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Steps you can consider when you find plagiarized work

You spent years or even decades working on your art. Maybe you write novels, make videos or paint pictures. Maybe you're a photographer or a graphic artist. Exactly what you do is not important; the key is that you invested a lot of your time, energy and talent into that work.

It's also yours alone. It's copyrighted, and no one can use it without your permission. This is something you made, and no one has the right to use it or profit off of it other than you.

So, what do you do if you're looking around online, and you find out that someone else has been stealing or copying your work? Here are a few things you can consider:

  • Contact the person who is using your content. Explain that they can no longer use it because it belongs to you. There are situations where it is an honest mistake.
  • If that does not work, you may want to think about sending them a cease and desist letter. This tells them in no uncertain terms that they need to stop using your content right away.
  • Tell them that you have the upper hand, legally speaking, and you're not afraid to go to court if you have to. Show them that they need to take this seriously.
  • Throughout the whole process, remain calm. Do not threaten them or address them in an aggressive manner. Remember that what you say could wind up in court.

If none of that works, and you need to take legal action, make sure you know how to get the process started.

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