Editor’s Note: Hello there, this tutorial was written several years ago. Way back in 2011, when I was performing a gig at one of my own websites (www.impishbug.com). Of course, I neglected the website after couple of months because of same old excuses that any entrepreneur with a lack of motivation can concoct.
However, this tutorial had to be shared – not for any popularity gig, but it has a personal touch to it. Someone was stealing and using my content from that old website. How I found out about it and what measures were taken to kick this guy’s ass? Also ‘AllVoices’ is formally now known as PulsePoint, an independent content and marketing network. Read on…
I really wanted to sleep right now. Trust me; I’ve been working nonstop for three days now. Of course, during these three days, I’ve totally neglected this website, which is not fair at all. So, somehow, I got up in my bed, and as of now, I’m sitting with the laptop in my lap.
The fat lady’s singin’ at one of the YouTube channels and I’m all up for typing down one of the best tutorials ever. This post is going to teach you the ins and outs of Copyright Infringement. What makes this post really cool is the fact that it’s based on my personal experience; some stuff that I had to go through, in the past week. The post will teach you:
- How Someone infringed/copied/stole the contents at Impish Bug
- How to protect your website
- How to take action against the infringer(s)
- How to punish him/her and prevent it from happening again
So here goes, Step One of the article…
How someone infringed/copied/stole the contents at ‘Impish Bug’:
It was like any other day; I was surfing on the internet to check in on different articles and posts. I have a habit of opening Google, every once in awhile, to check my website’s number of pages listed. So I logged on to Google and Typed down the following query in the search box:
- Site: ImpishBug.Com *(No longer active now – reason already mentioned at the start)
You can also type down, “Site: ImpishBug.Com”, but in this case, instead of my website URL, you’ll be typing down YOUR website URL. Got it? Because you want to check your website listed pages and stuff, you’ll go on with your credentials, instead of mine.
So anyway, the next screen displayed the following results:
Now, I have encircled the result in RED that looked suspicious to me. As you can see, most of the results about my website at Google are listed with my website name. For instance, the second result: “About | Impish Bug” has my website’s URL listed (Link in Green color) at the bottom of it.
I was okay with it, until I scrolled down and saw an “All Voices” URL at the bottom of the last result.
- Post Name: Duke Nukem Forever – First Preview Debuted in a Strip Club – Blogs
- URL Name: AllVoices.Com/Contributed-News/ …a…/blogs – United States
At this point, the warning flags started waving. I was a little alarmed at seeing the name of my post but a different link URL at the bottom of it. So I clicked this result and logged on to “All Voices” website.
You won’t believe what I saw next. Almost 80% of my website posts were submitted by this user: “Zeeshi506”. The Duke Nukem post link, led to this screen:
You won’t be able to click on the Post because the link has been removed by “All Voices” staff members. Why did they remove it? It’s because I filed a legal dispute a couple of days ago. Same goes for the “Zeeshi506” user ID. Once you’ll click it, you’ll be taken to the following Error Screen because they removed the User from their website accounts:
This guy had been copying my posts and pasting them from his account. He’d change the post images and that’s it. Now I was really shocked to see that almost all of my news and articles were published by his name at “All Voices”.
But now, everything is fixed because I opted in for a proper protocol. How did I do it? Let’s take a look.
How to Protect Your Website:
- The DMCA Registration:
I’d call it a matter of luck and awareness. Long before this “Copyright Infringement” issue occurred, I registered my website at “DMCA”. You should do the exact same thing. DMCA is the abbreviated form of “Digital Millennium Copyright Act”; these guys are there to protect your As* when someone tries to steal your website contents.
So your first task is to log on to “www.DMCA.com” and get yourself registered over there. At the moment, DMCA accounts are free and all you’ve to do is, create an account and enter your URL and credentials. Once you’ve been verified by the DMCA staff members, log into your account through the “Client Login” page at their website.
Your Next task is to add your complete name, address and contact number. After doing this, I’d advise you to add your website URL to your profile.
- Once you’ve added your website in your account, scroll down to the very bottom of the screen and click: “DMCA Protection Badges”.
- The next page will display tons of different badges and their respective Embed Code. It’ll look like this:
You can scroll down all the way, to sift through different DMCA Badge images. All of them are available in a wide variety of different size and shapes.
- Once you have developed a liking for a particular page, Copy its Embed Code and log on to your website’s back end.
- At the back end, you’d want to paste the copied badge code at the desired section of your website. (In my case, I pasted the code on the Main Page Editor and in the Blog Post Page Editor).
- By doing so, your Badge will appear at your website.
- Congratulations, you are now officially protected by the DMCA guys.
