Webmaster Questions and Answers
Question: Another Website is stealing
content from mine and I want to send him a Cease and Desist
letter. The problem is I don't know how to write one! Can
Answer: Cease and Desist letters are
best written and presented by lawyers because it is one
of the methods that leads up to a lawsuit if the Cease
and Desist letter is ignored. I have provided below a simple
example of what a Cease and Desist letter looks like. If
you decide to write your own (not recommended), try and
find the mailing address of the offender and send the letter
via certified mail. If you cannot find a mailing address,
then go ahead and send it via email.
For this fake scenario, let's assume that
your name is John Doe and your Website is called MySite.com.
You discover that another site called MeSite.com, run by
Jane Smith, has been taking your original content, word
for word, and republishing it on their site. Here's the
type of Cease and Desist order that John Doe may send to
June 15, 2000
Dear Jane Smith,
It has come to our attention that you are
republishing original content from MySite.com on your Website,
located at MySiteIsBetter.com.
Your unauthorized use of original material
from MySite.com is in violation of copyrights owned by
MySite.com. If you do not immediately remove the copyrighted
material from MySiteIsBetter.com, and notify us in writing
that you have done so, we will have no choice but to pursue
legal action against you. We require the copyrighted material
to be removed and written notice given that such has been
removed, by no later than June 30, 2000.
Before having a lawyer write a Cease and
Desist letter (or writing one yourself if you so decide)
there are a few things you'll want to do.
1) Make sure that each of your Web
pages that contain original content are clearly marked
with a Copyright emblem and copyright notice, like the
ones at the bottom of every Webmaster Techniques page.
2) When you find a violator of your
copyright, you may want to first send a friendly notice
asking the person to remove the material from his/her site.
If the material is not removed and you do not get a response
then consider the Cease and Desist letter.
3) Notify the offenders ISP (the people
hosting his/her site) that they are in copyright violation.
Send the ISP a copy of the Cease and Desist letter. Some
ISPs will immediately close the account of a person who
is found to be in flagrant copyright violation.
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