My website design and content has been stolen. What should I do?
The whole concept of my website has been stolen by another website. Will that website hurt me? Will this hurt my business? That website is also linking to my website. Please help.
Our website is www.enukesoftware.com and the website which copied us: http://fitsolutions.in/.
This has happened to me more than once. You can send them a cease and desist letter, giving them a certain amount of days to remove the copied content. You can also contact their webhost and they will take action; usually taking the site down until they remove the copied content.
You can go to http://www.whoishostingthis.com/ to find out who their webhost is; then contact the webhost and find out how to report this infringment. You can usually find that on the contact us page, or the tos page.
You will need proof they copied you.
There is something called a "Design Filing" like patenting a design - explore the possibility of filing that for your website ...
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if both websites are built using the same Open Source template - and have co-incidentally chosen a similar color palette ... the similarity is striking more because of the similar service offering than the design elements themselves.
Dinesh, as Jin said, I too would recommend sending them a Cease & Desist notice drafted by and sent through a practicing lawyer.
In the United States, copyrights are based on first use. Although registering your copyrights (which you can do through the Library of Congress) is helpful in giving you certain additional rights and causes of action against your infringer, it is not strictly necessary to register your material to have rights against the infringer.
I agree with my colleagues who recommend that you have legal counsel draft a cease and desist letter to the person / company who is infringing on your copyrights. Typically, cease and desist letters can be very effective in getting the offending content removed from the site.
Also, filing a DMCA takedown notice with the host of the website can be very effective.
If you have trademarks on your website you could sue for trademark infringement and if your content is original you could sue for copyright infringement after registering your copyright if you have not done so already. If there is content on your website that you are licensing exclusively then you can sue over infringement of it and if non-exclusively licensed than the owner of the content can sue for copyright infringement and/or trademark infringement. E-mail me at attorneywilliammansfield @ gmail.com to further explore this issue.
As an intellectual property lawyer I have dealt with this sort of situation several times. How you react depends on the amount you are willing to spend, and the value of your website's uniqueness to your business.
If you don't have a lot of money, and the fact that someone has copied you is not going to immediately harm your business, then you should just not worry about it, and continue on with growing your business. Don't waste time on disputes, because they don't make money or grow your business.
However, if you have the money, and this is seriously impacting your business, then you have a pretty clear copyright infringement claim. If you want to stop them, you should hire an intellectual property lawyer to send them a letter of demand, and then take them to court to obtain an injunction and damages. Your attorney can also guide you through lodging complaints with Google and other providers as practical measures.
You should immediately hire an attorney to make a strong threatening phone call, with a follow up email and certified mail letter. Most times, that will make scam artists like this take down the counterfeit site. If not, you have the absolute right to sue them, if you can identify who they are. It is copyright infringement, tortiojus interference, theft of business ideas, unjust enrichment, misappropriation, and violation of several cybersquatting type statutes. Where are you located?
-Charles S Kramer
I would send them a cease and decease letter, but I would have someone who knows the law draft that letter. It's a paper record you can use later and it's always a good idea to leave a good paper record that can play in your favor in the future (e.g., in court).
In terms of copyright, under international conventions, you have rights as soon as you publish it on the web. As others have suggested, you should also consider actually obtaining copyright registrations to your content if they are valuable.
Dinesh, move on, don't let this one stress you out, some might take is as a compliment.
Your site as it is now has been archived since early last year. The other site hasn't been archived. You'll get no penalty from this so move on my good man.
As Dana pointed out, assuming you were first these appear to be blatant rip-offs. I'd start with a letter or email directly to the site to let them know you found them and that you object. If they do not respond, or if they do not respond in a satisfactory manner, at that point you should seek counsel. You will need to register the copyright on your site in order to establish standing in an infringement suit so you should look into that right away as well.