Ways to Handle Copyright Infringers
This is about tracing your strolling images and hunting down the bastards who took them right so you know, like I said, there are search tools out there, did he mark is one ten eyes another google search by image these air services that you can use that I should I would recommend that you just make this part of the cost of doing business right? So you pay for a service like this and you know, some of them are expensive so there's an expensive one that you really want to use them increase your prices to account for this because it's an important part of your business so consider it an expense that's worthwhile that protects your intellectual property and just pay for it and make sure that any photos that you're sharing online or even photos that you're transferring over for clients are added teoh one of these services so that they could be monitored and if somebody steals your work you're aware of it and then you can take steps to deal with those infringers which we'll talk about um, yo...
u know, so there are a couple of different ways for dealing with infringers um, you know, one is just to contact them and ask them to stop and like we said, there are a lot of people who are just clueless about copyright, you know, they just I don't understand how important it is you know, for artists to be able to generate revenue from their work, they just don't think about it, and so they still and they see other people stealing people's work, and so they think, oh, it's, no big deal, and they just take it. Your job is to add that educate those mo fo's, ok, we're not allowing that we're not having it, ok, so what you do is just sometime a simple email and say, hey, I've noticed that you used my photo. This is not permitted. You do not have a license to use that photo, and therefore you need to take it down immediately. That would be the nice version another version could be. You need to take it down immediately and pay me x y z some for using my photo and infringing on my copyrights, and if you don't take it down immediately and pay me x y z some by such and such date, then I will take steps to, you know, protect my rights as the copyright holder. Okay, so that's language that you can use that will have most infringers crapping their pants and handing over the cash, and you'll notice that this has been done a lot with like getty images, there are a couple of other companies stock photo companies that are using this method and they just send you a bill and say, hey, you've used the photo it's already been done, you owe me this amount of money and then also by the way, take it down and just so you haven't a price range for this I've seen photos you know, infringed photos being charged a six hundred fifty dollars licensing fee for using it for the time period that they used it or seven fifty or a thousand somewhere in that range between, like, five hundred thousand, obviously you don't have to do that, but that could be a very effective way for generating revenue in your company and turning an infringer into a customer because there are some who will say, hey, I didn't realize that I didn't know I could purchase a license thanks for letting me know is there a way that I could purchase a license to continue use the photo because I really like it? You know, the other option two is and we'll talk about that in a second is you can turn these people into customers by making a really easy for them to work with you so you might want to say take, you know, a huge amount of the photos that you have, you know, create almost like a stock photography situation or create, you know, photos for bloggers that they can use and you can categorize them and charge them a membership fee to use the voters or charge them per photo. This is something that you can totally do is an individual freelancer and at another line of revenue to your business fairly easily. And, you know, for people who are looking for photos for their blogged for their website and things like that, they're looking for services like this. So if you provide that service that's an easy way for you to make money and choir new customers, ok? And those people could eventually become people who would purchase your services todo, you know, custom photos for them. So something to definitely think about think about turning infringers into customers instead of instead of allowing them to steal from you and doing nothing about it because we're not going to be victims here. Okay, so the other option is to follow dmc a takedown notice. This is one of my favorite tools as an attorney because I'm a very nice person until you mess with my clients and then I'm not so nice. So file a gmc a take down notice. This is something easy that you can totally do on your own. Ok, we like things that you can do on your own because it saves you the legal fees, right? And it allows you to just take action really quickly, so a dmca takedown notice is that damn cia stands for the digital millennium copyright act, and so the damn c'e creates a situation where if someone steals your work online, it's very easy for you to have that work taken down so you can go to the host and the way you find out who the host is is you can go toe like, who is dot com there a couple of different places where you can find out the registration information for a domain name, right? So let's say your photos are, you know, on a particular website, you'd goto who is dot com put in that domain and it'll pop out the cop, the registration information for that person and who the host is, so it might be cool blue host it could be go, daddy, it could be any one of these different website hosts that are out there. They're all held accountable to the d m z a ok, unless they're based out of another country in some cases, then it can get funky, but for the most part you're going to encounter host that are based in the u s and so you caught attacked bloo host and the way you do this is you go to the terms and conditions on blue hosts website on you scan them and you'll see there's, a section that says either dmca or copyright infringement