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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Is there a reliable method for dating a web page?
How long has it been there?
limbo




msg:929231
 10:39 am on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

We have had a problem - we are specialists in our field and are seen by our competitors as market leaders.

This presents a problem - they often copy our content - sometimes we let it go - but on this occasion their page out ranks our own, for a key search term, and it's an obvious and blatant ripoff.

Not good! :(

We are gathering as much info as we can on the dates we first produced the content - proving this is not an issue, as we have printed evidence as our content mimics that of our company brochures - printed 2 years ago.

However I'd like to be able to see how long they have been using our copy - and to do this I need to date their pages.

I have tested the wayback machine but its results are sketchy - the page that they copied from our site is not listed and it's 3 years old.

So are there other methods to test a pages age? Another search tool? Alexa, Google, Overture?

Had a good scan here but couldn't find anything.

Cheers, Limbo

 

freewebsiteideas




msg:929232
 12:41 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I believe that is what copyscape does.

limbo




msg:929233
 8:14 am on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Cheers for the tip freewebsiteideas.

I have found 3 other site rips as a result - it's going to be a long morning!

Grassroots




msg:929234
 7:53 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

On some of my copy I put: "Created 25th/9th/2001" for example to act as a date stamp if you like and if I ever edit that page, I leave the edit date in also.

Sign up with Copyscape and display their "warning" banner, usually does the trick. Also send the copy-cats an e-mail, a nice one, saying you know their game, and leave it at that. They'll think twice about copying your work as they'll be concious of you and others knowing what they are up to.

stapel




msg:929235
 11:30 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Grassroots said: On some of my copy I put: "Created 25th/9th/2001" for example to act as a date stamp....

But anybody can write any date he wishes on a document. One can even re-set the computer's clock, and then re-save a document, thereby putting an older date on it.


limbo said: I'd like to be able to see how long they have been using our copy....

It doesn't matter how long they've been utilizing your stuff. They don't get "squatter's rights". The fact that you only just now noticed them only goes to prove how piddly they were up until maybe last week. *smile*

I would suggest that you make sure your own stuff is registered (some web hosts have started asking for copies of the Registration, in order to pursue DMCA filings), and that your stuff is in the Wayback Machine. If you can show that you existed "way back", and the other guy has no documentation, this at least shows you to be the more authoritative site. (You were worth archiving, and the other guy wasn't, right?) Would the authority, with a large stable of quality articles, plagiarise a "nobody"? Or the other way 'round?

It's up to a court to decide what's legal "proof", but the claim-counterclaim process says that the host has to remove or inactivate the content at issue, until the target of the claim (the plagiariser, in your case) makes a credible counterclaim. Since the plagiariser is unlikely to be able to do this, you should be "good to go".

In short, you have no need to find the other guy's first date of use. You created the stuff. You can back up your claims. He can't back up his claims. Get the copies taken down.

Good luck!

Eliz.

ogletree




msg:929236
 11:49 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Where would you take a web page on a date or is that what you are asking :)

Moosetick




msg:929237
 4:03 pm on Jun 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dude, always use protection. When you "date" a web page you are "dating" every web page that it has "dated" and every web page that they have "dated".

Pfui




msg:929238
 5:14 pm on Jun 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Archive.org [archive.org] -- a.k.a. Amazon-owned Alexa's Internet Archive (IA) "Wayback Machine" -- archives whatever it finds (or scrapes, to those of us not super wild about it), so you can use that site to essentially archive yours and you don't have to change a thing.

In fact, if a site's not blocking or otherwise limiting IA's robots (ia_archiver; ia_archiver-web.archive.org; archive.org_bot) via robots.txt, it may be archived, too, before and after updates. For example, here's [web.archive.org] a whopper of an archived array for Google.

Anyway, check things out by searching for yoursitename.com -- and theirs:)

Good luck!

.
P.S.
Netscape (and probably other browsers) offers a View menu "Page Info" selection showing page's date-related info, if available (from the server). However, I've always found the info advisory, at best. Usually it's most helpful finding out how old a badly linked-to page might be, to see if it's worth trying to locate someone to fix things.

Pfui




msg:929239
 5:25 pm on Jun 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Shoot. Just re-read your post and noticed you already tried the Wayback Machine. Well, as Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say:

"Nevermind."

:)

techiemon




msg:929240
 7:57 pm on Jun 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stapel,

I am a little confuse, what do you mean when you say: "
I would suggest that you make sure your own stuff is registered (some web hosts have started asking for copies of the Registration, in order to pursue DMCA filings), and that your stuff is in the Wayback Machine. If you can show that you existed "way back", and the other guy has no documentation, this at least shows you to be the more authoritative site. (You were worth archiving, and the other guy wasn't, right?) Would the authority, with a large stable of quality articles, plagiarise a "nobody"? Or the other way 'round? "

Mostly what I want to know is what you mean by registered? Registered where?

Thanks.

stapel




msg:929241
 8:26 pm on Jun 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

techiemon said: [W]hat I want to know is what you mean by registered? Registered where?

Your copyright should be registered with the copyright authority for your jurisdiction.

For instance, the copyright authority for the US is the US Copyright Office [copyright.gov].

Eliz.

techiemon




msg:929242
 9:12 pm on Jun 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stapel,

Thanks for the response.. However, I have been told numerous times that there is no need for an actual registration, that once you have the content that it is protected automatically, is this not true?

Also if one were to register the copywritten materials, but then updated their site several times a year, I would imagine changing the copyright would end up costing the person a lot of money...

stapel




msg:929243
 9:52 pm on Jun 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

techiemon said: I have been told numerous times that there is no need for an actual registration, that once you have the content that it is protected automatically, is this not true?

Is what you've heard true? Sort of.

Yes, international convention (where respected) says that, upon putting the "work" in "fixed form" (like a photograph, a completed sculpture, or a published web page), the creator has the copyright to the work.

But that's not the same as being able easily to defend that work. I don't know which is your jurisdiction, but in the US, registration can be very helpful.

If -- god forbid -- I ever have to go to court to defend my rights, the process will be long and possibly cripplingly expensive. Without a registered copyright, I would have to prove damages, and would likely only receive an award for those damages. But since my copyright is registered, I can petition for (much higher) statutory damages, don't even have to bother proving any damages, and can possibly win court costs.

So no, you don't "have" to register. But the thirty-dollar fee could pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars later.

techiemon said: If one were to register the copywritten materials, but then updated their site several times a year, I would imagine changing the copyright would end up costing the person a lot of money.

I don't know what might be the fees and time limits in whatever is your jurisdiction, but filing an updated copyright every six months or so would only run me sixty dollars a year. In my circumstances, this is well worth the cost.

If you're not sure, you might want to speak with a copyright attorney regarding specifics.

Eliz.

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