Contracts for every occasion: Cease and desist letter (Copyright infringement)

Somone else is using your copyrighted material! Pattern you cease and desist letter after this example.

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This form is a sample cease and desist letter sent in response to copyright infringement. The particular infringement described is the unauthorized use of materials that had previously been a part of the owner's Web site. In this example a derivative work that was essentially identical was used on the infringer's Web site. This letter may be sent by e-mail, but it should also be sent in hard copy by certified mail.


Your Letterhead

Dear [name of infringer]

It has come to my attention that you have made an unauthorized use of my copyrighted work entitled [name of work] (the "Work") in the preparation of a work derived therefrom. I have reserved all rights in the Work, which was first published in 1999 on http://www.mycompany', and I have registered the copyright.

Your work entitled [name of infringing work] and which appears on your web site at, is essentially identical to the Work and clearly used the Work as its basis. [Give few examples that illustrate direct copying and/or unfair use.]

You neither asked for nor received permission to use the Work as the basis for [name of infringing work] nor to make or distribute copies of it. Therefore, I believe you have willfully infringed my rights under 17 USC Section 101, et seq. and could be liable for statutory damages as high as $100,000.

I demand that you immediately cease the use and distribution of all infringing works derived from the Work, and all copies of it, and that you deliver to me all unused, undistributed copies of it, or destroy such copies immediately, and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future. If I have not received an affirmative response from you by [date] indicating that you have fully complied with these requirements, I shall consider taking the full legal remedies available to rectify this situation.


(Your Name)

Important Notice: This is a sample form for illustrative purposes. This sample may not be suitable for your particular circumstances and different agreements or legal arrangements may be necessary depending on your jurisdiction. Therefore, you should not use this sample, or any part, without the advice of competent legal counsel. provides CNET with relevant partner content designed to provide useful, current, and accurate legal information for Internet professionals, Web masters, Web publishers, and entrepreneurs. Based in San Diego, California, is owned by INET Legal Network.