How to produce a legally binding screenshot?


one of our competitors has stolen contents from our website on a massive scale and published them on their own website.

Does anyone know how to make a legally binding screenshot or to somehow freeze the current development stage? Maybe there’s a service somewhere that records the entire Internet, so you can view websites / URLs as they were one or two years ago?

I am just worried that a normal screenshot may not suffice when this case goes to court.

Thanks for any help.

P.S: We reside in Germany, so no legal consultation is required.

You could try which can frequently give you a historical view of a website.

It’s hard to answer without knowing what your specific concerns are. If you are worried that someone might feel that the screenshot has been altered, you could always put the site on your screen and hold a newspaper or other item that verifies the date next to the screen and take a photograph of your workstation - that would demonstrate that the screenshot was made on your machine on a particular date, etc.

People who live in Germany don’t need legal services?

Hey Sagewing,

Thanks for your help. Since the website in question is relatively new, it is not available on unfortunately :frowning:

I did already take a photo of my workstation (with the system date on screen) but I am not entirely sure that it will be accepted by German courts. The trick with the newspaper won’t work in this case I’m afraid because you could easily grab a newspaper from the trash and put it next to your screen :wink:

We do, but I don’t want to ask too much of you guys :wink:

Is it really going to be necessary to go to court? Do you have a court case pending? In many cases in the US it’s relatively easy to approach the hosting company and compel them to remove the content on their end. Even easier is to push the party who stole the content to remove it, which frequently works.

I’m curious why you are considering the admissibility of a screen shot in court - have you exhausted all of the ordinary avenues of enforcing copyright laws?

Hey Sagewing,

I assume that our legal system is different to yours.

In Germany, the standard route is to send a “warning notice” first asking the offender to remove the copied material from their website. The offender will also have to pay my attorney’s bills and pay a 4-figure fee for breach of copyright.

In this case, he refuses to do either of those things, so the only thing that’s left is going to court…

My attorney said that any judge will accept a screenshot as long as it’s done professionally and by a legal instance (such as an attorney), but I want to be 100% certain.

Sounds like you need a new attorney. I don’t second guess my attorney by asking anonymous strangers on the internet about legal issues! Get some good advice that you can trust. Good luck!

Gosh, I didn’t say that I don’t trust my attorney. But getting a second opinion on something should be allowed. Nobody is forcing you to comment on anything I post here.

A second opinion from strangers you meet on the street would be more meaningful than replies you’d get from a forum - at least those people are in the same country.

Ideally your second opinion if you get one should be from someone you know is qualified to have an opinion.