You can check the total number of your protected pages at the DMCA account, through “My Protected Pages” link. Do this after 24 – 48 hours because it takes some time to get your pages added over there. I have all my pages protected, so even if someone copies my content, I can register a complaint against that “B***ard” (Read: Buzzard J ) through DMCA guys. They will issue a legal Website or Page TakeDown Notice to the user or the website, with a time limit frame.
Now the important thing is that if you want to access full benefits from DMCA, you’re gonna have to pay them a small fee. It’s a subscription fee which will let you access the “DMCA Toolkit” panel. You’d want this toolkit in case of bigger legal disputes against giant sharks.
By default, you’re not entitled to some extra features by the DMCA. But please, don’t make a sad face. It’s okay, as you’re still protected by them and you have the right to use their services in time of need. The important thing is that if you want to take down an Entire website or a company’s website, it’s going to be a big legal battle.
The DMCA will charge you $150 (or more) on hourly basis to offer legal advice. The website representatives will also charge you a little extra if the process is complicated. It all depends on who copied your content and where that guy/girl/weasel is located at.
Legal processes take a lot of time and fee, which is the main reason that you don’t want to get involved in it. In my case, I didn’t pay a cent from my pocket. How so? Read On…
How to take action against the infringer(s):
The guy who copied my content was “Zeeshi506”. This was his user ID. I logged on to “All Voices” website and opened “Zeeshi506’” profile page. I wanted to send him a warning/notification message, but I wasn’t able to do so because I didn’t have an account at that website. It took me 5 minutes to create a user account at “All Voices”.
The next thing I did was, I sent this guy the following Direct Message:
See, this message was sort of informal. It was a one-on-one notification to this guy and I was nice enough to tell him that he was a talented person, and that he could’ve re-written the posts. Although rewriting is something that I’d never advise to you, because it tends to kill your sense of creativity and originality.
“Zeeshi506” didn’t send me any reply. Trust me; in most cases, no one will reply you. That’s okay, because thieves normally think that it’s perfectly alright to steal something from someone, and then pretend that it’s a no-biggie.
After some time, I logged onto my website mail account and sent a FORMAL notification to “All Voices” staff members. This was the email that was sent to them:
This email was sent to “All Voices’” Support and Help addresses, on February 13 – 2011. I thought of giving them a 1 Week window before legally taking action through DMCA’s Website/Page TakeDown application.
On February 14 – 2011, I got a reply from this guy named: Michael.
And another reply from the Support branch, with proper Ticket Number:
I was so relieved to check in on “Zeeshi506’s” account. It was disabled and all my copied posts were removed. I immediately sent a Thank You email to Michael and “All Voices” Help and Support branches. The punishment protocol was far from over though. I had to properly identify this guy and take him down from other online platforms too.
So a few days later, I tracked him at Facebook. Actually, this weasel was in my Friends List all the time, and I came to identify him because of:
- The Same Display Pic
- The Same Credentials (Location, Job Designation and Country)
- His User ID on Facebook also started from “Zee”.
I don’t want to enter his Full Facebook name, just for the sake of his privacy. But I did report him at Facebook and they probably disabled his account. The next time I tried to open hi Facebook Profile page, I got a 404 Error/ Page Doesn’t exist Error. It means that either his account was permanently deleted, or perhaps, Facebook disabled it until further notice.
I give all the credit to “Jeremy Schoemaker” of Shoemoney. If it hadn’t been for his videos, I wouldn’t have learned the entire DMCA thing. Bear in mind that I am not marketing his products or anything. Personally, I haven’t bought his Shoemoney: Money Making system, so I am not an ad exec or his representative.
I do have an Email subscription at his website. Every once in a while, I watch the videos that his Email program updates me with. As of now, I have like 4 or 5 videos of Jeremy Schoemaker, where he talks about his money making system and Copyright Protection.
Here are a couple of tips and steps that I want you to take:
- Prepare for Success. Fortify your website and content because someone will copy your content, one way or another. You need to arm yourself against such people BEFORE the Sh*t hits the fan.
- Get yourself registered at DMCA if you’re a website or blog owner.
- Always check your website and posts through the Google search bar. The “Site: YourWebsiteName.com” query will let you know if anyone stole something from you. The green URL at the bottom of each link and description, will speak a lot about different things.
Copyright Infringement is a crime. People spend hours on research, and it takes them even longer to make One damn post. If you’re thinking of copying something that has already been written by a user, don’t you think you’re being dishonest? Give that guy some credit and post a link on your blog, which will lead users back to his website.
If you REALLY have the urge to copy something from somewhere, always seek permission from the owner of the post/website. If they grant you permission, go for it. Don’t forget to mention their name and post a follow back link in your article.
In the end, I personally want to thank “All Voices” staff members for their cooperation and helpful attitude. I also want to thank Michael for being there with me, in this process.