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What to do about folks that "steal" your website

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by hulkster, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. #1
    Ummmm ... from last night's Analog report, it looks like someone did a complete scrape of my personal www.komar.org website using the WebReaper Tool - the IP address used for the scrape was 81.154.138.246 which resolves to host81-154-138-246.range81-154.btcentralplus.com. After some initial views with Mozilla from the same IP address starting at 1019 MDT, WebReaper v9.8 slurped everything from 1030-1053 MDT, June 12th, 2004 - this activity just JUMPS out from the web logs as wierd/suspicious activity.

    Even more interesting (dastardly?) is that they then replicated the entire www.komar.org web site at a new URL - you can see this at www.leswingjive.com - they not only copied/replicated all the text (including the copyright notices), but also all the images, many of which have visible copyright notices!

    Attached below is the publically available whois record for the leswingjive domain and www.epsilis.co.uk appears to be Epsilis, Ltd. which is an SEO company with Michael Spencer listed at the Managing Director.

    I'll probably end up dropping 'em a note and ask (basically) WTF, but anyone know these guys and/or have any other recommendations?

    Thanx,
    alek

    Publically available Whois record - technical contacts are http://hotchilli.co.uk

    EVENING UPDATE: Good catch mushroom - I assume what you are referring to is that he is (trying) to change the Adsense Publisher ID from mine to pub-3436355362882820 which I assume is his - tsk, tsk - that's really naughty!
    SEMrush
    I sent Michael an Email saying most of what I wrote above - i.e. why was this done and please remove it - will let folks know what he responds with. They should be waking up in a few hours over there, so I hope I get a response/action.


    MORNING UPDATE: My content is no longer visible and now shows info on "Fever Dating" with a point of contact of I got a response from Michael Spencer apologizing for the "outrageous behavior" on the part of one of their clients. I then got a "note of apology" from someone named Graeme at saying:
    Which is pretty lamoo if you ask me - I think I'm going to write back to them and ask about the swapping in of their Adsense ID - I think we can all agree this clearly showed malicious intent.

    I might mention that in addition to links back to Epsilis WebDesign, they appear to also have some affiliations with Fever Dating at www.feverdating.com and Sing n Jive at www.swingjive.co.uk


    Finally, I think I'm going to have to review/update my Copyright page and maybe have a section to talk about war stories like this ...
     
    hulkster, Jun 13, 2004 IP
    SEMrush
  2. dazzlindonna

    dazzlindonna Peon

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    #2
    man, i hate people who do that! Definitely an email and a call to them to tell them that they will be reported to their hosting company as well as google, etc. unless they remove it immediately. That sometimes is all it takes. If that doesn't work, do report them to the hosting company first. Usually a hosting company will shut them down.
     
    dazzlindonna, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  3. debunked

    debunked Prominent Member

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    #3
    And why would this dork steal your site?? I suppose you rank well for something like luner eclipse pictures and he isn't any good at seo!!

    Let us know what happens.
     
    debunked, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  4. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

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    #4
    Alek, and you have just shot yourself in the foot, by sending the spiders ther to the dup content via the link you posted. Funny thing though, WHY? why have they copied a homepage that is like really basic? what is in it for them?

    I would be careful about posting their details, as UNder the european human rights act, 'everyone has the right to privacy in their private and business life' you have just violated their human rights! And before you shout, 2 wrongs don't make a right, the courst will see them as separate issues, and IMO copying a website is way less of a crime than invading someones human rights. they can sue your butt, as the damage you have done to their reputaion is way more important that what they have done to you.

    Just my pennies worth.

    The best course of action is to contact their hosting company, and get them to pull the content, it will be down in no time.


    This is a black hat tactic to steal your Page Rank, or at least the start of it. Your site appear to have a page rank of 7 which is fairly healthy. I am NOT suggesting that this company are doing this for one moment, I am just pointing something out.

    PS they only put the site up at 19:13:57 last night, you found them pretty quick didn't you lol. Are you some sort of live stats watching anorak or something lol (just kidding) Also your site is dynamic then, as the last modified time is the current time, what is going on there then?

    You can also prevent your site from being scraped, and also prevent them from scraping the Google cache also. And as for people pinching you image bandwidth by linking direct, you can also run a script to stop that as well.

    All the best

    OWG
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  5. Smyrl

    Smyrl Tomato Republic Staff

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    #5
    Please let us know when you get this resolved.

    We never know when we may be in your shoes.

    Shannon
     
    Smyrl, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  6. NewComputer

    NewComputer Well-Known Member

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    #6
    WOW, not even hiding it. Hmmmm, I would start by sending emails to the big three search engines letting them know what happened. Then send a letter to their ISP. Remove all information that you have posted about them on here ASAP, this may be one of the guys who just LOVES lawsuits and makes a living on them. Send them an email, telling them to remove the content. Block their ip from every accessing you site again.
     
    NewComputer, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  7. dkalweit

    dkalweit Well-Known Member

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    #7
    How would the Brit sue an American in America doing something in America(I'm assuming Alek was at home when he wrote that) using a screwy British/European law? The "personal details" were already public in the whois database, anyways...


    --
    Derek
     
    dkalweit, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  8. Smyrl

    Smyrl Tomato Republic Staff

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    #8
    I wonder if this could have any connection to person who linked to the image of your grill on ebay?

    I see you have copyrighted those images now.

    Shannon
     
    Smyrl, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  9. mushroom

    mushroom Peon

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    #9
    My curiousity was arrosed why would anyone go to all that trouble.

    View suorce on thier page titled "Churchill Polar Bear Tours" and you may see their motive. :mad:
     
    mushroom, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  10. mushroom

    mushroom Peon

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    #10
    If you understand the previous message perhaps it is time to see a copywright lawer.
     
    mushroom, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  11. disgust

    disgust Guest

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    #11
    I replied in SEOChat, but I'll reply here too for those that don't frequent those forums and are interested in how to resolve this:

    contact their host. it's not hard to find the host; if you need someone to do it for you, just ask. after that, find an abuse email. contact them and explain the problem. in 99% of cases they'll pull the plug on the user's site if they genuinely violated their TOS or if they're doing something grossly illegal (stealing another's site definitely qualifies).
     
    disgust, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  12. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #12
    I updated the initial posting for completeness, but here is the June 13th evening update:

    Good catch mushroom - I assume what you are referring to is that he is (trying) to change the Adsense Publisher ID from mine to pub-3436355362882820 which I assume is his - tsk, tsk - that's really naughty!

    I sent Michael Spencer at Epsilis, Ltd. an Email saying most of what I wrote above - i.e. why was this done and please remove it - will let you know what he responds with. They should be waking up in a few hours over there, so I hope I get a response/action.
     
    hulkster, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  13. disgust

    disgust Guest

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    #13
    I really suggest contacting his host as well
     
    disgust, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  14. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #14
    That's the next step - hopefully it won't come to that ... but the fact that they changed the Adsense publisher ID implies this was NOT an "honest" mistake ...
    alek
     
    hulkster, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  15. disgust

    disgust Guest

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    #15
    I have trouble believing there's an honest way to run webreaper, download an entire site, and put it back up somewhere else :)

    perhaps I don't give people enough of a chance, but I'd be quite upset if someone did that to me.

    if you don't recieve a response (I wouldn't be very surprised if you don't), then you may want to consider this route though
     
    disgust, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  16. Owlcroft

    Owlcroft Peon

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    #16
    While I realize that EU laws sometimes seem posted direct from cloud-cuckoo-land, I have to wonder about--

    --as a consideration here. Surely what is a matter of thoroughly open public record can have little or no relation to "privacy". (And there is, as someone else pointed out, the matter of venue.)

    If I publish a photograph of someone entering or leaving a brothel, which photograph I took from a position of concealment, that is one kettle of fish; if I publish the statement that the telephone number of so-and-so as listed in the directory for such-and-such a city is thus-and-so, "invasion of privacy" sure needs to stretch the conceptual basis of "invasion" by an impressive amount.
     
    Owlcroft, Jun 13, 2004 IP
  17. vord

    vord Peon

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    #17
    I'd be inclined to try to get them banned from Google - certainly banned from Google Adsense. If they've done this to your site then they'll have done it to others, and while an e-mail might be enough to have them take your site down, the others won't be so lucky. Also they'll surely keep doing it in the future.

    These guys with the bright idea of stealing other people's content need to find out why that is not a good idea. I would suggest SMASHING them.

    :)
     
    vord, Jun 14, 2004 IP
  18. Old Welsh Guy

    Old Welsh Guy Notable Member

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    #18
    Couple of things here:- I would definately hit them via their host, I would also make google aware of the abuse of the adsense thing, they can then lose their adsense account.

    With regard the 'screwy european law' I agree many European laws are screwy and getting worse by the minute. This law is so badly written, that if you were to call my house, and my wife answers, you ask if I am in, she replies no, you ask where is he? she replies he is down the white horse having a beer. Then I can sue her for breaching my right to privacy.

    With regard how can someone prosecute a person in America under British law, that is rich seeing as How America have had british people arrested in another country and taken them to a third where they are held without charge. Cmon America itself recognises NO internation boundaries in the delivery of its own laws, but expects other countries to 'stick to their own patch' .

    I can take anyone to court to answer charges, sure there is no extradition arrangement for a civil case like this, BUT if the person does not turn up to answers charges, then a warrant for their arrest will be issued, and that warrant can be enforced anywhere in Europe, should that person set foot there.

    The right to privacy applies to private individuals. The original post named one of the directors, or, He might not have been a director, just an admin contact. The original post could have breached the individuals right to privacy, as well as libeling him, as it inferred that it was HE who did this, when in fact the owner of the domain is a Limited Company, any number of directors or individuals within the company could have been responsible.

    I was not trying to be smart, but as I said the courts take a dim view of libel and slander, and a less dim view of pinching a bit of material. I was just passing on a word of advice.

    As my neighbour who is a barrister once said to me. Don't ever compare the law to justice, they have very little in common.
     
    Old Welsh Guy, Jun 14, 2004 IP
    disgust likes this.
  19. mushroom

    mushroom Peon

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    #19
    It's not naughty, it's theft copywrighted material was taken, modified, and used for profit.

    It was your material where is your profit and what about damages to your rep (site was filled with bad links).
     
    mushroom, Jun 14, 2004 IP
  20. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #20
    MORNING UPDATE: My content is no longer visible and now shows info on "Fever Dating" with a point of contact of I got a response from Michael Spencer apologizing for the "outrageous behavior" on the part of one of their clients. I then got a "note of apology" from someone named Graeme at saying:
    Which is pretty lamoo if you ask me - I think I'm going to write back to them and ask about the swapping in of their Adsense ID - I think we can all agree this clearly showed malicious intent.

    I might mention that in addition to links back to Epsilis WebDesign, they appear to also have some affiliations with Fever Dating at www.feverdating.com and Sing n Jive at www.swingjive.co.uk


    Finally, I think I'm going to have to review/update my Copyright page and maybe have a section to talk about war stories like this ...
     
    hulkster, Jun 14, 2004 IP