Good Guys Vs Bad Guys – Dealing With Copyright Theft

By Mark / August 27, 2008

On Monday evening I received my daily email from Dealdotcom.com which listed their latest offer. Imagine their shock when I saw it was my WordPress Goldmine Guide. I hadn’t submitted it to Dealdotcom I quickly checked and saw that it was a cloned site and it was being sold through Paydotcom.com . A pure case of copyright theft.

In cases like the The Digital Millenium Act is your friend. Using Whois records I quickly traced the thief’s hosting company and issued a DCMA report. This is a report of copyright theft and as far as I understand it the people who receive it have to act on it immediately.

I also sent a copy to Dealdotcom and paydotcom and to PayPal with a copyright theft report. It is at times like this you find out who the good guys really are. First to get back to me were Dealdotcom and they couldn’t have been more helpful, replacing the links to the thief’s site with ones to my site and a notice saying that the offer was over.

We then discussed what to do with the people who had already purchased through the stolen site and came up with a plan to transfer them to the real site and ensure they got all the bonus’s and the latest videos they would have got had they bought the genuine product. Marc Quarles at Dealdotcom couldn’t have done more to help me and it has to be remembered that they were also victims of the thief as well. I believe that they have already started to implement systems to stop this happening again.

While Marc was in contact with me the hosting company Hostmonster took down the guy’s site pending his reply to my DCMA report. Well done to them as well.

At this point I should point out that a quick check of whois records would show that my site was registered in February this year and the Thief’s site was registered 2 weeks ago. (You’ll see why this is relevant in a moment).

Now on to Paydotcom.com. I have nothing positive to say about how they dealt with this. I first logged a call informing them that one of my copyrighted products was being sold through paydotcom. Later I sent through a copy of the DCMA report I had filed as it had all the relevant details on it. Their response to these 2 calls I had logged were.

  • I had bought a resale rights product and therefore other people could sell it
  • Don’t log 2 calls on the same issue.

You don’t have to think too hard to imagine my response.

I pointed out to them that It was my product and not a resale rights product , and that the DCMA contained all the information they required to the suspend the account pending investigation.

I then got a call saying they couldn’t close down this guys account on just my say so.

I was then forced to point out that they were selling a stolen copyrighted product and it doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to establish this.

The following day I got a call asking for all the guys’ details. I can’t believe that they don’t have any records of their customers and what they are selling. Remember they had a copy of the dcma report.

I provided all the details and they suspended his account but then denied that he was selling my product through PDC.

This raises 2 questions

1.Why did you close his account then?

2. How come when I clicked through on his link was I taken to the paydotcom sales form you have to fill in?

I think this tells you a lot about Paydotcom and none of it is good.

So what can you learn about my experience? Well don’t take stuff like this laying down or just accept it happens. I’ve shut down the thieves hosting, his PDC account (eventually) His paypal account. Plus I have his IPaddress. I also actually made some sales as a result of the DDC offer, I don’t believe that crime of any sort should pay so a local charity will receive the funds from the sales.

I hope you’ve also learned why you should always treat all complaints and customer calls seriously.

Finally Investigate ways to protect your copyright material, hopefully the steps that DDC take will stop this happening through them again but there are other sites that will be susceptible to this type of fraud.

In case any law enforcement officers are reading this the thief is probably in Thailand but his IP address on Monday was… 124.121.16.35

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Mark

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