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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

DMCA to host worked - finally
but now site owner wants me to recind my complaint

 7:46 am on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

over a month ago I found a site that copy/pasted, sequentially, the entire content from more than 10 of my pages, including images, into a couple of their pages. Their listing was just below mine in G. Guess G didn't/couldn't see the duplicate content in a compilation. :(

An email to the site owner was ignored. Since this was so blatant, I didn't bother with another request to the site owner but sent off an email DMCA to the host (I know its supposed to be mailed, but I was so ticked at the time ...).

Due to other pressing priorities, I forgot about it until last week when I ran another search to find the pages were still there and still in G. I was about to mail an official DMCA when to my surprise I received a brief notice from the host three days ago telling me that access to the content set forth in my DMCA complaint had been disabled.

Sure enough, the pages were suspended! Yeah, a success.

Today, I received an email from the site owner telling me how hard he worked on his site and that is was a technical oversight (13 pages copy/pasted - oversight, my arse!) and his entire site had been suspended due to my complaint (my emphasis). Like it's my fault?

So, he wants me to recind my complaint so he can get his site back up ASAP. No apology for stealing and nothing saying he actually removed the copied content. My DMCA sited my original 13 pages by URL and only the two URLs with the copied content - perhaps his host has had other complaints or they just take a strong stance against copyright infringement.

Now, if it hadn't been such blatant theft and if he had responded to my email with an apology - and - he stated that my content had actually been deleted never to return (not just suspended by his host), I might be inclined to forgive and forget.

But, his request is well ... wish I could remember what Marcia called it, but all I can think of right now is balls.



 10:40 am on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well done on achieving the success.
Ignore the hard luck story, it's theft and it has been dealt with correctly.
I wouldn't be in a hurry to recind the complaint, or even bother to reply.


 5:19 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If he worked hard on his site, I don't quite understand how it can be a technical oversite.

If they were your pages exactly, I could see some sort opf wacky claim to that effect, but your content was cut and pasted onto other pages. Technology doesz not do that by accident.

Feel no guilt or sympathy.


 6:00 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Congrats on getting the offending content taken down. I wouldn't waste my time responding to him.

Forgive and forget? Forgive - sure, forget - never.


 6:30 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nope, give in, and he'll think he can do it again to someone else. Let him feel the pain, and maybe in the future he'll think twice about such slimy behavior.


 6:35 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Congrats to you. I show NO MERCY to content thieves. Their misery brings out the sadist in me.


 7:02 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

This guy that stole your work is a cockroach. You should feel happy that you stepped on him. Now the best course of action would be to just ignore him.


 8:30 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't respond. And I certainly wouldn't rescind. He SHOULD feel the pain!


 9:32 pm on Oct 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

It feels G-O-O-D, doesn't it?

I agree with the others: at this point totally ignore him.

If, and only if, you receive an unsolicited signed snail mail letter accepting total responsibility/liability for his copyright violation and offering monetary compensation should you even think about him further. Should that happen take the letter to your lawyer and have your lawyer commence negotiations - or shred it and giggle with glee (if you are as childish as I).


 12:00 am on Oct 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thank all!

Yes, it does feel good, especially when I click on the link in Google SERPs and get a "suspended page" pop-up. hmmm, better wipe that smirk off my face before my karma goes to hell in a handbasket.

I did some further checking today and found another page he compiled by copy/pasting from several additional of my pages. He has a huge site, so having his entier site suspended must certainly be painful. I also found several webmaster forums he posts in (not WebmasterWorld) as well as a cached copy of his detailed and "legalese'd" copyright page.

I wasn't going to recind, but it's nice to get some confirmation that I don't even need to respond. :)


 12:32 am on Oct 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Y'know, you'd be well-advised to keep recurring track of this guy. Once a troll, always a troll (yup, I cleaned that up for the board censor....) and it sounds as if his modum operandum will probably reappear. [Um. If that's not right, please forgive - Latin hasn't EVER been my strong point!]

Maybe whatever you used to find him the first time has a "subscription" option or some such? So that they crawl for you, and notify if they find problems? Copyscape, maybe? Cam't recall if they have an automata scheme....


 1:24 am on Oct 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

yes, I intend to keep track of this one. One good thing is that the site is so big and well established that I doubt he will be changing the domain, although he could create a new one for his thievery.


 2:01 am on Oct 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

He's likely to use some version of the original site-name, I'd think. Re-spelling, with hyphens or underscores, maybe in another language....


 2:39 am on Oct 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

nancy, your success story made my day. Keep your foot on his throat and dont let up.


