Content thieves

Web sites popping up, stealing your text and photos in order for them to profit – this seems to be common practice in this game and something we keep trying to look out for. After all, even SAAFE has fallen victim to copyright theft a few times in the past. Unfortunately it's easier to steal than to be creative.

Usually these sites will ask guys to pay to get your details – yes those details which are freely available on your website already. Some will even want to ask you for money to pick up your messages from these suckers/guys who sign up (described as potential clients in their advertising spiel). How nice of them.

As we have said elsewhere, you need to be in control of your advertising. It is not easy sometimes as sites just pinch stuff to make themselves look busier than they are (to justify any charges they subsequently make) but do keep vigilant and report in to some of the reputable escorting message boards to help other ladies avoid the sleaze.

Another problem that is becoming increasingly common is for certain webmasters and ladies to steal your text and even site rather than creating their own, so Rhia Charles has put together some good practical advice here in case you find yourself in that situation.

Websites and Copyright

Having your own website is a great way to showcase your talents! Think of it as a place to answer all your potential clients' questions (so you don't have to repeat yourself on the phone) and as an extension of your personality. So, as well as photos, it should contain what services you provide, your taboos, fees etc. Don't be tempted to simply copy another girl's site content, directory listing or (heaven forbid!) photos. This is very much frowned upon within the escort community and word gets around that you have cheated — fast. You may also find yourself with your lovely new website closed down and yourself banned from directories before you even get going. Think about it, it makes sense to be yourself and reflect that throughout your site. You wouldn't want a client arriving expecting to see someone else would you? Things could get very difficult. Everyone has their own unique way and looks — that is what the client is interested in, not a set of clones — it would look very odd if everyone's site was worded the same wouldn't it?

Okay, so you've worked hard on your site, written all your own words, put your pics on (make sure they are watermarked) and you're happy with it. How do you find out if it has been copied?

Simple, go to copyscape.com and type in your web page address. Remember to do this for every page of your site.

What if it's been copied? There are many things you can do.

You should know that your copyrighted material is protected by law. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (D.M.C.A.) grants owners of copyrighted material who have published that material on the Internet special protections, enabling copyright owners to have violators' websites quickly removed from the Web and search engines.

Your first action should be to contact the girl/guy who has stolen your material and let them know that your website is copyrighted and that you want the copied material removed immediately (you do not have to register a site for this, the fact that it has your name attached to it is enough — you can register it though to prove when your site was compiled, but more about this later). You should have put something like 'The content of this website is copyright to © Your Name 2011' somewhere on your site.

If you don't get any joy, then it is time to contact the host of the site. More info on that here.

You may also like to contact all directories that the violator has listed in. Most of the people behind the directories dislike plagiarism (stealing original works) as much as anyone and the very good ones will remove their details immediately.

If the stolen material remains on their site, then you need to send out some official DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) cease and desist notices to the hosts and directories. This is when we are starting to get within the realms of the law, nothing to get worried about though, you are in the right. Samples of these notices can be found here

In order to comply with standard complaint procedures you need to be able to prove that you compiled your work before the violator. Although internet archives will show that your site had the material on first, many host administrators require some other form of proof. This is where it pays to have registered your site with the UK Copyright Service and the US Library of Congress Copyright Office. It doesn't cost much and I would strongly advise that you do so. Lots of hosts will not acknowledge your complaint without it.

Also, you may want to contact the major search engines (Google, Yahoo etc) as they are very good at removing stolen content and will place a notice in search listings telling searchers why this site has gone with a copy of your complaint in its place.

Final note; I have never had to pursue a case of plagiarism (and I have dealt with quite a few!) to its legal conclusion which is going to court with the violator paying a fine of up to £50,000/$100,000 plus costs (!) as things usually get resolved with the DMCA notice. If you get a lot of people stealing your content, it means it's great! — but, seriously, you may also want to put up a copyright notice somewhere to deter further violators; it has worked for me and other escorts.