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# 19654 25-Feb-2008 12:38
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Hi there

I'm not 100% sure where to post this one but this looks like the least unlikely forum.

The basic problem is this:

My company produces content that is sold to other websites.  Those websites then display our content and attribute the content to us.
We've recently found that some websites have been using our content without paying for it.  They haven't even made contact with us to legitimatise the use of our content on their websites.  This misuse of our content is costing us literally tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Now. I've been charged with the task of figuring out a plan to a) record the website content (That is, archive the websites in question so that we have proof of the misuse), and b) putting together a security plan to deal with this kind of misuse in future and in this current scenario.

I just don't know where to begin.  I imagine that in the online world of today this kind of thing is unfortunate but commonplace.  Therefore I imagine there are companies that are already set up to aid businesses in these situations.  Can anyone recommend a comapny that does this kind of thing.  Moreover, is there a "best practice" reference that I could use to devise our own internal procedures for dealing with this.

I've been pointed in the direction of applications that can be used to effectively "download" a whole website onto a local machine.  I don't like the idea of this at all due to a) wasted bandwidth used to download the site, b) legal issues with downloading a commercial website to a local machine. 

So, I'm lost.  Can anyone here recommend anything or point me in the right direction?

Thanks
G.


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BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 112912 25-Feb-2008 12:55
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There's no "security plan". People will keep copying content as long as it is available. You can have smarts in your site to prevent bots copying the content but you can't prevent cheap workforce being used to manually copy it.

Your chances are on the legal side. Are these sites in New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany or US? Send their ISPs a takedown notice and copy your legal counsel.

This is the first step, but it is an ongoing battle.






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  # 112917 25-Feb-2008 13:14
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freitasm: There's no "security plan". People will keep copying content as long as it is available. You can have smarts in your site to prevent bots copying the content but you can't prevent cheap workforce being used to manually copy it.

Your chances are on the legal side. Are these sites in New Zealand, Australia, UK, Canada, Germany or US? Send their ISPs a takedown notice and copy your legal counsel.

This is the first step, but it is an ongoing battle.


Thanks for that.  The sites are in NZ.  The concern is how do we record the content the website has used without paying?  And what are the legalities here. 

I think I'm going to recommend that the commercial team here consult a lawyer first because there are just too may ways to get tripped up in a process like this. 

I should add, we don't host the websites ourselves.

 
 
 
 


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# 112920 25-Feb-2008 13:17
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Make sure you have the copyright notices in your own articles and signed documents that confirm the authors gave your company distributing rights.

Then contact a lawyer. Since those other companies are based in New Zealand it will probably be easier to track them down.  You probably want an expert in copyright and technology law. I know one in Wellington if you are interested.




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  # 112922 25-Feb-2008 13:20

This really isn't a technology issue, it's a legal issue and should be handled as such.

In a previous life I would constantly come across content from my website posted (usually with attribution but that was all) verbatim on other sites (particularly forums). I'd generally adopt a friendly approach, talk to the forum managers about removing the content and replacing it with a link (which almost all did immediately) and then perhaps putting a sticky note at the top of the forum reminding users not to post every last word but that the intro and a link would be better.

However there are sites that exist purely to take your content and sell it to others and there's not a damn thing a tech team can do about it. That's legal letters at 10 paces stuff.

Good luck, let us know how you get on,

Cheers

Paul (not speaking on behalf of Vodafone at all for this one Innocent)




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz




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  # 112923 25-Feb-2008 13:25
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Thanks both of you for your replies.  Mauricio, if you wouldn't mind PMing me the details of your contact I'd very much appreciate it.  I'll pass it on to my commercial team to decide whether they want to make contact.


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  # 118830 26-Mar-2008 18:03
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Your content that you sell should have copyright notices in the actual content that display whenever your customer hosts the content, then all the legal issues should be pretty clear.

Why not serve the shared content on a model that only allows approved IP addresses to collect the content from your server and basically embed it into their own web pages? Or regularly change the addressing of the content (only informing your customers) then replace existing addresses with huge copyright notices saying something like "I am too cheap to pay for content, so I stole it". If they just link to your server then they wont know what their website is displaying until somebody tells their webmaster.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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