Someone says something unkind about you or about your product; someone steals your music or on line idea. Before we felt helpless and unable to do anything to protect ourselves, now there is a new way for protection and correction. It’s the Web Sheriff, who rides into town and sorts things out.
“People are brave when they think they’re anonymous,” said Jon Giacobbi, dubbed the Web Sheriff, “but the fact is no one really is. Somewhere along the line, there is a connection. With a combination of IP address and regular gum shoe investigation , it’s almost always possible to find who is bugging you on line. It works worldwide, just like the internet does. The weakness can be found anywhere from Iceland and the North Pole to South America or Russia.
Most people, once they are found out and are told what they are doing is not nice, unethical and asked politely to stop, they will. “We try to appeal to people’s better nature. Make it positive and treat them with respect. If they still refused, then we take legal action. A lot has to do with traffic reeducation. Treating people with respect is a much more positive outreach than resorting to legal action."
A former music attorney, Giacobbi originally represented the Village People. This was in the early days of the internet when it was easier to rip people off. People would dress Indian style and do fake band tours and fake albums. He realized that something had to be done about this. After all, if he didn’t stop the infringements, all the work that his client had done to promote themselves would have gone to these other people. And so, he investigated.
Once he had taken care of the music problem, he began tackling other web related issues as cyber bullying. By confronting people, he is able to clean up reputations and stop harassments, on line fraud and the like. "It's critical to know what is going on with your name and check the on line sources every few months. " He told of one female star whose name and likeness had been taken to make a false website and promote porno. On Twitter and Facebook, too, there are a lot of bogus tweets that can damage a person's repututation.
There are a lot of ways to remain safe on the internet but many people ignore them. He spoke of a recent murder case in London where the man had a website devoted to strangling women! The victim, who had an online romance with the man and set to go on a blind date, never thought to check him out. It took a huge amount of pressure to get the server to take the site down, but eventually, they did. He warns parents to be careful of what details their children put on line. "It can come back to haunt you."
Basically, his firm deals with protecting music or other intellectual property rights as trademarks and brands, but he also works with the feds, as well. " We send out secure encrypted streams and upload the album to a secret website. "We send out releases ourselves and keep things as tight as possible. It's always best to come to us before leakage can occur or damage can be done.
He thought the name Web Sheriff was a bit cheesy, but once he had sorted things out for the band, it stuck.
To find out more about the web sheriff and ways to protect yourself or your product, go to www.websheriff.com.
Published on Nov 25, 2011