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Piratereports.com cause damange to my business

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by tech4, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. #1
    I received an email at 12 AM on 3/31/2009 from
    "Gheorghe Pantea" <GheorgheP@piratereports.com>

    Claiming that my site used the Vbulletin forum illegally and the person believe that he has concrete evidence so. The email was sent to my host and my service terminated, forum shut down. Has anyone have experience with this domain name? This domain and its owner claim to be working for Jelsoft/Vbulletin.

    I forwarded my license to my host, to Jelsoft for legal discussion, sent an abuse email to Godaddy, try to take legal action against the owner of the domain for causing my business to be shut down. I also sent an email to domainsbyproxy to reveal the owner behind the proxy in case I have to go to court and pursue actions.

    The email is attached below. I do own the license as as said, I took whatever is necessary.

    I want to know. What else should I do in this case to get my service back, what can I do, what are my rights? Is the site legitimate. I have not yet receive a reply from Jelsoft yet. But here's the slandering email that claims "good faith" to believe that I have a DMCA case. However I already sent a copy of the license to respected parties, except for the slander piratereports.com which cause my business downtime physically.

    The email also attached a file called PGP.Sig. I did not download it because I fear its a virus file.

    Your insight into this legal matter would help.

    Thanks for reading.
    SEMrush

    ::::
    DMCA NOTIFICATION OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

    Date: 31 March 2009

    Greetings

    I am an agent authorized to act on behalf of Jelsoft Enterprises Limited who exclusively own vBulletin, a forum Software.

    I can find no record of this user holding a valid current site license for this location URL.Site

    Please suspend/remove the GUI and files and prevent future abuse.

    NB: If at your own prerogative you offer your client an opportunity to remove the site themselves or purchase a license as opposed to your removal or suspension of service, please be aware that Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. whilst happy to respect your goodwill gesture, in no way requests or requires such action from you and reserves the right to decline the license purchase and refund the fee. Copyright protection not revenue collection is our primary concern and motivation, and some forums which will not fully comply with the licensing terms and conditions cannot be accepted.

    Formality:

    In accordance with the provisions the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998

    Please expeditiously "take down" or "block access" to the infringing material and take appropriate action against the customer to prevent future abuse.

    Declaration:

    I, the undersigned, CERTIFY UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that I am an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner of certain intellectual property rights, said exclusive owners being named:

    Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Howarth Lodge, 7 Reading Road, Pangbourne, Reading, RG8 7LR

    I have a good faith belief that the items or materials listed below are not authorized by the above intellectual property owners, their agents, or the law and therefore infringe their rights.

    I further aver that the information contained in the Notice is accurate.

    Software: vBulletin

    I may be contacted at:

    Gheorghe Pantea
    Investigator
    Italian Office

    Pirate Reports
    PO Box 36
    EAST MOLESEY
    Surrey
    KT8 9XT
    ENGLAND

    Tel: 44(0)20 8941 1843
    Skype: Piratereports

    Email:

    Truthfully,

    G Pantea

    This information may be passed to your client who should already be aware of the situation. The sender accepts no responsibility for an end users incorrect registration or failure to do so as the Terms and Conditions of Use are clearly explained as an integral part of the purchase procedure.
     
    tech4, Mar 31, 2009 IP
    Brandon Sheley likes this.
    SEMrush
  2. tscbh

    tscbh Peon

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    #2
    I think you should wait for vBulletin team to reply. Normally, they reply very quick, within an hour.

    I am subscribing to this interesting thread to see how you go.
     
    tscbh, Mar 31, 2009 IP
    Brandon Sheley likes this.
  3. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #3
    Notice I receive the DMCA notification at 12:00 AM in the morning US Eastern Time. Talking about a wake up call?

    Anyway, I sent an email Jelsoft at about 8 AM in the morning Eastern time, just receive a reply at about 12PM Eastern time, 4 hrs later, here's the message.

    [The problem was that you issued a dispute with Paypal on Feb. 23rd concerning this purchase and they charges it back. Then the dispute was removed on Mar. 2nd without telling us.

    I have reinstated this license and will forward this to Pirate Reports so they can follow-up.

    Best regards,
    Steve Machol
    Customer Support Manager, vBulletin]

    1St of all, they never apologized for cutting my service off.
    2nd they never bothered to check the license
    3 they never bothered to email me, just hit the DMCA button and sent my forum into the oblivion
    4 they never bothered to contact my host to apologize to fix the problem even though I requested/demanded.

    So now my problems wont be solve until the fat cow comes home.

    All they say was "sending follow up" guess to who? to the screw up who never bothered to email me before permanently destroying my businesses. questioning my integrity without sending any warning, out of nowere, 12:AM in the morning, a DMCA.

    How professional is that?

    FYI I purchased the license Feb 23/2009.
    I did not instigate anything with paypal, paypal was verifying if my account have been hack, and sent Jelsoft a notice to asked if the purchase was valid. Both me and Jelsoft confirmed the purchase was valid, hence, there was no charge back or cases whatsover.

    A month later, out of nowhere, a DMCA from some unfriend "good faith" pirate junky who works for Jelsolf/Vbulletin to say that I am using stolen goods etc.,

    ----
    To Jelsoft's reponse, I find this unprofessional. I wish I never have wasted money on Jelsoft/Vbulletin.

    Anyway, the software is owned license, I bought the blog with it too. Dissapointed that they do not check anything, and the pirate junky is a slanderous lizard with no ethics whatsover. Should have contacted me before telling my host to shut down my business and slandering me as a person who stole Jelsoft property online.

    Anyone wants to buy it off of me?


    Are there other legal recourse which I can take against this pirate junky in the meantime?
    Because Jelsoft has not send anything to my host yet, and my problem at this point is unresolve, my business forum is down for good.
     
    tech4, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  4. FightRice

    FightRice Peon

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    #4
    First i'd find a better host that doesn't delete your things on the whim of a DMCA complaint without giving you time to respond.

    Secondly, I'd tell pirate reports to eat a fat one every single chance I got and then get a pirated vBulletin and host it in some 3rd world country while flaunting it in their face every single day just out of spite.

    Other than that there isn't anything you can do. Pirate Reports gets their info from Jelsoft, so I'd take the fight to those clowns.
     
    FightRice, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  5. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #5
    I have to find a way to migrate the database/users to another forum, not sure how much that's going to cost now. It cost me a lot of time configuring, hiring, advertising, just to find out some pirate junky working for Jelsoft did not check his facts.

    Should have contacted me before throwing a DMCA and saying that I am an online thief.
    -------------

    What other legal actions do you recommends?

    The point is, I can't believe Vbulletin hiring some pirate junky who never checks his facts or even sending a notice before sending a DMCA in the middle of the night.

    Other forums that you recommend besides Vbulletin/Jelsoft and their pirate junky?
     
    tech4, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  6. tscbh

    tscbh Peon

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    #6
    Can you sue them and make them pay for the damages they've caused?

    You can try phpBB and Simple Machine, they are free.
    I am not sure if you can resell the vBulletin licence.
     
    tscbh, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  7. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #7
    Are PHPBB and simple machine easy to configure? Do they run on ads? Because I would like to put my own ads up.

    Any other reliable forum software which are professional and reputable. Unlike Jelsoft and its Pirate Junky who does not check the fact before slandering someone as an online thief.
     
    tech4, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  8. mori

    mori Peon

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    #8
    phpbb? its opensource :D http://www.phpbb.com Dont know if the newest version haves a converter from invsion to phpbb
     
    mori, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  9. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #9
    Thanks for the link, I am trying to access my data now. My host 3ix.org acted stupid like they do not know what's going on.

    Anyone know how to use full site backup files to backup in the cpanel? can it be used?
    Inside the fullbackup.zip I found "homedir" not sure if that's the home directory backup I needed.

    thanks.
     
    tech4, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  10. hvalle98

    hvalle98 Active Member

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    #10
    I use it. The home directory is located in homedir\public_html\ and databases on the mysql folder of the compressed file
     
    hvalle98, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  11. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #11
    Its been a tiring day, at 12 AM in the morning you find out that some so called pirate junky have uproot your business startup.
    sent supports and live chats to your host technicians throughout the day.

    Received an email from Jelsoft with no apology or asking my host to reinstate my site.
    Working hard all day to get site back up.

    After 12 hours of hard working, more than 12 hours of site downtime, some paid users are wondering if my site will be there tomorrow. Luckily I was able to make a backup. But it was a fullsitebackup not homedirectory. I had to have the technicians restore, finally it is now settle.

    Very tiring. I hope that if Anyone is planning to use Jelsoft and their pirate junky to check and reconsider. They do not check their facts, are negligent in their investigation, should have contacted their customers before filing a DMCA order and "good faith" email to destroy someone's business. BTW my forum was physically deleted. But I had a backup else...everything down the drain.

    I will continue to use Vbulletin for what its worth, $250 USD and over 1,000 in marketing costs, designs, hiring forum writers, paying for contents, countless hours of configuration costing me alot. So I can't say I will throw it out yet, but regardless, dissapointed at their response no apology whatsoever. Blames it on paypal and me, act if they didn't know a thing.

    NEGLIGENT.
     
    tech4, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  12. Wz Network

    Wz Network Peon

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    #12
    Piratereports was only doing their job. VBulletin is the one to blame for not keeping up with the transaction. If I was you, I would have kept my site up if I knew I purchased the license!
     
