Your website is a vital asset and tool for the ongoing success of your business. There is nothing worse than Googling your business and finding out that somebody on the internet has copied it. Don’t worry you can protect your website by following these steps:
- Check with your IT service provider and/or web developer to see whether there is any way to prevent the copying of your website.
- Keep an accurate record of your website’s creation and development, both in hard copy and electronic form, which documents:
- the creation of the ideas behind the website;
- the creation of the look and feel;
- the drafting and preparation of the content of the website;
- the creation of your brand.
- Check out your website’s history and copy it from the internet archive wayback machine (http://archive.org/)
- Regularly search the internet using Google or another internet web-search engine to ensure that no one is copying the content from your website.
- If you find that your website has been copied, then you need to:
- Make a complete copy, both electronically and in hard copy, of your website on the day that you find the mirror site;
- Make a complete copy of the mirror site, both electronically and in hard copy and itemise each breach.
- Check out the mirror site on the internet archive wayback machine.
- Do a ‘who is’ search to identify who is the licence holder of that website;
- Find out who the web hosting company is, and whether there is a take-down notice style mechanism available through the web-hosting company or elsewhere under the local law which governs the operation of the mirror site.
- Find out if the owner of the mirror site has any presence or assets where you are located (i.e. in Australia), and also where it is located if overseas.
- Gather all your information and forward it to me to review so I can start the process to takedown the mirror site.
Recently a client was thinking of expanding his business overseas into the Asian market. He found that a competitor based in Singapore had set up a website which was a mirror image of his business’s website, save for the business name. Naturally, our client was incensed by his competitor’s actions, copied both his site and the mirror site and sent it to us for immediate action. In this instance, following the tips above and a little legal mumbo-jumbo, we were able to have that website taken down and replaced within 7 days with the website for the competitor which was no longer a mirror image of our client’s website.