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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

Website plagiarized
I am running out of solutions

 12:08 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

A website I run has been copied almost entirely by a medium sized US company. My website provides information and most info on each page of my site is now included as part of their pages. I sent them a C&D letter with no reply, although they replaced my graphics with theirs as a result of the message. I also wrote to the registrar who said the host is solely responsible for publishing the plagiarized content. I wrote to the host which is a big US ISP also providing hosting solutions for businesses. They have a dedicated email address for Copyright infringement cases, but never replied to the two messages I sent them. I don't live in the US so this could be the reason why my C&D letters are being ignored. In the past I was able to take a website down in a matter of hours by writing to their host.

What should I do? This is very frustrating. Would filing a DMCA with Google help?

Thank you.



 12:53 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Would filing a DMCA with Google help?

It almost certainly would help. Why not email them one more time warning them that you are going to do this? That may put the frighteners on them. Send them a link to the Google DMCA instruction page as they may not be aware of what can happen.


 4:03 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I say don't send warnings about DMCA, just do it.

You've already raised the issue and been mostly ignored, so no more Mr. Nice Guy.

File the DMCA, play strictly by the book, and let the chips fall where they may.


 4:56 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

The reason I suggested a warning was that filing a DMCA with Google takes time.


 5:03 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Assume that any more C&D notices will be ignored like the first ones. Immediately file a DMCA with the ISP and another with Google.

If you feel so inclined, send a letter to the president of the company and inform him/her that you had to file the DMCAs because you received no response from previous communications with the company. Depending on the size of the company, the president may have no idea what is going on and this will alert him/her to issues in-house.


 1:33 am on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Agree with LifeinAsia, but add this thought as well: prolonged or delayed filing of DMCA only makes things worse. Once you find a thief, you should deal with the thief ASAP! Else that delay in action might come back to bite uncomfortably if real legal action is required...

"But Your Honor, Plaintiff made no declaration for x days!"...

As always, Webmasterworld is NOT legal advice. Get an attorney. Particularly if your content is monetized!


 12:32 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thank you. I sent them a warning that I would file a DMCA with Google and I finally received a reply - they won't take down my content. The info I provide is public info and the guy says that there's nothing I can do. Of course, this information has different origination sources and is compiled and presented in a unique way on my website. So I guess I'll just file the dmca with Google. It's just so difficult to deal with these types of people who don't seem to realize that duplicate content can't be good for their website.


 1:04 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I finally received a reply - they won't take down my content.

Unfortunately there is no shortage of AHs like him around.


 1:55 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

And there's no shortage of public info folks collecting from the same public info. Slam me if I didn't read above correct. I deal with UNIQUE ORIGINAL CREATED CONTENT, not filtered stuff collected from elsewhere. Content you can find in "yellow pages" is NOT original content (and that also includes anything you can find Google in address mode). The "ownership" of copied "content" has been addressed in law some decades ago. YOU usually fail. Particularly in "Look and feel". File the DMCA if YOUR EXACT WORDS and LAYOUT has been used and YOUR LAYOUT is SPECIAL in that regard. West Law won on that some years back, but it was expensive and took some years.

Meanwhile, this begins to feel like my skirts have been ruffled by a smoky wind. That said, take my original advice above, don't wait to file a DMCA.


 5:41 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)


It's very hard to draw a line between public and original content on the Internet. The info I publish is not so easily available as you seem to suspect. It's information I had to dig up from several sources, verify, info I constantly update. Even public info can be considered original content when it is presented in an original manner, especially if it includes unique advice and wording. I don't claim that I own the public info I publish. I do however own my website's code, layout and wording.


 7:09 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Research the cite I gave above re: West Law and public information (in that case it was court documents) to see what I mean. No disrespect intended, but when one is dealing with "public info" (something as simple as a list of company names and addresses to only a tad less simple such as travel related and hotels) there are limits to what can be copyrighted and is suitable for DMCA complaints. If you are offering original film, music, or books YOU have written/created then you have 100% right to challenge.

The "line" is pretty clear... not thin or even hard to see.

Good luck on DMCA for html coding/layout.

Again, no disrespect intended. I personally pick and chose which battles need to be fought... and I never fight over public info. Just my choice in "copyright" matters.


 11:25 pm on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm confused: Why would you file a DMCA with Google? Are they hosting the infringer's site?


 12:01 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why would you file a DMCA with Google?

So Google will (hopefully) remove them from their index. That should drastically decrease the amount of traffic they get. If they've done it to others, and they have complained, Google might even take more drastic steps and ban the site entirely.


 6:41 am on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Horse's mouth...



 3:32 pm on Oct 7, 2010 (gmt 0)


I feel your pain. It is very important to put a disclaimer on your site, always, stating the limits of use and how you forbid using your content somewhere else, this is useful in the future as you "already stated the rules for your content".

On the other side, I've read it is advisable to send a nice request of C&D but just that... don't tell them you are going to sue them or send a DMCA... just do it. If you tell them you are giving them time to change the layout, content or graphics (as you already state on your post). It would have been easier to deal with a case where everything looks copied.

I've been there. I would send the DMCA directly right away without contacting the host. Sometimes they only make things worse by letting the guys know and giving time for them to change things around a little bit. Look if they have Adsense, if so, send a complain to them too.

Take the time to navigate on their site to find anything questionable that might help you. Perhaps they won't fall by a DMCA quickly but if they break any TOS (Adsense of aff) they will fall faster. Don't forget to save everything for your own record including screenshots.

Good luck.

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