Scrapblogs, copyright infringement and your rights to your work.

I wrote this for my blog but it goes very well here.

After one of my posts was scrapped by a scrapblog and helping a friend with youtube video that had been stolen by an idiot who did nothing but steal other people videos and put them on his channel I've learned some things that I did not know about copyright law and that many people may not know about copyright law.

If you made it and it is original and in a fixed medium, you own the copyright to it you do not have to register for a copyright.[1] Parody, review, criticism and commenting on a copyrighted work is protected under fair use so if your work is commenting on, criticising, reviewing or parodying a copyrighted work, your safe however others can comment on, criticise, review or parody your work. [2]

What do you do is some one scrapes your work? You need to send a cease and desist letter to the site, if they ignore your cease and desist letter or they do not have a way for you to contact them you need to send a cease and desist letter to there host (you can find out who's hosting a site here) it would be a good idea to send it through email, (if you can) fax and regular mail. If they ignore your cease and desist letter you'll need to take legal action. Legal action is where my knowledge ends if you have to take legal actions you should talk to an attorney or at least get advise at a forum for copyright law or law in general.

If you do not know how to write a cease and desist letter I have found an example of how to write one.
How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter



Dear Sirs,


It has come to our attention that you are [ ENTER THE COMPLAINT HERE - AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE "copying entire pages from our website at www.???.com and publishing them on your own website, www.!!!.com in direct breach of our rights under International Copyright Law" ].

You have [ INSERT TIME LIMIT HERE - EG "10 Days" ] to [ INSERT THE ACTION THEY MUST TAKE HERE - EG "Remove the offending pages, listed below, and confirm in writing to the address at the head of the letter that you will not repeat this infringement" ]

Failing this, we will apply for an injunction, and will also seek to recover costs and damages (plus interest) for your tortious acts and conduct.

This is our final communication to you on this matter, and we look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Yours faithfully

US Copyright Office
Stolen Content - FAQ
10 Big Myths about copyright explained

1. - FAQ - Copyright in General
2. Fair use

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Replies to This Discussion

Here are some more cease and desist letter formats.
My favorite is this one
Dear Sir or Madam, You are using a work that I own the copyright of. The name of the work involved is “WORK NAME>>”. It appears on a site operated by you at INFRINGING LINK>>. I have reserved all rights to this work, which was first published on ORIGINAL LINK>> in YEAR OR DATE OF PUBLICATION>>.

Your copying and or use of my work, which appear at the link above, is unauthorized. You neither asked for nor received permission to use the piece nor to make or distribute copies of them in the manner you have. Furthermore, you have taken credit for my work and caused confusion as to whom the original author of the work is. Therefore, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 USC §101, et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $100,000. Further, such copyright infringement is a direct violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and International Copyright Law.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of the work and all copies of it, that you remove any further works you may have stolen and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. Furthermore, I demand that you post an apology on the site clarifying who the real author is and that you inform others that might have been misled by your misuse of the works’ origins.

If I have not received proof of compliance from you within 72 hours, I shall consider taking the full legal remedies available to rectify this situation including contacting my lawyer and/or your site’s administrators.


"damages as high as $100,000" that would scare the bastards.
Excellent post. I've had similar issues and in only one case did I have to threaten legal action.

People seem to think that Internet publishing isn't "real" publishing so they may take whatever they want from websites and blogs and use it however they desire. They are mistaken.
Good advice here. Given enough time, this sort of thing will happen to everyone. I've recently added a copyright policy to my blog for this very reason.
Keep in mind copyright laws vary by country. The Nerd is right that most hosts don't want to mess with infringement and will drop content that is easily proved to be posted illegally.

One thing to be aware of is the grave threat to copyrights currently in the United States. I'm an illustrator living in Canada, and I'm pretty concerned about it. I promote using Google, and the servers are in the U.S.; my work is done in Canada - where is the copyright?

I'd urge any blogger using their own photos, drawings, paintings, scrapbook pages or other images to write to their congress rep about saying no to the Orphan Works legislation. Otherwise, everyone's work becomes de facto "royalty-free orphans" if the bill goes through.
For a real-life example of this, check out Thunderf00t and VenomFangX on Youtube. They had some issues with the DMCA a while back, and could serve to help out anyone experiencing difficulties along these lines.

(Thunderf00t was arguing for evolution in his videos, and VenomFangX for creationism in his, if anyone wanted to know)


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