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DMOZ clone asking for inclusion fee

 9:57 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)
I received an email from a client from the company Topsites LLC which runs a web directory using DMOZ listings ([url]http://www.topsitez.us/[/url])

They are asking $5 dollars either to get listed in the directory or to renew the listing. As we all know DMOZ listing are free and does not require any payment or renewal fee at all.

My warning to you all is: DON'T PAY! And inform your clients listed in DMOZ not to pay. They are sending email directly to clients.




 10:19 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looks like the directory includes sites additionally for a fee, i.e. sites get in directly and not via DMOZ.


 10:28 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Heini,

It instead reflect exactly the DMOZ structure and sites.

The email I received for a renewal (which I can share with you if you want) also reflected title, description and category from DMOZ and I never submitted to them in any case.


 10:30 am on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

We discussed this briefly a couple of days ago Jamned. [webmasterworld.com...] Still, better to have lots of vigilant eyes than none at all.



 1:53 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Interesting ...

In the thread Woz refers to I reported (Dec 3) that they had a PR of 4. Today they have a grey PR bar.


 2:11 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

that's got to hurt them!


 2:52 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

The prices have been all over the map. Lots of spam has been received from them here.


 2:55 pm on Dec 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

They were asking for a $200 dollar per year fee not too long ago.


 8:57 am on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Have had a look at the site.
Perhaps they are some kind on affiliate of DMOZ?.
At the bottom they still have the standard "become an editor Link" - which goes directly back through to DMOZ?
- and if this is the case, perhaps they are allowed (under their contract with ODP) to charge? - only guessing?


 9:05 pm on Dec 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

No, they simply downloaded a copy of the ODP RDF dump, installed it on a server, then wrote to webmaster@ each site URL listed, and asked for money otherwise they will delete your entry from their listing.

They are not affiliated with the ODP, and they have no way of changing listings at dmoz.org, or at any of the many other downstream users of the RDF dump.


 7:27 am on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

yep g1smd,

that makes a lot of sence - in effect they are trying not only to make money out of others work, but also then drilling/spamming unknown website owners (with listings in that part of ODP) for $$ - threatening to cancel their listing...
there must be some way of stopping this REAL soon - this has the potential to get really widespread VERY quickly with idiots wanting to make a quick buck (Im sure there must be the odd one out there on the web (hahaha) ) and damage the ODP name!


 3:42 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks to all of you for contributing! I would like to inform you that there is also a thread on this very same topic at the DMOZ public forum.

[edited by: Laisha at 5:40 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2003]
[edit reason] [webmasterworld.com...] [/edit]


 4:27 pm on Dec 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

Please don't post links to outside forums here. These issues can be discussed just as well at WebmasterWorld.


 4:30 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just received two emails from these guys. I wonder how many unsuspecting saps are falling for this scam.

Is there anybody to report these guys to?


 8:30 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is amazing how long a scam can go on like that. I just recieved THREE spam emails selling a version of Internet Keywords. Won't Realnames ever go away?


 9:04 pm on Jan 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

Read their -about us- page for a chuckle.


 11:12 am on Jan 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, the press releases pages is basically a merger of press releases about the ODP with "Topsites.us" pasted in place.

It *is* spam, so you can report the to SpamCop or their ISP. The ODP *is* aware of this issue and has been for several months.. there are some definite violations of small print the ODP license, but as to the legality of this.. well, who knows. Leave that one to the lawyers.


 10:37 pm on Jan 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Goes on and on...problem with having lots of deeplinks on DMOZ

Another 3 from them today, my guess would be that it will take them a year to get through emails to 3.8 million sites. They must have found a complient Open Relay for that lot.

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