Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Thu

25

SEP

2003

Stealing My Content... Again

One of the things that hits me the wrong way is to continue to find people blatantly stealing website designs, content, and anything else. Many of us have had our hard work and efforts stolen, unfortunately.

The latest blatant stealing of my content and images is at Cheetah Solutions. They’ve posted ALL of my WebsiteTips.com Web Resources section totaling over 2,400 annotated resources and over six years of my hard work and countless thousands of hours of research, cloaking it in their own design and passing it off as their own work. This blatant thievery and misrepresenting themselves to their clients and anyone else makes me more than a little angry.

If you check out their Design Tips section, you’ll see the direct rip-off of my Resources Around the Web Table of Contents page. From there they’ve continued on, stealing ALL of my hard work from numerous WebsiteTips.com pages, such as my CSS section, Color section, Design and Layout section, SSI section, and many more. Their Sitemap also links to many of my stolen pages on their website.

If you look around their website you’ll find lots of other pages, too. I’m curious to know if they’ve stolen anyone else’s content, images, and other work. If any of you finds anything else, please let the real owner know, leave me a comment, and don’t hesitate to contact Cheetah Solutions.

Cheetah Solutions generously provides Free website content. Interestingly they have conditions, including retaining their copyright, providing credit to them, among other things.

Clearly they’re familiar with copyrights. Maybe they ought to learn to honor other people’s copyrights, too, and quit stealing other people’s hard work and claiming it as their own.

I usually contact the website’s webhost who could remove the content and website from the server upon proof of the theft, but the site that stole mine is a webhosting service. I’ll be contacting my attorney Monday if it’s not removed, though.

Follow-up 09-27-2003

See Saturday’s follow-up post, Stealing Content Follow-up: Happy Results.

09:00 pm, pdt25 September, 2003 Comments, Trackbacks (14) ·

Categories: Content

Comments

Comments, Trackbacks: 14 so far. Add yours!

  1. Yikes.

    Either one of their nameservers will bear the domain of their upstream provider, or an ARIN search can (hopefully) get to the bottom of who allotted them. Traceroute should also work for this purpose.

    Followed with a message to abuse@, that should hopefully get you started BEFORE you contact an attorney... it’s for certain that the upstream’s ToS will specifically forbid what they’re doing.

    You might get hardcopies of your directory/folder/file listings so that you can prove (if necessary) that you were the one to publish that stuff.

    12:12 am, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by ben

    comment #1 permalink ·

  2. Thanks for the info, Ben. I have their domain name contact info, but that’s it so far. So thanks for the tips. I’ll follow up.

    Regarding having my hard copies, that’s no problem. I’ve got hard copies of everything all the way back to 1995 when I first started the resource as one little page and then how it evolved into websitetips.com. So it’s no problem at all to prove that it’s all my property.

    Hopefully they’ll do the right thing and remove all my content, images, and HTML from their server now that they’ve been caught red-handed.

    It is still shocking to me that there are people out there with the kind of mentality to rip off other people’s content, designs, images, whatever they want... and not even see anything wrong with stealing other people’s work.

    Or they think if they change a couple of colors or make it look a little different that no one will ever know. Yeah, right.

    In the meantime I’ve also made a copy of all their pages with my stolen content, images, and HTML, including date and time stamps. I was married to an attorney for many years, so I’m familiar with providing documented proof of something. ;-)

    Hopefully they’ll just remove it all and that will be the end of it. If that’s the case I won’t pursue legal action even though they’ve so blatantly stolen all this and should be held accountable. I’m prepared to pursue it further with my attorney and law enforcement if I’m forced to do so, especially due to how much they so blatantly stole. It’s not like they just stole one of my images or one article.

    12:58 am, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by Shirley Kaiser

    comment #2 permalink ·

  3. Good luck with this. This is not just a minor cut & paste of a few links and an opinion or two, these guys look to have robbed and re-branded the whole resource.

    I had a problem with some scum linking an image on one of my sites to a forum they used. The forum admin said 'that’s life' so I changed the image to something evil, they picked another. So in the end I changed the mime type and forced a little bit of html on them and 20 popups made them run away in under 2 hours.
    Unfortunately your problem is not this easy to solve. I would also suggest that contacting the upstream first may be a good move however they may have paid a designer in which case a sneaky "love your site who designed it, I would love them to do one for me" mail may also obtain valuable information.

