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Internet Police! Entire Website Lifted

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5 replies to this topic

#1 houndog


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:39 AM

An entire website of mine was lifted and hosted page per page, image, pdf, design, etc., on another website. The content was most likely gathered via send to friend link, although I don't know why they wouldn't just copy and paste, unless it was filtering into something more sophisticated. Aside from the obvious, like finding registrar and host and sending that to lawyer to appealing to the host to take the site down, what am I missing? Ranking-wise, it is not yet affecting the real site, but who knows in time. I'm going to try to submit it to Google to see if they can block it out. Anything else? Prevention? I know that anything can be lifted, but sheesh. Thanks for reading.

#2 Jill


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:22 AM

Send in a DMCA violation. I think we have some old threads on that topic.

#3 portentint


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 01:25 PM

Before you hire a lawyer, I'd send a very strongly worded e-mail directly to the site owner. It is possible they hired a designer or someone else who stole your site without their knowledge.

#4 BBCoach


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:02 PM

From personal experience the absolute very first thing you should do is buy a program (or write one yourself) to scrape their site and copy it to a DVD/CD to save the evidence. Then contact the site owner, then lawyer. The company that did it to us tried to deny it, then the lawyer sent a copy of the DVD. They then started trying to change the product descriptions and images and continued denying it. After a little more than a year that company and website are toast with the law on the owner's tail.

I discovered that they had scraped our site while researching some keywords at Google. That site in only a few months had gained rankings right next to our identical products. So yes it will have an effect quicker than you realize.

#5 houndog


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:05 PM

Thanks. Will search for DMCA violation on here. As for unknowing, it's pretty blatant. They put their name in the logo, in the copyright, on the contact us page (tho put their German address), in every single mention of the original company in the copy on the hundreds of pages that we have, they forgot to change the name on the About Us page, and the Terms of Use and Privacy, etc. Oddly, they left in all content that alluded to any links to ecommerce pages (which are hosted on another site), but took out the links or images that went with those ecommerce links. We have a Google search, which they did not include, yet kept in our Google Analytics ID but commented it out. Same with AddThis code. Totally weird, and seems like a lot of work, ie not automated/robot style. And to do all of those send to friend emails in one day (close to 200,000) seems like it would have been a robot, but now not sure. All pages on that site are .htm and no longer dynamic as they are on the real site. Bizarre.

BBCoach, that's a good idea. They're not in the rankings yet, but I strongly suspect will be soon. We've worked hard on the site for SEO, and the work shows. Do you have a recommendation of a product that could scrape it? I think we could put something together, but if there's a program out there, could be a time saver.

Shoot. And even more scary, they either have a monitoring thing going on, or are manually watching. We just uploaded new pages with new images, and they have lifted those new pages as well. That was a few weeks ago.

Thanks all.

#6 houndog


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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:00 PM

Ok, motive is found. The person who alerted us to the copied site said she suspected phishing b/c she found a page that offered to give away a free product with a form on it to collect personal data. She must have known our regular site. She came to it via a forum. She provided the link. I followed the link. I searched the link in Google. Of course, all of the Free Stuff! type links are pointing to it. And in Twitter, starting yesterday, there are Free Stuff! type promotions on it. But only starting yesterday, and most of the twitter accounts are not personal, they just tweet and retweet free stuff. I am so angry.

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