On Online Infringement and its Private Policing

11 months ago
64 in copyright

When Brands, Trade Marks, Logos, Designs and Trade Dress or Get-up are stolen and used unlawfully. This is called Counterfeiting

When Copyrights – text, data, pictures, images, video, film, music, artwork, diagrams, and performances – are stolen and used unlawfully. This is called Piracy

Copyrights, Design rights, Trade Mark Registrations, Patents Granted and some other protections are called Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) because they protect your Intellectual Property (IP) (the actual materials registered/protected)

Unlawful use of IP is termed Infringement of IPR. Infringers can be actioned against in civil or in criminal courts, according to the type of infringement carried out, and the jurisdiction(s) to which one refers.

Under Civil law you yourself must prosecute an alleged infringer. Under Criminal law the police authorities or other consumer/trading authorities prosecute.

Technology & Methodology –

Software applications are able to be built which are able to sift through the Internet and pick out unlawful offers of products. These applications are built to order and to the (non-technical) specification a client provides. Each application built is normally customised and dedicated to the work specification required. Using such applications is able to provide a fairly comprehensive Situation Assessment of the web outlining and itemising the levels of theft of a particular copyright or other intellectual property that is occurring at the moment of the scanning of the web.

On the basis of a Situation Assessment one is able to plan one’s next moves. These can range from a straightforward Takedown regimen right through to full and complete policing of a Brand portfolio.

In addition Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of any Company, its Brands and the products they carry can be used so as to help against piracy and counterfeiting. SEO means recommendations for Branded products are able to be placed strategically on the Web so that buyers searching out a deal are introduced to their items before products that Brand competes with. In addition such placed recommendations are able to boost the popularity of your website by drawing more visitors to it.

Strategically notices can be situated on the web which help educate a potential customer-base about the hazards of buying cheap counterfeits/pirated items. People looking for unauthorised items get redirected to the Brand owner’s website – where they are offered the real deal along with some sound reasoning why the real deal is the best deal. (i.e. Guarantees; After-sales services, Quality Assurance and Testing of Goods and so forth).

Good quality commercial writers are best for this work, professionals who have experience in getting the right information to the right places, and so selling the products. Each review has to be unique and filled with densely-packed identifiers and pointers to the Brand, the Company site, and the products.

World Intellectual Property – A Brief

DMCA Takedown Services

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act under its strict interpretation legislates only for the United States geographical area. Thus its terms can be applied only to websites whose HQ or base; or when the website’s ISP, is situated in the US.

DMCA and Nations other than the USA:

In practice many nations have enacted ‘copycat’ legislation based on US DMCA law. This can mean in practice that US law has been lifted wholesale and applied with minor local adjustments in many smaller nations. There are a few important nations and economic blocs (ASEAN, the European Union (EU), and so on) which are of magnitude sufficient to underwrite their own customised legislation acting as their DMCA equivalents. Takedowns are possible in nearly every nation and so get a private policing company which offers a worldwide service

Global Organisation of Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement

Trade Marks

USA – uses its USPTO (United States Patents and Trademarks Office) which handles Protection and Enforcement

Europe – European Union has an organisation called OHIM Office for Harmonisation of the Internal Market – aka OAMI) which handles pan-European Protection and Enforcement. The EU also has an IP Enforcement Directive but this is not as strong a deterrent or protection as is US DMCA law.

There is a Madrid Protocol which allows for registration and protection of Trade Marks in the nations signatory to it. Madrid Protocol signatory nations are spread out across the globe

Copyright

USA – has the statute law DMCA to handle enforcement of online copyright theft. Copyright is registrable in the USA (whereas in UK it is automatic upon creation of a work) and the USA has a Copyright Office

There is a global protocol named The Berne Convention whose terms protect copyrights to most of the countries of the world (again signatory nations)

What DMCA can do when an Infringing website does not comply with Takedown Notice

A Right’s holder can seek for Takedown at the leading Search Engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing and others). This effects a denial of access to your infringing materials by means of the route of a Google (or other Search Engine) Search

A Right’s holder can approach the ISP (Internet Service Provider) of the website that is hosting the infringing item(s). This ISP will consider that by hosting an infringer the website it provides its services to is in breach of their (ISP) terms and conditions

A Right’s holder can compose and deliver a Cease and Desist letter to the website admin concerned in the infringement. There can be a good level of success with such letters.

There are other more specialised online enforcement services out there also.

The original article is located at our anomalist design blog: http://blog.anomalistdesign.com/on-online-infringement-and-its-private-policing/

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