Web Administrators: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
When it comes to removing infringing content from the web (e.g., your live test items), finding the content is only half of the job; the job isn’t done until the content is actually removed. This requires working with and persuading the website administrators to remove the content from their websites. We refer to those who cooperate and actively help protect your content as “The Good.” But some won’t cooperate. They will require additional steps. We refer to these as “The Bad” or “The Ugly.” It may get ugly if you are forced to issue DMCA take-down notices to US-based ISP providers. Sometimes persuading website administrators to cooperate is easier said than done.
For example: Recently, we sent a cease-and-desist notification letter to an offending web administrator requesting that the infringing content be removed from their web pages. The administrator refused and informed us that he would have his attorney talk with us. When we called the bluff and attempted to schedule a meeting between both of our attorneys, however, the web administrator backed down and removed the infringing content from the website.
No one likes to be accused of wrongdoing, and sometimes, web administrators will not readily comply or engage in dialogue with us. But eventually, the infringing party will have to face the law, and as much as they might not like it, the law is on the side of the content’s copyright holder. We have found that being tenacious and bold with administrators is the most effective way to protect our clients completely when faced with these kinds of web administrators—and so that’s precisely what we do.
Other times, however, web administrators are just as eager to remove infringing content from their pages as we are. Sometimes they have no way of knowing when infringing content is being posted, so it’s extremely difficult for them to regulate. In instances such as these, we have worked out various solutions. Discussions have occurred where web administrators have offered access to their website so content could be deleted as soon as it pops up. In these cases, it would save the administrator the time and hassle of deleting every infringing post, and our clients’ intellectual property is protected.
No matter how the web administrator responds, it’s important to always be ready and able to engage with them civilly, and, if necessary, use bold action to quickly and comprehensively protect your intellectual property.