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Copyright, Berne & the DMCA

It happens more often and frequently than you think. You publish your masterpeice, a work of art, and somebody decides that they can use it gratis free for their own commercial project without permission, let alone add sufficient attribution.

The question is what can you do after this occurs and what can you do to prevent it from happening in the future.


Before you approach the DMCA or Google, you need to be a 100% sure that you are the copyright owner for your work. If you materially misrepresent that your rights have been infinged you could be liabale damages including costs and attorneys fees. Copyright is designed to protect your work. If you create something original, be it a website, painting or piece of music you immeadiately become the copyright holder for your lifetime and for up to 70 years after your death. You do not need to do anything to register your copyright or use a copyright symbol, it is just one of things that happens for you on your behalf.

The Berne Convention

The Berne Convention was first established in 1887 in France. Victor Hugo was a key player in the development of this international convention. Prior to its instigation is was not possible for copyrighted works to be accessible outside their country of origin. Eventhough established over 120 years ago most emerging nations such as Bulgaria did not join the converntion until the late 1960s. The Berne Convention effectively protects your work under the copyright rules of the country of origin. The map below illustrates the countries that are a part of the Berne Convention (highlighted in blue)

Berne Convention

By User:ConsciousOwn work. This file was derived from:BlankMap-World6.svgBerne Convention.png, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link


DMCA stands for Digital Millenium Copyright Act. A website at is owned and operated by the Digital Millenium Copyright Services Act Ltd. If you beleive that your website content has been stolen you can ask this company to serve what is called a take down notice on your behalf. A takedown notice will enable a process where the content is removed from Google’s search engine results pages as well as ultimately the offending website itself. The DMCA website offers two kind of services, free and professional ones. Their free service provide all the guideliness you need to create your own takedown notice. The profressional services start at £199 per take down and are a fully comprehensive legal solution. However if you add a DMCA badge to your website and if your content is stolen you can apply to the DMCA for a free. The badges provided by the DMCA are similar to the one featured below Protection Status


If you want to view online complaints such as DMCA takedown notices you can visit the Lumen Database. This website contains details on who is filing complaints and the type of copyright infringement that is being complained about. If you are curious about filing a legal complaint it is a good place to start.

The Cost of Website Development

This is a question I still find myself asking and it is one of those that will not go away. There is no price standardisation on the web? Prices for websites vary from person to person and from country to country. The market for website design is fully globalised, currency and its relative value are a big influence on what can be charged. When competing for work you are competing against developers from countries where the average cost of living can be as much as 182% cheaper, with rent nearly 400% cheaper.

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Geoblocking and Price Discrimination

Within a single currency is deemed unethical to charge different prices for a single product if this difference is the result of a person’s race or nationality. Trading online means that you can offer prices in different currencies. If you are trading in Europe, European law dictates that you cannot discriminate on terms of nationality. The question is how does this apply to ecommerce and in particular geoblocking? Geoblocking is where you use a persons IP to restrict access to certain content.

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Free Software, GPL and WordPress

The GPL license was created by the free software foundation. The majority of free software is open source. However open source software with a restrictive license that prohibits derivatives is not published under the GPL. The GPL grants you the ability to copy, modify and distribute software. So for example if you modify a WordPress theme or plugin that is published under the GPL you have to ensure that the version you create remains free.

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WooCommerce Payment Gateways

WooCommerce is an Ecommerce extension for WordPress. It became part of the official Automattic (WordPress Family) last year. Great news for everyone! WooCommerce allows you to use your WordPress setup as an online store. According to WooThemes, the makers of WooCommerce, it now powers 30% of all online stores. This is over 1 million downloads. WooCommerce is free, however the payment gateways, besides Paypal, are not.

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Multilingual Ecommerce with WPML

Here at Premier Design I am happy to say that we have finished work on our first fully internationalised WordPress and Woocommerce themes. Eventually and after much debate it was decided that WPML (The WordPress Multilingual Plugin) was the best fit becasue of its ability to translate Woocommerce. Working with the plugin was a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a multilingual ecommerce website

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Google Maps and the Community

Google Maps and its associated software allows you to create bespoke Geographical Information Systems (GIS). To create these applications a knowledge of JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, MYSQL and API leverage is essential. Geographical Information Systems can have a range of uses. As an individual I have developed systems orientated at conservation and more recently a GIS for Enthuse Care. I created a GIS designed to help the care company assess the viability of new clients in relation to their geographic location.

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Auto Trade Expo Dublin 2016

The weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of October 2016 marked the Auto Trade Expo in Dublin. Premier Design were involved in the creation of an online and offline system that allowed registrants to be able to have badges printed on the day of the event as well as at home prior to the event. All the badges featured individual details and barcodes containing unique codes. We are happy to say that the software was a complete success. Faultlessly handling over 4000 registrants over the events two days.

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Google and Affiliate Advertising

Google has certain parameters that need to be met before a website can be considered of actual value to Google users. It is outlined in an article in Google Webmasters the way affiliate advertising can be used and how to retain a good search engine listing.

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Affiliate Websites – Marketing with AWS

If you have an affiliate website you have an opportunity to develop a residual income. Being an affiliate allows you to earn commission for promoting quality goods and services. All you need is a website or social media profile that will get you accepted onto an affiliate program. Amazon has one of the largest affiliate programs. If fact many well known high street retailers offer commission for website referrals.

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Internationalisation (i18n) – WordPress

As part of my ongoing work for Vespe and their retail of match fishing products I am being asked to create a multilingual WordPress site or alternatively a set of sites all in different languages. The question is what is the best option for this and how well will it work with a plugin such as the IQ Block Country Plugin. The most important consideration is the internationalisation of the WordPress themes and custom plugins.

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An Introduction – WP Plugin Guidelines

I recently submitted a plugin for review by WordPress for inclusion in their repository. I figured that the plugin I had built was okay and that it would provide a good way for people to share content on the web.

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JQuery Sliders and JavaScript Deferment

I have for the past few months been working on jQuery sliders and Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation with JavaScript. A lot of this work has been related to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), particularly page speed.

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