A copyright cease and desist letter may well be all you need to put a stop to copyright infringement.
The free sample letter supplied here is generic in nature and can be used as template to compile your own letter.
We've also compiled specific guidelines and Copyright Forms for Website Owners who find their content copied on the Web.
Refer to the general guidelines, possible consequences and alternative routes to explore before issuing a Cease and Desist Letter and consult with your copyright attorney to advise on the best course of action for you to follow.
We are the proprietors of all copyright in a literary/artistic/musical work entitled ____________________________(The "Work"). We have reserved all rights in the Work, which was first expressed in material form on ____________________________20_______.
It has come to our attention that your work entitled _____________________________ is identical/substantially similar to our copyrighted Work. Permission was neither asked nor granted to reproduce our Work and your Work therefore constitutes infringement of our rights. In terms of the Copyright Statutes, we are entitled to an injunction against your continued infringement, as well as to recover damages from you for the loss we have suffered as a result of your infringing conduct.
In the circumstances, we demand that you immediately:
1. remove all infringing content and notify us in writing that you have done so;
2. credit all infringing content to ourselves in the following manner: _________________________;
3. pay a licensing fee in the amount of _____________________;
4. immediately cease the use and distribution of copyrighted material;
5. deliver-up for destruction all unused or undistributed copies;
6. undertake in writing to desist from using any of our copyrighted Work in future without prior written authority from us.
[Delete the ones not applicable]
We await to hear from you by no later than close of business on __________________________.
This is written without prejudice to our rights, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.
Before sending your letter, you need to consider the consequences should you not get the desired result after issuing your copyright cease and desist letter.
Are you prepared to file a lawsuit? Is there a higher authority that you can appeal to e.g. the registrar of an infringing webmaster?
Or is there perhaps an opportunity to work with the infringer in a partnership e.g.:
A Royalty agreement, license agreement, distribution agreement etc.?
You may need help from a copyright attorney if you decide to proceed with whichever action you choose.
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