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  1. #1

    Reseller copies your entire site

    What would you do if you had a reseller copy your entire hosting site...page for page.

    100+ pages, manuals etc.

    I have already asked them once not to use it...but they said they were using it just as a guide and they wouldn't really use it.

    Well, the entire site is basically a copy...not cool at all.

    What would you do?

  2. #2
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    What I would do...

    Eric,

    I would cut off all ties to that reseller immediately and take legal action. What they did is just wrong.

  3. #3
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    Whats the URLs. Can we have a peek ?
    Synergy Blue LLC
    SonataWeb.net | SynergyBlue.com
    USA should so something about: http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

  4. #4
    Originally posted by VapoRub
    Whats the URLs. Can we have a peek ?
    VapoRub, I sent you a PM

  5. #5
    HI,

    Is your material copyrighted? If so, as Greg said, take legal action. If the material wasn't copyrighted, you are of course entitled to cut off their service, but there's nothing you can really do to stop them using it elsewhere.

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Nat444
    HI,

    Is your material copyrighted? If so, as Greg said, take legal action. If the material wasn't copyrighted, you are of course entitled to cut off their service, but there's nothing you can really do to stop them using it elsewhere.
    We have copyright statements on all pages.

  7. #7
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    Simple ...

    1) Take screen shots of their site and yours as proof
    2) Terminate their accounts
    3) Call your lawyer and provide him proof and their contact info

    Done ...

    I had an issue very similar to this a few years ago. It is very annoying that people think they can do view source, copy, and paste and viola ... a new web site all their own.

    Sue them and see who laughs last, as intelectual property is the most valuable property of all !
    Nathan M.
    Stormwire.com
    A decade of professional hosting !

  8. #8
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    I would say you should give them an ultimatum before you terminate their accounts. Just my opinion...

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Nat444
    HI,

    Is your material copyrighted? If so, as Greg said, take legal action. If the material wasn't copyrighted, you are of course entitled to cut off their service, but there's nothing you can really do to stop them using it elsewhere.
    All original material has implied copyright. You do not have to do anything to copyright it.
    You do not even have to have the copyright notice, by law.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by blue27
    All original material has implied copyright. You do not have to do anything to copyright it.
    You do not even have to have the copyright notice, by law.
    Good luck proving that your material is the original material then. That is one of the main purposes of a copyright, so you are guaranteed that it is your original work.

    Probably .01% of webpages on the Internet actually have a legal copyright. People don't understand that placing a false copyright notice on a page is against the law. I guess all webmasters out there should be grateful the government does not waste its time and resources on the small fish.

  11. #11
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    Does your TOS have a clause in there about "all data found on hostxyz.com is our property and you may not copy, redistribute..etc" (or something to that effect)?

    If they did not remove the material when requested, we would terminate their account.
    <?php echo "Signature here"; ?>

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Pricyber
    Probably .01% of webpages on the Internet actually have a legal copyright. People don't understand that placing a false copyright notice on a page is against the law. I guess all webmasters out there should be grateful the government does not waste its time and resources on the small fish.

    Putting a copyright notice on your web site or any other media is not against the law.
    Where did you hear this.
    The copyright notice simply implies that it is an original work not to be copied.

  13. #13
    he must of been told that at "WHT where all posts are facts"

  14. #14
    Originally posted by blue27
    Putting a copyright notice on your web site or any other media is not against the law.
    Where did you hear this.
    The copyright notice simply implies that it is an original work not to be copied.
    He probably meant that putting your copyright notice on a work that is copied from another original work or a derivative of some sort is illegal, and all too common.

    That practice peeves me sometimes a bit, I had a large tree of websites going from late 1994 to 2000/2002 when they where taken down due to lack of time, money and interest on my part, I resurrected one or 2 in late 2003 and while browsing around one day I found a "review" of one of those sites which expressed disgust at the many plagarisms that the reviewer found at my site, turns out that sites such as "Beoworld" in the UK and others had either grabbed those sites before they went down or got them from the Web Archive and had copied portions of them, not all of them copied 100% vertabim but rather changed 1 or 2 words per sentence.

    I used to admire the "stamina" and dedication of webmasters whose sites I saw grow immensly over the last few years, finding my own work on those sites complete with a copyright assertion and no mention of me or the original sites made me realise how they actually archive that growth.

