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What can you do when a local competitor copies your website?

This past weekend I discovered that a local piano teacher in the Ashburn area has copied certain aspects of my website.   This individual has a traveling piano teaching  business in Ashburn and surrounding areas.  I have spent countless hours crafting the verbiage on my website only to find out that she not only stole the vision for my business, but in some instances copied the exact verbiage on my website.  I confronted her and sent an email detailing the parts of my website that were copied.  I also asked her to change the wording on her website.  Of course, she provided no response and the website remains the same.  Is there any action that I can take against her and what can I do to prevent this from happening in the near future?

I researched the internet and surprisingly found out that there are several actions that can be taken against her.  They are as follows:

  • I can file a claim of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) infringement with Google and the other major search engines.  This involves some work, but ultimately I can have her website removed from all the major search engines and hinder her from obtaining potential referrals and clients.

  • I can also craft some verbiage with the help of my attorney advising her that her use of material from my website constitutes an infringement of copyright laws.  She would be reminded to immediately remove current material that mirrors my website and refrain from any further copying. 

  • As a last resort, I can also have my attorney file an injunction against her.   The issue is whether her violation of copyright will disrupt my business and prevent me from obtaining future clients.  If the answer is yes, then I have a case.

Any other thoughts from the local piano teaching community??  Please feel free to comment.

9 Comments to What can you do when a local competitor copies your website?:

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Shandra Love on Sunday, September 16, 2012 11:24 PM
This is an update to "What can you do when a local competitor copies your website?" I discovered that the individual who copied my website not only copied certain aspects of my current website, but copied an older version of my "tuition" web page. What she "culprit" failed to realize is that I maintained copies of my original website pages. I am in the process of filing the paperwork with Google to have her website removed. I was recently contacted by her "alleged" attorney. However, the attorney does not have a copy of my "old" website. Professional music teachers out there need to be aware of this individual. If she copied my website, she is probably copying other websites-not realizing that professional music teachers like myself always keep copies of the "original" website on hand. Check back for updates on the impending copyright infringement. Sadly, this individual is a member of the local music teachers organization so she clearly knows better.
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Shandra Love on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:30 AM
This has become a nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I contacted an attorney and am in the process of handling this matter. It is unfortunate that professional music teachers like myself have to deal with this kind of nonsense. What is interesting about this whole scenario is that my business is doing well. Unfortunately, the individual can't copy the good old "word of mouth." Many of my referrals come from current students and that is something she can't copy. Check back for more to come...

Gael Bernard on Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:48 AM
This type of copy pasting crime frequently happen in online and this is why Google and all other major search engine should take necessary steps to ensure security of unique content and other side of a website. I think you should take step according to first one you described here. Thanks
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Shandra Love on Sunday, December 09, 2012 10:47 PM
Thank you for your comment! I am in the process of taking the necessary steps to have the individual's website removed from Google. Through my research, I have also discovered that every time you update your website, you need to file the updated version with the Copyright Office. The Copyright Office must always have the most current version on hand.

Bobbie Panganiban on Sunday, December 02, 2012 1:28 AM
Informative article! The web color looks nice! I have two website. By reading your content I've found much important information which information is really helpful for my own website. I appreciate it. Thanks for this nice allocation.
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Shandra Love on Sunday, December 09, 2012 10:54 PM
Thank you for reading my article! I never realized that parts of my website could be replicated. I used to have a web page detailing how my tuition was broken down. I used to break it down in four and five-week months. The individual copied my pricing system and my prices! I have since changed my tuition page and removed my studio policy because I don't want to be alligned with her. I recently raised my prices because my education and musical background are factored into my pricing.

Allisa May on Monday, February 04, 2013 8:56 AM
Have a valuable read here about local competitor copies in this website info. I’ve found out this post is very amazing. So I read the full post and this is useful for me. Particularly the competitor info is very amazing. Nice post! Thanks :)
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Shandra Love on Monday, February 04, 2013 9:42 AM
Thank you for reading! The purpose of the blog is to inform local piano teachers, music educators, music teachers and other musicians who have intellectual property on the internet what to do when someone copies your website content. I never envisioned this would happen to me! I spent hours crafting the verbiage and organizing my website. At least I can let others know what to do so they can become better informed and prevent it from happening to them!

Shandra Love on Wednesday, May 08, 2013 10:56 AM
Also beware of bogus requests that come through your website. The individual who copied certain aspects had someone send a bogus request through my website. I know this because the information that I put in the email to the "bogus requestor" appeared on her website. Of course, it was removed in hot second when I cc'd her attorney on an email to another attorney. I bring this up, not to point fingers but to make other teachers in the community aware of what can happen when another competitor tries to copy your website. I am forty-one years old and have gone through a number of experiences in my life. I knew right away the request was bogus, so I gave bogus information and purposely put certain information in the email to the bogus requestor because I knew they would forward the email back to the competitor. After all is said and done, I chuckle as I right this. However, it didn't seem funny when it was happening. After everything that has happened this past year, my business is doing well. Every student that I taught this year is returning next fall. I am in the process of setting up my fall schedule. I am blessed with so many students. The referrals just continue to come in. People are impressed with my teaching and my educational background and that makes me very happy.
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