reporting copyright infringement, and they will give you the instructions right there. You know, the email address and how to contact them, but the funky thing is, is that you have to send a letter that has all the statutory requirements, okay, so the best way to get that is to check out advanced intellectual property for entrepreneurs, which is another course that I've taught that includes my dmc e book, which tells you exactly how to do it gives you a template and everything so it's all in there makes it super easy for you and it's, a really, really important policing tool to protect your photos and deal with infringers because, like I said, it's aggressive, right? You're taking down, they will take down the entire page. I've seen instances where ah, host takes on the entire website because there are infringing photos that are reported and a lot of times too. If the person is a repeat offender and they've been they've had pages taken down from their web sites many times the host might just kick them out and take down their web site as a hole, so very, very powerful tool. But there are some particular nuances, so definitely check out advanced type for entrepreneurs to get that damn cia you book and just a you know, in that course I walk you through the process of doing that but that's an important tool in your arsenal and it's inexpensive for you to police your work and have your photos taken down from websites that are infringing. Another option is to have them blacklisted on google okay, I like this a lot two this is super super aggressive, okay, this is where you really want to give it to them, okay, so people you know are infringing on your work on a regular basis if they've infringe on other photographers, work or other people's work in general regularly, they can get blacklisted by google and this is just a sigh. Simple, simple thing if you just google blacklist on google, the link will pop up or, you know, little reports to google I think is another one of copyright infringement on google. So what happens if they're black listed on google? They are taken away from the google search, so their whole website will almost like not be there right? It's always not existed. We all use google to find different web site, so if they're not showing up there that's really going to affect their business and they're going to think twice about stealing from you again and this is another thing that you could use a threat as well you know you'd let them know that you know, I will take legal steps including, you know, dmc takedown notices you know, blacklisting on google a variety of options you have and you know, you don't always have to be specific but just let them know I have rights and I have the ability to take steps to prevent you from doing this and to really disrupt your business, eh? So that will definitely encourage them to stop stealing your stuff now you see these air three options where you don't even need an attorney ok, so you've got no excuse from now on if someone steals your stuff you're going to go after them and you can use one of these steps now these air an escalating order okay, so you know, contact the infringer first that's sort of the nice way the next steps having their website taken down you know are you know a page from their website taking down that's you know a little bit more aggressive having them black listed on google is incredibly aggressive onda as aggressive as you can get without a lawyer involved on ben the next step might be hiring an attorney to send a cease and desist letter just having a letter on an attorney's having, you know a cease and desist on attorney letterhead no one wants to get a call from a lawyer. No one wants to get a letter from a lawyer saying they did something wrong, right? So that's an option and just to give you an example of price, we charge I think we charge about eight fifty to send a cease and desist letter on do you know if it's more complicated, it could go a little bit more than that? But that's just an example and just to show you that these things are accessible not everything you need is astronomical and cost ten thousand dollars so that's an option too. If you're dealing with a difficult infringer or if it's a big company on dh you just want to start off with a more aggressive you know action then you can send a cease and desist letter have an attorney sent a cease and desist letter for you on dh then for for truly stubborn infringers on ly you would want to file a complaint in federal court which your copyright registration gives you the right to dio ok, there are some circumstances where it's absolutely warranted where it's so egregious and where it's really messing with your ability to generate revenue from your I p that it's totally worth it to take them to court and remember that you're doing it from a powerful place because if you have your copyright registration their statutory damages that you're going to get, especially if you can prove that the copyright infringement is willful on dh you're also going to get your attorney's fees back, so if you have to pay an attorney, you know you'll get that money back if you win the lawsuit. All right? So that's, just important for you to know and another tip tio, if you're dealing with this issue in your working with an attorney aa lot of tens for things like this, you'll do a payment plan, so don't think that, you know, if the cost ten thousand dollars to bring the lawsuit in the first place that you've got to pay ten thousand dollars up front, a lot of attorneys will collect, you know, maybe twenty, five hundred or five thousand, then you'd pay overtime, so they're different options always try to, you know, negotiate a workout with the attorney, a payment plan that works for you aa lot of times, the fee itself isn't negotiable, but how you pay it is so if you're a business owner, cash flows important, spreading things out are an option so that's, how we're going to deal with infringers, that's the action plan to prevent people from stealing your work, and then also to deal with infringers who have already stolen your work.