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Yes, Muffin, There Is a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act)

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Yes, Muffin, There Is a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act)

Joel Walsh

An open letter to a web content copyright violator who pled ignorance to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

Dear "Muffin,"

You don't know me, and I don't know you, except that you are a thief, and a pretty shameless one at that. Please, don't take offense at that. If you'll recall, you already admitted to being a thief in a public web message board. The topic of the message board was the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Let me refresh your memory with what you wrote:

"I've use some picture from japanese artist on my web and this morning i've receive email about to sued me..... I never hear about DMCA before....PLEASE....i don't know what to do...."

Funny thing was, your message almost made it sound like you were a victim.

Muffin, not only were you not a victim, you were very, very lucky. You see, your victims actually asked you nicely to stop stealing from them. They even implied they wouldn't call in the cops if you stopped stealing and promised not to do it again.

Muffin, let's conduct a little life experiment: next time you’re in a shop, walk out the door with a bit of merchandise stuffed down your trousers. It doesn't have to be anything too expensive. Just make sure it has some kind of inventory-control tag so the people who run the shop will be sure to know what you've done, because that's the whole point of this experiment.

You see, Muffin, more than likely--and I mean, much, much, more than likely--the shopkeepers will not just ask you nicely to take their merchandise out of your trousers and put it back on the shelf. You might even have to pay for that stuff! Heck, if they really are out to victimize you, they might even call the police! Seriously!

Muffin, I have to be honest: I would not be so nice to you as the people you stole from. You see, I'm one of those crazy creative types who actually create stuff from scratch or maybe pay for it rather than just take it off someone else's website. (I know, if all of us creative types were as smart as you we'd all save a lot of time just copying stuff rather than putting it out there for other people to…ouch! Excuse me, I think I just stumbled over a logical paradox.)

You see, Muffin, I'm a writer, and a pretty generous one. I even let people put most of the articles I write on their websites for free. All I ask for is that at the end of the article, they leave in the little link to my site I include there.

Muffin, would you believe there are people who put my article on their site without the link to my site?

And when I told those site owners about their mistake, some of them just took the article down off their sites! As if that undid the fact that they had already been using my article and making money by showing advertisements next to it.

The owners of those websites were not as lucky as you, Muffin. You see, I'm like the shopkeeper who doesn't just politely ask you to put the stuff back on the shelf. No, I called in the police.

More to the point, I called in Google. You can read Google’s official policy here: http://www.google.com/dmca.html Yes, that's dmca as in DMCA, as in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Don't worry, Google lets you file a counter-complaint when someone reports you as a DMCA violator. And you can feel free to email your counter-complaint to all the people who won't find your site when they do a web search.

Of course, I didn't just send a message to Google's legal department. You see, some of those thieves' websites were even showing Google Adsense advertisements. Note that I said *were* showing the advertisments. You see, Google's Adsense TOS doesn’t take as rosy a view of copyright violations as you do, Muffin.

The companies that owned those websites' internet hosting servers didn't like being accessories to crime, either.

Well, Muffin, in closing let me just introduce you to a PDF of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act: http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf Sadly, this definitively means you can't say anymore that you have never heard of the DMCA.

But maybe you can still try telling shopkeepers you never heard of shoplifting?

About the author
Joel Walsh is the owner and head writer of UpMarket Content (upmarketcontent.com), which offers a special website promotion content package that guarantees you'll get at least 100 backlinks to your site. UpMarket does all the work for you: from writing the articles to monitoring the distribution. Check out the website promotion content package by clicking here: http://upmarketcontent.com/website-promotion-package.htm.


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