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DreamweaverFAQ.com » Tutorials » Miscellaneous » Copyright & Protection

What Can and Can't Be Done to Protect Your Stuff- Part Two

The down and dirty truth

None of the items listed on the previous page, will stop someone from taking your stuff. The only thing you can do that is 100% fool proof to keep your text, HTML, and images safe and secure is to NOT PUT ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET.

Anything that you place online is subject to theft and use by anyone who wants to do it. Even the sophisticated protection available by 3rd party vendors is not 100% fool proof. True, it takes someone with a very advanced knowledge of programing/hacking to break these protection schemes. There are those people out there who will take your attempts to protect your stuff as a personal challenge to their prowess, even though they have no interest whatsoever in your content... just the challenge of defeating your protection.

All you can truly do is mark what you have, so that you can identify it if it is stolen and used without your permission. Then if you find any of your content used by someone without your permission you can contact the website owner, the website designer, and the website's hosting service. Inform them that they are in violation of U.S. Copyright laws by using your copyrighted material without your permission.

You do have legal recourse and can ask for damages if you wish to file a Federal Copyright Infringement action. Be aware that filing a Federal action is VERY costly. This can also weigh in your favor as it is just as costly to defend against one. Just the threat of legal action which would cost the person taking your stuff upwards of 5 figures to defend against is a very large deterrent. Yes, $20k-$50k or MORE is not an unreasonable amount to have to pay an attorney to defend a copyright action IF IT DOES GO to trial, especially if it involves travel to a distant city.

The threat of a lawsuit is usually enough to scare the pants off of:

  1. The website owner- Especially if they paid the so called web designer who took your stuff.

  2. The website designer- Who knows that they took your stuff.

  3. The website hosting company- Who is displaying illegally obtained material on their server.

The website will usually be taken down by the owner, the designer, or the site host to avoid the excessive cost of litigation. In order to recover damages and legal fees (yes you can have the thief pay your costs) there are certain requirements that you must meet. Do not take anything stated in this tutorial to mean that I encourage filing litigation or that I advise you to do anything other than breath deeply and sigh.

This is not a tutorial on Federal and International Law. Before you do anything that can cost you great sums of money, talk to an attorney who is versed in Federal and International Copyright law and follow their advice. You must decide what you want to do as you will bear the ultimate financial responsible for your actions. A strongly worded but cordial letter to all of the persons involved is usually enough to have your copyrighted property removed and is a good starting point.

If you are designing a website for someone else and they are insistent about not having their content taken and reused, take the time to discuss the options available, the problems associated with, and the extra costs involved in the additional programing for the protection of text and images. There are many who feel that all information on the Internet is free for the taking. Keep this in mind when you and your clients are deciding what to place online.

You can go overboard with trying to protect the content of your web pages and scare away the very people that you are trying to attract to your website in the first place. The objective of trying to protect your stuff needs to be counterbalanced with common sense and a firm but subtle notice that:

Hey.... This is my stuff.... enjoy it but keep your hands off.

Provisions for removal of violated copyright

Most Major websites have provisions for the removal of material that violates your copyright:

An example is eBay's VeRO Program

Many other major sites have their own legal departments and if you find your stuff placed on their site by another user they will be more than helpful to have it removed.

Additional Reference and Resources

Copyright Law Information

The US Copyright Office has all of the information and forms you need to file your copyright information
URL: http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/

Title 17 of the Code of the United States of America- THE LAW concerning copyright
URL: http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17/

The Franklin Pierce Law Center information on Intellectual Property (that is what the legal eagles call your stuff)
URL: http://www.fplc.edu/tfield/aVoid.htm

Duke University F.A.C.E. (Friends of Active Copyright Education)
URL: http://law.duke.edu/copyright/face/index.htm

Cornell University Legal law Institute
URL: www.law.cornell.edu:80/topics/copyright.html

Internet Articles

Web Design and the Law
URL: http://www.netatty.com/articles/webdesign.html

10 myths about Copyright
URL: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

Web Developers information regarding Copyright
URL: http://www.timestream.com/stuff/neatstuff/mmlaw.html

ZD-Net article on Copyright and image protection
URL: http://www.zdnet.com/devhead/stories/articles/0,4413,2168565,00.html

About.com's page on protecting digital images and copyright
URL: http://graphicssoft.about.com/compute/graphicssoft/cs/protection1/

Report of the Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (The Digital Dilemma)
URL: http://www.nap.edu/html/digital_dilemma/ch5.html

JavaScripts that Disable Right Mouse Clicks

Explanations of why no right-clicks are not a good idea (like a Mac does not have a right mouse button, duh).

Continue to Hope
URL: http://continue.to/hope

Vortex Web Design
URL: http://www.vortex-webdesign.com/help/hidesource.htm

JavaScript Source
URL: http://javascript.internet.com/page-details/no-right-click-explanation.html

A few of your typical no right click disable scripts.

Dynamic Drive
URL: http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex9/noright.htm

JavaScript Source
A simple disable right-click script.
URL: http://javascript.internet.com/page-details/disable-images-click.html

Roll your own right click menu. Leave off what you don't what, like view source & save image.
URL: http://javascript.internet.com/page-details/right-click-menu.html

Here is one that re-enables the disabled right clicks that you thought you took care of... Sounds good to me.
URL: http://javascript.internet.com/page-details/source-viewer.html

Alright already, this is enough no right-click stuff. If you need more you'll just have to go find it for yourself!

Advanced Image Protection Software

The sites below offer sophisticated image and/or intellectual property protection plans to choose from. Use at your own discretion.

URL: http://www.alchemedia.com/

URL: http://www.elisar.com/

Artist Scope Image Protection
URL: http://www.artistscope.net/

Digital Watermarking Software

URL: http://www.digimarc.com/

Web Reference
Article on digital watermarking
URL: http://webreference.com/content/watermarks/

Evaluations, listings, and reviews of other digital watermarking software
URL: http://webreference.com/multimedia/watermarks.html

::This page last modified 8/13/2013 at 04:37::

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