don't have to include the address. (A lot of infringers hotlink Pinterest's image files. You can tell by the address. It will include this - https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com. To find the image address in Chrome, just right-click on the image and select "copy image address". Copy the address and include it in your DMCA. If the infringer only removes the image from the page on which it shows up and doesn't remove it from their image files, it will still show up on Google image search. So they will still get traffic from your image. Also once they tell you they have removed the infringing image from the infringing website, check both the links to make sure they have removed it from the website and from their image files. If they haven't removed the image from their image files, respond to the email notice and tell them to also remove it from their image files.


What a DMCA takedown notice should contain:

DMCA Services
I use dmca.com to keep track and compose DMCA takedown notices. This service isn't necessary, but it is convenient.  It cost $100 a year. It isn't perfect, but I couldn't find anything else comparable.

You basically fill out a form, but if you are a business, you have to manually change your name to your business name in four different places on the form after filling out the info.
It may be more convenient to just use a template and add the information you need, and make your own tracking system. I'm not that organized.

To find the infringing website's host, you just type in the web address and it tells you what it is. This isn't always accurate or it may not be able to find it, so you have to go to other websites (see below) to find the source.


How to Find out Who Hosts a Website:
http://www.whoishostingthis.com/
whois.com

EU - https://whois.eurid.eu/en/

http://www.domainwhitepages.com/


Here is a List of Web Hosts Here is a list of web hosts, their Copyright Abuse Addresses, and tips on sending in the DMCA takedown notice. (See below on how to make a DMCA takedown notice.)  Many web hosts require you to fill out their online form, while this is quicker, you don't have a copy of the infringement notice. Make sure you have a system to keep track of the DMCA notices you sent. (See keeping track of DMCA notices below).
Cloudflare - Go to https://www.cloudflare.com/abuse/form

Fill out the form online.
Warning - Before filling out this form type everything out in an email to yourself. If you take to long to fill out this form, it will timeout, and you will have to start all over again.
Choose an abuse type - Select "Copyright infringement and DMCA violations"
If you are filling this form out more than once, make sure you use your F5 key to refresh the page each time or it will not work.
You don't have to fill out the form each time, just double click on the box and it will fill it out for you after the first time you fill it out.
Once the form has been submitted successfully, you will get a message at the top of the page that says they have received it.
Make sure you include all the information for each url because you can only submit one DMCA for each page every 7 days.

Ripe - https://stat.ripe.net/specials/abuse#abuse-contact-finder.resource

You must know the IP address (number of a website) to use this form. Instead of typing in the url, you type in the number.  Use this website or another to find the IP address of a website -https://www.site24x7.com/find-ip-address-of-web-site.html or http://www.whoishostingthis.com/.

Once you find the IP address, type it in the box with the yellow outline that says, "Enter an IP address". The server abuse email address for that IP will show up in the box below.

Hetzner.de  - https://abuse.hetzner.de/issues/new?lang=en

You must fill out their from online.
Source* - is the infringing website's IP address - this is a number that corresponds to the web address. Use http://whatismyipaddress.com/hostname-ip to find the ip address. Just copy and past the web url into the book and click on "Look up IP address, a long number will appear. Copy and paste that number as the source.

Bluehost -  https://www.bluehost.com/copyright-claims-policy

Google Blogger blogspot.com - Fill out the form here -https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dmca-notice?pid=4&rd=1

Godaddy Copyright Infringement Form - https://supportcenter.godaddy.com/abusereport
Under "Other" click on "here" under "Copyright/Trademark Infringement.
Just type in the website url without the rest.  Don't include the http://  Place the actual image address in the form or use the IP address.
abuse@eatserver.nl or postmaster@eatserver.nl
Send this website your own DMCA takedown notice, they don't have an online form.

