I have a few sites that serve as niche directories. They don't link to sites, but rather places that provide services relating to widgets.
I just got off the phone with a guy who has a similar page. To his defense we got the majority of our list from his site (excluding several broken links)
He requested that I remove my list because it was a copyright violation.
This isn't a large list that took lots of man hours (75 items total) And these are free services, so aside from ad money it isn't directly commercial for either of us. btw, these aren't popular or high paying type words.
Given the short, noncommercial nature of it I greed to change things up a bit. But when I started collecting snippet descriptions from the service providers themselves I noticed that he used the same snippet most of the time.
He then said that he didn't write the descriptions himself but he compiled the list. I said ok, I'll remove some of the least popular one and add new ones to make it substantially different. He didn't want this because I was still using stuff from his site, including descriptions (which aren't his)
He wasn't particularly nice in his phone call and now I'm thinking about it and fuming.
You can't copyright a list of 70 widgets can you, especially if they are the popular/well known ones in the niche field? I could completely understand if he had any original content that I copied. And I could understand if the widget company asked us to stop. I would have removed them if he asked in a not-rude way, or if it were a database that took more than half an hour on his part to compile. But NO, this is a list pasted into MS Frontpage.
He mentioned sending a notice to Google saying I was using his stuff, which also irritated me.
By the end of the call I said that I would change some things around and talk to him about it in a few days. But the more I think about it the more upset I get. I'm thinking of leaving it as is and being rude back to him if he calls back. Am I wrong?