Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    * Bogus Copyright Infringement Complaint: Suspended???



    Please help me...I need a crash course (in plain English! ) on alleged copyright infringement. I'll give you "just enough" details that I hope will be enough to set the groundwork for the question I have. I hope you will be nice to me because I am not a seasoned web designer, "only" a mom who knows just enough to be dangerous!

    I did some independent contractor work for a friend starting a new branch of his business from mid-April to mid-July. I should have known better than to trust this "friend" as he is a snake and has not paid me for the work I did beyond the partial month of April. May/June/July bills are due totaling $3800.00 and he will not pay up. The middle of July was the last work I did for him and am no longer doing any of his projects.

    As part of start-up and marketing a driver education program I created a website. I paid for the (generic, not associated with his business name) domain name, am the registrant, paid for the hosting, and full control the website. The website design and updating fees are part of the amount due, and I told him I would be happy to give him administrative rights to the website since I already had it up and running.

    When he figured out he couldn't sneak behind my back and talk the web host service out of the access info, he was quite ticked off. Out came the gloves and he started a different domain name/website with someone else and they cried "copyright infringement" to the hosting company so my web site would be suspended. QUESTION: When the web host receives a complaint such as this, what is the proper procedure for handling it based on the DMCA and copyright laws? The host's site only has a statement in his policy about what to do if you are a target of copyright infringement. Common sense would tell me (although laws and common sense don't always go together) that as the customer of the hosting company, I should have been notified, given the opportunity to take down whatever they were objecting to, and then show the host that I did take the material off. I need to look into the Intellectual Property aspect of it, but that is not what I'm concerned about at the moment.

    What rights do I have as the one getting bushwacked to have my website re-activated? Am I entitled to view all supporting documents? I have opened a support ticket asking why it was suspended 18 days ago, they responded with the emailed complaint (minus supporting documents) from the new web host, and didn't say what I needed to do to remedy the situation.

    I intend to clear all of his stuff off my website and use it for another purpose, since I've already paid for the domain name and a year of web hosting.

    The next step, after getting this website freed up again will be taking the deadbeat to conciliation/small claims court to collect the amount due with the assistance of an attorney. In our county if you appeal a judgement, it goes to district court and you have to have an attorney. I can see this guy with deep pockets financially beating me up for the fun of it. I can't afford to play that game.

    Sorry this got long, but the moral of the story is: Do NOT trust friends who are snakes to others in business dealings...they will be a snake to you, too.

    Thanks for your input!

    Last edited by Mike V; 09-29-2009 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Font size

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    170
    If you feel it is infringed, report it to the DMCA.

    P.S. Change the font size or you may be suspended again !

  3. #3
    Hello,

    Not going into the merits of your case... many hosting providers will immediately disable a server/website upon receipt of a DMCA takedown notice.

    Some will simply forward the DMCA takedown to the customer while others may give users 24 or 48 hours to disable the site.

    In the aftermath of the Louis Vuitton court case, I'm guessing many providers are opting to just disable sites outright.

    If you believe that you haven't infringed on a copyright, then you can file a counter-notification. There is a template form on the Chilling Effects website. Basically you are accepting any lawsuit and you must give all your legal information to the ISP/hosting provider.
    Humphrey Cheung/ Krypt.com a division of VPLS,Inc.
    Follow our Twitter For HOT Deals!!
    Website: www.krypt.com / AOL AIM: KryptServers
    Fax: 714-242-7461

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    19,185
    Hello,
    You have the right to request the supporting documents from the host. I would refuse to deal with any host who does not furnish this upon request. Next you have the right to respond to the complaint, again I would not deal with any host who suspends your account without a warning to take the materials off.

    In my case, I will only suspend or terminate an account who is guilty of spam or child porn and only if I can justify that the sole purpose of the account is to break the law or violate my TOS. Your current host seems a little trigger happy IMHO.

    Now, I am sure you have heard this before, but NEVER do business with friends.
    Keith I Myers
    KMyers.me The rantings of a lunatic
    Geek Survival Guide - Reviews and Advice for Geeks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by krypt-humphrey View Post

    In the aftermath of the Louis Vuitton court case, I'm guessing many providers are opting to just disable sites outright.
    That can backfire pretty badly though if the site they take down hadn't infringed on anything

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    If you feel it is infringed, report it to the DMCA.
    Report it to whom?

    What rights do I have as the one getting bushwacked to have my website re-activated? Am I entitled to view all supporting documents? I have opened a support ticket asking why it was suspended 18 days ago, they responded with the emailed complaint (minus supporting documents) from the new web host, and didn't say what I needed to do to remedy the situation.
    You have the right to file a counter DMCA notice. The host must let the third party know of this. The ball is then in their courtyard, and they must file suit against you withing 14 days if they want your site to remain down. Otherwise your host has to restore your site. That's at least the way I understand things. You may read FAQs about DMCA from a better source here: http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/faq.cgi

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    China
    Posts
    350
    This is yet another example of why you don't go into business with friends or even family sometimes. I lost $20k because I trusted a friend in a business situation (there were no problems for years, but eventually they get too comfortable). Anyways, if you have a good business plan, idea, etc., you have to copyright, patent, etc. it yourself. Otherwise if they might lay claim to it first and be able to win the legal battle.

    I'd go ahead and file a counter DMCA notice as ldcdc suggested, if I was you since it sounds like they are merely using it to try and bully you out of business. This is more common than you'd think. I knew a person who literally attempted it on all of his competitors and successfully took down a few, if not most of them. Truly sad.

    Web hosting companies would rather suspend people rather than deal with the issue usually. You have to take action and fight it, and make sure they understand in the future what is going on so it doesn't happen again. Also since this is the internet, it does matter where your web host is located (probably US though?).


  8. #8
    (I highlighted this reply and hit "Remove Text Formatting" so I hope the font is smaller! If not, how do I change it?)
    Thanks for the link to chilling effects FAQ...it was very helpful. It looks like the OSP has to notify the subscriber, just not before disabling the material. We were never notified.
    ldcdc, that is how I read it, too.
    Cyrus, I DID make sure they understood what was going on. The other web host has widespread connections, and I wonder if that influenced the way this ws handled. I don't know what the "normal" procedures are because they aren't on my web host's website as they should be.
    Geez, how do I find another host???
    Thanks,
    Barb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    Geez, how do I find another host???
    Make a list, from any source (the offers sections, hosting directories etc), with offers that fit your needs on paper.

    Then judge each host based on what customers have said about them: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/search.php

    If the search yields too many unhelpful results, try the "search titles only" option.

    I'm not so sure that changing hosts would be the best decision at this point. The DMCA game could start all over again at the new provider.

Similar Threads

  1. Copyright Infringement
    By Wrighty in forum Web Hosting
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 06-09-2009, 05:49 PM
  2. Copyright Infringement
    By TonyB in forum Running a Web Hosting Business
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 10-12-2008, 02:06 PM
  3. Copyright Infringement
    By logodesignteam in forum Web Design and Content
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-09-2008, 06:56 PM
  4. Copyright Infringement?
    By u6crash in forum Domain Names
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-06-2003, 11:52 PM
  5. Copyright Infringement
    By Benjamin in forum Web Hosting Lounge
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-09-2002, 10:36 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •