In a previous post, I touched on why it is important to register your creative stuff with the U.S. Copyright Office before sharing it online. Here, I discuss the initial steps of what you need to do if you catch someone stealing your ‘ish.
Here are the Q+D (quick + dirty tips).
Take a screen shot and capture the details of when + where you saw your ish. Why? Hopefully, you can get these people to take the image down right away. But, it doesn’t hurt to start to create a documented record in case you have to take it to court at a later time.
Before you go the hard, Imma get all legal on you, route…just reach out to the alleged infringer. Send a short email simply letting them know that you are the copyright owner and saw the image/writing/recording posted on their website and ask them to remove it. Give the person a chance. Send a formal cease and desist later, if necessary.
If you saw the infringement on a social media network then report it through that network. Every social media network has a process for reporting infringement. Usually, it’s a very short form. Here are quick + easy links for you:
And, guess what?
They are required to look into your situation. If you pleaded your case and they can verify it, then the content at issue will probably be removed.
Want to learn more? Check out my full series on how to protect your blog + online content.