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667788

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,

I run many websites and have to deal with all kind of issues of copying and plagiarism that many of you are likely familiar with. I am constantly watching for websites using my unique material and sometimes am forced to send a letter.

However, today, I was put on the other side when I got an email from a webmaster who blasted me for copyright infringement. Their email was something like this, I've changed it so it may be useful to some of you as a way to deal with serious problems...it said...and this is a summary:


You have been identified as the owner of WEBSITE by your web hosting company. You are using my blog posts on YOUR WEBSITE illegally. You did not seek, nor do you have my permission to re-post, publish, or print my blog posts in any format or in any media. You are infringing on my copyright, and I will persue all legal channels available to me, including financial remedies, to protect my  ownership and copyright of all photos, intellectual property and written materials, including my blog posts and web site.


 
Please remove my blog posts from you web site immediately. If they are not removed within 48 hours, I will turn this over to my attorney.
 
I have notified OTHER WEBSITE OWNERS who's posts appear on your website. I have also notified YOUR WEB HOST of this copyright infringement. My next step is to notify Google, Yahoo & MSN.
 
Thank you for your immediate attention to this important matter.

WOW!  Maybe a well written attack letter! But maybe not well thought out... my website has all original content and photos across multiple pages and on the main page there is a small sidebar that features an RSS section called "Blogs we Love" which features RSS feed headlines from Google of recent blogs that are related to my websites niche topic. My small sidebar has a listing of the newest Internet blogs found by Google that discuss this niche...each sidebar listing contains 30 words from the recent blog and  direct link to the original blog!

This is hardly the type of copyright infringement I am ever looking for...this is more what I consider to be fair usage an free publicity! I'd love to have many sites give a teaser to their visitors with a direct link to my website...obviously this person didn't! My point is we all hate thieves but please be careful when you send an aggressive email to someone...often a diplomatic first attempt at contact can work wonders...

In this case...my paraphrased response was something like this


Hello,

We were using RSS feeds to automatically post brief text descriptions of interesting blogs with direct links to the original blogs under the heading "Blogs we Love". These are feeds taken from Google Blog Search and typically take a 50 word snippet from a recent blog and then link to the original blog. Your blog was mentioned in the Google Blog Feed. We will gladly remove any references to your blogs and any links to your websites mentioning your business.

We were not trying to infringe your copy, we actually though a brief 50 word excerpt would notice people to visit your site due to the fine writing you display on your blog.  We make use of RSS feeds from google that present updated blog posts and a direct link to original blogs, but will now ensure filter our RSS feed system to make no mention of you your name or your services. This will ensure that visitors to our website looking for information on our shared topic will not be tempted to follow a link to your blog or business page or any of your websites. Many blog and website owners appreciate having links on websites that pass page rank and may provide new traffic, however, we respect your wishes.
 
We respect your wishes and will make sure there are no links, page rank, visitors passed on to you or any of your website. We will make sure your blog never appears under  our "Blogs We Love" featured area.

On a side note, the tone of your email is rather aggressive considering a friendly email would have had the same results.

Regards




My point is...go after a thief very seriously but before you send threatening letter sicking the  lawyers and reporting to webhosts and search engines maybe just investigate a bit before kicking open the doors with guns blazing!

In my case I have never seen such a heavy-handed letter sent for using RSS feeds of blogs that objected to directly passing a hard-link and page-rank to a website! I have ensured to use that persons name, website and affiliated company as "stop words" in my scripting to never have a mention of them on my site or in my business directory.

Maybe not the intent of the letter-writer but they got their wish!

Peace & Love
Mildred

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Mildred
minenotyours

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #2 
Mildred (?): I am the person who went in "guns a blazin'" when you used my blog post on your web site, which you did not seek permission to use. By linking to my blog your are gaining use of my 'Google Juice', which I have worked very hard to earn by my own efforts. I took the time to research my posts and much time to write them. I, and the others who's blogs you also appropriated, do not appreciate others using our works, through links or cut and paste to promote themselves or their products.

The letter (in red) is the one I sent to you, and I stand by what I wrote. I wrote the post, and I own the copyright on the post. Just as you can't use a Beatles tune on your web site, even though you can download it someplace on the Internet, you can't use other's blog posts without their permission.

I did not ask you to promote me, and I do not want you to promote me. My choice. I do fine on my own, thanks.

I think it is interesting that on your web site, there is absolutely no contact information, no telephone number. The email link provided is disabled.  I had to go through WhoIs, and 3 hosting companies to get your email address to send you a cease and desist letter. What exactly are you promoting?

Theft of others' work is pervasive on the Internet. It should not be tolerated in any form.

BTW, who is Mildred? The person who responded to my letter was not named "Mildred". It was a man's name.
stapel

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Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "no name provided"
On a side note, the tone of your email is rather aggressive considering a friendly email would have had the same results.

When one has been the victim of a theft, why must that victim moderate his tone, least of all in "consideration" of  the "sensitive" nature of the perpetrator?

Methinks someone doth protest too much....?

