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My Own Ezine July 26, 2005, Issue 25
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==> THIS WEEK IN "MOE"
==> Welcome back to My Own Ezine
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==> Feature Article
In her no-nonsense article below, Sharon Housley helps us
to deal with one of the more unpleasant aspects of internet
marketing, "copyright infringement".
==> Recommended Resource
See this section to learn where affiliates go wrong.
Here, you'll find where to create PDF files for f*ree and where
to find an ezine that can help improve your affiliate programs.
==> e-Business Resources
Check out these referrals. You'll learn where to find Content
for your website or ezine and where to get the kind of help
that will move your online business forward.
Here you'll learn about a fun way to turn something you
already do into cash.
==> Tips & Tricks
And, don't forget to review the Tips & Tricks section for tips
on writing copy, marketing, doing e-business and using
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==> Feature Article:
Competition is Good, Copying is Bad
Copyright 2005 Sharon Housley
I've always been of the opinion that competition is a good
thing. It encourages all of us to be better and make better
products. While it might be true that imitation is the
sincerest form of flattery, copying someone else's work is
We recently came across a competitor using our sales copy.
The competitor was using a web graph showing the traffic on
one of our sites, along with our sales copy to promote
their competing application. Digging a little further, I
realized that their competing application was, in both form
and function, identical to our application. The competing
program contained identical screenshots, custom program
icons and our help documentation. While the code of the
program was, in fact, different, it was clear that our
copyright had been violated.
We are not the first company to have our copyright violated
and once the initial emotional reaction passed, we took
Dealing With Copyright or Trademark Violations:
Who, What and Where
Before reacting, it is important to do homework and
research the alleged content violator. Arm yourself with
information. Determining the who, what and where will guide
you in taking the appropriate steps.
Determine WHO is violating your copyright
Research the website: do a Whois lookup to determine the
site's owner. The domain owner can be found by entering the
domain into http://www.whois.com and clicking on the link
that says "Whois Lookup". If the copyright on software has
been violated, check the PAD file for the author and
Determine WHERE the website hosting is located
Determine where the website is hosted. Web hosts located
in progressive countries will be more cooperative in
addressing copyright violations. After determining the
webhost's location, check the host's Terms of Service (TOS)
and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) to determine the level of
cooperation you will likely receive. More often than not, a
physical address and detailed information on how to report
an abuse claim will be found in the webhost's terms of
Determine exactly WHAT violations have occurred.
When determining if a copyright violation has occurred, it
is important to go back to the question of what constitutes
a copyright violation.
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of
the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of
original works of authorship. This work can be literary,
dramatic, musical, artistic, or similar intellectual works.
Copyright protection is available to both published and
unpublished works. It is illegal for anyone to violate any
of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of
copyright. It is important to note that ideas can not be
copywritten, and while it may be morally and ethically
questionable, cloning a software application is not a
copyright violation, yet copying a helpfile is a copyright
Copyright protection exists from the time the work is
created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of
authorship immediately becomes the property of the author
who created the work. Only the author or those deriving
their rights through the author can rightfully claim
copyright. Evaluate the violator's work to determine if
text, graphics or any of the program or website's artistic
qualities are the same as your creative works. Print hard
copies of any documents and save electronic versions of web
pages and executables. Capture screenshots of offenses,
save documentation or the Help file that contains any
duplications of text. Enter the URL of the offending
website into http://www.archive.org to see the website's
history and determine a timeline during which violations
occurred. Look and feel can be subjective, try to focus on
obvious or flagrant violations. Copied text or Help files
is obvious when filing a complaint with web hosts or other
What is Next?
If you feel your copyright has, in fact, been violated
there are a number of steps that you can take. Contacting
third party service providers is a good starting point.
Make a list of the providers with whom you can contact to
report the violations.
2. Online Ordering
3. If Software, Download Sites
4. Associations or Organizations
Aside from service providers, consider using existing
relationships with parties who have a mutual interest or
relationship with the other party. Often, knowing key
people can result in a rapid response and increased
dialogue with the purported offender.
Send simultaneous emails to each of the parties identified.
Include details of the violation; using a PDF that displays
screen captures or copies of text violations with website
pointers is helpful. In the email, explain the action you
wish to occur. If you want the web host to remov*e the
website, say so. Also, ask that they keep you apprised of
In most cases you will receive responses from webhosts or
registration services that require you to provide
additional details so that the infringement can be
investigated. It may seem obvious to the copyright holder,
but the web hosts typically have a contractual agreement
with their clients and are legally obligated to research
any infringements before removing hosting or registration
Send a Cease and Desist letter and an email detailing that
a copyright has been violated, include a reasonable
deadline by which the offending copy or application should
be removed. It is not necessary to provide the offender the
details of the violation, as it is likely they are already
aware of the offenses that have occurred. These actions
will generally open a dialogue with the offender. If the
offender ignores requests to remov*e the material that
infringes on your copyright, pursue action with third party
services. This will likely get the offender's attention.
Artists, developers, and writers all work hard to create
unique material and copyrights should be respected by all.
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and
podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage
a wireless text messaging software company.
==> Recommended Resource
You want to know where affiliates go wrong? Every time we
send traffic to another merchant's web address, we lose all
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We have no follow-up opportunit*y. We have no chance to
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name of the potential customer.
And, don't even think about what it has cost us to attract
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Making money with affiliate programs isn't as easy as they
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==> e-Business Resources
Most of what you read about writing articles emphasizes
the benefits to the author. However, the benefits of using
articles as Content by webmasters and ezine publishers
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==> Work The Web
Want to profit from your next vacation? Take a look at the
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==> Tips & Tricks
Do you need to more compelling copy? Add detail to your
main pitch or story line. A good place to search for details is
Google's Advanced News Search at http://news.google.com .
When you search, remember that you can use any or all of
the four search boxes. For example, you can combine your
input to the "with the exact phrase" box with an input to the
"without the words" box to qualify your search.
One of the better places to advertise your products for f*ree
is Traffic Swarm. But to use this tool, you'll need to link to
a website. If you do not have a website, you can create a
f*ree blog and point your target links to it. FMI, check out
The more electronic our society becomes, the greater is your
need for security through secrecy. When requesting new
checks, have them printed with your work phone, not your
home phone. Print a PO address or work address, not your
home address. Never have your checks printed with your
social security numbe*r. If you follow these short, simple tips,
you will go a long way in protecting your identity.
If you have multiple tabs in a Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet,
you can set the spreadsheet to start on the same tab each
time you launch the spreadsheet. Click on the tab you want
to be the starting page. Go to "File" - Page Setup - Page
and then type "1" in the "First Page Number" box which
probably shows "Auto".
==> Subscription Management & Contact Info
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