Website content theft and copyright: is your work under threat?

Website content theft and copyright: is your work under threat?

Steady advances in information technology raise myriad legal issues, some of which have yet to be tested in the courts.  Such is the pace of technological innovation.  And the vast majority of businesses (and many individuals) have their own web presence - a common feature of which is written content, used to reach out to both existing and potential clients and other interested parties.

But website and other digital content can be stolen and replicated elsewhere without due permission or acknowledgement.  Content theft is a rampant problem, due in part to the ease with which it can be done.  Copyright law automatically grants full copyright to the creator of the content.

If you suspect you or your business is the victim of digital written content theft, take urgent legal advice from Parris Whittaker.  Our lawyers have years of experience protecting our clients’ intellectual property rights and obtaining appropriate damages when deserved.

How we can help

With our help, you need to establish that copyright infringement has actually occurred.  We need to demonstrate that the ‘copied’ work is substantially similar in content to the degree that it can be said that the work was copied or adapted from your original.

The service provider for the site on which the infringing material is published should be contacted to make it aware of the infringement. In some instances, we may also need to contact any search engines linking to the infringing site content.

Proving copyright infringement is crucial, for instance, a copy of your work, and the work that allegedly infringes your work will help your case as a direct comparison can then be made. If the copyright to your work has been formally registered then let us have full details as this will assist your case.

With this evidence, we will contact the infringer, making them aware of your objection to their actions and on what legal basis; and inviting them to rectify what they have done (for instance, removing the offending work) within a reasonable time.  This is called ‘cease and desist’. 

If they do not comply, and or you have suffered financial loss as a result of their actions, and or you believe you are entitled to royalties we can also assess the level of damages you could reasonably expect to claim.  We can then negotiate a reasonable sum with the infringing party or, if that is unsuccessful, we can make a damages claim to the court on your behalf.  The lawyers at Parris Whittaker are experienced negotiators and litigators and have a proven track record securing the damages our clients deserve when they have suffered financial losses through another party’s actions.

In some instances, it may also be necessary to seek an injunction to prevent further infringement.  We will advise you fully on your options depending on the specific facts of your case.

Act swiftly

If you wish to take swift, effective action against someone who has stolen your website content, and the website publishing the infringing material, contact the experienced dispute litigation lawyers at Parris Whittaker for expert advice and prompt action on your behalf.  Contact us for expert advice.