 4:18 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I've just now received another email from him. He wants to ask me once again to recind my complaint as there were no links on his site to the offending pages.

Hmmm, well how the He! did Google find them then?

He, mistakenly, must be assuming that I haven't found another of his pages which were made by copying content from several other of my pages. Who knows how many other pages he may have copied from mine that I haven't been able to find.

Supposedly he can't handle this with his host because he is out of the country for several weeks and says "he is now the only one with nothing to lose".

Is that a thinly veiled threat? Sounds like he's trying to intimidate me. #%!(*^$! Geeze, do I have to get a lawyer just to protect myself from some hairbrain ....


 4:33 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Woohoo! Good for you! That's very impressive!

He ignored your original e:mail ... ignore him right back. Don't spend money on a lawyer! His own host was the one who pulled the site. Leave him to stew in his own juice. You have "right" on your side. He is a thief who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Leave it at that!

Well done! :) :) :)


 4:49 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

If called by a panther -- Don't anther.



 4:50 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

We send out so many DMCAs that we may have to employ some one to do it full-time :) All of them have been successful so far and none of the offenders has ever communicated with us after.

As everyone says here do us all a favor and ignore them because we might be next on their list.


 4:57 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

If called by a panther -- Don't anther.

Hehe ... OH Man ... that's bad! :)


 5:13 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

NancyB: This is wonderful news, and I agree with the others who responded. Could you possibly sticky me the URL for this site? I'm really curious what its about, and (just maybe) it relates at all to problems I'm having.

Best wishes and congratulations! - Larry

PS: The perp has a page full of legalese! Now isn't that priceless. I'm suspicious of someone forever cloaking themselves in religion and legal propriety. -LH


 8:03 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>religion and legal propriety

The only time I've had my content copied (was somewhat religious in nature) it was by a pastor who has a big Christian site and a rather long and serious-sounding copyright page - 'everything here's protected YOU MAY NOT' la la la in all caps. Liked the content so much there's two copies of it in different places on his site. I haven't made a big deal of it since he runs a feed we have that isn't very well-known and popular and I can use the exposure, and the 'content' is only a list of links and descriptions of some resources anyways.

He copied the stuff a really long time ago, and probably only recently became aware of potential problems and posted the copyright notice - either forgetting about the stuff he'd copied, or figuring it was trivial (which it is). We don't have a copyright notice up, and our pastor is making a habit of posting copyrighted material without attribution on the site, much more than the other pastor copied, so throwing the first stone for us would be about as hypocritical as it gets.


 12:47 am on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I recently filed my first DMCA notice with Google, which got the offending pages (about a half dozen) removed from the index. The content copier has now changed their content, simply by copying it from somewhere else.

It took about a month to get processed, and I've recently filed another one for about 20 pages copied.

What's interesting here is that neither I nor the site copiers are based in the US, but as Google (and most other SEs are) they are obliged to respond to the DMCA complaint.

Normally however, I find that a written cease and desist letter sent by certified mail does the trick, but it's only really useful within your own country.

Another thing I do is state in the site T&Cs that any copied material will be subject to a hefty fee for use. Sending an invoice out for a couple of thousand dollars usually concentrates their minds, even if they don't pay up. Every page has a prominent copyright warning too, and my privacy statement actually states that I will publish personally identifiable data of anyone making unauthorised use of my intellectual property.

But really, show no mercy. Content copiers are scum. While it might sometimes be a newbie mistake to copy-and-paste material, there is no excuse for an experienced webmaster to rip off someone else's content.


 1:00 am on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not only should you not reply under any circumstances, but if you get any more threatening emails, make sure you make a formal complaint to his ISP for harassment and get his email address and internet connection shut down too! That'd really be the icing on the cake!


 1:01 am on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

FWIW a lot of times the legalese blahblah that the copyright violators use has been copied from another site. :o

Nancy. Tell him in order to rescind the copyright violation you would require him to pay damages for the illegal use of your content, an affidavit that all content from your site(s) has been removed, and a binding agreement to never use your content again.

And really stick it to him. :P


 1:37 am on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

*reminder to self - never get encyclo or PatrickDeese mad at me....*

You guys beat me to it a bit.... added to your thoughts, I would also write a formal letter detailing same (from the beginnings of the whole scenario) and send to him return receipt required (assuming a legit physical addy of course), and send copies to EVERYONE IN THE WORLD who could be supposed to have an interest in the outcome.... including whatever passes for the Better Business Bureau in his area, the Chamber of Commerce ditto, etc.

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