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Friday, October 14, 2005

Ever Thought about Copyright Issues?

We are reprinting a recent Article by Jim Edwards in which he highlights his recent experience of having his whole website copied and one of his books sold from this stolen website at a reduced rate. This shows the perils of doing business on the Web unless you spend time in self education and keeping abreast of both good and bad.

When our Driving School web site was set up nearly six years ago it wasn't long before a colleague pointed out to me that an unscrupulous Web master and his Client, a West of Ireland Driving School had lifted one whole page which I had written and put it up on their site verbatim. They hadn't even the brains to put in a little change here and there. Apart from the indignation I felt at the time it also showed that the Driving School in question hadn't got enough knowledge itself to write a page of content. Doesn't say much for the calibre of the so called school does it?

Here's Jim's Article. Hope you get something of benefit from it. We will be reprinting other Author's Articles from now on in addition to our own copy and this is in preparation for a major makeover of the Astral Driving School site where we hope to create our own Article Directory and Archive.
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Busting Online Copyright Thieves:- By Jim Edwards


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 the 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 the 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 the rule of law, but also because of the 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 the local bookstore's shelves, the chances of getting caught rank pretty high.

But the online world has changed those rules and physical safeguards significantly. The Internet, email and the Web make it easier than ever to steal someone else's work. With the 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 the 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.

Second, once you know with 100% certainty they understand they have violated your copyright, yet refuse to respond or stop, you need to shut them down by eliminating their ability to do business!

Send them an email with a carbon copy sent to their Internet Service Provider (ISP), their credit card processor, their web hosting company, and even the company that sold them their domain name.

Finally, follow this email up with a hard copy letter to each party sent via registered mail. In the email and letter detail exactly how they have blatantly violated your copyright and you want them to desist immediately.

By taking this approach you can often just bypass the offending party because the companies enabling them to transact business don't want any trouble. If you can show copyright violation they will shut the perpetrator down to avoid getting sued themselves.

Though not foolproof, this strategy can help you when facing down a blatant online copyright violator. Just remember to act quickly, thoroughly and don't hesitate to contact your attorney for advice.

Author's Note: By no means let this article dampen your enthusiasm for operating your business or selling your ebook online!

In my opinion there is no better way to make a living!

Your copyright is basically as safe online as it is offline. However, if a sneak thief entered your home - you'd call the cops. Well, now you know what to do if a sneak thief ever gives you trouble online!

You can also get more information about copyright law by going to http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/

(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved =================
Author Bio:

Jim Edwards, a.k.a. TheNetReporter.com, is a syndicated newspaper columnist, nationally recognized speaker, author, and web developer. Owner of nine (9) successful e-businesses as well as a professional consulting firm, Jim's writing comes straight off the front lines of the Internet and e-commerce.

Simple "Traffic Machine" brings Thousands of NEW visitors to your website for weeks, even months... without spending a dime on advertising! ==> Turn Words Into Traffic

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We welcome constructive criticism of our Web Site and our Blogs please let us know how we can improve our services to you. We are still on our Web Provisional License and we expect to be sitting our Webpreneur Driving Test towards the end of the year which is fast approaching. Watch out for some really new stuff on the Astral Site by the new year which will include free downloads and plenty to keep you busy.

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