Protection of content from an illegal copying, or protection of authors’ rights on the Internet

The Internet is full of various information for the time being. We can find there everything we want; it is required just to type the necessary words in the search box. Similarly easy is to copy data from one website and place it on another. Certainly, such an act is illegal and, moreover, criminally punishable. How to protect the web content from swindlers in today’s realities? Exactly this issue is to be raised.

Protection of a website, its internal and external content is conducted under the Law of Ukraine “On authors’ and related rights”. However, the practice shows that the application of the above-mentioned normative act’s provisions is not rational so far. In fact, many notions, such as the web site, content etc., have been not defined.

First of all, it is important to find out which one type of content you wish to protect: multimedia or text. The most widespread method being effective in 90 percent of cases is the application of so-called “watermarks” on author’s images, prohibition of text selection on the website pages or right-clicking of mouse. Certainly, these methods have some effect only on very lazy “copyrighters” who don’t know what other methods may be used to steal information from the website, but they are really effective enough. Such a method protects both multimedia and text.

The second method is a direct influence on an infringer. But in what way? Writing of a letter to the website owner. The letter may allege that a definite website violated your copyrights, addressing to the provisions of current legislation, and requiring to delete the stolen data. Is it lawful, if the copyrights of your web content have not been registered yet? Undoubtedly, as the part 2, article 11 of the Law of Ukraine “On authors’ and related rights” provides for that the copyright on the work arises as a result of fact of his creation. For the establishment and realization of copyright, registration of the work or any other form of its recording is not required, as well as the implementation any other formalities.

The next method is the influence on a provider. Provider is a person who offers the hosting for a website that violated your copyrights. Pursuant to the current legislation, the provider does not bear responsibility for everything stored on websites he gives hosting to. But the notice with a requirement for deleting the data from the website hosted by the provider may be filed, as it goes about the business reputation of such a hosting.

It is important that the search engines struggle against illegal copying of the content as well, because the quality of a search still cannot be high, while the same information appears in every single page. For instance, a search engine Google offers an opportunity to file an electronic report on the stolen content, it will be considered, and as a result, the copied resource will be removed, or your website will be cited as an original source.

Any of the described methods of web content protection can be secure for certain but it is possible to try to protect the copyrights and punish the infringers by the above-mentioned methods.

If any of methods was effective, then it means that it is necessary to apply to the court with a lawsuit for the protection of the violated author’s rights. Important, the facts that the court proceedings may result in a considerable delay and the collection of a necessary evidential base is complicated enough, shall be taken into consideration. For the present, the screenshots of a website in court do not have the force of a proper evidence, therefore the conduction of a corresponding expertise is required. There are only a few resources within Ukraine being able to fix the fact of your authors’ text or image theft. But exactly that can become a good defence in court by claiming damages for the harm to business reputation, lost income etc.

Якщо у Вас є запитання Юрист допоможе Вам


Nataliya Vasylechko

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Irena Naida

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Taras Bachynskyj