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-   -   So I've had my website ripped off... (http://www.hostingdiscussion.com/web-hosting-business-legal-issues/43256-so-ive-had-my-website-ripped-off.html)


xtm_mike 11-03-2016 02:05 PM

So I've had my website ripped off...
 
A few months a go this guy contacted me on live chat through my website, I could see he was from the Maldives, he told me he 'wanted reseller'. After a small chat he said he would come back and buy later.

The next day, same again.. asking for reseller.

Over the space of 2/3 months he would regularly come and ask random questions.

Then one day I noticed his referrer as http://localhost/.. which basically means he was chatting to me from the web server setup on his PC... I assumed he had saved my website for offline viewing or something.

Last few weeks he has been coming back more and more frequently so I decided to investigate..

I managed to find his email address which lead me to some domain names, which lead me to a business and then finally I found his website.

As suspected, he has basically copied my website entire design and word for word.. changed logo and some minor adjustments to match his own services price/currency etc...

I believe it has kickstarted a bigger problem my website is not performing at all organically.. I think it is being penalised for duplicate content. My domain is also showing up on 100s of foreign spam websites.

I feel like I will be fighting a losing battle but I'm confident it is hurting my business.

I noticed he is using the same paid font that I use on my domain, I am licensed to use it but he obviously is not so I have reported him to the font foundry. This is only a minor win as he can just change font.

I guess there is not much I can do about this, or is there?

Artashes 11-03-2016 03:06 PM

That is an absolutely horrendous situation to be in. While I can see how it can be a compliment someone copying what you've created, I've never quite thought how it can backfire THIS way (search engine rankings)...

Believe it or not, publicity is a strong tool to fight against theft. Over the many years I have seen a lot of cases in which hosts would publicly expose such artwork/content thieves. It would eventually catch their attention and they would immediately take down the stolen content, or better yet - the whole site.

If you aren't comfortable exposing them on forums, you can contact me in private and I will happily help you by sending them a message about it personally. As a media outlet, that kind of message carries more weight.

easyhostmedia 11-05-2016 02:53 PM

If you can find out his host or datcentre then you can report it to them and they may take his site down.
file a DMCA against the site

techto 11-06-2016 03:34 AM

you should report about him.deos the template you are using need a copywrite to so you can report about it also

easyhostmedia 11-06-2016 04:21 AM

so xtm_mike

1) your site looks like a template to me, so will have more of these online.
2) your reviews link to a facebook page is dead.
3) your whmcs pages show 2016 SwiftHost which is different to your site name.
4) you say you are from the north east of england then SNAP as so an i, but are you aware that if you are a UK business then you must legally display a physical address on your website and a contact phone number.

zomex 11-06-2016 07:00 AM

Hello there,

Is your website completely custom? If it was/is a template you are a bit more limited by what you can do. But you can make a DMCA claim if your content is unique and someone rips your content.

To add a bit of protection to your content you should use the following in the <head> section of all pages using the correct URL for each page:

Code:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.yourwebsite.com/" />
If your website is unique then also use the above code and start sending DMCA notices to all of the hosting providers who are hosting your ripped site.

SenseiSteve 11-07-2016 04:38 PM

Was just reviewing your new site or new name ... would be very interested in viewing this other site to see how they compare.

xtm_mike 11-08-2016 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easyhostmedia (Post 195965)
so xtm_mike

1) your site looks like a template to me, so will have more of these online.
2) your reviews link to a facebook page is dead.
3) your whmcs pages show 2016 SwiftHost which is different to your site name.
4) you say you are from the north east of england then SNAP as so an i, but are you aware that if you are a UK business then you must legally display a physical address on your website and a contact phone number.

Hi,

Nope, no template.. 100% custom designed in house. It's not exactly a break from the norm and does follow modern trends so I suppose you could expect parts to look like a template. This is not the case for the ripped off site, it is a complete carbon copy, all design elements and text word for word.. he is even using my licensed font that I paid for.

We've actually acquired a new brand and you must have looked at the website during the transition.. Everything should now point to SwiftHost, rather than Xtmhost. same applies to Facebook page.

Xtmhost is essentially dead, new url is https://www.swifthost.uk

I am displaying a physical address on my website, though it's not required as we're not registered with companies house under the new branding just yet.

