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  1. #1
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    Some of my customers clued me into this site:

    http://www.websquare.com/

    Does anyone else see a huge resemblence and even some exact image copies of Amazon.com on their site?

    I don't know how they can think they can get away with that It is ashame this this sort of thing puts a negative mark on all affiliate marketing in my opinion.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    LOL ...."WebSquare.com is committed to maintaining the integrity of our website as a secure and viable source of information for consumers. The following defines the policies and terms regarding use of the WebSquare.com website. If you are dissatisfied with the WebSquare.com Shopping Guide Service, or any portion of this website, your sole and exclusive remedy shall be to cease using the service.
    A. Copyrights and Trademarks
    This website is the exclusive property of WebSquare.com, and the downloading, copying, or transferring of information from this website is strictly prohibited unless express permission is granted by WebSquare.com.
    WebSquare.com owns and shall retain all right, title and interest in its names, logos, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, copyrights and proprietary technology including, but not limited to, those names, logos, trademarks, service marks, trade dress, copyrights and proprietary technology currently used or which may be developed and/or used by it in the future.
    All brands, products, trademarks, and service names mentioned in this website not owned by WebSquare.com, are the property of their respective owners."

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Holy ripoff, Batman!

    There's more than just a passing resemblance, that's for sure! Does Amazon know about this?

    Andy

  4. #4
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    Why don't you report them to amazon. I don't think it's our business to decide for them.
    "Member Identity or URL Exposing
    Any member who posts another member's url or urls to their site(s), their real name or other personal information without the owners prior approval, shall immediately be banned."

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  5. #5
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    Zeus, this is not in any way identifying a specific member or person relating to this board...At least not that I know of or have identified in my post or anyone elses response. So this does not apply, unless this is your site?

    At any rate, perhaps this would be something to report to Amazon. Anyone have any suggestions on where to start???

  6. #6
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    I've seen this website for years, they were selling space (ads) before and are now affiliate. There's a pretty good chance for these people to be part of ABW. I don't agree with what they are doing but at least they are not stealing from fellow affiliates. I know of hundred of web sites with part of their design borrowed from amazon.com (By the way they are also an affiliate from amazon)
    I don't think affiliates like to have their web site exposed to others even if you dont put an ABW member name under it.
    And I think it would really become ugly if other members (or affiliates) websites were pointed on this board for the same reasons.

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    If the site belongs to an ABW affiliate, it wasn't identified as such in the original post. The intent doesn't appear to be an attempt "out" an ABW member, but to garner feedback from others regarding the similarities between it and Amazon.

    If the owner of the site sees this thread, they should perhaps take the hint and make their site look a little less like Amazon.com, and put their own personal stamp on it instead of copying someone else's design.

    With over 10,000 members, it's likely that an ABW member site might be posted from time to time by someone, with no intention whatsoever to create a problem. The only way to truly enforce this and ensure no member sites are posted would be a "no URLs posted" policy, which would effectively close the door on sites that are helpful and informative.

    If the site owner is an ABW member, a quick message to a moderator would remove the URL.

    Andy

  8. #8
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    Who cares if it looks like Amazon? Doesn't see how it affects affiliates. People should just worry about their own site and not worry all the time what other people are doing.

    "The successful man is the average man, focused."

  9. #9
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    Can someone please tell me how that site got a page rank of 7? Like..... how do they format their links so that their own site counts towards the total rank.... I just don't get it.

  10. #10
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    Ultimately it would be okay if this site were merely using amazon designated banners, buttons or other copyrighted material in conjunction with their affiliation. However, copying buttons and look and feel throughout their site not in conjunction with amazon offers is a clear copyright violation.

    Some may say, well it at least it is not copying a fellow affiliate, but really there is no difference. If a company / site is willing to steel from another company it is just as able or willing to steel from an affiliate business which is one in the same. Both are companies with copyrights and original material meant to stay that way and to differentiate themselves.

    Further, let me reiterate. No ABW member has been identified nor do I have any idea if this site is has a member(s) of ABW. So that is a moot and inane argument at best.

    It is just ashame to see site theft in any form, whether it be of a big partner many of us work with or amonst one another here at this forum even as we compete.

    And ultimately it does matter and I think we all have to make a stance against site theft and copyright issues to slow it and prevent across the board....

  11. #11
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    I would think this is not an issue if amazon chooses to not make it an issue. Did you notify them?

    Chet

  12. #12
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    I think this type of conversation is extremely valuable. I see no mention of the owner's name, the post was entirely about techniques.

