“Content Theft”, “Internet Plagiarism”. Can We Sue?
As I was asked back I return with this article trough which I elaborate how we can sue internet plagiarism. In Romania we do not have a law which is specially designed for the online environment, such as in the US (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The law that sanctions such type of behavior is the Copyright Law 8/1996.
The content of web sites, blogs, be they articles, photos … and the list can go on, can be classified by the judge in Article 7, letter a) of the law mentioned above which lists as object of copyright: literary and publishing works, conferences, sermons, pleadings, addresses and any other written or oral works, as well as computer programs.
But we do not have yet a developed legal practice in this regard, which means that the developers of online content did not rush to sue each other because their work has been stolen. If it is worth it or not to challenge the “system”, the “content thieves”, whether they are smaller competitors in the market or “media groups”, is a question that only you can answer to. It is a decision to take the right stand in front of the one who steals your work.
The law gives judges the discretion to award damages equivalent to:
Unrealized gain of the online developer;
The gain realized by the one who plagiarized, and in case that these two criteria cannot be applied – triple the amount that should have been paid for using the content.
In addition to material damages, moral damages can be claimed.
Can you please provide here additional notes?
What is at stake? The unrealized gain of the author or the one realized by the “thief”?
Can we quantify it in money every time?
How can the image of the online content author whose work is stolen be affected?