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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Art & Graphic Design > COPYRIGHT VIOLATION .Mac Member

COPYRIGHT VIOLATION .Mac Member
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davcomp
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
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Mar 24, 2003, 01:39 PM
 
I have discovered that a .Mac user has basically stolen my entire website, graphics, right down to the text. I called Apple and they said they could not do anything about it. I have asked the member to remove all of the files, but they refuse.

My page: http://www.worldwithoutend.us/
Their page: http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/

If the main page does not work, try these.

http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/portfolio

http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/opinions

http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/aboutme

What do I do now?
Drew - GO BOILERS!
http://www.davcomp.com/
     
Vanquish
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Europe
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Mar 24, 2003, 01:51 PM
 
try to get his real address and sue him
     
art_director
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Location: Minneapolis, MN U.S.A.
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Mar 24, 2003, 02:02 PM
 
sue him? you're kidding, right? given the budget shortfalls in most every state in the u.s. and the fact that this is a personal homepage you'd be laughed out of court. that is if they even bothered listening to you. then there's the expense of going through it. translation: waste o' time.
     
art_director
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Mar 24, 2003, 02:08 PM
 
btw, you have intellectual property, not a copyright.
     
davcomp  (op)
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Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
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Mar 24, 2003, 02:27 PM
 
I could technically sue him for copyright violation. Although yes it might be expensive. However, further investigation showed he is only 16yrs old. So, I'm hoping an official looking letter from my lawyer will scare him. If you want more infor you can refer to this website: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
Drew - GO BOILERS!
http://www.davcomp.com/
     
art_director
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Mar 24, 2003, 02:57 PM
 
i need to ask why you care that a kid is using it. for fook sake, it's not like it's a logo for your company or something.
     
davcomp  (op)
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Location: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
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Mar 24, 2003, 03:05 PM
 
A lot of hard work, thought, and energy went into creating that site to be a personal expression of me. To have someone rip it off and rebrand it as their own hurts and angers me. That website was one of the few things I have made that I have a somewhat personal connection with, and to see someone so blatantly stealing it disgusts me.

Have you ever had someone steal your work in its entirety?
Drew - GO BOILERS!
http://www.davcomp.com/
     
art_director
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Mar 24, 2003, 03:21 PM
 
Originally posted by davcomp:
A lot of hard work, thought, and energy went into creating that site to be a personal expression of me. To have someone rip it off and rebrand it as their own hurts and angers me. That website was one of the few things I have made that I have a somewhat personal connection with, and to see someone so blatantly stealing it disgusts me.

Have you ever had someone steal your work in its entirety?
i'm in advertising, i've had my work stolen repeatedly. i know what you mean, it blows.

i can tell you from experience that using the anger and energy that you would put into pursuing this would be better spent on creating something new. the payoff is more satisfying, you won't be as frustrated and you'll prove to yourself that you can do it again.

again, i'm in advertising. people rip **** off in this business all the time. i've been a victim hundreds of times over the past decade, seriously.
     
davcomp  (op)
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Mar 24, 2003, 03:27 PM
 
I might just do that. No point on wasting time or money on 16yr olds with no creative ability of their own. But I also just discovered he is taking some of the images from my servers still, referring to them in the code on his pages.

So, I could change them to something fun, like, Beastiality. :-)
Drew - GO BOILERS!
http://www.davcomp.com/
     
art_director
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Mar 24, 2003, 03:36 PM
 
Originally posted by davcomp:
I might just do that. No point on wasting time or money on 16yr olds with no creative ability of their own. But I also just discovered he is taking some of the images from my servers still, referring to them in the code on his pages.

So, I could change them to something fun, like, Beastiality. :-)
there you go, that would get him grounded for an entire year.
     
ajprice
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Mar 24, 2003, 05:53 PM
 
davcomp, what has happened sucks. I'm with the filename changing idea, rename your existing images, and put new images in of some bad stuff as the old filenames, bestiality is a good one, or maybe some porn, or messages you would like to say to him.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
ph0ust
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Mar 24, 2003, 05:56 PM
 
Originally posted by davcomp:
I have discovered that a .Mac user has basically stolen my entire website, graphics, right down to the text. I called Apple and they said they could not do anything about it. I have asked the member to remove all of the files, but they refuse.

