Stolen website content and what to do about it

Posted by Tiger Marketing on 19 June 2023

We’re proud of our website. It’s been nominated for awards, and we put a tonne of effort into crafting the layout and design, commissioning bespoke illustrations, and writing engaging yet demystified content with no jargon! There’s even a hidden meaning behind why we’ve trumped other jungle animals over a tiger (which you can find out about on our ‘Where’s the Tiger?’ page). So, you can imagine the feeling of rage when we came across this:

‘Reach wider’?! Pfft!

The thieves had copied everything except our logo, strapline and ‘The Tiger Team’ page. They’d even copied our structure, source code and metadata. Now, they say ‘imitation is the greatest form of flattery’, but plagiarising our hard work is simply disrespectful, and lazy – not to mention illegal on the grounds of copyright infringement. We needed to act quickly to avoid this stolen content having a negative impact on our search engine optimisation ranking and our wider reputation.

What to do if some lazy scoundrel copies your website…

We advise you to do the following in this order, as this is how we received our quickest responses:

  • Record your findings as you will need proof
    • Copy URLs
    • Screenshot images
    • Look at Wayback Machine to see when they copied your site
  • Contact their web hosting company
    • You can find out who their hosting provider is by entering their domain name on Go Daddy or Site Checker (see email template below)
  • File reports to Google and Bing

To report your alleged copyright infringements, complete the information requested in the following forms (you can use copy from the templates below):

  • Take legal action
    • Hopefully it won’t be necessary but if the above channels don’t work, seeking legal advice for the next steps to protect your brand and reputation is imperative.

The results

Website owner: An anonymous response came back from the company in question after 45 minutes and simply said: “I will look into this and get back to you.”

We followed up the next day asking for clarification of what happened, and to confirm the website had been taken down (thanks to our swift action in contacting third parties) and that this would not be attempted again.

The website hosting company: The hosting company was the first to come back to us. We received an automated response immediately with the reassuring line: “We take abuse complaints seriously and process them with due diligence. As an active player in the fight against spam and illicit activities on the internet…”

Then 1 hour and 24 mins later (which is pretty ROARsome in our books), the hosting company came back with the following:

“Dear Madam,

Thank you for bringing the domain name < [the thieving company] > to our attention.

Following an internal investigation, we have suspended the domain name.

Please feel free to contact us should you require any further information.”

Search engines: Google came back to us late that evening (but still on the same day) with:

“Hello, Thanks for reaching out to us. Upon recent review of the following URLs, we were unable to locate the content in question: [List domain URL].

If this matter is still a concern, please reply to this email with detailed information to enable us to locate the content and we will further investigate your request. Regards, The Google Team.

For more information about our content removal process, see”

Because Google took a while to respond, the hosting company had already completed the job by the time their reply came in, so there wasn’t anything to remove from Google.

Bing sent an immediate ‘pending’ submission report (pictured), but again we were covered by the hosting company.

Copyright infringement email templates

We wrote and sent out the following emails to ensure a quick response. Feel free to use the templates to send to those who have committed copyright infringement by stealing website copy or design.

Email template to web hosting company

To whom this may concern,

I am writing to notify you of the copyright infringement and unlawful use of my copyrighted material that appears on the service for which you’re the designated hosting agent and to request the immediate removal of the infringing material from your servers.

My details:

  • [your name and role]
  • [your website URL]

I have discovered that the company [business name in question] have stolen and are currently displaying my design, logo, and content without my permission or consent.

The infringing material in question can be found at the following location(s):

  • [List domain URL]

and here are several (but not all) of the various subpages:

  • [List the slugs / subpages of the URL]
  • [List the slugs / subpages of the URL]
  • [List the slugs / subpages of the URL] etc

I have written directly to the company (email trail below) – please can you confirm that you have taken the necessary actions to help me have the infringing material removed.

Please confirm the removal of the infringing material from your servers and any other action you have taken.


Thank you.

Email template to complain directly to website owner

To whom this may concern,

I am writing to bring to your attention a serious matter of copyright infringement and illegal use of my intellectual property on your website. I have discovered that you have blatantly stolen and are currently displaying my design, logo, and content without my permission or consent.

The infringing material in question can be found at the following location(s) on your website:

  • [List domain URL]

and here are several (but not all) of the various subpages:

  • [List the slugs / subpages of the URL]
  • [List the slugs / subpages of the URL]
  • [List the slugs / subpages of the URL] etc

I would like to make it unequivocally clear that this unauthorised use is in direct violation of the copyright laws in place to protect creative works and intellectual property. The design, logo, and content that you have reproduced and made public without my authorisation are protected by copyright, which I hold as the rightful owner.

I demand that you immediately remove and cease the use of the following items on your website:

  • [List their domain URL]

Furthermore, I request that you confirm in writing, within 7 business days from the date of this email (add in relevant date), that you have taken the necessary actions to remove all infringing material from your website permanently. Failure to comply with this request will leave me with no choice but to take legal action to protect my rights. Please be aware that legal remedies may include but are not limited to seeking damages, injunctions, and the recovery of attorney fees incurred in the process.

I strongly urge you to rectify this situation promptly and amicably to avoid any further escalation. I trust that you understand the seriousness of this matter and will act responsibly to resolve it. I have retained copies of all relevant evidence documenting the theft and unauthorised use of my intellectual property, which can be presented as necessary. Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.


I await your immediate action and response.


Yay! Ding dong the witch is dead!

If this happens to you, we feel your frustrations! Yes, it does mean you’ve done a fabulous job and are downright ROARsome – but it’s wrong and those who steal your content should not be allowed to get away with it.

Hopefully you’ll get a speedy response too!

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