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  1. #1
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    Angry someone has stolen images from my site, their host is doing nothing

    Some jerk is using several of my copyright images on his site without my permission. He refuses to remove them. I told him I would get a lawyer and he says "screw you. go for it." I then informed his webhost that he has stolen content on his site and they must take it down. This is what his webhost says:

    "I have received your complaint. Unfortunately, Uniserve does not know
    what content is or is not covered by copyright on any particular site.
    This type of issue must be dealt with through the courts. Uniserve will
    not remove any sites or content without a court order to do so."

    They do not know? I just freaking told them! Is this the norm? What if this guy was hosting child porn or something would they just say "sorry we don't know what is on his site, you'll have to get a court order to stop it"? wtf? This is beyond frustrating. It's all designed to either make me give up or spend money figuring out and aquiring some court order. A total nightmare. The system of how the internet operates is very broken here if you ask me and it benefits the crooks stealing content. What can I do??? grrrr...

  2. #2
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    I would get a lawyer if they want to play that game. Sue him for hosting the copyrights and the lawyer fee

  3. #3
    Goto their upstream provider and get the host kicked of the network

  4. #4
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    Keep working your way up the upstream providers. Go to the dedicated server provider, the DC and possibly the network providers, if necessary.

    The first time we got ripped, I contacted the DC (GNAX) with indisputable proof, they contacted the Web host, and within 12 hours, the site was down (still down too ).
    Studio1337___̴ı̴̴̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡ ̡͌l̡*̡̡ ̴̡ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡͡͡ ̲▫̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ̲̲͡▫̲̲͡͡ ̲|̡̡̡ ̡ ̴̡ı̴̡̡ ̡͌l̡̡̡̡.__Web Design

  5. #5
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    Educate yourself about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (or DMCA). Web hosts located or who do business in the US are bound by it.

    It has a very effective and appropriate process for having your copyrighted work removed from unauthorized websites, and YES the web hosting company is REQUIRED to accomodate properly worded and delivered requests.

    PM me for a sample letter.

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately, I would have responded the same way.

    Do you have proof that you own copyrights to these materials?

    This country has something called due process. Thank God for that.

    With what you are suggesting, i could just call up my competitor's host, claim he stole my content and get him put out of business like that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Stephens
    Unfortunately, I would have responded the same way.

    Do you have proof that you own copyrights to these materials?

    This country has something called due process. Thank God for that.
    Part of filing a DMCA complaint is declaring, under penalty of perjury, that the claim you are making is legitimate, true, and correct.

    Making a false DMCA complaint opens you up to serious civil and legal penalties.

    The DMCA is one of those new guilty-until-proven-innocent laws. It's cute that you think your country still has anything resembling 'due process'. :-)

    DMCA isn't exactly Guantanamo Bay, but the onus is certainly on the offender to prove their innocence rather than the accuser to prove their guilt.

    BTW - In Canada and the US you own the copyright to a work as soon as you create it. Paying to officially register a copyright is not necessary and provides little protection.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Stephens
    Unfortunately, I would have responded the same way.

    Do you have proof that you own copyrights to these materials?

    This country has something called due process. Thank God for that.

    With what you are suggesting, i could just call up my competitor's host, claim he stole my content and get him put out of business like that.

    Lauren, if you wanna be a lawyer, you gotta learn about the DMCA of '98
    InterNich LLC
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    Bringing you PicResize.com (More than 95 million pictures resized since 2005)

  9. #9
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    You think that's bad? Look at this: http://www.ushostz.com/

    The dumbass didn't even have the smarts to remove our company name from some of the pages and links. Still, the upstream refuses to do anything about it.

    The main picture is actually one that we changed about a month ago. So, he's been using it for at least that long.

    --Tina
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  10. #10
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    ushostz
    One thing I know with ushostz: once they are aware of an issue, they treat it with the urgency it deserves, often much more urgently than they even let you know about.