    Other sorts of plagarisms are actually more funny, I found an Atari related site the other day that used a page template that I designed in 1995, and this site was updated just a couple of weeks ago, now the original site had a very odd colour scheme due to the fact that at the time most browsers used non-aliased fonts and this was a resonably succesful attempt to make small text clear on large screens, but in 2004 it just looks .......... well, hillarious.

  15. #15
    as far as I know, here in my country you need to apply for copyright for your content and submit the protected material to concerned authorities as well
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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by reiknir
    He probably meant that putting your copyright notice on a work that is copied from another original work or a derivative of some sort is illegal, and all too common.
    Originally posted by reiknir Probably .01% of webpages on the Internet actually have a legal copyright.
    I don't think he meant to imply that 99.99% of all websites are using copied content.

  17. #17
    Originally posted by domainwala
    as far as I know, here in my country you need to apply for copyright for your content and submit the protected material to concerned authorities as well
    No this is a misunderstanding, copyright is govened by international treaties and is basically the same all over the world.

    You create some work, you own it and all rights to it, you can choose to enter it to the public domain and reject any rights to it if you wish, but unlike registered rights such as trademarks and patents a copyright is valid for your lifetime + a nuber of years (that varies however on countries etc) and you do not have to register it, furthermore you do not loose any rights if you for some reason do not choose to protect that work at any given point in time, unlike afforementioned trademarks etc.

    You can "register" a copyright in most coutries, but what that constitutes is simply a proof of it's existance, nothing more and nothing less.

    A cheper and a more convinient way to establish the existance of a copyright at a given point in time is to put a copy of your work onto a permanet media, place the media in a properly sealed container (envelope with a vax seal for instance) and then mail the item to yourself via registered mail.

    The only variations from this understanding of copyright are countries that have not signed the convetins (Berne etc), these are usually pasific islands with a couple of k inhabitants. Some third world countries like China,Taiwan and the USA do in some cases allow national entities to appropiate the copyrights of foreign natioals, that's the reason why Tolkien never got paid for sales of LOR in the USA for instance.

    However the current Berne convetion specifies that it's the law in the country of creation that govern the copyright so if you have a document from a foreign country and want to copy it you must follow both your national AND the rules of the originating country, if for instance a copyright on a recording expires in 25 years in the orginal country (Denmark, Italia etc) but after 150 years in your, you must vait 150 years and conversly someone in a country with only 25 yr. expiriy time can copy 25 yr. old works from his own country but must vait a further 125 years to release yours.

  18. #18
    Originally posted by blue27
    I don't think he meant to imply that 99.99% of all websites are using copied content.
    No, but that is another isuue altogether

  19. #19
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    Errr. I think I would contact them again on what is and isn't allowed (e.g. some co. will allow their reseller to use their terms of service, etc.) Sounds like you've done this once but since it is your client I would contact them again and possibly give a notice to "remove content" or risk account termination.
    Odd situation.
    HostCaters.com - Quality Web Hosting - Under A Gig! - Since 1999

  20. #20
    I am prepared to be the odd one out here, but my answer is ....
    SO WHAT !!!

    It seems to me that he is putting a lot of effort into producing a professional website that will entice sales.

    And who benefits from these sales - YOU.

    Would you prefer a reseller whose sales were zero.

    The point is that he has copied your site as YOUR reseller.
    He has not copied it to promote a web hosting business that has no links to your earning potential.

    A lot of talk here of cutting of all ties with this reseller.
    Are you people for real ?
    This is a cut throat business with reducing margins.
    WHY would you wish to cut all ties with a potential revenue earner. We are BUSINESS people. Let's start thinking with our heads, not that other part of the body to which blood seems to rush !!!

  21. #21
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    Allow me to disagree ozhost. When the reseller bought a reseller account he wasn't buying the host's website too.

    WHY would you wish to cut all ties with a potential revenue earner.
    Because he has no respect for the law and the work of others?! Say you write the best book on how to succeed in this "cut throat business with reducing margins". How would you like me to copy it and claim I wrote it simply because I happen to resell your book?

    We are BUSINESS people.
    Exactly! A website means time and money. Why let everyone/anyone steal it? Because they pay $40/month? Come on!