Eliz.

minenotyours

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you Eliz. You most eloquently said (in many fewer words) what I was trying to convey.


667788

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #5 
Hello MineNotYours,

Please don't make it sound like we went to your website and cut whole passages directly from your pages and posted them. We had a sidebar with RSS content from Google. The RSS feeds from Google Blogs provide an automatically generated 30 words snippet extracted randomly by the Google Blog Service of a variety of blogs on a given subject...yours was one of several others that appeared in the sidebar that was called "Websites We Love".

After you wrote to us we adjusted the PHP filters so the RSS feeds from Google wouldn't list snippets of posts that were from your website and that was the end of it. The website that hosts your blogs reviewed our webpages at our request and said they found absolutely nothing wrong with the way we were using the RSS content feeds in the sidebar.

Please enjoy your Google Juice!



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Mildred
667788

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #6 

Quote:
Methinks someone doth protest too much....?


Is that one of your original lines, Eliz? I think I've seen that somewhere before.
Or perhaps you consider that comment "fair use" of someone else's material, or as a derivative work or maybe ?

According to Wiki: "One can plagiarize even a work that is not protected by copyright, such as trying to pass off a line from Shakespeare as one's own."

At least I attributed the source of the quote on my website and provided a direct link to the author's full web page and didn't once imply it was my own words...







I do respect your opinion though, and would be interested to hear what you think of the issues of "fair-use" and printing 30-word blog-summaries with direct links to the source.


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Mildred
minenotyours

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #7 

"Mildred":

It appears to me your site is in business to sell Google Ads, as well as training which I don't endorse. It appears you look for higher traffic blogs like mine to help you rank higher with Google. This would increase your opportunity for more traffic and therefore more click-thrus on your ads so you can make more $$. I have no problem with people making money, just not on the backs of other's copyrighted works.

Make money off your own original content, not mine.


stapel

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Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Methinks someone doth protest too much....?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 667788
Is that one of your original lines, Eliz? I think I've seen that somewhere before. Or perhaps you consider that comment "fair use" of someone else's material, or as a derivative work or maybe ? ...At least I attributed the source of the quote on my website and provided a direct link to the author's full web page and didn't once imply it was my own words...

Ah, yes; that old favorite of those who are caught: "If anybody else quotes or paraphrases anything else ever for any purpose under any conditions, then I'm justified in taking whatever I want for whatever purpose, because you're at least as guilty as I am, you lousy hypocrite!" The old "you can't give me a speeding ticket until all the murderers are locked up" defense.

...which, of course, just serves to confirm suspicions.

Eliz.

667788

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #9 
Thank-you for your answer Stapel but your words again go on to substantiate other users comments in this forum which dissmiss as fairly useless your knowledge of real issues.

Good luck!

If anyone requires relevent and helpful advice please contact me directly.

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Mildred
667788

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by minenotyours

"Mildred":

It appears to me your site is in business to sell Google Ads, as well as training which I don't endorse. It appears you look for higher traffic blogs like mine to help you rank higher with Google. This would increase your opportunity for more traffic and therefore more click-thrus on your ads so you can make more $$. I have no problem with people making money, just not on the backs of other's copyrighted works.

Make money off your own original content, not mine.




Thank-you for your evaluation of my website...I am not sure what you endorse but you have not responded to the original issue which is RSS feeds in websites. Your hosted-blog relies on a third-party which hosts hundreds of similar blogs based on earning money via your "original hosted content".


Good for you!

Since we have blocked your domain name our traffic has remained steady..your analysis of our website is insulting...but feel free to continue your 3rd party business plan. You have evidently been in business for decades and we are a start-up learning the ropes...so when we hear from people like you we realize that you are something we don't want to become in 30 years from now!

Best of luck to you with your connections.





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Mildred
667788

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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #11 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stapel
Quote:
Methinks someone doth protest too much....?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 667788
Is that one of your original lines, Eliz? I think I've seen that somewhere before. Or perhaps you consider that comment "fair use" of someone else's material, or as a derivative work or maybe ? ...At least I attributed the source of the quote on my website and provided a direct link to the author's full web page and didn't once imply it was my own words...

Ah, yes; that old favorite of those who are caught: "If anybody else quotes or paraphrases anything else ever for any purpose under any conditions, then I'm justified in taking whatever I want for whatever purpose, because you're at least as guilty as I am, you lousy hypocrite!" The old "you can't give me a speeding ticket until all the murderers are locked up" defense.

...which, of course, just serves to confirm suspicions.

Eliz.



Thanks for the rant "Eliz" but would you care to offer an opinion on the isuue of using RSS feeds in websites and if you think that is an offfense?

The last response seemed to represent an answer from someone who didn't listen to the question.


Thanks in advance!

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Mildred
copyscape

copyscape
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Posts: 62
Reply with quote  #12 
We appreciate and welcome everyone's participation in the forum.

However, we must insist that you stay on the issues and refrain from any personal comments.

Thanks!

- Benjamin
(from Copyscape)

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