Single mom’s life turned upside down by costly Internet mistake

By | Website Lawyer | No Comments

copyright infringementCopyright Infringement Destroys Lives

There’s a single mom with four kids who just got nailed for $1.5 million for songs she illegally downloaded online. As an Internet marketer, I’m appalled. As a Web lawyer, I know that’s the law at work (fair or not) and it’s best to recognize instead of fight reality.

The music industry is “only” going to get $62,500 per song she downloaded (actually, jack squat because she doesn’t have it). Under copyright laws, they could have been awarded up to a 150,000 per song.

This woman’s life has been ruined. She’s been dragged through the court system and will probably end up in bankruptcy because of copyright infringement.

Do You Have The Bucks to Pay For Copyright Infringement?

What would you do in her shoes?

As a website owner, how do you handle claims of copyright infringement? Got that type of moolah sitting in your spare change jar?

Reduce Your Copyright Infringement Liability Exposure

Long before the Internet existed, Benjamin Franklin talked about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure. That’s true today. Protect yourself so you’re not worrying after-the-fact about how much you owe and whether you can afford the damages for copyright infringement.

To your online success!

-Mike the Web lawyer

P.S. If you can’t afford to pay thousands to an Internet lawyer, Website Legal Forms Generator Gold software is an affordable way to reduce your potential liability, including a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and a special report on how to designate a copyright agent for your website. Don’t take copyright infringement risks lightly because you can’t afford to.

Is your copyright agent missing in action?

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

website attorney copyright agentMost website owners like you don’t fully protect themselves against copyright infringement claims. That typically means paying extra legal fees to a website attorney when things go wrong.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) contains what lawyers call “safe harbor” provisions. In plain English, this means by taking a few simple steps you can make yourself an unattractive target to sue because you’ve limited the amount of damages the other side can collect if you (or someone else) accidentally posted infringing material on your website (photos, graphics, text, videos, audios, etc.).

Although the DMCA is mind-numbingly complicated, here’s 3 keys steps you will want to consider to take advantage of the “safe harbor.”

Step 1. Designate your copyright agent.
Step 2. Post a DMCA Notice on your website.
Step 3. Follow the steps outlined in your DMCA Notice when a complaint is filed.

Of course, talk with your website attorney if you have any specific questions about the DMCA and designating a copyright agent.

To your online success!

-Mike the Website Attorney

Internet Attorney: Beware of the lawsuit-happy copyright troll

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

Internet attorney copyright trollThere’s a new business that’s buying up the rights to newspaper articles and then threatening to sue website owners and bloggers who have reposted the articles without permission.

What makes this effective? The threat of an Internet attorney suing you on behalf of the business for copyright infringement.

If the copyright is registered properly, the owner can get up to 150,000 bucks in damages plus attorney fees etc. per violation. That’s a lot of dough for reprinting someone’s article.  Think of it as copyright trolling for dollars.

Can you afford it? If your Internet attorney advised you to settle, could you afford several grand to do it in order to avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit?

Remember that what you see on the Internet is 90%+ of the time protected by one or more copyright laws. When in doubt, don’t repost content without written permission from the owner.

To your online success!

-Mike the Internet attorney

P.S. Website Legal Forms Generator software creates a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice for your website.

Web Lawyer: DMCA Abuse – How to Nuke False Copyright Infringement Claims

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web lawyer dmca copyright infringementMy take as a Web lawyer is that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (PDF summary) is abused to suppress free speech and prevent competition in the Internet marketplace. If someone has filed a false DMCA complaint against you for content on your website, consult your Internet attorney immediately to determine what your course of action should be.

(Please note – I am not accepting any clients in DMCA complaint matters at this time).

According to Google, more than half of the DMCA complaints it receives involve businesses targeting competition. Here’s the key stat: 37% of the claims were bogus. In other words, just because someone claims you’re violating the DMCA doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually are. So there’s no need to panic if you receive a DMCA complaint.

In general, here are some of the steps that some Internet marketers take when confronted by bogus DMCA complaints. Consult with your web lawyer to discuss specifics before doing something though.

1. Back up the alleged infringing content and temporarily take it down from the site until the dispute is resolved.

2. If there’s a chance that your website host will take down your site, start looking immediately for alternative hosting that is “free speech” friendly.

3. File a counter-notification under the DMCA if it is clear that the infringement claim is bogus.

4. If it turns out that the other party is infringing, file a DMCA complaint against him.

5. Demand a public retraction (such as a video apology or letter that you can post online).

6. In Legal Strategy Session with your attorney, consider suing for the false claims made. Under the DMCA, you may be entitled to damages, attorney fees, and costs for dealing with a bogus DMCA complaint. Note that you may have other claims too. For example, if your hosting company decides not to continue hosting your website because of one or more bogus DMCA claims, you may be able to seek damages for tortious interference with business relationships. In addition, some obtain injunctions to prevent future harassment.

17 U.S.C. § 512(f) Misrepresentations. – Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section —

(1) that material or activity is infringing, or

(2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,

shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner’s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

Some post their experiences of dealing with bogus DMCA claimants at consumer protection and free speech websites. The key here is to tell the truth and back it up with documentation. Your Web lawyer can tell you whether what you plan to say crosses the line or not. Of course, anonymous flames destroy credibility and are arguably just as unethical as filing false DMCA infringement notices.

To your success!

-Mike the Web lawyer

Copyright Infringement – Will DMCA Coupon Case Be Dismissed?

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

John Stottlemire has just struck back in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement case filed against him by Coupons, Inc. (coupons.com). Stottlemire is seeking dismissal of the case for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted or summary judgment in the alternative. He’s also seeking Rule 11 sanctions against the other side.

You can read more about the case in my prior post: DMCA Infringement By Deleting Files On Your Computer?

The personal attacks one sees on Stottlemire are irrelevant.

The point that needs to be repeatedly made is that the DMCA is bad law, paid for with campaign contributions, and should be repealed immediately.

Stop RIAA. Stop MPAA. Stop the Inquisition.