    Wz Network, Mar 31, 2009 IP
  13. tscbh

    tscbh Peon

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    #13
    I think you should ask vBulletin for an apology letter to your hosting. You should post that letter in your home page to apologize for your paying member.
     
    tscbh, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  14. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #14
    Thanks for the Supports. If I do not receive an apology from Vbulletin to my host or me (assuming that they let me know) if not. I will personally write a letter of the situation on my page too and apologize to my users for the negligent in Using Vbulletin Software, not knowing that they a pirated system which doesn't check anything and instead of notifying its customer it decides to shut down sites.

    Why? It believes in "GOOD Faith" that it has evidence. Well good faith isn't enough. Especially when you are shutting down a business site with your "good faith" and "I believe" etc.,
     
    tech4, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  15. ShiftChip

    ShiftChip Well-Known Member

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    #15
    Yeah you can sue them for loss of income, time wasted, and for your frustration.
     
    ShiftChip, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  16. donny meddly

    donny meddly Peon

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    #16
    Many you shouldnt have been using pirated software in the first place
     
    donny meddly, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  17. bobbyt

    bobbyt Active Member

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    #17
    vBulletin owned license call be sold, this is not possible with leased license. Judging from the price OP paid, it should be an owned license.

    I have configured phpBB by myself with zero prior experience in any forum script, I think you would be able to handle just fine. Even if you don't plan to migrate immediately, you can still install it onto a spare domain or subdomain and just play around and get used to it.

    You are able to run your own ads, like someone said, phpBB is an open source script.

    donny meddly, you should try reading through the whole thread, it is only at its first page. OP said he owned a legitimate license, which is also confirmed by Jelsoft.
     
    bobbyt, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  18. tech4

    tech4 Active Member

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    #18
    thanks BobbyT.

    What reliable hosting do you recommend, because for some reasons my site has a lot of downtime with my current host.
    I am not looking reseller hosting, I am looking for something like Yahoo. However the problem with Yahoo is that it only accepts dot com, dot net, dot org, dot info and such as valid extension. It doesn't recognized other extensions.
     
    tech4, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  19. hostlonestar

    hostlonestar Peon

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    #19
    I would not use Yahoo. They are a horrible host. I have heard nothing but bad things about them. They are a company that focuses on email and search engine. They have a horrible support system, I've heard you're lucky to get a reply back within a week for a simple support request.

    And I would also stay away from PHPBB. They have a bad history of being exploited. Check out www.simplemachines.org. You can see at http://forum.succeedwithgoogle.com, I have SMF installed and I run it all the time. I installed it in 15 minutes my first time ever back in 07. If you would like some help with it just send me a PM and I'll be able ot point you in the right direction. I have installed it so many times for my clients (it's a free service I offer them) that I can do it in my sleep.

    They also now have a way to install the SMF v.2RC1 without even uploading your files (It's exctly what I did with the succeedwithgoogle.com forum) that takes as long as it takes you to set up your databases and click on it.

    You can sue them for not doing their due dillegence before reporting you. You would only get what you can prove as potential lost income, the time you spent dealing with this, and any frustration you've had to go through.

    I would recommend you change hosts, as another said. A host has an obligation to their customer to verify any and all DMCA notices. First, the person must be an authorized agent. Then they have to prove they own the copyright and you are not using the software/script/whatever in accordance with a license. A host has a duty to verify everything, as well as demand proof. Any host that just takes you offline without hearing your side of the story is not a host you should be with.
     
    hostlonestar, Apr 1, 2009 IP
  20. dscurlock

    dscurlock Prominent Member

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    #20
    sadly to say that vbullein in my opinion is the best, and if you do settle for free, your quality will be very poor as free forums are not updated nearly as much as VB...It is unfortunate that you got caught up in this mess.

    I almost laughed when someone above said "sue" if you were a multi-million dollar company and you suffered losses into the millions, then i suppose some greedy attorney would love this, but for the simple fact you invested what, $1-2k and lots of time, this is hardly worth the time of an attorney that would cost you 10-100 times as much to pursue, if you could find an idiot attorney at all. I was in a car wreck a few years ago, nearly killed my new job, because of back issues, no attorney would bother with me, unless an attorney thinks this is so severe, then your going to waste your time. no attorney is going to waste their time because of your fustrations and small investment into VB...on top of that, if you did by some chance of a miracle make it in the court room, jelsoft will keep it going until you file BK, the end...they win...

    learn from the lesson, get your domain back, move on with your life, as jelsoft does
    not care either way weather your fustrated or not, and remember, if you decide you
    want to discredit jelsoft even more on your site, they can pull your lic, contact piraite, and
    you will once again be in the same situation...so think wisely before posting about them on your forum.
     
    dscurlock, Apr 1, 2009 IP