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Mourningstar

DMCA notification

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Recently, I've had to do a lot of thinking and soul searching ( as well as google searching), regarding copyright issues, violations and solutions to them. I figured this would be a nice place to have a chat about such things, as the authors here are not only a bunch of really cool and smart people, they also know that it sucks when your hard work gets stolen. I know fan fiction plagiarism is a touchy, if nasty thing legally, but taking someone's original works is a no go.

To make a long story short, I'm a co-creator of a web comic and certain, recent events have left me with a nasty taste in my mouth. Not long ago, we had some flamers who trolled our guest book, trying to start drama, and not getting any, they decided to start spreading the material we created, in order to make sure everyone and their aunt would know how crappy our work is. Luckily we've been somewhat able to contain the spread (we don't really care about their opinions of us, but we definitely aren't amused about them taking our works without permission and spreading them), but now one place we contacted replied with a request for a DMCA notification.

I've been searching for information about DMCA notifications in three languages now, and all the legal jargon not only gives me a headache, but it has also left me wondering whether it's worth it or not.

Does anyone here have any previous experience about whipping out one of them bad boys? Do they actually work? Is there somewhere a helpful "For Dummies" guide to them?

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I'm guessing you've already started documenting all this? If not, that would be the first thing I'd be doing. That will give you something to fight with.

Here's a couple links that might help and are a bit easier to read (not so heavy on the legalese).

EFF

I'm thinking what you're wanting to find out about more than anything would be intellectual property

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

The very first topic listed in the sidebar looks like something that could at least provide you with more information.

The most I've ever attempted with my own work online (this would be digital artwork a few years ago), to contact the person's ISP or hosting provider and ask that the material be removed from that person's web site. Depending upon the hosting provider (if a web site), most of their TOS rules help to protect not only them as consumers, but consumers who are not that hosting provider's customer against someone taking their digital work and intellectual property. This at least gives you an avenue of attack.

So, long story short, I ended being able to get my work removed from that site, while that person and I worked something out. It wasn't that I had a problem with it being there, which I explained to the hosting company, but that I wasn't ASKED for use first. Hell, I would've given the kid a copy of the working PSD for it if I'd been asked in the first place (with him stating it was being done with my permission of course). Of course, this wasn't quite to the same magnitude as the problem you're experiencing at the moment.

So, let me ask this, from what you've said in your post, what they've done exactly is downloaded your original artwork, and spread it without permission? (Sorry, just waking up here, so I'm still a little foggy).

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Thanks for the links! They indeed are a lot more understandable than the places I've been. It seems that my google-fu is weak. :D

Yes, that about sums it up. They've downloaded the pictures and added things like "OMG, look at how awful this is!" and then went on a posting spree. I know they'd never bother ask for permission first, for such an endeavour, and the first time we got wind of this operation was when the site tracker began to report visitors coming from the most unexpected places.

I'm also very sorry that you've had to go through such an ordeal, but at least it was resolved relatively peacefully. B)

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I don't see how they could say your stuff is awful. You're quite talented I think. Since it was images, I'd be tracking who their hosting company is and then looking at their TOS. Real quick way to get 'em suspended ya know, if they don't comply right away :D. Now, if they've done this on their ISP provided page, it generally gets even EASIER to get your materials removed from their site.

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