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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Rat Trap for Content Scraper
oldest trick in the book to use and enjoy
JohnRoy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 3:56 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

- copied from different thread
posted by
incrediBILL

If we publish these on static pages, the competitor will copy us immediately, using our data collection.

OK, here's the oldest trick in the book for you to use and enjoy.

You include one widget that doesn't exist, maybe even set up a bogus site about the widget with no contact or sales information, just a page or two that completes the illusion.

Make sure the bogus widget site has the following robots.txt:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Now the trap has been set, the site will never be indexed by any legitimate search engine, they can't claim they found it any place other than your web site.

When your competitor suddenly has this bogus widget on their site you pick up the phone and call your lawyer and sue them upside down as they've just been caught red-handed with their hand in the cookie jar and absolutely no excuse or explanation that can get them out of the jam.

 

JohnRoy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 4:00 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Question:

If it's not indexed,
not in waybackmachine either,
how can one prove they came up first with the data?

jdMorgan

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 4:08 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Poor man's copyright: Send a copy to yourself via registered mail and do not open the package.

Better: Send a copy to your attorney via registered mail, and ask him to keep it unopened and secure.

Best: Register your copyrights. It's not dirt-cheap, but it's certainly not as expensive as most people seem to think it is.

Jim

JohnRoy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 4:17 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

With images there's another method:

add a transparent layer named as [copyright by yourName]

Let all your scrapers copy all your images.

The more the better.

When the timing is up - ask for royalties or sue!

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 6:14 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

How can you prove it?

How about it's YOUR DOMAIN with the fake widgets!

You registered it, you put the content on it, you added the robots.txt that stopped search engines from indexing the site. If they LINK (magic word is LINK) to your bogus URL and no search engine references it, except from that one page on your link list, how else would they know about it?

I would spend the $40 or whatever it is and copyright your list as compilations are copyrightable, and copyright the bogus widget site, and then use your own personal bogus widget site as the final nail in the coffin.

I mean seriously, if they link to a site you own that only YOU ever linked to, what grounds would they have to back peddle?

It becomes painfully obvious they've been stealing, let alone the copyright violation.

With a real copyright you can potentially cash in for the 6 digit statutory damages too.

I don't remember the legal term off the top of my head but you can probably nail them for some other civil business violations as well, not just copyright.

It's a standard sting, you set the cookie jar on the counter and sit back and wait for someone to put their hand in it... SNAP!

FWIW, sometimes I put poison pills in hidden text on pages that doesn't show up in any search engine like "blue amorous plastic armadillos" that nobody else sees but the scraper will suddenly expose that text in his version of your content and GOTCHA! I hide that text from search engines but show it hidden to everyone else and likewise, they have no valid answer how they got it except stealing it from me.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 6:21 am (utc) on Aug. 10, 2007]

Tastatura

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 9:31 am on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Make sure the bogus widget site has the following robots.txt:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

Now the trap has been set, the site will never be indexed by any legitimate search engine, they can't claim they found it any place other than your web site.

Perhaps not necessarily true...
if someone links to any of the pages on a site like that, and SEs are allowed on that person's site/page (linking page), SEs will know about existence of your site, and might index it and show it in SERPs. What can happen is that SE will try to follow the link, see 'disallow' in robots.txt file and stop, but they still might show the page in SERPs associating it with info/topic/keywords found in linking page's anchor text. Just a possibility...
If you absolutely don't want page indexed and in SERPs there should be NOINDEX meta tag on that page, but that page should not be disallowed in robots.txt file (why? because if robots.txt obeying bot comes to your site and see that the page is disallowed, it will never try to fetch it and hence never see 'NOINDEX' - and above example of SERPs listing can happen).
There are uses (and toss up depending what you want to do) between disallowing pages in robots.txt and NOINDEX meta tag

stapel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 1:09 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

jdMorgan said: Poor man's copyright: Send a copy to yourself via registered mail and do not open the package.

Note: The so-called "Poor Man's Copyright" has no legal standing in many countries, and is dubious, at best, in most (all?) others. Use at your own risk!

Eliz.

* US Copyright Office FAQ: poor man's copyright [copyright.gov]
* Snopes (Urban Legends): Poor Man's Copyright [snopes.com]
* The Intellect Law Group: Dispelling the 'Poor Man's Copyright' Myth [intellectlawgroup.com]
* How to Fake a Poor Man's Copyright [copyrightauthority.com]
* WebmasterWorld threads on "Poor Man's Copyright" [google.com]

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 6:34 pm on Aug 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

The so-called "Poor Man's Copyright" also has no statutory damages and filing a real copyright is cheap with a potential windfall of profit, just file it.

dazz

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 10:03 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

has anyone actually ever successfully sued another website for pinching thier content and won $/?

ive seen websites like somethingawful.com (remove if against TOS) copying content and taking the p*** out of other websites for years....they still seem ok.

JohnRoy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 11:45 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

The site in the example you gave was ever sued?

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 1:50 am on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

has anyone actually ever successfully sued another website for pinching thier content and won $/?

I've done a few.

Most roll over immediately and have either shut the site down and/or paid up some $$,$$$ to make me go away, depends on now nasty the infringement and my settlement terms ;)

[edited by: incrediBILL at 1:50 am (utc) on Aug. 15, 2007]

kwasher

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 2:04 am on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

if robots.txt obeying bot comes to your site and see that the page is disallowed, it will never try to fetch it

Are you sure about that?

JohnRoy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 2:45 am on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Even if it will fetch it, it won't include it's results in it's SERPs.

ronin

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3418558 posted 12:52 pm on Aug 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL's strategy is a good one and used more often by the press than you would think. One article is published by a journal and says:

Local resident Steve Mason, 43, who runs the Fiesta bar, commented [...]

Another publication comes out with the Steve's comments, re-arranged and unattributed. It also states that he is 43 and runs the Fiesta bar.

Then you ring up your lawyer and explain that you know for a fact that Steve Mason is 47 and runs the Fiesta restaurant.

The other publication hasn't got a leg to stand on.

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