    The conversation is about the extent to which a merchant site has been copied. In fact, I think it would be great to have a forum where we discussed sites and techniques that we thought were deceitful.

    The main argument against this is that far too many affiliates take discussions about deceit as a how to manual.

    BTW, we have set a precedent in talking about deceitful practices by naming parasite ware sites on this board. I don't see why site copying like this is that much different.

    sound thinking

  13. #13
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    Chez, naturally that is correct. No I have not yet done so. In any case it is copyright infringment and does represent a danger to all web marketing....Dont' you agree?

  14. #14
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Mmmmm... the "See More Stores" button is a straight copy from Amazon.com, it's a pixel-by-pixel copy alright.

    If it weren't for that, it would merely be mimicking the look and feel of Amazon which is a different kind of issue, in that it's not a straight copyright violation and would need to be legally argued, usually after the issue of a C&D notice. Look and feel *is* a copyright issue however, but it's less cut-and-dried than image copying.

    My 2 cents worth.. websquare.com is a high-traffic site and putting it at risk by ripping off Amazon's graphics is just stupid. You could design your own in a few minutes. Amazon's layout *is* a good one, and the basic layout certainly (legally) inspires many other websites.

    I think this is a good example of how to risk a presumably successful affiliate business by ripping off someone else.

    Interestingly it's showing on the Google toolbar as being listed in the ODP but was actually deleted last month, so I guess Google is just playing catch up on that.

    ________
    "All your commission are belong to us." - Slimeware Corporation

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    The attitude that "they aren't hurting anyone, don't worry about it" is a cop out. They are copying another's work. That is wrong. They need to be caught and forced to remove the site or change it.

    What if it were your site instead of Amazon's? The fact that Amazon is huge makes no difference. It could have just as well been a rip off of any of our sites. Cr@p like this gives affiliate marketing a bad name, and affiliates should not just turn their back on it because it doesn't impact them directly. In the long run, it hurts all of us.

    Andy

  16. #16
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    Well Amazon does allow liberal use of their buttons etc for their affiliates, that is why I do not see this as such a big issue. It is not quite that straightforward.

    But I do find the comparison to this thread
    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=2736068304
    then
    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...444#1946036444

    hilarious. For the record, RS demanded the removal of the copyright protected images and Tom never produced his special contract.

    But for that, forgiveness all the way around, for this, where someone is using the images they are allowed to use, a little more liberal than I think Amazon allows - he should be hung.

    Interesting ethics.

    Chet

  17. #17
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    I noticed they changed one little icon from Amazon's now, I guess they figure it is no longer a "copy"....

    I don't know how rip-offs can stay in business and get away with it.

  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador Radegast's Avatar
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    I don't see what the fuss is about here. Unless WebSquare have changed their site since this thread was posted, I don't see <i>any</i> straight, pixel-for-pixel copying at all. Every element is changed. If it's a question of copying the look and feel, well, Amazon's look and feel is pretty bland to begin with.

    I don't see a problem with copying 'look and feel,' anyway.

    I'm more concerned about the fact that Amazon is in bed with eBates, and their conversion rate sucks (for me, at least).

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    "...they should perhaps take the hint and make their site look a little less like Amazon.com,"

    The way it looks now is fine. What concern is it of any of ours?

    I would be more concerned about them copying a site from an ABW member.

    Fred

    You might just be a Redneck if - Birds are attracted to your beard...

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SamyT:
    Can someone please tell me how that site got a page rank of 7? Like..... how do they format their links so that their own site counts towards the total rank.... I just don't get it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Somehow there's a listing here: http://directory.google.com/Top/Busi...ices/Clothing/

    Consistency is the key to a winning season.

  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The way it looks now is fine. What concern is it of any of ours?

    I would be more concerned about them copying a site from an ABW member.

    Fred <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Looks to me like there have been some changes made since this post first appeared. Copying is copying. Period. ABW member or not, it is not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

    Andy

  22. #22
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    Yes they altered the "More Stores" icon on the top right now which was an exact copy along with several other images swiped right from Amazon. This coupled with a close look and feel, is definitely a copyright violation. It doesn't matter who it is being copied from really does it? Has anyone else notifed amazon of this?

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by weisinator:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SamyT:
    Can someone please tell me how that site got a page rank of 7? Like..... how do they format their links so that their own site counts towards the total rank.... I just don't get it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Somehow there's a listing here: http://directory.google.com/Top/Busi...ices/Clothing/

    Consistency is the key to a winning season.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oh that's TOO much! the people at the ODP need a good slapping, it's NOT a level playing field.

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