    -- Ravi Kuris
    axis

    One thing I know with AxisHost: once they are aware of an issue, they treat it with the urgency it deserves, often much more urgently than they even let you know about.

    -- Ron Kuris
    Seems like ushostz is trying really hard.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    You think that's bad? Look at this: http://www.ushostz.com/

    The dumbass didn't even have the smarts to remove our company name from some of the pages and links. Still, the upstream refuses to do anything about it.

    The main picture is actually one that we changed about a month ago. So, he's been using it for at least that long.

    --Tina
    That's one of the worst abuses I've seen yet Tina. I do remember that main picture on your site too. Keep after them!
    Jim - 2Macs H-Sphere Web Hosting
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  12. #12
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    well my site terms state:

    Except for Content posted by you, you may not copy, modify, translate, publish, broadcast, transmit, distribute, perform, display, or sell any Content appearing on or through the xxxxxxxx website.

    The guy even signed up on my site a while back so he basically agreed to those terms. The stuff he ripped are my own images and photos that belong to me. Even worse his site is built solely to slander forum sites that ban him. So myself and 3 others are being slandered on his site and he's ripping content from our sites. I should hear back from a lawyer today or tomorrow. Due to the hassles I almost want to drop it, i just don't want the jerkoff to get away with it.

  13. #13
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    Oh, I am! Getting the DMCA complaint just perfectly worded, so their upstream will accept it, is proving harder than I thought.

    --Tina
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Stephens
    Unfortunately, I would have responded the same way.

    Do you have proof that you own copyrights to these materials?

    This country has something called due process. Thank God for that.

    With what you are suggesting, i could just call up my competitor's host, claim he stole my content and get him put out of business like that.
    I sent their host links to the content on my site, and links to my ripped content on his site. Is that not proof enough?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyT
    I sent their host links to the content on my site, and links to my ripped content on his site. Is that not proof enough?
    Who's to say you didn't steal it from him? I know you didn't, but that's what the upstream has to decide on.

    --Tina
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  16. #16
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    well, one is a photo of me welcoming people to my website, his site has that photo of me and text slandering me as well. so in that case it should be obvious, but I see your point..

  17. #17
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    Check out this older WHT thread: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...hreadid=215080

    Especially: (from JayC) "You should also make sure that you're meeting the DMCA safe harbor requirements, so that you can't be held liable yourself for the presence of any copyrighted materials. Then the bottom line is that if you receive a legit notice of infringement that includes everything the law says it's supposed to have, you have no choice but to act on it if you want to maintain safe harbor protection. It's up to your client to decide whether they're actually infringing, and if they don't think so they can demand "put-back." In the meantime the party that requested the removal should get a temporary injunction ordering that the material be removed."


    Best info (and worst formatting) is here: http://digital-law-online.info/lpdi1.0/treatise34.html

    "Not just any allegation of infringement is a proper notice. Congress spelled out particular information that the notice must contain.

    To be effective under this subsection, a notification of claimed infringement must be a written communication provided to the designated agent of a service provider that includes substantially the following:

    (i) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

    (ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

    (iii) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.

    (iv) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.

    (v) A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

    (vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. {FN83: 17 U.S.C. §512(c)(3)}"

  18. #18
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    Anyone feel like whipping up a DMCA complaint template, suitable for sending to the offender's upstream?

    --Tina
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sightz
    Check out this older WHT thread:

    Best info (and worst formatting) is here: http://digital-law-online.info/lpdi1.0/treatise34.html

    "Not just any allegation of infringement is a proper notice. Congress spelled out particular information that the notice must contain.
    this was my point, just because someone calls and makes a complaint, doesnt mean you just terminate someones account.

    i remember recently here there was a somewhat prominent company accused of stealing someone elses work (that someone else was a memebr here too) and come to find out, the person that this company hired was the offender. not that this makes it "ok", but had someone just terminated that account, of someone who had no clue, it would have an extremely adverse effect on thier business and reputation. lawsuits would be flying right and left.

    and what if subject X hired someone to make a "custom" website. That someone actually used a template monster template. Then subject Z (unknowingly) hired someone to make a "custom" website and their people bought the exact same template (unknowingly) then subject X thinks that subject Z ripped of their website design....

    there are too many weirdos online to just react to a phone call or unsubstantiated claim.
    Last edited by Project X; 09-13-2006 at 07:46 AM.