My page: http://www.worldwithoutend.us/
Their page: http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/

If the main page does not work, try these.

http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/portfolio

http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/opinions

http://homepage.mac.com/sirhexadecimal/aboutme

What do I do now?
art_director is mostly right i think. the truth is that nothing will ever be achieved in court... you would never get there unless money was on the line.

however, if you really have filed for trademark or have copyrighted site content and you have the relevant log info to back it up......... apple is legally obligated/required to remove the site if it violates any copyrights. you may very well have to have an attorney write a letter to them, but they should tend to the matter. ultimately it is the obligation of the isp/hosting provider to ensure that they are not allowing violation of tradmark/copyright law.

furthermore, since i couldn't view the portfolios i am not sure if it is just your site layout that is in question or if it is your portfolio. the site is meaningless, but if someone took you *work* (i.e. copyrighted photographs, or other work) they are breaking the law. copying site design is pretty much irrelevant though.
     
davcomp  (op)
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Mar 24, 2003, 06:51 PM
 
Yeah, it wasn't just layout. My site's layout is made up of a lot of images. So, when he copied my layout he took my images exactly, directly copied them. That I know is illegal, had he mimicked it then I would be powerless, but he just imaged my site or something. Ah well, http://www.livejournal.com/customvie...styleid=208935 as you can see, I have adjusted the problem.
Drew - GO BOILERS!
http://www.davcomp.com/
     
G-mac
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Mar 25, 2003, 01:23 PM
 
I agree that your time would be better spent working on future projects, changing file names, and being watchful.

As long as the kid doesn't try and sell his site or its contents using your images and designs, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Copying goes on all the time, everywhere. Just look at all the cars out there, cellphones, and PDAs. Gateway would be another example - their portables look disturbingly similar to iBooks and PowerBooks in my opinion.

As far as I know, anything you write in your own words is copyrighted material. Having a date associated with the material would be handy as well (when it was published, etc). Formally copyrighting material requires money and forms to fill out. Ditto for trademarking. You can still claim copyrights or trademarks even if they aren't registered, but registering them gives you more leverage when a lawsuit is involved. Perhaps some of the lawyers reading these forums could help out?

Anyway, hopefully the kid is simply impressed with your work and thought it would be harmless to "borrow" your designs and ideas. I couldn't access his website via your links, so I can't tell how much he copied. Good luck resolving the issue and keep us posted.
     
dru
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Mar 26, 2003, 02:44 PM
 
How low do you have to get to steal the image of someone's HAND? Did any of you commentators compare the links to the original site?

The site design itself could probably be trademarked but you haven't gone through that costly process.

The graphics themselves are already protected by copyright. If he's pulling the images right from your server then he's stealing your bandwidth too! IANAL but from Apple's actions regarding Hi-Tech-alike (and not exact copies) Kaleidoscope schemes years back, a cease-and-desist would go out over something like this. I'd ask your lawyer about drafting a letter.

It's pretty sad that this is taken so lightly around here.

Good luck!
     
godzookie2k
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Mar 26, 2003, 07:13 PM
 
forget all that, is it really worth the cost?

make a duplicate of your site and change the image names and links. then change all the files he's referencing to 1280 x 1024 images of animal porn and have a good laugh about it with your friends. For a personal thing, the whole lawyer route is just too costly, might as well just have fun with it, but thats just me. I mean, really, how much trouble is some kid stealing your site blatantly worth? is it worth that much stress when you could just have fun with it?
     
zengravy
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Mar 27, 2003, 10:04 AM
 
I am an attorney and wanted to give you some brief info. on general IP law and your options.

First, you have federal copyright protection in anything that you have independently created as soon as you "fix" the creation in a tangible medium. What this means, essentially, is that you are granted federal copyright protection the moment you write down, draw, sketch, save the file, etc., of whatever it is that you're creating.

Even if you have not registered the copyright, federal protection "adheres" when the creation is fixed. It's a good idea to register, however, as it provides you with certain additional benefits in the event of a lawsuit, such as statutory damages.

Second, you may have additional intellectual property assets protected by trademark law. Logos, or other indicia that serve to notify others of the origin of a product or service is considered a trademark as soon as it is used. Without more information, it is difficult to tell if you have any trademarkable assets.

There is a great deal of overlap between these two types of protection. For instance, if you hold a valid trademark on a logo, and someone takes the image of that logo and reproduces it on their site, they have infringed both the trademark and the copyright of that work.

The first step in dealing with potential infringement is a demand letter, usually written by an attorney, which will include a statement of the relevant facts, a statement of law pertaining to those facts, and a demand for action. If there is no response, a lawsuit can be filed, forcing the other party to either respond or face a default judgment.

I am in the process of building my own solo practice, focusing on intellectual property, specifically copyright, trademark, entertainment, and corporate law. If you would like to discuss this matter more fully, please contact me at [email protected] or [email protected]. As a result of attempting to build my client base, my rates are very affordable. I also happen to be in need of good graphic design and am willing to trade services.

Thanks, and good luck!
     
   
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