Website Owners - Posting "Terms of Use" necessary?

People occassionally “borrow” from my website (graphics, articles, etc). When I confront them they say that I did NOT have terms of use posted and they did not know it was wrong.

To me, that is ridiculous. I do have a copyright notice on each of my pages.
Let’s face it, paper money does NOT have a terms of use statement that declares “copying of this document is illegal and will result in prosecution and/or imprisonment”.

I could give other examples but I think you get the point. So, is it necessary to post a terms of use statement OR is the copyright enough? I feel that those who illegally copy pages, graphics, etc are just claiming ignorance of the law.

Copyright protects all the content, including graphics. A Terms of Use statement further protects you from abuses by visitors of your site, but is not strictly necessary if all you need to do is protect content.

They’re blowing smoke. Under current law, copyright has to be assumed, especially if you have a copyright notice.

You can take them to court, but unless you register the copyright, all you can expect is an order for them to stop using your graphics. If you register the copyright, then you have them by the short hairs. If they tried that “terms of use” argument in court, a first-year law student could get the judge to ignore it.

Thanks QED and Reality Chuck