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Stop BestPrintingOnline from allegedly stealing copyrighted material
March 13, 2006 9:44 AM   Subscribe

BestPrintingOnline stole content from my website, I allege. How do I get them to take it down?

BestPrintingOnline.com's website allegedly displays an article I wrote. They obviously know I wrote it, since they list my name and URL. I wrote to them twice a year ago, but received no reply. In the late summer of 2005, I wrote to their ISP, which told me I needed to provide various items in writing. So I did that, sending a letter to the ISP's legal department. The article is still up.

How can I get them to take this article down? I'm a freelance writer and am ordinarily paid for use of my work, so, in addition to a copyright violation, I see this as alleged theft of my potential earnings. They're a printer, so I find they have a lot of gall.
posted by acoutu to Law & Government (12 answers total)
 
You're getting no response from the ISP's legal department?

Then get a lawyer to draft a nastygram for you. It should run you less than $100. Send the nastygram via certified mail.

If they still don't take it down (which would surprise the hell out of me) then start a copyright infringement suit.
posted by bshort at 9:52 AM on March 13, 2006


The DMCA will apply to them as they are a US company. Fill out a DMCA takedown request, send it to them registered mail and email, and they WILL remove the site, period. No ISP with any brains at all will fight a DMCA request. Google has some handy info on using this law.

Here's some sample forms that may be of use to you.

Remember, you will inform the ISP of the copyright infringement. You should also inform the owner of the website, but the ISP is the most responsible for action in this case.

(Yes, I hate the DMCA, but at least in this case someone will use it PROPERLY).
posted by shepd at 10:05 AM on March 13, 2006


Whoops, the sample forms are here.
posted by shepd at 10:06 AM on March 13, 2006


Google for "demand letter." (Use quotes.) After learning how, try writing another letter. Cite law. If that doesn't work, you'll need a lawyer's letterhead.
posted by cribcage at 10:20 AM on March 13, 2006


I've already written demand letters to both parties. That's why I was wondering what to do now.
posted by acoutu at 10:36 AM on March 13, 2006


Your post reads, "I wrote to them." A legal demand letter includes a variety of criteria and adheres to a standard that distinguishes it from a typical letter; and for that reason, a demand letter will usually be successful in situations where a casual tone or clumsy appearance will get a typical letter thrown into a wastebasket. If you already understand that difference and you have indeed mailed "demand letters," then your post was unclear. If not, use Google to educate yourself and next time, don't be so quick to dismiss helpful advice.

In either case, bshort is right: Your only remaining option is to consult with an attorney. And if you already have enough legal savvy to write a competent demand letter, frankly, you should have known that and it's time for the usual chastisement: "AskMe is not a substitute for your doctor/lawyer/pharmacist."
posted by cribcage at 10:53 AM on March 13, 2006


Did you call them?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:57 AM on March 13, 2006


I'm not dismissing your advice. I was clarifying my post. I've written demand letters for other issues and have successfully taken several companies to court and won proceeds without needing to involve a lawyer. I am not a litigious person and I would prefer to resolve this without needing to involve a lawyer. I wanted to know if there were any other options. I live outside the US and prefer to avoid the problems of pursuing a Florida-based company. I was unaware of the DMCA and Google options, for example. I put this out to the community because I wanted to learn of all potential options. For example, maybe there are some other governing bodies I could involve. Perhaps there are even ways to get these things removed from search engines or a business bureau I could approach.

My original post may not have been as detailed as you would have liked, but I wrote it while attempting to tend to my child.
posted by acoutu at 11:01 AM on March 13, 2006


Have you seen this page? It spells out what their ISP (Sprint, if I figured things out correctly) wants for a DMCA takedown request, and gives contact info for their "copyright agent".
posted by mr_roboto at 11:29 AM on March 13, 2006


Thanks, Mr. Roboto. I didn't have that information before. I did send those pieces of information, since that's standard for takedown requests, but the contact info makes the difference.

Reklaw:

note: Ask MetaFilter is as useful as you make it. Please limit comments
to answers or help in finding an answer. Wisecracks don't help people
find answers. Thanks.

posted by acoutu at 1:22 PM on March 13, 2006


Does the DMCA protect non-US citizens?
posted by solid-one-love at 1:46 PM on March 13, 2006


You want an answer?

The answer is that SEO types are busy misappropriating text from everywhere they can in the hopes of getting a high ranking.

The answer is that there's little point in wasting your time going after people who do this sort of thing, because it's so easy to do.

The answer is that your legalistic way of thinking fundamentally misunderstands the nature of the web as it is today. They're not trying to pass it off as their own work -- they put your URL there, after all.

The answer is that making out like this is some kind of crisis that is losing you freelance revenue is nothing but wrongheaded.

The answer is to get the hell over it.

Maybe you can go back to tending your child now.
posted by reklaw at 1:51 PM on March 13, 2006


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