According to James Beltz on his PhotoTips podcast some 3 years back, 90% of the websites in the world are hosted on servers located in either the USA or Europe. Now, how is that a help or useful information for someone getting their artworks stolen. Well, a law was created in 1996 the USA called the DMCA law. Luckily for us artists these US laws were also taken up and are upheld in European countries as well. So, if you are clever at puzzles, and understand the DMCA Takedown principle you will understand that you don’t need to chase the thief anymore, or the website hosting the image. You simply only need to send a DMCA request (make it official) to the ISP (Internet Service Provider). Now, James has done a valiant job in setting up a great site that walks anyone through this whole process. It is explained in this video:[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?https://youtu.be/OQR-CAr0-s8&w=640&h=385]
You can find all the information he talks about at the following website: PictureDefense. This is a god send for troubled people who need to resolve theft of images quickly. The reason his commentary is spot on, is he underlines the fact that the reason you don’t need to approach either the thief or the site is that due to the DMCA statutes, ISP have to set up DMCA registered record offices. So, as long as you make the claim public (as described in his website), then they have to do something about it, as the consequences are that they will be sued for breaking the law. This means that you will need to fill in a DMCA form, or fill a Cease and Desist letter with the ISP.
In my research to unfold some of the complexities of this process I stumbled upon a site that offers several prepared forms that simply need aspects filling in, and can then be used as a complaints document sent to the ISP. These can be found on a great website called; PlagiarismToday. Now, as I know from experience, several sites already have take-down forms, but these forms are their own internal mechanism. What the ISP approach does is it basically goes for the jugular and cuts it at the source. Saying that, over the next few days I will also do a comprehensive list of Take-Down procedures for all of the found sites that comply to DMCA notices and/or their own anti-piracy procedures. So, on a happy note, hope you good hunting!