In a recent article written by Charles E. Petit, Esq. and published by Inklings (Issue 6.5 (Mar.15/2000)), it was noted that technology has unfortunately made it easier for copyright abuses to take place, ranging from inadvertent copying caused by ignorance to outright theft by intellectual pirates. Regardless of the cause, the copyright holder must have some way of responding to these abuses once they're discovered. To that end, Mr. Petit drafted two written responses for copyright holders to freely use. He and Inklings have given Preditors & Editors (tm) permission to reproduce those letters for the purpose of making them more available to copyright holders. For the full text of Mr. Petit's excellent article, readers are urged to visit Inklings at URL http://www.inkspot.com/feature/piracy.html.
For situations where the copyright holder has reason to believe that the unauthorized posting of copyrighted material is through ignorance or otherwise not intended, common sense suggests that the polite response in Letter One be used. For those other situations where the infringer is blatantly and knowingly using copyrighted material without permission, Letter Two is more appropriate.
On [date], I noticed that your [site/email newsletter/electronic product] [exact name and URL, if available] included an [attributed/unattributed] copy of my copyrighted [story/article/review] [writer's title]. According to my records, I have not authorized this use.
Please contact me immediately so we can work out either an appropriate agreement for this use or an agreement to terminate this use.
Dear Sir or Madam:
A webpage hosted by your service ([full URL]), retrieved [date and time], is infringing upon my copyright in [title]. I have attempted to resolve this directly with the account holder without satisfaction. Please remove the referenced page from your service and take other appropriate action against the account holder to prevent future infringement.
Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, this letter serves as actual notice of infringement in the event of legal proceedings. The information in this notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, I state that I am the owner of an exclusive right infringed by the specified URL.