Other LCOs Copying My Website

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by MowHouston, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I've had about five instances since March of other LCOs copying content on my website word for word.

    One person copied my whole website word for word. I contacted them, they said a friend did it for them, it was removed.

    At this point, I currently have three websites, two of them in my area who have copied whole pages and/or portions of my website. We're talking copy/paste.

    I have already emailed and called all three of them and asked them, politely, to remove it.

    One of them I asked about a month ago. The guy never answers his phone, nor does he return phone calls and doesn't seem like he wants to cooperate.

    I worked a good amount of hours to make my website unique. I am hitting in top spots for houston lawn service keywords and I don't appreciate people copying my hard work.

    What would you do?
  2. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    You have every right to pursue these miscreants, but it's more dificult to prove stolen text than stolen images. Your first step should be to document when you entered the text into your website. There's a neat way to do this.

    Go to wayback machine. Enter your own web page URL and you'll see a calendar that could go back several years. Click on the year and date close to the time you created the text. When you find the text you're looking for, take a screen shot and copy the URL of the wayback page. You can use this URL and image in your email complaints as proof of your claim.

    Repeat the above process with your miscreants pages - best to show that their pages didn't exist (or were edited) until after the time you published your text.

    What you've done up to this point is good but you need to go farther. I always send a nice email first (if the business is reputable). I give them 2 weeks to remove the copied text or images. If the business is a bogus website (content farm) then my first note is very severe and I threaten action immediately. (Action that may result in loss of their hosting plan, domain name, ad revenue, and criminal punishment.)

    If the person doesn't comply within your deadline, then don't bother to contact them again (it's a waste of your time). Find out who their domain and hosting providers are. Go to WHOIS to do that.

    All hosting and domain providers take copyright infringement very seriously. When you sign up for a hosting plan or domain name, you agree to a contract that warns you that if you engage in copyright infringement, your hosting plan will be cancelled and you may lose your domain name.

    You'll have to go to the host and domain company's websites and find out how they want you to report the copyright infringement. Some require certain types of proof and require you to fill out forms.

    Then you wait. It's pretty likely that the hosting and domain companies will follow through and force compliance but it might take a few months.

    Of course, at any time you can hire a lawyer but that's probably not worth it.

    Good luck!
  3. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Thanks for the info on wayback machine. I'll use that. Everything else I have already had planned really. A lawyer would be a waste of money. I could just send them some cease and desist letters myself probably.

    From what I have read the law usually convinces web hosts to take down websites of repeat offenders. Thats probably what will happen.

    Thanks again,
  4. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    Actually. One of them has already taken down their whole website. The nice email worked. :D
  5. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    The second website has now removed the content and sent me a whiny email calling me a jerk. Who's the real jerk here?
  6. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    Stay professional and keep to the high road. If he just called you a jerk, ignore him. If you ever get responses that are more abusive or libelous, respond with a note like, "Your message contained abusive and/or libelous language. This is a warning, if I receive one more message like this one, I will take appropriate legal action."
  7. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,012

    I was professional. I thanked him for removing it and wished him luck with his work. :)
  8. desert rose gardening

    desert rose gardening LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I need a web site. Can I copy it too?:rolleyes:
  9. PLS-Tx

    PLS-Tx LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 2,383

    Are they in your area?

    I had someone do this also but they are nowhere near us so I didn't do anything about it.
  10. nr7pro

    nr7pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Consider using video to get your message across.
    Can't copy that, at least not easily.

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