Theft of copyright content

Copyright symbolIt may surprise some people on Lanzarote and the Canary Islands (given how common Coyright Infringement is in the region), but International Copyright Law (see the Berne Convention) still applies as much here as it does anywhere else in the world. We constantly monitor the Internet  to protect our Copyrighted text, images and other intellectual property, on ours and our clients sites, to ensure it is not being used without our authority by other websites.

Only yesterday we had three instances of this…

1. A short excerpt of text from our Lanzarote Nightlife website had been taken, altered very slightly and re-used. We contacted the people in question who dealt with the matter professionally and quickly and of course apologized. It seems that a former member of staff had originally copied our text, there is no way they could have known this. So – hats off to their response… No need to name names – we were happy with the response.

2. Far more maliciously, some idiots who have set up a WordPress blog, and recently spammed our Canary Nightlife forum with a link to their own forum with a total of 3 member – yes I did say 3 – took several pages word for word from our website and cut and pasted it onto their very amateurish looking blog. To say we were not happy is an understatement. It was clear from these people´s previous actions in spamming our forum there would be no reasoning with them.So, we approached WordPress directly with our complaint. Then we posted this comment to their blog….

In addition to spamming our forum recently. It now seems that your Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen page content has been either lifted from our pages directly or copied from articles we have published on Ezinearticles.com – and breached their terms by not providing acknowledgements to the author and our website.

Your actions have been reported to WordPress, and we are currently in the process of reporting you to Google in order to get your site blacklisted for stolen content. We are also reporting your actions to Ezinearticles.com and we will be discussing this with our legal representative in Las Palmas at the earliest possible opportunity.

In addition to being unprofessional, lazy and ill mannered, to steal text in this manner is not only a breach of the terms and conditions of the sites involved – including WordPress – it is a breach of international copyright law as outlined under the Berne Convention.

May I suggest you remove our text immediately or we will no no option other than to pursue any means available to us to have it removed. You have been warned.

We got a fantastic response from WordPress – within an hour – who duly investigated and removed the posts in question pretty much immediately (it was a clear breach of their terms and conditions). They also assure us that the user has been instructed to contact them following an investigation – it’ll be interesting to see if they get banned. In summary – very annoyed with the morons – very impressed with WordPress. Obviously we won’t name names with these people either – we wouldn’t want to give them a link!

3. In digging around – whilst in this mood – we found several reproductions of articles written by Elle and posted to EzineArticles.com. These are very similar to our site text – but with a few words changed (duplicate content will penalize your own site with Google) – the terms of use for these articles are that if you wish to reproduce them on your own site you must include the footer and links specified by the author as an acknowledgement. The articles we found weren’t just on silly little website as in number 2 – some of them were on very well known and well respected websites! We will in due course report their misuse to EzineArticles – as we know from experience they take this kind of content theft very seriously.

The bottom line is – if you spend time writing original content why should other benefit from you work! Our advice to anyone with a website is ALWAYS include a Copyright notice, and ALWAYS act on what you find…

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