By Emele Maisey
When you find that parts of your Web site have been maliciously stolen by a competitor or a scammer, whether it be an article, images or even the whole design, it’s important to have the offending site remove the copied portions as soon as possible to make sure you get credit for your hard work and to maintain the credibility of your brand.
Even though you’re going to be upset and angry at what has happened, try to stay calm — You can fight this on your own, without the need of an expensive lawyer, by following the steps below.
At this point they should reply to you and take the material down. Keep checking their Web site in case they remove the copied material but don’t contact you to tell you.
However, if the Web site owner doesn’t respond or even accuses you of stealing their content stop communicating with them and proceed through the next steps.
Contact the offending Web site’s host to make a complaint, sending the Cease and Desist order along with the evidence. Most hosting companies are very strict on these matters and will usually suspend the site temporarily until matters are cleared up.
File a DMCA complaint with Google and the other search engines telling them to remove the site from their search indexes as the site involved violates copyright laws.
Emele is a Web site designer and small business owner. She first started her small ecommerce Web site selling handmade cards and gifts back in 2004. She then opened her own Web design and search engine optimization business in 2008 to help other small business owners succeed online.