When Another Company Steals Your Website Content

Occasionally a company uses material published on another company's website as part of their own web presence. Here's a discussion about how to respond. July 11, 2013

Question
I was checking my Google analytics account this evening and stumbled upon a link from a site I didn't know existed. I searched and found a competing business that is using my drawings/sketches on their site. How am I sure they are my drawings? Well, these folks still have the images linked to my site.

Now, I'm semi-inclined to let this go on as long as they keep the links coming to my site (Im not anticipating any measurable increase in traffic), but I also don't want to be associated with any funny business and Id be suspect, as a potential consumer, of both sites, if I were to encounter something similar. Does anyone have any thoughts?

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor Z:
Agreed, no matter what the increase will be. They should ask permission. It will only lead to other wrongful deeds.



From contributor Y:
Put a watermark on your pictures; very easy to do. Your competitor will be clearly advertising your site, and also making it clear to his visitors that he poached your work.


From contributor J:
I agree with the watermark idea. It's also a very non-confrontational method, and embarrassing to the thief. It also covers you for the future if other sites think of stealing the images.



From contributor S:
Not long after I published my website, I ran across a gentleman who had gone a step further than stealing a few images, he literally had copied my entire site; pictures, text, background, everything, but had changed the company name and the phone numbers. He obligingly took it down, but I still shake my head. No pride.


From contributor T:
A year or so ago I found someone using a project photo from my website homepage on his website. Wow, what a shock! I called and after a few days of threats they took it down.


From contributor M:
We had a local competitor copy some of our furniture designs for schools. I received a call telling me a leg had fallen of one of our tables. I went to investigate and it wasn't our table but a knock off. They may have copied the shape but not the method we use to assemble. It isn't good if customers recognize the style as ours but they get the quality of an amateur.