  22. #22
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    WHOAAA!!!

    Why not just contact the client and explain to him the situation? Iím sure he will understand you. Explain to him that you originally didn't think he was going to copy everything, word for word, and use it.

    If you gave him permission to use your content, tell him he can only use certain parts of it, and may not copy the actual design itself.

    Nocster allows their resellers to use any information/pictures from their website...

    Taking legal action seems just a tad bit over the edge... especially if you didn't contact him yet since you found out he is using 100+ pages?

  23. #23
    In the US it would be next to impossible to see the inside of a Courtroom pressing a copyright violation unless the material in question was registered. Don't get confused as to what a copyright is and what an enforceable copyright is, there is a very big difference between the two.

    I would point this Reseller in the right direction to obtain his own resources and then give him a deadline to remove the material he copied.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by EricP
    We have copyright statements on all pages.
    Yes but do you have a ligitement copy right on file with the government?

  25. #25
    Originally posted by Watcher_TVI
    In the US it would be next to impossible to see the inside of a Courtroom pressing a copyright violation unless the material in question was registered.

    Complete BS

    Routienly being enforced by the music industry in the USA without the material in question ever being registered, as I said in the earlier post registration ONLY shows that you had created that work at a certain dat and that you CLAIM to own it, and there are plenty of other formal and informal way's to do that or at the very least put the onus on the infringing party.

    Registration is needed for the establishment of extended rights, or monopoly's of any sort like patents etc, not for basic rights like ownership/copyrights and human rights. (Now that would be fun, however)

    There are plenty of companies that are willing to register for you and it can be convinent and a quick way to establish a timframe, but other way's are even more so. For stuff that is published on the web there is not even a practical need to separatly establish a timeframe since it gets timestamped automatically on the way usually on a machine controlled by a third party and (hopefully) with your name displayed somewhere, and thus the onus is no longer on you but on those that copy your stuff to show their ownership, prior creation date etc. etc.

    The only time a copyright registration is in reality a practical need is when work has been created by multipile authors, in those cases it's a cheaper alternative to a formal ownership agreement written by a lawyer,

    The same principles apply for other published stuff, like printed matter, since it's already printed, it's creation date is verifiable, but unpublished manuscripts and other one offs may benefit in practical terms from a formal timeframe establishment of some sort, but even just the act of showing a work to other people establishes that and this has been established in court, in the USA, time and time again.

    But it annoys the hell out of me when people and companies try to present registration as a legal or practical requirement, usually with the prase "in this country" somwhere in the same sentace, this is one of the things that holds people back from assetring their legal rights. This is possibly due to legacy issues, older copyright laws differed more between counties and while most did not require registration of any sort they routinely did require assertion, which people may confuse with registration. You no longer have to assert a copyright, you can give the rights away, sell them or place the work in the PD etc., but you own the copyright automatically from the date of creation. Anyone that say's othervise is after you hard earned cash. Assertion is still used but more as a warning than anything else.

    Literally the only times when I have seen an originator of a work loose out under the present system is when he has (claimed to have) handed over to some unscrupulus party the ONLY existing copy of a material and has not had similar material at hand to show a similarity of the work in question to other of his work (i.e first novel etc) nor credible witnesses to his creation of it, and in a world of PC's photocopyers, CDR's etc, anyone that does not have at the least a partial backup of their material, and hands it to a third party almost deserves to get stiffed.

  26. #26
    Originally posted by ozhost
    I am prepared to be the odd one out here, but my answer is ....
    SO WHAT !!!

    It seems to me that he is putting a lot of effort into producing a professional website that will entice sales.

    And who benefits from these sales - YOU.

    Would you prefer a reseller whose sales were zero.

    The point is that he has copied your site as YOUR reseller.
    He has not copied it to promote a web hosting business that has no links to your earning potential.

    A lot of talk here of cutting of all ties with this reseller.
    Are you people for real ?
    This is a cut throat business with reducing margins.
    WHY would you wish to cut all ties with a potential revenue earner. We are BUSINESS people. Let's start thinking with our heads, not that other part of the body to which blood seems to rush !!!

    Being a reseller is only a stepping stone to your own server 9/10 times.