We're still in early days / setup phases.

SenseiSteve 11-08-2016 05:53 PM

I just checked a good portion of your site against Copyscape and found no content duplicated except for some sections that were the same across more than 20 sites, so I doubt their site is affecting your site's performance.

easyhostmedia 11-08-2016 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xtm_mike (Post 196014)

I am displaying a physical address on my website, though it's not required as we're not registered with companies house under the new branding just yet.

It is not companies house that requires this. If you speak to your local Trading Standards they will inform you that it is a requirement under UK law.

When i started in 1999 i knew the manager at our local TS office and he offered to get someone to look over my website and TOS.
after he did that i got an envelope through the post with a printed copy of my TOS that they have almost torn to shreds with bits removed, bits added and bits amended.
I was also told that i had to legally display my physical address and a contact phone number somewhere on the site that could easily be found.

xtm_mike 11-09-2016 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easyhostmedia (Post 196016)
It is not companies house that requires this. If you speak to your local Trading Standards they will inform you that it is a requirement under UK law.

When i started in 1999 i knew the manager at our local TS office and he offered to get someone to look over my website and TOS.
after he did that i got an envelope through the post with a printed copy of my TOS that they have almost torn to shreds with bits removed, bits added and bits amended.
I was also told that i had to legally display my physical address and a contact phone number somewhere on the site that could easily be found.

Thanks for the information I will look into it further.. However, it is still my understanding that while it's good practice to list a physical address, it's only legally required if you are a registered company and therefore have a registered office... A sole trader is essentially a single person, not a company, therefore has no real company address.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SenseiSteve (Post 196015)
I just checked a good portion of your site against Copyscape and found no content duplicated except for some sections that were the same across more than 20 sites, so I doubt their site is affecting your site's performance.

Thanks for that, to be honest I made this thread when I first noticed the site had been ripped off, we have since moved on, changed a lot of content and even rebranded, new domain etc and are incrementally improving our design.

Even now the guy is still contacting me, asking the same questions and I have no idea why!

The company I buy my fonts from got back to me today they have forwarded it to their legal department so that will at least give the guy a little bit of hassle.

easyhostmedia 11-09-2016 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xtm_mike (Post 196021)
Thanks for the information I will look into it further.. However, it is still my understanding that while it's good practice to list a physical address, it's only legally required if you are a registered company and therefore have a registered office... A sole trader is essentially a single person, not a company, therefore has no real company address.

no a company address, but a physical business address. even as a sole trader you are running a business as joe bloggs T/A my business.



Quote:

Originally Posted by xtm_mike (Post 196021)
Even now the guy is still contacting me, asking the same questions and I have no idea why!

just block his IP address at server level, then he cannot contact you or access your website

xtm_mike 11-09-2016 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easyhostmedia (Post 196022)
no a company address, but a physical business address. even as a sole trader you are running a business as joe bloggs T/A my business.





just block his IP address at server level, then he cannot contact you or access your website

Yes that seems about right, after some further reading it looks like you can use your own name, which wouldn't be classified as a business name and therefore no address required, however if you do decide to use a business name (such as T/A as you suggested), then you must conform to some sections of the companies act and display an address.

thanks for clearing up, we are displaying an address anyway and just waiting for phone number.. will be registering new name with companies house in due course.

easyhostmedia 11-09-2016 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xtm_mike (Post 196023)
Yes that seems about right, after some further reading it looks like you can use your own name, which wouldn't be classified as a business name and therefore no address required, however if you do decide to use a business name (such as T/A as you suggested), then you must conform to some sections of the companies act and display an address.

thanks for clearing up, we are displaying an address anyway and just waiting for phone number.. will be registering new name with companies house in due course.

as you are trading under swifthost then you are using a business name.

be careful on what phone number prefix you use as some may have to comply with phonepayplus and have to display all the rates callers are charged

xtm_mike 11-09-2016 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by easyhostmedia (Post 196024)
as you are trading under swifthost then you are using a business name.

be careful on what phone number prefix you use as some may have to comply with phonepayplus and have to display all the rates callers are charged

I was thinking a local number ? 0191


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