What to Do When Your Website is Copied

As many of us know, it can be a long tough job to build a website with great content that attracts customers and serves their needs, but it is an essential part of most businesses nowadays.

Unfortunately, there are many out there who may decide to use that success to their advantage by simply copying graphics, contents, ideas from your website or even just duplicating your website and putting their name on it.

What Can You Do?

If your site suffers from copying, the first step is to collect evidence – take screen shots of your site and the copy then try to contact the owner of the copycat site.

If the copying is not too serious, then maybe a warning will lead to removal of the problem content.

But in some cases, the copying is part of a very deliberate plan to defraud people and you may get the blame from scammed customers.

Steps to Take

  1. Use the WHOIS lookup service at whois.com to find out who registered the site’s domain name.

The information will include a contact email address.

In some cases, the owner will have kept their contact details anonymous.

  1. Contact The Internet Company Hosting the Web Site.

You can contact the server host and request the page or site be taken down, but you will need evidence of course.

  1. Search Engines

If you are ignored by the site owner, then you can proceed to submitting request to Google and Bing to have the site removed from their listings.

  1. DMCA Takedown

In the case that you need the site to be taken down entirely, you can request a DMCA Takedown which costs $199 per site, but can be worth it.

  1. Seek Legal Advice.

If you do not succeed, then it’s time to get legal advice and go after the owner of the website for damages.

This can be time consuming and expensive so it depends on the level of damage the copycat web site is causing to your business / reputation.

If you have any experiences with this issue of websites being copied,  do let me know, by email.

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