    He's going to compete with me one day I'm sure.

    He could leave tomorrow and take the site with him.

    It's not his...it's mine. It was months and months of my work...not his.

    His time with me is not permanent...its temporary.

    He could find a better deal tomorrow and move his sites in 24 hours time.

    Not to mention when people see the same exact text on both sites. Customers think thats a little strange.


    The $$ it brings in is SOOOO not worth it.
    Last edited by EricP; 03-13-2004 at 11:36 PM.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by reiknir
    Complete BS
    I disagree with your claims, how about some validation? Post some case numbers (along with the State) of claims that have been heard and decisions rendered where the material has not been registered prior to the filing of the suit in the US...

    I'll wait but I certainly won't hold my breath...

  28. #28
    Originally posted by EricP

    It's not his...it's mine. It was months and months of my work...not his.
    Not to mention that taking without asking is bloody rude

  29. #29
    Originally posted by phpcoder
    WHOAAA!!!

    Why not just contact the client and explain to him the situation? Iím sure he will understand you. Explain to him that you originally didn't think he was going to copy everything, word for word, and use it.

    If you gave him permission to use your content, tell him he can only use certain parts of it, and may not copy the actual design itself.

    Nocster allows their resellers to use any information/pictures from their website...

    Taking legal action seems just a tad bit over the edge... especially if you didn't contact him yet since you found out he is using 100+ pages?

    I contacted him as soon as I noticed the first time - months ago.

    He said he was only using it as a guide...and would be changing a lot of things.

    Well, he's been getting more clients of his own so I decided to look at the site again...and sure enough the pages are still there...if not a lot more than before.

    It would be different if we had a long term contract or something in writing saying he could only use the content as long as he was with us...but I know how some clients are. Some clients will move if they feel they can get a better deal somewhere else...save a few bucks...or get a $99 server etc.

  30. #30
    Originally posted by Watcher_TVI
    Quote Originally Posted by reiknir
    Complete BS
    I disagree with your claims, how about some validation? Post some case numbers (along with the State) of claims that have been heard and decisions rendered where the material has not been registered prior to the filing of the suit in the US...

    I'll wait but I certainly won't hold my breath...
    The onus is not on me

    It's on you , you are in the USA you point me to a local, regional or natioal law or regulation that is in contrast to any of this, and these are not claims, this is what I had to know to be able to work in the music publ. business

    I point you to the Berne convention, available from almost any local library and you can order it from any bookshop and most courts offices and congressional offices will be able to direct you to other sources, as they are required to.

    I agree on the last point, please do not attemt to hold your breath, your brain needs all the oxygen it can get hold of.

  31. #31
    Time to give him an ultimatum Eric....

  32. #32
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    Time to give him an ultimatum Eric....
    I agree. Besides, you're his host. If a user has puts warez on your server you can terminate his account. Out of pure kindness you could tell him to cease this practice before terminating his account. I don't see much difference in this case, just that it's your copyright he's infringing.

    I hope he'll understand.

    A tip: the internet wayback machine might be useful in case things get rough I believe.

    Cheers!

  33. #33
    you can also ask him to pay you a licence fees if he wish to continue using your content
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  34. #34
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    Originally posted by Martie
    Errr. I think I would contact them again on what is and isn't allowed (e.g. some co. will allow their reseller to use their terms of service, etc.) Sounds like you've done this once but since it is your client I would contact them again and possibly give a notice to "remove content" or risk account termination.
    Odd situation.
    OzHost has a very good point. Technically, yes, the reseller's sales help you too. However, there's also a good point to be made about that reseller eventually competing with the original host.

    This, of course, is a problem not just with reselling hosting, but reselling anything that is turn-key. I am also in the business of merchant services and we resell merchant accounts through a company called Excela Business Services. I cannot take my accounts and plug them into another provider. Well, I _could_, but I'd be in big trouble for breach of contract and might possibly face criminal charges. With every other industry, besides internet, the company on top of the pyramid protects themselves, how come most people don't do this inside the hosting industry???

    I can tell you that VPS Center, Inc. definitely has a _very_ strict reselling contract, and no one can just unplug their accounts from them and move to another provider. The reselling part of their business is so strict, that they do not mention on their website that reselling is available. They don't want just anybody to resell through them. I think they only let a few companies resell -- and that's only to other organizations they have a prior relationship with and they trust A LOT.

