This happened to me ... we have an article that we wrote about 5 years ago about Homesteading you home in Nevada. We have blogged it on various sites and it's been published and updated in local publications many time. When I contacted the agent she was mortified! Not only was she sorry about the mistake but she was hopping mad because she had paid a pretty price for the "right" to use the article. They ended up pressing charges against the individual ... who by the way was an ActiveRain member.
You are proud of your new real estate website. The company who helped build your site sends out an annoucement for you. It's picked up by Google and appears in a Google alert. Another Realtor® opens the link to see what all the excitement is about. That's when it happens. You get an email saying "please remove my content from your website." You are shocked.
The excuse you use in your reply is "we hired a third party" to write our content, we had no idea. Unfortunately you aren't the first Realtor® who has used that reason as why the content on your site isn't original and you probably won't be the last.
Besides immediately removing the content from your website to avoid a copyright lawsuit, what recourse do you have against the person you hired to write your content? It's a question anyone who hires a third party to write their website should be asking.
Does the contract you are signing state the content will be original?
What are the penalties if it isn't?
Will they give you a refund of your fee?
Will they cover attorney fees or a copyright infringement lawsuit?
As excited as you may be with your new site you may want to take the extra step to run your website through Copyscape or another content checker to see if your "original" content pops up somewhere else. If it does check it out. The bottom line falls on you. It's your name and contact information on the website another Realtor® sees. You will be the one with the attorney letter in your hand and facing the penalities that U.S. Copyright law allows, not the third party you hired. Think about it before you go live with your new website.
No Hassle-No Pressure-Just Straight Talk About The Northern Virginia Real Estate Market
If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group, Inc a call at 703-346-2213.
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Check out www.varealestatetalk.com and www.cjrealtygroup.com for more information.
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