  20. #20
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    I had someone do a DMCA request over a gif of a dancing girl, a cheesy one at that. Since I could find the same image in Google many times over, I refused to shut down the site. You see, in court you have to prove you own that image, that you hold copyright. For example, they have one image they claim they made, and you have the uncropped version.

    Going to court is a very costly thing. One might take me to court for not shutting down a music or software pirating site, but nobody is going to take me to court for not shutting down a site about an image or two. First they have to do a DMCA request, then a cease and desist if DMCA request is ignored, then on to court. The DMCA doesnt say providers "have" to do this and that. It provides a general guideline for you to follow. If you follow that guideline, then you are immune to lawsuit. Well, they can take you to court, but will lose and be responsible for your costs in the matter.

    Basic rules of the DMCA.
    1) Complainer does a request to have content removed from offending site.
    2) You shut down site, or remove content, and email complainee.
    3) Complainee responds with claim he legally owns content.
    4) You let site back up, notify Complainer you have recieved counter claim. He must now take the Complainee to court.

    If you follow those simple steps, and can provide proof you did so. You as the provider are now immune to any legal action from the Complainer. As you can see, the DMCA does not expect you to be judge and jury to decide who really owns the content. Most upstreams will give the Complainee time to respond before doing anything with the site. If you counter claim, your site/service is never touched. That is how we operate also. The easiest way to prove you followed the DMCA is to require all claims be in writing. You can deny DMCA requests that are done by email.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude™
    Since I could find the same image in Google many times over, I refused to shut down the site.
    Finding an image in Google does not mean that it is free and available to use. Someone still owns the copyright to it.

    Did you pay someone to use the 'cheesy dancing girl' image? If not then you are in violation of someone's copyright. Simple as that.

    As a webhost it seems you would have more respect for the law and not just use pictures you find on Google.

  22. #22
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    I didn't see a link to the offending site. Doesn't sound like much if any of a copyright violation.

    I'm a pro photog and not a fan of copyright anymore, for anything. Really like the open source model better. If you don't want to share it, don't put it out into the world.

    That said, I've changed my biz model so that I don't deal with copyright issues anymore. Client pays me and all rights are included for the MAJORITY of jobs...not all (so, yes, I'm a hypocrite, but only a small minority of the time!). There are some exceptions to this for books and large circulation mags. Web use is definitely not one of the exceptions. If one puts images on the web, the copyright notice is almost meaningless...you have to expect folks are going to take and use images if you make them hi-res enough to be useful when taken. I would much rather endure some customers (and non-customers) swiping my images from my site and using them for whatever purpose (yeah, even making fun of me) than clog the free spirit of the internet with a bunch of lawyers and courts. When this happens, WE ALL LOSE. I don't want Joe Cop and John Lawyer controlling the web, even if it costs me a few bucks in some usage fees on some photos or some personal embarassment. Ain't worth it.

    Sounds like a weak case. Even if you win, you won't get any damages. If you do get damages, you probably won't collect. If you do collect, you probably won't collect enough to even cover one fourth of the amount it'll cost you, not to mention your time.

    Sounds like someone took an image of you to ridicule you in some way. I wouldn't worry about it...it'll pass and no one will notice. Or at least no one will notice unless you continue to sound off about it and draw attention to it as you're doing here.

    Sometimes it's best to cool off, take the high road and let the other guy make a fool of himself. People recognize this kind of crap for what it is; he's only hurting himself.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sightz
    Finding an image in Google does not mean that it is free and available to use. Someone still owns the copyright to it.