Amazon Web Services
Send a DMCA notice tocopyright@amazon.com Or use the form on this page:https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/infringement
redtedart.com - send copyright infringement to abuse@paragon.net.uk

dmca@vultr.com
abuse@ioflood.com
.pt Portugal Web sites - Use this page - http://www.websitecop.co.uk/DMCA-Notice-Generator.html

Privacy Protect - abuse@privacyprotect.org

Rapidswitch - Fill out form here: https://myservers.rapidswitch.com/Abuse/ReportAbuse.aspx

Copyright Infringement from other Countries
Often you can't get your copyrighted material removed from website in other countries because they have their own copyright laws or they really don't care. In this case you can send a notice to Google have their site delisted from searches. Fill out this form:
https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/legal-removal-request?complaint_type=dmca&visit_id=1-636207022483401166-602255295&rd=1

Finding all Images from Your website: Go to https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search To check to see if websites are hotlinking your images, type in your web address to see all images from your website. This will not only show the images you are using on your website but any images other websites are hotlinking. Just float your mouse over the images and you will see the url of the site that is using them. Use Google's "Image Search" Feature to find all website using a specific image. Right-click on the image and select "Search Google for image" and you will get a list of all websites using that image or similar images.
If you find an image in a search that no longer goes to the page have Google remove it from the search. Note:If you find a website that is just using images from other websites, clipart websites, coloring pages, etc. to make money off of advertising, don't contact them directly.  They really don't care and they know that they are infringing. They do it because they know they can get away with it. They will just keep doing it unless you fill out DMCA notices against them. Don't send the DMCA notice to them, send it to their web host.  If they get enough of these, their web service may cancel them.  But they will probably just find a new web service, but at least there is a record of their illegal activity.
How to keep track of your takedown notices 1. Every time you send in a DMCA notice make sure you send a CC to yourself. Place the email you sent to yourself in a folder in your email program that says something like "Sent DMCAs".  When the infringing material has been removed, more the email to another folder that says, "Completed DMCAs".

2. Many companies require you to fill out their own forms. This can be a problem because you don't get a copy of what you filled out.  I always type up the copyright infringement in an email to myself with the web address of the company in the email.  I then save it in a folder called "Sent DMCAs"  When the image or text has been removed, move that email to a folded that says "Completed DMCAs". This makes it easy to keep track of DMCA that you filled out online.

Youtube Videos  - Youtube encourages you to allow your videos to be embedded on other websites. This is because it benefits them.  But it doesn't benefit the video copyright owner.  Always upload your videos in private, make it public, embed the video on your own website, and then deselect "allow embedding" so other websites can't embed the video. I have found that the only websites that embed your videos are scam websites, phishing and malware sites. I wouldn't recommend letting other websites embed your videos. Once they are embedded it is hard to get them taken down.

If you are monetizing your videos, do not let people embed them unless it is a reputable website. Also if you allow embedding there are many websites that have video players that strip the ads, annotations and any other words you have on the video. You will be losing money on those embedded videos.  If you don't allow embedding, when the searcher tries to watch your video on these video players, they will be forced to go to Youtube to watch the video which is what you want.

Removing Images from Search Results

After doing a google image search for your images on a website, follow the link to the website to make sure the image was removed.  Once it has been removed you can fill out a Google request to remove the image from the search results.

To do this go to "Removing Content From Google" page -https://support.google.com/legal/troubleshooter/1114905?rd=2#ts=1115655

The product is "Web Search"
Select - A piece of content I am concerned about has already been removed by the webmaster but still appears among the search results
Click on "This Tool" to take you to the form to fill out and fill out the form.

Click on the image in the search so that it shows up as a big picture with links to the page. Right-click on the image and select "Copy image address"

Paste that address into the form and then click on "Request Removal"

Google will analyze the link and give you results. You will probably get this message "We think the image or web page you're trying to remove hasn't been removed by the site owner
Before Google can remove it from our search results, the site owner needs to take down or update the content." Has the image or web page been updated or removed?
Select "Yes" and then click on "Next"
Then select - The entire page or image has been removed.&
It will then say "We may not always detect content that has been removed. If you are certain the entire page or image is removed, you can let us know to help us improve this feature."


Reporting website to Adsense that are using your copyright material
If a website is using your copyright material and others you can report it to Google:

https://support.google.com/adsense/contact/violation_report

Adsense Terms and Conditions: https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms?hl=en_US