Copyright laws apply to images used on web pages in the same way as printed and other media. Organisations who supply photographs for use in media including websites are now routinely scanning the Internet using increasingly sophisticated software and other methods to locate possible copyright infringement. This means that YOU as a website owner, need to be sure that you are permitted to use the photographs and other images that you have on your website, if not you could be liable for some hefty fines.
So, what is copyright infringement?
To infringe copyright law, a person / organisation must have copied, or authorised the copying of either the whole or a 'substantial part' of a work, without getting the required permission (often by payment) to do so.
So what is a 'substantial' part?
A substantial part is not a specific percentage, but an important, essential or distinct part. Often the quality of what has been used is more significant that how much of it has been used. The test for 'substantial' could involve imagining whether considearble annoyance would be caused if the original work was missing the proposed material to be copied - if so, then it is 'substantial' e.g. copying the Mona Lisa's smile.
The message here is thankfully a little clearer than copyright law - make sure you know you are permitted to use all the elements that make up your website, because the whole world can see it!
Just started reading a new book by Bryan Eisenberg & his brother Jeffrey entitled CALL TO ACTION, They have been involved in helping companies improve their conversion rates since 1998 and have had some impressive results.
The book is fasinating and full of very usefull tips and information on how to really improve your websites conversion rate, I will warn you now though they claim to have identified over 1100 diferent factors that can influence your sites conversion!
They have a whole sytem they reffer to as Pesuasion Architecture, which is designed to engage the user and move them through the site to the goal pages.
This is a fantastic book but not for the faint hearted as it's very hard core and should only be read by those of you looking to really make your websites fly.
The book is published by Wizard Academy Press ISBN 1-932226-39-7
At the recent Wharton Technology Conference in Philadelphia representatives from Google, Yahoo and MSN Search discussed the future of search technologies.
The big search engine companies have different ideas on how search engines will change over the next few years.
MSN Search wants to focus on the user interface
Saleel Sathe, the representative of MSN Search, claimed that the user interfaces of search engines required significant changes:
"Search engines have shot themselves in the foot by providing a search box, where users provide relatively little information [...]
The average search query is 2.3 words... but if you asked a librarian for information you would not just give them 2.3 words -- you would give them the opportunity to give you the rich detailed answer you want."
Google thinks that technology is more important
Google's representative Matthew Glotzbach argued that the computers should be able to find out what people want:
"In the distant future we will not be able to get you to take more action, because we will get close enough with what you give us. A lot of emphasis will continue on doing that in the background — getting the technology to figure out [what you want] [...]
Larry Page [the co-founder] of Google often says, 'the perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want'."
Yahoo bets on social search technologies
Yahoo's Bradley Horowitz proposed that existing web search should be replaced with social search:
"What we think is the next major breakthrough is social search. It basically democratizes the notion of relevance and lets ordinary users decide what's important for themselves and other users."
Each method has its own problems
MSN's approach might be difficult because people are probably not willing to work more to get information. Most searchers want quick results.
Yahoo's social search approach requires the participation of web surfers. The problem is that many people might not be interested to participate and other people might abuse the system to promote their own sites.
Google faces the problem that is is difficult to find out what a web surfer actually wants when he provides only limited information. This problem could be mastered by saving the search history of web surfers etc. but that leads to other (privacy) problems.
These are interesting times for search. Only time will tell what impact future changes will have on your business. Until then, you should try to get best results with the current search engine situation.
Web analytics vendor warns a fifth of pay-per-click activity
ClickTracks Analytics on Monday rolled out updated software for detecting click fraud, saying that an average of 20 percent of a company’s pay-per-click adverting budget can be traced to fraudulent activity.
The problem stems from individuals or companies trying to increase pay-per-click online ad traffic through illegitimate means. By driving up traffic on ads that show up next to search results, they would get more revenue from the advertiser.
In some cases, the fraud involves using software robots to do the extra clicking, or hiring people to click repeatedly on the ads.
The Santa Cruz, California-based company’s products, ClickTracks Professional and ClickTracks JDC, compare different statistics from the ads and highlight variances that show evidence of suspicious activity. The technology works with the Google, Yahoo, and MSN search engines.
The software highlights statistics such as the number of clicks that come from a certain country, the number of sessions with no referrer site for the click, and the number of different IP addresses.
Not checking where your images come from can be costly
Over the last month, we have had 2 customers that have received threats of either legal action, or simply invoices regarding supposed image and trade mark violations.
Be warned, there is software available that will simply trawl the net, looking for both copyright, image and trademark violations. It wouldn't surprise me if these companies were on some kind of commission!
So, the days of the Internet being the perfect place to "borrow" images and to use trade names without permission are over.
Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?