    Did you pay someone to use the 'cheesy dancing girl' image? If not then you are in violation of someone's copyright. Simple as that.

    As a webhost it seems you would have more respect for the law and not just use pictures you find on Google.

    I'm a host, why the hell would I use a cheesy image of a dancing girl??? Use your head, it was a hosted client.

  24. #24
    Definetly contact the DC or DS provider.

    If you using DMCA as your leverage, make sure you have the proof first

    Good Luck

  25. #25
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    http://users.planetc.com/webbp/webim...ncing girl.gif

    Tell me who here is going to shut down a paying client over this???

  26. #26
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    DMCA is your friend here. If a provider is monkeying around with you after sending a DMCA complaint, but the best thing you can do is to hire a lawyer who is versed in such matters who can send them a threatening letter. Something to the effect of:

    On XX/XX/XXXX We have provided you with a legal, actionable DMCA complaint. As of XX/XX/XXXX you have failed to take any actions to remove the infriging materials. At this point in time, I believe that your organization has been provided with "actual knowledge" of infringing material hosted on its network as well as "facts and circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent." See 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(1)(A). Your organzation has clearly failed ot act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the infringing materials we noted in our initial complaint. Therefore, the liability limiations provided to you under the DMCA are now invalided, and we will be proceeding with seeking monetary relief for the damages we have suffered because of this incident.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude™
    http://users.planetc.com/webbp/webim...ncing girl.gif

    Tell me who here is going to shut down a paying client over this???
    If you receive a valid DMCA complaint, it's out of your hands. You have to shut down the site and let your client issue a counter claim if you want to protect yourself.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
    AS30475 - Level(3), HE, Telia, XO and Cogent. Noction optimized network.
    Offering Dedicated Server and Colocation Hosting from our SSAE 16 SOC 2, Type 2 Certified Data Center.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyT

    They do not know? I just freaking told them!

    Right you told them, Now who exactly are you to them? do they know who you are? do they know you are telling the truth? do they know you are not some loony mesing about?

    the answer to all is no, I think they are doing the right thing if you ask me because you could be any random person trying to pull a fast one.

  29. #29
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    Another piece of ammo is to provide Wayback Archiver links to your site and the offenders site showing you were using the content on xx/xx/xx and this content didnt appear on the offender until yy/yy/yy.

    http://www.archive.org/index.php

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds
    If you receive a valid DMCA complaint, it's out of your hands. You have to shut down the site and let your client issue a counter claim if you want to protect yourself.
    No, you dont HAVE to. The DMCA offers a recommended gudieline, not a required guidline. If you follow the guideline completely, then you are protected against lawsuits arising from the infringement. On the other hand, you have to use common sense and good judgement. It would be extremely hard and very expensive for someone to take us to court over an old animated gif image. Even "if" they had the money to do it, it wouldnt be worth it to them to do so. If the site being reported is a warez or pirated music site however, then you know you have to act on the request immediately.

    Regardless of the DMCA, going to court in either defense or filing suit is expensive. Whether they can win or not, ANYONE can file suit for ANYTHING just to cost you money. When it comes to something small like that "cheesy dance girl" I would be more concerned about a suit from a client than the reporting party. I've been in the hosting arena since before the DMCA and have had a number of reports using it. Trust me, people WILL send a false DMCA request just to shut down someone or some site they dont like. There was a lot of that kind of abuse when it first came out. Yes you can file suit against those, but I am in this for profit. I'm not going to waste money or time going after fraudulent reporters. Using common sense weeds those out most of the time anyway. If they persist, give them your attorney's email and tell them they have to start corresponding with him/her instead. That usually stops them.

    And any that threaten to sue us, I immediately know they are bluffing. That's considered a threat, and anyone who knows what they are doing would know that doing so can easily cause everything to backfire on you.

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