Copyright infringementHow many of you have experienced an infringement of your website copyright? If you have, perhaps leave a comment below as I’m genuinely interested to find out how often this actually happens.

The reason I’m mentioning this is because just this week I’ve had my website copyright infringed, and if I’m honest it really angered me.

Whilst checking through my blog comments that were awaiting approval, I noticed a ‘pingback’ from another website which detailed my contact details and a snippet from a recent blog article. Upon further investigation I found that the ‘pingback’ went through to a US based website, specifically to a company offering virtual business support.

So of course I took a look through their website and to my horror found that pretty much every page was a duplicate of my own website, even down to the testimonials!

After all the hard work I’d put in to SEO on my own website, the thought if it being undone because some scammer who couldn’t be bothered to write their own content, appalled me.

So this got me investigating what I needed to do in order to make this ‘business’ remove my content from their website and write their own.

Firstly I tried contacting the telephone number on their website which went through to an answer phone message. Rather than leave a message I decided to comment on ‘their’ blog stating that they’re infringing my copyright and I’m prepared to take legal action, hoping they’d notice it and make some immediate changes. But since I couldn’t see much progress there I did a domain name lookup to find out who hosted the website.

Luckily from this I discovered the ISP who offer website creation and hosting services, both of which this business are using.

However it occurred to me that I didn’t really know my rights or what the possible outcome could be to me if their website wasn’t taken down, or at the very least changed.

The first thing I did was check what Google had to say about it, but given they initially suggest getting legal advice before going any further I realised that it would be a lengthy process so hopefully I’d find a solution elsewhere.

I then took a look at what the UK Copyright Service had to say and fortunately they provide a helpful fact sheet which outlines a step-by-step plan of what you should do in this instance.

So based on their advice I’ve documented dates, times and any communication, as well as made copies of everything, all of which I’ve since sent off to their ISP, who I’m hoping will enforce the owner to remove the content on my behalf.

Amazingly I heard back from them straight away, but of course my initial euphoria has since deflated slightly as I’m now getting passed from country to country and department to department.

Nevertheless I’m staying optimistic that this will be sorted within the next day or so – fingers crossed.

In the meantime if you have come across this with your own website please share your experiences below. There may be some helpful tips that I haven’t yet considered.