Monday, September 7, 2015

Steps to take about Stolen Work

This post is painful for me to write, but it has become necessary.

I want to believe in the best of people.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting - Gluten Free
Best people deserves cupcake 

That their motivations are pure.
That they share the creative recipe development work of myself and my friends because they love the results, the finished products. They love the textures and flavors. They want their friends to know about this exciting new way to decorate a cake. Or they FINALLY found a recipe that is just like Grandmom's pie crust recipe but now it's gluten and dairy free.

That kind of excitement is what keeps me posting here.
That ability to know I could share a gift with a reader.

and this is a BIG BUT.

I do not share my work here to have it copied-word for word- and shared on someone else's Facebook page or other blog site without a request for permission first.
Especially if the site is grabbing my photo as well, they are violating my copyright. And I can go after them for tangible damages.

I do not share my work here to have a person build a business creating mixes based on my recipes. Again, violating copyright.

I do not share my work here so someone can run paid classes based on my recipes. Again, violating copyright.

I especially do not like to see my work in a book with someone else's name on it.  They are being short sighted to think that I wouldn't enforce my copyright.

On the positive side

I'm thrilled when folks use my recipes to get children cooking in not for profit classes,

I'm thrilled when a support groups requests permission to include a special recipe with a link to my site published in their newsletter.  If you would like to ask, email me.  drjean @ Take the spaces out around the @ sign.

I'm thrilled to be includes in a recipe roundup, when a fellow blogger gathers together recipes on a theme. With permission to use my pictures, these roundups are benefits for both of us.

How to be sure you aren't violating copyright 

The easiest way, ASK Permission BEFORE you use my materials.  Especially if you are a not-for-profit, the answer will likely be Yes. Then I'll know that the recipe is out on your newsletter, and can easily answer questions when they come in.

Share out a link from any of my posts directly from my site.  Easy, peasy. I have share buttons under each post.  Just click and share.  No worries about copyright infringement.

If you have to right click and save to your own computer to share, realize that you are violating my copyright and lessening the value of my work. 

Please share this with anyone who needs to know how to share without impact on the content producer.  We will all appreciate it. 

Now to help other folks 

Once you find your copyright work on another site, you need to enforce your copyright. 

I like to start with a simple request to remove the work to the owner of the site especially if it looks innocent.  This is why EVERYONE who writes should have a contact box on their site. 
I wait a week for response, then proceed to the next steps. 

If you find your work on a Facebook page or profile that is not your own, you need to report it. 

If you find your work on someone else's website:
First find out who is their web host, by placing the url in this site. Once you know the web host, it is time to file a DMCA (Digital Media Copyright Act) claim 
Now that sounds kind of scary, but basically it is just a letter to the web host giving information to support your claim of copyright infringement. It MUST:

  • Be in writing;
  • Be signed by the you, as the copyright owner, or your agent (your electronic signature is sufficient);
  • Identify the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed (or a list of infringements from the same site);
  • I use this paragraph to explain: This letter is official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to effect removal of the above-reported infringement. I request that you immediately remove the specified posting and prevent the infringer, who is identified by its web address (put url here), from posting the infringing photograph to your servers in the future. Please be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing photograph upon receiving this notice. Noncompliance may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.
  • Identify the material that is infringing your work- listing each image and post if taken in its entirety from your site
  • Include your contact information;
  • State that you are complaining in “good faith;”
  • State that, “under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in the notification is accurate;” and
  • State that you have the right to proceed (because you are the copyright owner or the owner’s agent)
Most of the time, the host will remove the work from their servers quickly. Occasionally a site will attempt to stall, saying that the work was originally theirs.  Always realize that the instant you place your images on the web, you are granted copyright.  And the date you placed it on the web is included in the data of the image. 

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