Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Sometimes authors, artists or anyone who creates intellectual property may need to submit a request to an individual or individuals who have taken their material without permission. The first thing to know is that your intellectual property is protected through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. You can learn more about the DMCA on Wikipedea.
You can also find information on the U.S. Copyright Office @ copyright.gov/onlinesp.
The first thing you’ll want to do is attempt to contact the offender. They may not realize they have taken copyright material without permission. Many people will often apologize and take down the infringed material. You might also find that your request wasn’t ignored, but rather that the offender has passed away. And sadly some will ignore you or argue with your request for various reasons.
For those you may need to send a cease and desist order, even if you have to send it to a family member or alternative contact. Each state has its own requirements for legal orders, but in general they’re pretty much the same. If you’re trying to save a little money, you can probably find a free online template for your state. Copy it and update the necessary sections as needed. I found one good resource from a Minnesota Attorney @ minnesotaattorney.com/cease-desist-letter-template-example-sample-forms.
The DMCA also provides you with the authority to submit a Takedown Notice to the internet host provider. This can be a domain host, Google, Facebook or any internet company that hosts the site or blog where your intellectual property is being displayed. But there is specific information that must be included in that letter. There are several sites online that provide information and templates for such letters. One good resource is: DMCAInfo.com – Takedown Notice.
Stand up for your rights. Not doing so can cost you financial income and perhaps more importantly, your professional reputation.
© 2013 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.