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Other LCOs Copying My Website

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by MowHouston, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Yes, two of them were in my area. The other in Austin.

    Using video throughout my site would not be effective marketing-wise as well as for getting my page ranked higher.
  2. nr7pro

    nr7pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I guess to each his own, from experience video is AWESOME for marketing, and search engine rankings. I use it for my products and websites with sweet results, and while my videos are typically better than this, here's an example.

    search google for: Alabama Concrete Cleaning
    First Page, #1 Spot = Video, just saying..
  3. Lurch01

    Lurch01 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    You know that they need a lot more than just copying a website.

    I am over 100 plus customers since strolling onto this site in March and it take a lot more that just a page to make it happen.

    Don't worry their SEO is not there. I am sure of that. AND BTW You know by me and my friends. Nice has no place in business.

    If they harm you crush them.

  4. Lurch01

    Lurch01 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    Great Post Steve, I had to use that Way back machine one time before when I was editing an site and messed it all up. The Way back machine allowed me to get the code I needed form the old page and it saved my butt.

  5. Penncare

    Penncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 179

    I hate to be the devils advocate:

    Follow this hypothetical. Bob creates a wonderful site that draws lots of traffic. Bob's competitor sees the effect of the site. Competitor does little more than copy and past Bob's site, but does change a word here and there but nothing noticeable. Competitor gets traffic and customers back. Bob's son sees the offending site and tells his dad. Bob sends off an email to competitor asking nicely that he remove the content. A month or so later Bob sends a cease and desist letter. Nothing happens. Bob sends a letter to the ISP and host which he learns is owned offshore but he hopes for the best. More months pass and Bob hires Joe blow lawyer who practices general litigation to fire off a letter that assures that litigation will be forthcoming. Competitor receives letter and grins. Now one year later Bob has become consumed by this injustice and tells his lawyer to do what it takes to stop the infringement. Bob serves Competitor with suit he has filed and Bob is feeling strong and ready. Competitor is still grinning. Bob gets served with a motion to dismiss and counterclaim. Bob reads the "sh**" as he calls it that says he has no right to sue as he has failed to register his copyright prior to seeking to have Competitor cease using the content, that Bob never possessed or registered a copyright on the content and that further Competitor believes that Bob infringed upon the copyright of other sites which were registered prior to Bob creating his site. Lastly Competitor states in his counterclaim that it was he(competitor) that registered the content and that Bob is infringing on Competitor's rights and seeks actual and punitive damages along with attorneys fees and costs. Bob goes to see his lawyer and sadly discovers that he paid a local friend who had never done copyright work to fix this for him, but Competitor hired lawyer who specializes in copyright work and has lots of contacts. Bob notices that other sites are now suing him for infringement. Bob looks to spend a half million on this stuff and has not netted more than $70,000.00 in any given year he has been in business.

    Most literature I could find on this subject states that, in the United States, you have to first register your work before you can sue for it. Second, you can only get statutory damages for infringements that took place either after the registration or after publication if the work was registered within three months.(Bob never registered) Without statutory damages, most copyright infringement lawsuits are a waste of resources. Never assume that a letter will be worth a hill of beans. There is a reason copyright lawyers charge large hourly rates that general folks cannot afford. This may not be likely, but a little overconfidence could lead to this road. Just MHO for what little it is worth.
  6. nr7pro

    nr7pro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Yup.. I "lol" when people want to put "copyright 20XX all rights reserved" on the bottom of their website.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I really don't care if they copy my web site so long they get my phone number and name of my business right. :laugh:

    But it gets even better...
    You can legally copyright a Web site, except by it's very definition it wouldn't work.
    Take a book for example, once a book is copyrighted it generally never changes, it is published and that's how it goes out.
    Twenty years later, that book is still the exact same thing it was 20 years ago, letter for letter.

    A Web site, however, is dynamic in nature and can change anytime you want it to and likely also will in time, as the Web
    develops and new language and server upgrades and things become available some webmasters will see to making use of these
    new things to their, and their customer's benefit by updating their Web site.
    Did you know some Web sites are updated every single day?
    How would a copyright account for this, if you want to make changes you'd have to re-apply for a copyright every time you
    make a change or every time the site changes, I find it amazing the copyrights office doesn't see a problem with this.

    Ultimately my suggestion thus is build a Web site so good that it takes more than someone with two weeks experience to copy it.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  8. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Copyrights for things created on the internet, such as websites fall under different rules than copyrights of books.

    Website content, when created by the owner of the website, is considered copyrighted upon creation.

    Does this mean I can and should turn around and sue for damages right away? No. There are procedures that have to be taken to prove that you created the content before the copyright violator.

    Would it make sense to sue someone in a situation like this? No. I want my content removed from their website. I created it for my business. Not so some scumbag can come along and finish portions of their website with a simple copy and paste.

    Long story short, all of the offending sites have removed the content. And no, you don't need to file a copyright for a website for it to be copyrighted. The "Copyright www.mywebsite.com 2011" actually means something although people would rarely do anything or have reason to do anything about it.
  9. HungryGoatLawns.com

    HungryGoatLawns.com LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I had this same problem.

    In most cases you can contact the web host where the offending web page is located (vistaprint for example) and fill out their form and they'll shut it down.
  10. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Correct. However, as I said they ask for proof that you created the material before the offender. They are not required to immediately shut down the offender but they will usually warn them to remove content, then shut stuff down after repeat offenses.

    I believe they are required to do this under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

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