The search engines are powerful players and will assist you with copyright protection in their search results, albeit retroactively.
Having said that, if an infringing page cannot be found in the search engines, it may as well not exist and it may be a waste of your valuable time chasing after them to remove your work from their websites.
Getting the search engines to remove infringing pages from their index is one more weapon in your arsenal against internet plagiarism.
The major search engines have made it easier to report copyright infringement by supplying a template that can be completed and submitted online.
Here are the guidelines and links to various DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) complaints at Google, Yahoo and Microsoft / Bing.
If you still need to compile your own letter, you can use our template below.
The Search Engine
Attention: Legal Support
Sent by mail and fax (Note: read their guidelines on whether you are allowed to send by email)
1. I am the owner of the Website http://www.1.mysite.com. I am also the owner of the copyright in the material published on the Website. It has come to my attention that the site listed below publishes several of the pages and images that can be accessed on my Website.
The following is a list of the URL's for my pages or images which have been copied:
The webmaster of http://www.an.infringer.com has published, or allowed to be published, material which is infringing the copyrighted works listed in 1. above. These are as follows:
a) Search Query: Best Ideas Today
Infringing Web Page: http://www.an.infringer.com/same-ideas.html
b) Search Query: Practical Tips
Infringing Web Page: http://www.an.infringer.com/same-practical-tips.html
b) Search Query: Economical Guidelines
Infringing Web Page: http://www.an.infringer.com/same-economical-guidelines.html
In the circumstances I hereby request the removal or disabling of access to the above infringing material published on http://www.an.infringer.com.
2. I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The Webmaster of http://www.an.infringer.com can be contacted on: email@example.com or through the Contact Form on http://www.an.infringer.com/contact.html or at the following:
4. This wholesale misappropriation of my copyright works has not been authorized by me and is an infringement of my exclusive rights as copyright owner.
5. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in this Notice of Copyright Infringement is accurate, and that I am the copyright owner.
6. I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
Further to the above - I sent a Notice of Copyright Infringement to the Webmaster of the infringing material on ______________20___ to the following Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org as well as through the contact form on the site http://www.an.infringer.com/contact.html requesting the removal of the material. To date I have not received a response.
Name and electronic signature
Pro-active steps can be taken for copyright protection such as watermarks on images or disabling the copy/print functions in PDF documents.However, the bulk of the content on the Web cannot be protected and it is a continuous source of aggravation for webmasters whose work is being copied illegally.
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