    I hope this helps!

  35. #35
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    Well, I cannot believe you haven't done already, but I'd suggest copying and pasting this;

    "Please remove all content found on your website that was copied from xyz123.com. Failure to comply with our request within 3 business days, will leave us with no alternative than to suspend your account, pending a resolution to this matter."

    Job done, case closed.

    Simon
    EIRCA Ltd, home of The Genius Networkô.

  36. #36
    Originally posted by Pricyber
    Good luck proving that your material is the original material then. That is one of the main purposes of a copyright, so you are guaranteed that it is your original work.

    Probably .01% of webpages on the Internet actually have a legal copyright. People don't understand that placing a false copyright notice on a page is against the law. I guess all webmasters out there should be grateful the government does not waste its time and resources on the small fish.
    I love how clueless people can make absurb statements....LOL.

  37. #37
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    ozhost, a strong first post!

    Business is not equal to money.
    Lookup your IP: snoopmyip.com
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  38. #38
    C'mon people.

    Straight from the U.S. Copyright Office:

    HOW TO SECURE A COPYRIGHT
    Copyright Secured Automatically upon Creation
    The way in which copyright protection is secured is frequently misunderstood. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. (See following Note.) There are, however, certain definite advantages to registration. See "Copyright Registration."

    Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or phonorecord for the first time. "Copies" are material objects from which a work can be read or visually perceived either directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books, manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm. "Phonorecords" are material objects embodying fixations of sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or LPs. Thus, for example, a song (the "work") can be fixed in sheet music (" copies") or in phonograph disks (" phonorecords"), or both.

    If a work is prepared over a period of time, the part of the work that is fixed on a particular date constitutes the created work as of that date.
    http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.html

    Once you publish that website to the webserver and Internet, you have gained a copyright to that work.

    And also:

    NOTICE OF COPYRIGHT
    The use of a copyright notice is no longer required under U. S. law, although it is often beneficial. Because prior law did contain such a requirement, however, the use of notice is still relevant to the copyright status of older works.

    Notice was required under the 1976 Copyright Act. This requirement was eliminated when the United States adhered to the Berne Convention, effective March 1, 1989. Although works published without notice before that date could have entered the public domain in the United States, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) restores copyright in certain foreign works originally published without notice. For further information about copyright amendments in the URAA, request Circular 38b.

    The Copyright Office does not take a position on whether copies of works first published with notice before March 1, 1989, which are distributed on or after March 1, 1989, must bear the copyright notice.

    Use of the notice may be important because it informs the public that the work is protected by copyright, identifies the copyright owner, and shows the year of first publication. Furthermore, in the event that a work is infringed, if a proper notice of copyright appears on the published copy or copies to which a defendant in a copyright infringement suit had access, then no weight shall be given to such a defendant's interposition of a defense based on innocent infringement in mitigation of actual or statutory damages, except as provided in section 504(c)(2) of the copyright law. Innocent infringement occurs when the infringer did not realize that the work was protected.

    The use of the copyright notice is the responsibility of the copyright owner and does not require advance permission from, or registration with, the Copyright Office.
    Last edited by JCJiffy; 03-14-2004 at 05:48 AM.

  39. #39
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    I absolutely back domainwala.
    That's actually the first thing I thought of.
    I mean, why not try to make the most of it?
    Charge him!
    I would inform him of the costs of using your site, therefore legalizing the fact, which would make things rather more tolerable.
    If he doesn't accept, threaten to file a lawsuit, with a better idea of what compensation you would get.
    He is gaining a lot from using your work, it sounds fair that he shares it with you.
    Otherwise....can you give me your url that I too want to use it!
    ...just kiddin' of course!
    But others might follow his example.
    Otherwise you could sell the layout to him, and make a new one for yourself, it might be a lot better if your site needs some renovation, and in that case you would get something out of a layout that you would probably discard and make nothing.
    Of course, you too should make reasonable requests.
    That's what I think I would do.

  40. #40
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    Sounds like someone is being abused by a client to me.

    Up their fee per month, automatically without telling them, when they ask, tell them its a license fee.

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