Internet Law: You Have Rights and Remedies to Prevent Internet Defamation and Copyright Theft
Internet Defamation, Libel, Harassment, Disparagement, Reputation-damaging posts: People and Businesses in Rockland County, NY, like everywhere else, can be the subject of Internet Defamation: disparaging and defamatory statements placed on the Internet by disgruntled or spiteful people. The potential damage to your business reputation can be severe. This phenomenon is an unfortunate downside of social media – the ability of a person to defame or disparage a business on any of the multitude of “reviews” pages, such as Yelp, or to post a derogatory listing on Facebook, a negative review on Google Plus, or any number of other websites.
The longer you wait to take action, the more the defamatory postings can spread, causing serious injury to your company’s reputation. Take action. Something as simple as a Take Down Notice may resolve your situation, or more legal action may be required. But, how long and at what cost did you incur building your company and its reputation? Don’t let all that work be destroyed when there are powerful steps you can take to protect your business against defamatory Internet postings.
Is someone using your copyrighted material without your permission? You are protected by Federal law and have legal weapons you can use to force the take down of infringing material. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides powerful tools to help you protect your intellectual property from online thieves. You have methods, through the legal system, in many instances, to force perpetrators of negative comments about your business to take down those comments. Here is a sample of a “Take Down Notice”:
SAMPLE DMCA TAKE DOWN NOTICE
My name is INSERT NAME and I am the INSERT TITLE of INSERT COMPANY NAME. A website that your company hosts (according to WHOIS information) is infringing on at least one copyright owned by my company. An article was copied onto your servers without permission. The original ARTICLE/PHOTO, to which we own the exclusive copyrights, can be found at: PROVIDE WEBSITE URL The unauthorized and infringing copy can be found at: PROVIDE WEBSITE URL This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future. Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately. I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights my company owns are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved. Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly. Thank you. /s/YOUR NAME Address City, State Zip Phone E-mail
There are also ways you can pro-actively prevent disgruntled customers, clients, or ex-employees from posting disparaging comments in the first place! How? Find out your rights. In Rockland County, NY, Contact Stern Law Offices for a no-fee consultation.