Sep 16, 2007

Fighting back against cyber crime

So you've fallen victim to an internet crime, what should you do? Surprisingly, most people from the internet shy away from actually taking any action and most of the time it's due to laziness or you just don't know where to go for help. Others just feel it's none personal connection to the internet itself and therefore forget the scam or just call it off.

If you were mugged by someone from the street for $200 or got your favorite watch stolen, I bet you are really mad and you will most likely chase the guy or the situation down until it is rightfully resolved. Some of us will even chase after the crook although he or she has a weapon on their hand, why? Because these are all actions that is very visible. Yet, over the internet I find it very often that people will just ignore or just take it as a loss if they were ever scammed online. Because most of the time or I dare to say almost all the time, this is the very reason that scams on the internet thrive today and yet very little or no one has really stood up to it.

The good news is that there are actually quite a bit of resources for you out there on the net to fight against infringement of content or intellectual property. One of the biggest search engine out there Google actually has taken some strong steps toward it. So fellas, if you find yourself in trouble report them to Google! Especially if you are a Blogger user like myself, Google will terminate any account that it finds guilty of infringes documents or content that is copyrighted. Google has had stated with specific clauses to fight against Blogger infringement which helps us fellow Bloggers. That's not to mention that if you're not a Blogger that you are out of luck. If you find yourself in trouble with infringement of your product you can still report them to Google! Now what I like about this link I will provide you is that Google will ban infringing parties after it is being done repeatedly. Now the ban is not something to temper with, unlike just an Adsense account ban which the user can still use their gmail and other functions with Google. This ban is permanent with all functions with Google. Here's the link to Digital Millennium Copyright Act provided by Google. Here's the link!

Some of you may think it's a lot of hassle, but it's really not that hard at all! The steps are simple. What you need to do is type up a brief letter to Google explaining the permanent link you have placed for your content as well as the content being infringed upon. Write it like you would to the court and identify your name, address, etc. and send it to:

Google, Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support
DMCA Counter Notification
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Now what happens here is Google will note the account in their database & forward the info to a third party called Chilling Effect and they will let the owner be aware of the situation and the complaint will go in public circulation anonymously through publication. Now you might think what does a publication do right? I'm with you there completely! Now, the deal is this. If a guy is infringing just like a post that you have written, chances are they are probably infringing others as well. Report it to Google enough, their account will be banned from Google and that is the idea behind it. Now worse comes to worse, sue the guy in small claims court. As Americans, we get into lawsuits at least once in our lifetime so why would we hold back with issues on the internet? Do what you would in a real life situation.

An alternative that you can also look into is simply report them to the FBI. Click here for the link. Give cops a call and let the FBI handle the jerk. Remember, most of these criminals hide behind their computer tempering with different IPs to cloak themselves so be sure to do your research before you get too blown away. Catching these criminals takes one at a time, if you stop infringement it takes someone to step up against them one at a time. Good luck! -Swapw


Jonathan Bailey said...

First off,the use of the DMCA to contact Google is not the best way to use the law. It doesn't get content removed from the Web, Google is difficult to work with and very slow to respond.

Your best bet is to locate the host of the site and use the DMCA to contact them. That gets the site shut down and the work completely removed. You can also do the same with hosts that are in the EU, however the notice there is much less formal, only requiring a regular abuse complaint.

You can also use the DMCA to report sites to their advertisers, such as Adsense:

In most cases though, targeting the host is by far the fastest approach.

As far as reporting the infringement to the FBI goes, unless there is an actual lost in the many thousands of dollars, I wouldn't bother. They will only become involved in criminal copyright cases and the vast majority of copyright infringement on the Web doesn't meet that criteria.

Also, if anyone needs help, I'm available both on my site and the Performancing forums if there is anything I can do.

I hope this helps some!

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vladimir said...

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bluepanjeet | OTWOMD™ said...

i always receive scams on my email but I always mark them as spam. now I know how to alert the authorities

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice Jon.