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  1. #1
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    What would you do?
    I am just curious what you guys would do in the following situation.

    First a little background. I currently have a client that I do web design for. They are an official organization in our area.

    Another group came along and decided they wanted to 'uproot' this organization and needless to say it didn't work, so they regrouped and created their own little organization that is basically a copy of my client.

    I recently discovered that they started a website up and went to check it out. First thing that caught my attention was the domain name. In my opinion, I think it is meant to confuse people with my client. My clients domain name is www.town and state spelled out.com (our town & state). This other group is using www.town and state abbreviation.com. They also have a bunch of other domain names forwarding to this domain.

    They also copied almost all of my keywords and then added a few of their own to mix it up a little. I know for a fact they did because the mix of capitalization and non-capitalization and order of words are the exact same as mine.

    They have copied and slightly modified a couple of pages from the site that I designed.

    There is an event going on in our area, to which my client is the official sponsor and my client has a webpage dedicated to the event. The other site created a page about the event and has submitted that page to many related directories. I have contacted each of these directories asking for a correction to the URL and contact information (changed over to my client) since they are the official sponsor.

    Is there any way to get this other site removed from the search engines, etc.?

    I am not sure there is enough blantant copying to be successful with a DMCA complaint, plus my clients organization represents our whole town and has been trying to be pleasantly tolerant of this other organization, so I am not sure that they will want to go that route.

    I would love to do something down right nasty. I wish they were sophisticated enough to be stealing my content automatically because I would somehow fill them with very unbecoming info to display. I know that is evil, but this really is ticking me off.

    Any suggestions will be helpful and appreciated.
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    Just Thinking Out Loud


    Hi, ~Michelle,

    You have a real problem here if they can modify anything you post.

    How good are they at code, do you think? Maybe you could slow them down by adding some really obfuscated JavaScript or other code to your pages?

    You could add their keywords to your pages, if relevant.

    Is this pro bono work you are doing for this organization? You mention that your client's organization is trying to be pleasantly tolerant of this other organization. Maybe it is best to just let it go for the sake of community good vibes.

    On the other hand, you could always put a statement or graphic on this site stating that it is the "official" site, not that it would do much good.

    Any chance of luring them into "hot linking" some of your images, then doing a suitable image swap?

    Just thinking out loud.

    Best,
    RadarCat, WebMaster
    http://www.os2warplinks.com

  3. #3
    Member
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    This sounds like it is your clients problem, not yours. You may feel obliged to do this for them, but remember, they are a business client and business is business. If you're just their web designer than this is definitely outside the scope of your obligations to them. If you're also their lawyer, then by all means go ahead and take care of this problem.

    /2 cents

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    UDRP rules make this an easy fight, but still have their lawyer do the work.

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Exclamation
    someone may have the url to the ICANN dispute info site; if you can get it, give it to their lawyers. could get their domain transferred to your client.

  6. #6
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    i sent a dispute to ICANN once, and the others soon backed off.
    i did at the same time, send the other site a copy of my compliant.
    and told them what i was about to do, I think it scared them.
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  7. #7
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    someone may have the url to the ICANN dispute info site; if you can get it, give it to their lawyers. could get their domain transferred to your client.
    http://www.icann.org/udrp/udrp.htm

  8. #8
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I have given the information to my client.

    At this point, I know they didn't want to get lawyers involved due to the cost. The whole thing is more of an annoyance than a huge issue. What money they do raise through different community events is put back into the community and future events, so legal fees are the last thing they want right now.

    The true home is that they other group will just fizzle out, which already appears to starting to happen. What few people they gathered into their fold are starting to see what the whole thing was 'really' all about - which isn't what they were told.

    Thanks for all the advice!
    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  9. #9
    Affiliate Coach sstark's Avatar
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    April 20th, 2005
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    the "copied" site may get a few newbie members, but if they keep coming back I am sure they will soon find out about your site within a cpl days..

    ..does the copied site have a forum or anyplace to stick an ad for the "official" town site?

    too bad your domain didnt have any trade mark information, you could simply take the similar domain from the other site, due to TM infringement.



    I agree, simply filing a complaint with the right people should scare these guys away. Also, a simple radio advertisment would show the people of the town which website would be the obvious choice to use.

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