    Good luck!

    01:34 am, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by Chris

    comment #3 permalink ·

  4. Shirley E. Kaiser’s very good Brainstorms and Raves has been on my blog roll since I started reading blogs regularly. It was therefore a little distressing to see that a web-hosting company has stolen over 2,400 resources of Shirley’s and...

    26 Sep, 2003Trackback from magpiebrain

    trackback #4 permalink ·

  5. Ugh, that’s awful. I have a real sore spot towards people like that; there’s just *no* excuse for it!

    I went and browsed through their templates to see if I could see any that I recognized, but it looks like they are just reselling from a flash template company (even though it doesn’t specifically say that)—their design appears to be modified by a non-professional because you can see the smoothing of the gradient on the top right hand corner; probably where the last persons name was. Besides, the rest of the quality of their site design is no where near the same as the flash header OR the templates they are offering.

    If I can send some nasty notes to them about their content, I’d be happy to ;)

    what freaks! I’m sorry you have to deal with stuff like this :{

    03:33 am, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by kristine

    comment #5 permalink ·

  6. Stealing My Content... Again: Shirley's got a problem with a certain Web site. "One of the things that hits me the wrong way is to continue to find people blatantly stealing website designs, content, and anything else. Many of us...

    26 Sep, 2003Trackback from Gadgetopia

    trackback #6 permalink ·

  7. Shirley Kaiser is an excellent designer and developer of web content, web sites and the templates that underpin weblogs. She's...

    26 Sep, 2003Trackback from Rodent Regatta

    trackback #7 permalink ·

  8. *#%^& . No words to describe this... I have submitted this issue to http://www.pirated-sites.com/ I hope Cheetah Solutions will remove the content they stole and give you a written apology.

    Cheers
    J

    08:28 am, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by Jacobus

    comment #8 permalink ·

  9. As mentioned above, there is absolutely no excuse for this. Especially considering the years of hard work you have put into your site(s).

    Also, the site itself is simply horrible. I call these kinds of sites "Franken-Sites" considering most of the content is comprised of other content from other web sites.

    So sad.

    08:56 am, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by Erik Sagen

    comment #9 permalink ·

  10. Ouch. This is really bad. I agree about the site itself: it really does look like the person didn’t know how to create anything original. The whole thing seems to be mashed together from other sources. I’d be interested in a list of links from all the 'resources' they 'borrowed' from (legally or illegally) to create it.

    Ugh.

    08:27 pm, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by Tom R.

    comment #10 permalink ·

  11. It’s truly unbelievable what they’ve done. I’ve also learned privately that stealing my content is only a part of the story.

    I also really appreciate everyone’s comments and support, including submitting this to pirated-sites.com, all the comments here, and the private email I’ve received.

    We can’t allow people to get away with this kind of thing. That’s the bottom line.

    11:26 pm, pdt26 September, 2003Comment by Shirley Kaiser

    comment #11 permalink ·

  12. After sending off a more formal letter Friday with copies to upstream providers I finally got positive results from the company that stole my Websitetips.com content, images, and HTML. They removed my content, images, and HTML from their servers, and I...

    27 Sep, 2003Trackback from Brainstorms and Raves

    trackback #12 permalink ·

  13. Not to make light, but what can you expect from Cheetahs (cheaters)? Heh.

    I notice that a number of the problem pages have been removed, I hope they wise up and start acting like good citizens.

    11:59 am, pdt28 September, 2003Comment by Suzanne

    comment #13 permalink ·

  14. Hi, Suzanne,

    It will be indeed interesting to see what transpires from here.

    They’re really just resellers of server space, and the templates they offer for websites are also from elsewhere... I’m not sure if those are also stolen, but they haven’t disappeared yet.

    Hopefully they will have learned that if they steal from others on the Internet they can and will get caught and there are very real consequences. The FBI prosecutes these cases and they’re indeed going after people.

    Especially now that we’re aware of what they’re doing more of us can see what they’re up to from here on. ;-)

    01:51 pm, pdt28 September, 2003Comment by Shirley Kaiser

    comment #14 permalink ·

This discussion has been closed. Thanks to all who participated.

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