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How to protect your brand from internet abusers

  • Broadcast in Legal



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Attorney Steve® Internet Law - Brand Protection Essentials - Using the DMCA

General tips if someone is abusing your brand online:

1.  Someone copying or displaying your personal photo - could be a violation of the Right of Publicity (using your name, image or likeness for commercial purposes without consent).  Could be a lawsuit if the defendant is financially solvent.  You can also use a DMCA "takedown request" to send to the company where the picture is being posted (a counternotification could be filed by the other party), for example to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.

2.  Send a cease and desist letter to the website administrator (if you can find it on the website, or on the domain "whois" search), or send to the platform provider (ex. Wix, Shopify, Etsy).

3.  File in federal court to seek a "DMCA subpoena" (no, you do not have to file a lawsuit).  This can help you "unmask" a wrongdoer and this can be sent to identify the perpetrator.  For example, once issued, the subpoena could be sent to GoDaddy, Cloudflare, or other company hosting the infringing or offending content.

4.  Report "abuse" to the domain name registrar (ex. fake/imposter website violates the terms of service for the site and should be taken down).  This may provide a better level of anonymity when dealing with a malicious actor.

5.  Trademark violations (domain cybersquatting, counterfeit products, logo infringement, etc.), the same thing, cease and desist letter or DMCA subpoena if the perpetrator has a "private" registered domain name or is otherwise seeking to hide their identity.






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