Small Business Trends Being Plagiarized





I need some advice.

Now and then I’ve read how other sites have been plagiarized. Mostly I never concerned myself about this issue because it did not affect my business.

In the past I’ve been very happy when sites use my content — provided they link back here and it is clear they are giving Small Business Trends credit for the content. I’ve always considered that marketing.

But recently I encountered a site which is a blatant copy of this site. It does not give attribution that the content came from here. This copycat has even illegally copied my site’s name. Whoever is behind it is pulling snippets of content from my site — probably with an automated software program — and trying to pass it off as their own. They even had the nerve to put a copyright notice on the site! The goal appears to be to earn Google Ad Sense revenue, as you can see from the Google ads on the site.

Recently I was granted a U.S. trademark on the name “Small Business Trends.” Naturally I want to do everything possible to protect the name — not to mention my writings.

Anyone have any advice as to how to counter this? Report it to Google? How do I do that? Other options?

18 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

18 Reactions
  1. I don’t think reporting it to google will go any good, they have nothing to do with it.

    The first thing you should know is who, by doing a whois on the domain, hopefully you will get an email address or a name, contact them(I’m sure they have a way to do that on their site), let them know that they are infringing on legal trademark.

    If nothing happens, you may need to contact the copyright office, and make a complaint… I think these options may be a good way to start.

  2. I hate stuff like this. You do all the work, take all the risk, and someone comes and steals it from you and attempts to profit. There are words for people like this…and they don’t belong on your site so, I’ll refrain.

    Their domain is registered at GoDaddy. The registrant is Domains by Proxy (http://www.domainsbyproxy.com/)- this is who you need to contact. Domains by Proxy has a legal statement that follows:

    Prohibitions: Domains By Proxy will not do business with you, nor protect your identity, if you:
    • Transmit spam, viruses or harmful computer programs;
    • Violate the law or infringe a third party’s trademark or copyright;
    • Engage in morally objectionable activities, including but not limited to those which are child pornographic, defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, racist, or otherwise objectionable

    Domains by Proxy should give you the contact information for the domain owner that’s copying you (team-blog.com). From there you can ask/demand they stop.

    Note they’re copying your site with the use of subdomains….they probably are copying others as well…or planning to. Sad.

  3. Peter @ Tech for the Timid

    In addition to contacting their host, I would definitely also report them to Google Adsense. Reporting a violation details can be found here: https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=18386

    or email Google at adsense-abuse@google.com. With luck, Google will completely cancel their adsense account and deny them any profits they are earning through dubious means.

    I’ve been keeping an eye out for my content being stolen on the web as well and will follow this thread to see what actions you have taken – keep us posted. Good luck!

  4. I think going to Domains by Proxy is the best bet….but you’ve got to find out who hosts them or whoever is powering them…who is shows Domains By Proxy

  5. Anita:

    Jim Logan has given you good advice. If you need help in organizing a push e-mail campaign from loyal supporters, I will be happy to participate!

    Ed

  6. Hi Anita,

    Here are links for DMCA and copyright infringement claims at the major search engines, if their pages are appearing within search results upon those:

    http://www.google.com/dmca.html
    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/copyright/copyright.html
    http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyrtInfrg.htm
    http://site.aol.com/info/notify.html
    http://about.ask.com/en/docs/about/copyright.shtml

    There’s also some good information about copyrights and cease and desist letters here:

    http://www.chillingeffects.org/copyright/

    Good luck pursuing these folks.

  7. Hi,
    I have a website (http://www.workathomesuccess.com) in which many pages were copied and pasted onto a site someone in Australia was running. Not only did the site have the same acronym (WAHS) but it had the same navigation. Further, the person used my story (about me) as her story!!!

    Here’s what I did. First I emailed and let her know that she was infringing on copyright. She tried to tell me that the info was not copyrightable. I told her she was right. But my expression, choice of wording, was. She changed it.

    But, I also called the US copyright office to make sure I could sue in Australia. (Note, you need have your work actually filed at the US copyright office to get enforcemtn).

    I once had someone steal my graphic. I would have written or called but there was no contact info. I changed the graphic URL (they first stole it from the server.) Then they copied and hosted it on their server. I did a domain search and was able to find out who their host provider was and sent a complaint to them. The site came down.

    Basically, I contact the person first, and then if that doesn’t work, I contact whomever is hosting the info. Finally, if I needed to, I’d sue…so far I haven’t had to do that.

    Leslie Truex

  8. A lot of the advice above is great and probably the most effective manner with which to get this situation taken care of. Several years ago I discovered a website in Puerto Rico that was identical to a photography website I was running. It appeared that the site’s creator had downloaded all of the code and graphics, changed a few names and contact info, and re-uploaded the site to a Puerto Rican photographer’s domain. To take care of the situation, we took many of the steps listed above:

    – Did a whois search and found out the registrar’s contact info + the hosting company for the site
    – Sent a semi-polite, but very firm, email to the photographer, and a very polite but firm email to an administrator a the hosting company. Both emails notified the recipient that our copyrights were being infringed upon (source code, created graphics, some written content, and our photographs!), and made a clear demand that the site be removed within a few days or a formal cease and desist would be sent
    – Both parties contacted me very quickly, the photographer making an apology, and the host declaring that it would take action if the site owner proved to be difficult to deal with. Within a day or two, the site was removed by the photographer

  9. Looks like they took it down Anita.

  10. Thank you — everyone — for the excellent advice. The copycat blog has been taken down, at least for now.

    Someone ought to write a tutorial on this topic — it’s sorely needed in case anyone faces the same thing I faced.

    Thanks again!

    Anita

  11. It seems to have gone away now… good work!

  12. This would be an excellent topic to learn more about for small business. For example, how does the process to trademark business names for online usage work. Or, more information about copyrights for online media.

  13. Another example of the power of your blog Anita…it looks like they went away!

  14. I’m glad they went away. You can try contacting the perpetrator to see if they will cease, and if not, I don’t know what else to do.

  15. Ah, the gall of them. These people are actually trying to ripoff Slashdot! See http://slashdot.team-blog.com/. There are several others too, but that’s the most hilarious/saddest.

    BTW, you can watch for things like this by searching at Google with these parameters:

    allinurl:smallbiztrends -site:smallbiztrends.com

    that will find anyone who has the string ‘smallbiztrends’ in their URL, but will exclude your site since, obviously, that’s OK.

  16. Firstly, I recently came across http://www.copyscape.com/, a sight that detects other sites that may be plagurising your work. It might be a useful tool for bloggers to keep track of this problem.

    I don’t have any association with this site, by the way.

    Secondly, I think if this problem persists for you, you should have no hesitation in an on-line blacklisting of this blogger.

    Your blog has a loyal following – I’m sure all of your readers could quite quickly spread the word about who is ripping of your content.

    Thanks, Ben

  17. i always like reading articles here. thanks for providing useful information

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