Copyright Violation Resolution

Here are the steps I took to get my work off websites clearly violating copyright law, without attorney expense. That doesn’t mean it will work in your case, unfortunately. This post is a “cookie cutter” approach I hope will help others come to their own copyright violation resolution.

There are plenty of articles that explain everything on the Internet is not public domain, so I don’t need to repeat the sermon. Simply grabbing something and putting it on  your website is against the law. The oft cited “Fair Use” is not what most people think, and unless you qualify under its narrow definition, grabbing a photo/article is theft, pure and simple.

Finding Pirate Websites

In my most blatant case this year (so far), a friend notified me that a website lifted my article, word for word, took out my byline and posted it as its own work. I probably would have never discovered it without networking.

I found the stolen photo myself. You can also do a reverse image search on Google. Instead of typing a term in the search field, hit the camera button, find the photo on your computer and drop it in. It’ll tell you the websites that have it live (well, some of them, anyway) and similar images on the web.

You’ve Found The Thieves, Now What?

You need to contact the owner, but the Internet allows criminals to hide behind multiple layers of clutter, deliberately, while they suck their thumbs between bedwetting bouts in their parents’ basement. Look for an “about” or “contact” tab on the website. I sent a short, businesslike note on the photo and never heard back for a week. There is no contact info on the article-stealing website. Stories there don’t allow comments.

My next step in both cases was a visit to WhoIs.com to find the registered  “owner” contact and abuse-notification e-mail address. My notes to each were official looking and included all pertinent legal info to put them on notice. In one case I linked to where the original story appeared. In the other I attached my original image, in slightly larger size than what they were able to steal.

The rough text, massaged for the website host, is below. Modify it for the website owner and give it a try.

Didn’t Work in Either Case

So I put the company hosting each website on notice. They can also be held financially responsible—once they’ve been notified—if you parallel the language below.

Go to WhoIsHostingThis.com and plug in the violating website address. It will provide the firm renting a chunk of cyberspace to the pirates. Now, visit their url, report the violation to their abuse or customer service e-mail addresses and wait.

In both cases, the violations disappeared within 48 hours of that move.

Copyright Violation Resolution

The image and story are down, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the episode. They ignored my businesslike note, ignored my official-looking e-mail and only listened when their web host got threatening.

I still won’t provide website names at this point, because we all receive a lot of e-mail. I’ll gladly do so if it happens again or they don’t take down my good friend Richard Mann’s story.

I hope this helps if you, too, fall victim to piracy on the World Wide Web. If it does help you come to a copyright violation resolution, I’d sure like to hear your story.

My Text (sans names)

To: [website here] Administrative Contact
 I am the copyright owner of the photo being infringed at: [post the URL here].
 I’ve attached photo being infringed to assist you in the removal from the infringing website.
This letter is an official notification under the provisions of Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) to effect removal of the infringement reported above. This is a request t that you immediately remove the specified posting and prevent the infringer, identified by its web address, from posting the infringing story and image to your servers in the future. Please be advised the law requires you, as the website service provider, to “expeditiously remove or disable access to” the infringing photograph upon receiving this notice. Failure to comply may result in a loss of immunity for liability under the DMCA.
I have a good faith belief that the material used in the manner complained of here is not authorized by me, the copyright holder, or the law. The information provided here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and I swear under penalty of perjury that I am the copyright holder.
 Please send me at the address noted below a prompt response that indicates any actions you’ve taken to resolve this serious matter.
Sincerely,
[Your name]
Email: [Your e-mail]

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Premium Layoffs

Federal Premium Hydra-Shok photo by Guy J. Sagi

Federal Premium layoffs took place early this month at its Anoka, MN, plant. Some of the most decent and knowledgeable in the industry work for the ammunition manufacturer, which makes this story painful. The firm is part of the Vista Outdoor family of companies.

CBS Minnesota broke the news on March 6 and put the number of employees affected at 110. The next day a Star Tribune story provided more details.

Expansion Despite Federal Premium Layoffs

Plans for the company’s $33.9 million expansion at the facility are, however, proceeding. Construction is expected to be completed by summer.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal noted, “Vista Outdoor officials last month said that the retail environment for ammunition sales has grown tougher since the election.” The estimated 50 jobs that could have been created after the expansion are also on hold, according to the writer.

Early Notification

Vista Outdoor also withdrew requests for state and local grants that totaled $1.15 million. The company notified state and local officials it would no longer be seeking the grants well in advance of Federal Premium layoffs becoming public knowledge. “Out of fairness to the state and taxpayers, we wanted them to be able to use those funds for other projects rather than wait on us,” company spokeswoman Amanda Covington said.

“The challenging retail environment we have seen in the first and second quarters worsened in our third quarter following a slow hunting season and national elections,” Mark DeYoung, CEO of Vista Outdoor is quoted as saying in the firm’s most recent earnings release. “We have also seen increased inventory in our retail and wholesale chains.”

Vista Outdoor

Vista Outdoor companies are a veritable “who’s who” for sportsmen. Companies include Federal Premium, Bushnell, Weaver, Blackhawk, Eagle, Speer, CamelBak and more.

Pundits suggest the election of a President who supports the Second Amendment caused a slowdown in gun and ammunition sales.

 

 

 

Remington Layoffs

Remington layoffs were announced last week at its Ilion, NY, and Lexington, KY, facilities. One hundred and twenty-two union employees are affected in New York and another 16 staff members in Kentucky, according to WIBX radio.

“The small arms industry is facing significant near term challenges related to slowing order velocity and high channel inventories; a dynamic from which Remington is not immune,” Remington Media Relations Manager Jessica Kallam said in a statement. “After exploring all the options available to us, we are compelled to reduce our work force by releasing 122 team members today at our Ilion, NY site.  As we move forward, we will continue to monitor all segments of the business for growth opportunities.”

Staff at the Ilion plant numbered roughly 1,100 prior to last week’s development. “We depend heavily on Remington for our economic well-being here in the Mohawk Valley,” Marc Butler, a state assemblyman from Newport, told the Times Telegram. “However, they assured me this is a decision driven by market forces and it has no reflection on the overarching changes at Remington.”

John Scarano, director of the Herkimer Chamber of Commerce, told The Daily Star the company has been forced to downsize in the past, but it has a habit of returning better than ever. “When they do, they always come back stronger, and we’re hoping all these jobs will come back to us,” he told the newspaper.

Other Recent Remington Layoffs

In 2014, the company let 105 go from the Ilion plant. Last year, in a move to consolidate manufacturing with its new Alabama plant, another 100 were laid off in Mayfield, KY.

Update: This morning (3/17/17), The Firearm Blog announced more in management have been let go.