How safe is anyone's copyright online?
Well imagine my surprise when I clicked on a website link to discover that someone had not only copied my website to their server - but was selling my ebook and undercutting me in process! Some dishonest person operating from Eastern Europe had literally stolen my entire business and I discovered it only by sheer luck.
After some very lengthy and threatening emails I got them shut down, but question remains, how safe is your copyright online and what can you do to protect it?
Traditionally written works have enjoyed copyright protection not only through rule of law, but also because of physical difficulty in stealing another person's work. Let's face it, photocopying a 200 page book rates about as much fun as watching paint dry and at 5 cents a page you're talking a quick ten dollar printing bill.
If you steal someone's book, print up a thousand copies and try to get it onto local bookstore's shelves, chances of getting caught rank pretty high.
But online world has changed those rules and physical safeguards significantly. The Internet, email and Web make it easier than ever to steal someone else's work. With most basic skills and a few mouse clicks, someone can take your book, your website, and along with it weeks, months, and even years of your hard work.
Though intellectual property and international copyright laws apply to online works, enforcement of those laws is expensive and, in many cases, hard to enforce.
Well don't despair, you do have options if you find someone has violated your copyright online. Anytime I find someone violating my copyright, which isn't very often, I take these three steps in rapid-fire fashion.
First, make 100% sure other person realizes they have violated your copyright. You can send them a nice but firm note telling them to stop whatever activity violates your copyright. If that doesn't work move on to step two.