3 Reasons why we make use of personal agents

3 Reasons why we make use of personal agents

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When it comes to protecting your brand against piracy or counterfeit goods, it’s nice to have a fully automated solution that will continuously monitor for and remove infringing materials. However, complete automated solutions are not viable in this digital age anymore.

A great deal of copyright infringing websites are protecting themselves against bots, scrapers and search engines by posing them with certain challenges. Adding personal agents to your brand protection strategy will improve your situation heavily.  

Summary

  • What is a personal agent
  • What does a personal agent do
  • 3 Reasons why we’re making use of personal agents
  • Personal agents make a great addition to your content protection strategy

What is a personal agent

So, what is a personal agent? Unlike automated search engines, scrapers and bots – a personal agent is an actual human being who’ll manually look for copyright infringing content and counterfeit products. 

These agents can also be described as piracy or brand protection experts. They have years of practical knowledge & experience on how to find illegal content and on how to report and remove the content they’ve found. 

What does a personal agent do

What does a personal agent aka brand protection specialist do? They manually look for illegal content by looking through search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), cyberlockers, video sites, app stores, online marketplaces and many other sources & platforms.

Once they find copyright or trademark infringing content, they’ll contact the necessary parties and send out notices such as DMCA notices or a Cease & Desist notice. A personal agent will also always monitor the aftermath and does regular checks to see if content actually gets taken down.

Combined with automated search engines that monitor the web 24/7, you’ll have a complete and all-round solution. Whilst search engines and other automated solutions will find the service level infringements, a brand protection specialist will go for the deeper ones. 

3 Reasons why we’re making use of personal agents

Reason 1: They circumvent site blocks set up for bots

More and more websites are protecting themselves against bots and scrapers. This means that data from these sites cannot be gathered, or only partly collected. Not being able to collect data from such websites means that infringing content can go under the radar for automated solutions such as bots, scrapers and AI. 

Sites that protect themselves against bots and scrapers will do so by giving them several challenges. The most common type of challenge a bot might get is the CAPTCHA challenge. Sites might also check the scraper’s fingerprints such as browser, IP address or it’s behavior. If it fails a challenge, it’ll get blocked from the site and data can no longer be gathered.

Personal agents can circumvent these challenges by simply passing them. Agents are human and will behave like one, so there’s no reason for a site to block them. This means that data can be gathered from protected websites after all, which in turn means that brand protection specialists can look for infringing content and report it.

Reason 2: They can immediately make use of new information

Automated search engines, bots and scrapers make use of certain scripts to look for infringing content on websites. Some use keywords to look for copyright infringement, and others might use images or videos to look for illegal copies. The automated search engines then know what they have to look for.

What won’t happen is that when a new image, video or keyword pops up, it will not work with it until it gets added as an asset to the automated search engine. This means that new infringing material might not be picked up on as it’s found.

Luckily, personal agents can immediately adapt and make use of new information. If a brand protection specialist finds a new keyword that leads to more illegal content, they will immediately make use of it and add it to their arsenal. 

The same will happen when an agent finds an illegally shared piece of content that was not known to the automated search engines. They will save the information and immediately start working with it to get copyright infringing or counterfeit content removed. 

Reason 3: They can dive deeper than bots and software

Automated search engines, bots and scrapers are great tools to monitor for and find copyright infringing content and counterfeit goods. They’ll save companies a lot of time by grabbing the bulk of infringing content without having to lift a finger. 

Then why have personal agents looking for the same content? Agents can also dive deeper into hard to reach places than a bot can. While closed forums and private groups on social media are nearly impossible for automated bots and scrapers to crack, it’s a simple task for a brand protection specialist

These agents will create accounts and act as one of the forum or group members to get in. Once they’re in, they can go ahead and report any illicitly acquired content that’s been shared in these groups, and finally they’ll take it down.

Personal agents make a great addition to your content protection strategy

While most companies are looking for fully automated solutions to combat online piracy, they should also think about the benefits of a brand protection specialist. A personal agent will manually go where a scraper or bot cannot. 

Does this mean that automated search engines are less valuable? Not at all. They can save companies a lot of work by grabbing most service level copyright infringements or counterfeit goods. A personal agent is great combined with an automated solution. Whilst the automated engines will look for the service level threats, the agent will go deeper and tackle deeper problems and infringements.

Onsist offers brand protection solutions that make use of automated solutions in combination with a brand protection specialist that’ll work for you.

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