I have made an internet site where I describe the habits of a certain dog’s breed. Now, to my surprise, i have found out that a “friend” of mine has copied most of the contents and has built a site very similar to mine. What can i do to stop him?

The Internet site, if innovative and original, must be considered an intellectual work and, as such, is protected by the law on copyright. Without getting into the merit of judicial complex discussions related to the type of right emerging from the site as is, it is correct to say that the publishing of a text on the web gives the same entitlement granted to a book, the same as publishing a photo or a drawing on the web gives the right as printing them. Having said this, the alleged friend cannot copy the contents and reproduce them in his own site, as he commits plagiarism, forbidden by the law. This applies also if the texts are slightly modified or some different graphics are added, as the basic context is the same. The first thing to be done, in such cases, is to try proving what is happening, by printing the pages or saving them in a digital way, maybe even affixing a digital signature on the same support. Having done this, it is convenient, first of all, to send a letter to the other party by a trusted attorney, whilst, if the situation persists, then there is nothing left but to go to a judge. In such situations it is possible to ask for the provision of an urgent measure and then an immediate and provisional ban with which the judge orders the other party to cancel all the alleged copied contents. Afterwards, there will have to be a proper lawsuit to establish the rights or wrongs, but in the meantime the damaged subject can immediately see the plagiarism being stopped.