My brand is being used to promote other random businesses online. Is there anything I can do about it?
As the #1 Celebrity Numerologist in the world, the face/brand of LotteryUSA.com (over 9 million unique visitors a month), 2-time bestselling author, motivational speaker, I almost exclusively work with celebrities, high-end businesses such as Chanel Karl Lagerfeld, J.J. Abrams, SoHouse and many more.
I've also accumulated a lot of big media like CTV Morning Live, Breakfast Television, CLTV, CitiTV, CBC, NBC, FOX11 and the History Channel to name several...
Here's the link to my website bio:
Here's an example of a misleading link by another company using my name: https://youtu.be/UbCwkBOFAxo
If you search, Celebrity Numerologist Michelle Arbeau, there are many others and growing (gulp).
#1 Celebrity Numerologist in the World, 2-Time Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker
CEO, Authentic You Media
Featured Columnist, Face/Brand of http://www.LotteryUSA.com
Breach of copyrights is a global issue and in fact most go unnoticed by the copyright owner, so you need to be vigilant to protect your business and personal brand.
First the practical advice and then a little personal story!
1. Number 1 action in protecting your brand is to register it as a Trademark. Whilst you can protect a lot of your content and branding by using general copyrights laws, your case is always stronger when you have a trademark.
2. All web hosting companies (remember YouTube is a hosting company for videos), have a general Copyright protection policy. You have to provide proof that a) the content first appeared on your own website or published by you elsewhere, b) you own the copyrights of the name, content, brand, or images used. Different hosting companies have different procedures for reporting and removal of unauthorised use of content and brand, but they all follow the same rules.
Using these processes we have successfully challenged and managed to remove the unauthorised content on behalf of our clients. It needs a little time and patience, but it can be done.
Just one point of order - You do not own the copyrights of the programme you have done or appearance on CTV Morning Live, Breakfast Television, CLTV, CitiTV, CBC, NBC, FOX11 and the History Channel. The production company and the TV channels own the copyrights and they need to make the complaints. I have appeared on BBC programmes, but if anyone uses the clips from these programmes, I cannot make the complaint as I do not own the Copyrights of the programme (BBC does and only they can take action). However, you own the copyrights of any videos or content that you have produced on your own behalf and your own funding.
So in practical terms, contact YouTube or any other hosting company that is showing the content you are referring to. You have to do a bit of detective work as not all companies make it obvious what you have to do! Use their general contact (contact form, email, etc.) with the Subject Line “Breach of Copyright” (usually that gets their attention). Normally, they will pass you on to the correct department or will send you the right page link to register your complaint.
Secondly get yourself a Trademark!
Many years ago I worked as an executive for a Multinational. I was in a habit of searching for my name, not out of vanity, but to ensure I was not being misquoted by journalists. One time I found my name being used recommending a “Marketing Book” for SME/SMBs. I had never heard of the book nor had I ever endorsed it (If I had endorsed it, this would have been a firing offence if my employer found out about it!).
So I contacted the company and asked to remove it. To my amazement, they contacted me and offered to give me a free copy of the book to see what I thought about it. I declined and asked them to remove my name from all their marketing materials, which they reluctantly did.
The moral of the story is, no matter how insignificant you may think your name is, it has a value to someone. Make sure you protect your name and your reputation.
Contact me if you need any specific help.
P.S. The link YourTube link went to a 1-hour video so forgive me as I did not have the time to go through an hour of reviewing it to spot you or any possible breach on it!
Its unfortunately very common and also very frustrating, you can approach them directly and ask them to remove any content but if they refuse, you may have to take legal action which is often not worth it but some websites will remove this if they are approached. I would approach the main culprits and ask them politely to remove any material, a nice email that is not confrontational but to the point but I would also concentrate on my own website and making that stand out from the rest by individualising yourself so visitors know they are visiting a genuine website. Make sure you have an individual brand and trademark including Logo that you use as it is illegal for anyone else to copy this. Work hard on making yourself stand out from the websites thats are basically profiting from you and try not to let it all get your down, it happens often to many people.
Hello Michelle, your problem is a global phenomenon on the Internet, despite the fact that I live far away from you, your face is familiar to me.
Yes your question has a solution, I looked at your pages on social networks, and frankly I was hoping to see more, you have poorly promoted personal brand, you reached a certain level and stopped. It's your mistake, you need to develop a personal brand - promote yourself!
This is the only recommendation that I can be given in your situation, and an important point, you do not have to worry about it, many popular people face this problem. Better use your energy for twitter and instagram.