News Archive July 2011

Copyright Infringement

Posted by: Steven Annison

In working with Fair Trade Gifts Direct we came across two competing websites that had copied photographs we had taken during a recent photo shoot and this raised the question of how UK copyright law applies to the internet - particularly where sites could be hosted internationally.

Copyright is owned by the individual/company taking the picture or producing the artwork, writing etc. Copyright in the UK does not need to be obtained or licenced and copyright exists the moment the work is created.

Our first course of action was to politely contact the websites involved and ask them to remove our pictures. Often pictures are used by designers or graphics teams and forgotten to be replaced so we expected both companies to realise their mistake and simply remove the images. We received an immediate phone call from the first business and the images were removed.

Unfortunately the second business would not take any phone calls and sent a guarded email reply that the images were 'remarkably similar' to theirs but they had paid 'in good faith' for the photographs and would not remove them without proof of ownership. Further searches found they were also using the images on ebay and ebid. After explaining we had the original photographs, offering to show the photographs on our camera and servers and and pointing them to other photos taken in the same style from the same photo shoot we sought some excellent advice from Murgatroyd and Company of London - specialist copyright lawyers.

The course of action they outlined was to ask the company to "Cease and Desist" all use of the works and any associated use of the works with a clear deadline for agreement and removal. Failure to do so would result in all further steps being taken to stop copyright infringement.

This is followed by a legal letter and then court action with associated costs of anything from £5,000 - £15,000 (excluding the time and effort required) - which can be reclaimed if your case is proven. It is clear that there are some unscrupulous site owners who know it is time consuming and costly to pursue copyright infringement so will not remove images when asked. However, ebay has a removal process VeRO, Google adheres to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and will remove copyright materials from their searches and the hosting company is liable for any copyright infringement on their servers.

We were pleased to see the images finally removed following our formal "Cease and Desist" request, but given images can be copied and pasted with two mouse clicks, we don't think this will be the last time this happens.

With Google going on record to illustrate the importance of unique content to help achieve better search engine ranking, having unique images and content will become more important together with protecting this content.

Some useful tools to help with this:

Image Copying

Google images search. Find and hover over your image then click the link "similar".

Tineye an image comparison tool which works best with large images, but in this case didn't find the sites using our photographs.

Text Plagiarism

Filed Under: All Categories / The Business / Photography

DWHR Google #1

Posted by: Steven Annison

We have helped DWHR extend and refocus their website content on attracting local business combined with promoting the site using Google Places.

SEO Ranking Top 3

Within days of the changes the DWHR site achieved the top 3 Google Ranking positions for 'outplacement ipswich' , top ranking for 'career transition ipswich' and two out of the top 3 positions for 'hr consultancy ipswich' - a great result.

Filed Under: All Categories / Website Design

Millennium Pest Control Shop

Posted by: Steven Annison

Following the continued success of the Millennium Pest Control website we are upgrading the Google Checkout shopping system to the SLA Associates eCommerce platform.  Giving additional payment options, basket tracking and better product exposure this site will extension will launch in the Autumn.

Filed Under: All Categories / Website Applications

Anglia Catering Project Begun

Posted by: Steven Annison

It was great to get some feedback from the team at Anglia Hog Roasts about the success of their website we launched last year to promote their hog roast catering and this has led to a new commission from the other part of their business offering wedding catering and event catering across East Anglia.

Filed Under: All Categories / Website Design