I have discovered someone has stolen content not only from a site I have written but from that of a few other related industries. There is no note of the web designer just a phone number.
I would have preferred to have dealt with this in writing but this doesn't seem to be possible.
Can anyone advise on the best approach for this?
On a previous occasion I wrote to Google about another site that had done this but it took ages for them to remove the content.
Any advice would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance
You should be able to get contact information on the registrant for the domain at who.is, which should include a postal address. If you don't have any luck from writing to the registrant (ie the domain owner) then you can find out who the registrar (ie provider) is and contact them.
Thanks for your reply Stevie.
It is a .co.uk domain and he has chosen to withhold his contact details including his address. He does give a phone number on his site. I have a suspicion that this may not be a real business but someone who is getting deposits for work and then never delivering.
I have his hosting company details as I understand that legally they have a responsibility to remove sites which breach copyright.
Usually your first step is to contact the offender, either by his contact form or his email. Send him what is known as a 'cease and desist' letter, which tells him that he is in violation of your copyright and if he doesn't take your work down, you will take further action. Don't go into detail. He doesn't need to know what you will and won't do. This is just to give him a chance to comply. Put a time limit. I suggest no more than 72 hours. If he hasn't taken it down by then, contact his web host. There you will probably need to file a DMCA request. There are forms in several places that can help you get started. Additionally, different web hosts treat DMCAs differently so make sure yours complies with the conditions his web host has in their terms and conditions. If you need to contact the web host, at the same time contact all major search engines. Again, you will probably need to file DMCAs with them according to their terms and conditions.
If he has marketed you content to article sites, whether free or paid, you can also contact them and alert them to his plagiarism.
It is a LOT of work to recover stolen content, but I have done it several times for both myself and for clients and I think it is well worth the effort. Good luck.
Thanks Shyflower. Great advice. I can't write but will phone him first.
He has even lifted the copyright notice from my client's site :)) What a numpty.
If he has no contact adress anywhere, go to a site like checkdns.net or similar and discover the IP address the A record of the domain points to. Then do a lookup of the owner of that IP, i.e. the hosting company. Ih they are American, send a DMCA, otherwise send a standard cease and desist style letter to the hosting company.
He is only allowed to do this if he is a non-trading individual. From Nominet:
Only domain name holders that are non-trading individuals can opt out of having their address details published on the WHOIS. In other words, if the registrant is not a business or organisation and, in the case of domain names registered to individuals, you do not use or plan to use your domain name for business, trade (such as pay per click advertising, etc.) or professional transactions, you may opt out of having your address displayed.
If that doesn't apply, then you can make a complaint to Nominet and get them to end the opt-out.
One other thing you can do is to file a complaint with Google and the other search engines. That won't get the pirated content removed, of course, but it will get the offending site taken out of the search results, which means that their traffic will suffer and they won't be profiting so much from their theft. It might even put them out of business, which would solve the problem completely.
I recently edited an article on this subject, which also has some useful links for where you can file a complaint: Dealing with copyright infringements of your web page or blog.
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