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Stolen Commercial Home Page
Can't figure this one out
Cianna

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 1:20 am on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

The home page for my online business has been copied - in its entirety - and pasted onto someone else's site at one of those blog communities. Why on earth would someone do this? This is a storefront, basically. And it's all there, right down to my links AND my copyright information. Is it possible it's just some kind of cyber glitch?
I contacted my host company, as this highjacked page is using a lot of my bandwidth. I was told I had to handle it on my own. I've tried emailing this person, the blog community, and the person listed as the technical contact for the registered domain - haven't heard back from anyone, and don't really know what to do next.
Any ideas?

 

Jenstar

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



 
Msg#: 419 posted 1:30 am on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is it an actual blog community (ie. a Blogger or LiveJournal). If so, hidden somewhere in their terms should be information on how to contact the company for copyright infringement.

If it is an independent blog community, contacting the host and alerting them to the copyright infringement will usually prompt them to remove it.

How long has it been since you tried contacting them?

Alternatively, since I assume it is the images that are hogging bandwidth, is to rename the images on your server, and change all your website files to reflect the new image names. This would result in a broken image on the blog site.

But before you do that, have you analyzed any traffic from this site? If you have noticed an increase in sales, that site could be why, and you might not want to jeopardize that. Someone here reported numerous sales coming from a similar situation as yours, and decided to leave well enough alone, as long as he benefitted from the index page clone on the other site. And blog entries tend to be heavily viewed for the first couple of days, and taper off to nearly nothing.

Hawkgirl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 12:33 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jenstar's on the right track - take a look at your traffic and sales recently.

Awhile back, an affiliate of ours framed us and we have a strict "no framing" policy (so we can police our brand). But he was driving some pretty good traffic and sales, so we ended up making an exception for him.

Keep your eye on "his" version of your site to see what's going on before you make changes. Then, if you're still unhappy, send a C&D letter and whallop him with legalese. :)

Cianna

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 3:24 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

No, this psuedo site is not bringing any benefits to the business and even if it were, I'm not sure I'd want to let it go. Don't mean to sound preachy, but either it's wrong all the time to steal content and images from the Net . . . or it's not. Whether or not I'm benefiting from the theft shouldn't have any bearing, IMHO.

I suspect this is a teen's effort (it's on Xanga) based on the rest of what I have seen of their site, so it's possible that they don't even know that what they are doing is wrong. I'm trying to tread softly because of this, but I still haven't gotten any response from either the person, Xanga's web site, or Xanga's corporate office (where the domain is registered).

I guess my only alternative at this point is what Jenstar suggested: change the images. This will be a royal pain, however, as there are about 17 images on this page, and many of these product pics are also referenced in other areas of the site.

Hawkgirl

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 4:22 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. I might wait a few more days before going through all that work, to give the person, the blog site and the hosting company a few more days to respond. Maybe lob in a letter with escalating language ("I contacted you 72 hours ago with no response, yada yada,") and give them a time frame to take it down. If you still don't see action after your stated time frame, then do all the hard work to change the images.

If you think your site is at risk of being hijacked again in the future (by this same person or others), you might want to do two sets of images - one for the home page, one for the rest of the site. Then it'd be slightly easier to change things out in the future.

Good luck.

Cianna

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 4:34 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Excellent thoughts, Hawkgirl. Thanks.

Jenstar

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



 
Msg#: 419 posted 4:36 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another thing to consider is to edit your .htaccess file to prevent hotlinking of images (using your server to display your images on another site).

Here is some information on doing this:
[webmasterworld.com...]
and a search for hotlinking and .htaccess should bring up many more threads on the topic.

Doing this will also prevent anything like this happening in the future. Doesn't stop them from copying the images and uploading them to their own server though.

Cianna

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 4:50 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the link, Jenstar. You're right, it is definitely something to consider.

engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 419 posted 7:44 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the above doesn't work, for the images consider two options: Make an image with your own domain on it, something like, "Full information from www.example.com" or, if you feel really bad, "This material stolen from www.example.com"

Choose your own wording, of course.

Also, make it the same image throughout.

NorthernStudio

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 7:54 pm on Sep 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Make an image with your own domain on it, something like, "Full information from www.example.com" or, if you feel really bad, "This material stolen from www.example.com"

I've been waiting for someone to hotlink something on my site so I could do just this!

wkitty42

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 419 posted 8:26 pm on Oct 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cianna wrote:
I guess my only alternative at this point is what Jenstar suggested: change the images. This will be a royal pain, however, as there are about 17 images on this page, and many of these product pics are also referenced in other areas of the site.

depending on how the site/pages were created, a tool like dreamweaver will adjust all the links and references to files when you rename them from within dreamweaver... this was a nice feature the few times i needed to rename a file that was referenced from numerous pages...

there is also the hotlink blocking done from .htaccess to prevent the image file access bandwidth consumption...

finally, it doesn't matter if its a teenager or not, they should already know about plagerism and copyright violations... they should have learned these things from writting reports in school... i know i did and that was some 25+ years ago...

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