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  1. #1
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I was checking one of my pages at Google, and I noticed one listed just below it with exactly the same title. Hmmm. So I went and looked. The Smithsonian Institution has a page with links to about 10 resources on making websites. And a link to a copy of my page (without my ads) on their site.

    I wrote them a nice letter. This will be most interesting.

    When they copied it they accidentally left in a snippet of code that will serve to prove to anyone paying attention that it was really mine. Fortunately. I didn't mention that in my nice letter to them.

    Donna

  2. #2
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    MissDonna,

    This would continue for generations and generations....Wonder if it would ever stop,
    Copying goes on everywhere lol...
    Well GoodLuck in your fight against ur clone's

    Regards
    TGO

  3. #3
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    You would think that those smart-types at the Smithonian would at least know enough to change the title.

    I understand that they are preparing for their upcoming Pranav exhibit! Shameful!

  4. #4
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    It would be great if they fail to notice the code....You could use it as your weapon in your battle for justice.

    Again, Wish You luck and hope that the copy cats go down...

    Regards
    TGO

  5. #5
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I know this is just plain wrong of me but I see opportunity here.

    You could contact them and demand they use the proper credits for your work. This would give you another source of visitors for your website.

    At this point you could use your leverage to get the deal signed. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    (hint leverage = exposure)

  6. #6
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    Heyder - That's a Good One, Confirmed that u got some good brains [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Regards
    TGO

  7. #7
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    AOL was making copies of certain high traffic pages and passing them off as the original with THEIR OWN ads.

    There was a class action suit. I can't remember all the sites in it except drudgereport.com. AOL lost but the details I could never find. Probably a gag order.

    I thought maybe this could help you in your legal research, if it comes to that and if there if available info.

    Good luck. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    I think I should do just fine. I told them I didn't think they were intentionally stealing from me, but the result was the same regardless. And the best way to remedy it would be to change the page so it is a redirect to mine, and change their links so they point to mine.

    It was a very friendly polite letter. I was really proud of it. They know that I know I could cause them some real trouble, and it won't cost them a thing to give me the links I'm asking for. I'll let you know what they say.

    Donna

  9. #9
    Assistant Regional Manager Rik's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>It was a very friendly polite letter. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sometimes that is the best way to handle things and like Heyder said, you could turn this around to your advantage.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I know this is just plain wrong of me but I see opportunity here.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It can't be wrong when the person who was wronged in the first place did nothing wrong unless they are percieved as being wrong but in this case are not wrong because they did nothing wrong so in the end the party that was wrong need to make this right with the party who was wronged so that there is nothing wrong and all parties involved are happy.

    Unless I'm wrong.

    They took advantage of her, so theres nothing wrong with her getting something in return. Keep us posted Donna.

    [ 02-27-2002: Message edited by: Rik ]

  10. #10
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Well, it's 2 days later, and I still haven't heard from them. The letter I sent today was not as friendly as the first one. I expressed the hope that we could work it out without my having to resort to a lawsuit.

    I sent it to 6 email addresses I found on their site. Two of them bounced immediately. That leaves 4 people, one of whom might do something. They didn't post an address for complaining about pirated information, so I kinda had to guess.

    Getting interesting.

  11. #11
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    please be aware that not everyone checks their email daily, it will do no good emailing every 2 days if they only check their email fortnightly

  12. #12
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    The next day (today)their attorney responded, saying they would look into it and get back to me early next week.

    A few hours later their webguy emailed me that he was changing the link as I requested, but he didn't want to make his old page a redirect, "since that would confuse people" ???

    I figure that meant he didn't know how to do it, so I sent him the exact code, and detailed instructions. By that time I guess he had gone home for the weekend, since he did change the link, but the redirect hasn't happened yet.

    This whole thing won't help me as much as I had hoped, since Google shows 36 links to my original page, and only 2 to their copy. But I still can't let them get away with it.

    This is so much fun.

  13. #13
    Assistant Regional Manager Rik's Avatar
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    You go girl!
    You've got nothing to lose.

    [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    This is getting mysterious. I went to http://museumstudies.si.edu/movingon...lorsamples.htm

    which is the URL my unauthorized page was at, and it was gone. But I asked Google who linked to that page, and I found 2 links to it, the one on the Smithsonian site: museumstudies.si.edu/movingon/hints.htm

    and:
    http://ccb.atmos.uiuc.edu/html/ which is a directory on the University of Illinois domain, and one of the pages in that directory: http://ccb.atmos.uiuc.edu/html/first3.html is another copy of my page. So I asked google for backward links for that one, and I got the same 2 answers as I got for the one on the Smithsonian page.

    I don't know how that can be - The Smithsonian page didn't link to that one. And its own directory? Makes no sense at all to me.

    If anyone can give me a reasonable explanation of how that all came to be, I'd sure appreciate it. And meanwhile, if some of you would make a copy of the http://ccb.atmos.uiuc.edu/html/first3.html page, just in case I ever need to prove it was there, I'd appreciate it. I didn't think of that in time to have anyone copy the one on the smithsonian site, but they never denied it was there, so I guess I got lucky that time.

    At least so far I have gotten a link from the Smithsonian, but that's not all I want.

    Thanks all.

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Screenshots (not just copies of the code) are what you need. Their address showing in the address bar needs to be visible...

    Anyway, I made a screenshot for you. The whole page doesn't fit on my little screen, but the important parts are there.

  16. #16
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Thanks, Leader. If I need to prove to someone the page was really there I'll ask you for help. So far they haven't denied copying it, they just don't seem to think there's anything WRONG with copying it.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by missdonna:
    I didn't think of that in time to have anyone copy the one on the smithsonian site, but they never denied it was there, so I guess I got lucky that time.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Missdonna, There is a cashed copy of your Smithonian heisted page on Google
    here

  18. #18
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    VERY IMPORTANT -

    Always put the following at the bottom of every page you make:

    Copyright 2002: Your Name or company name: All rights reserved. You can use the C in a circle in place of copyright.

    Then screen print a copy of your page with an extra line saying:

    This page was made and copywritten X day of Y month, year at your city, state, country.

    Then remove this line after you screenprint the page. Now you have proof of when and where the page was made to use as proof of YOUR copyright.

    Another thing you can do is copy the code and email it to yourself with the 'his page was made and copywritten X day of Y month, year at your city, state, country.'

    The email will give you a third party dating so know one can say you just fiddled with the
    code.

    Now you are sort of protected.

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    "Another thing you can do is copy the code and email it to yourself with the 'his page was made and copywritten X day of Y month, year at your city, state, country.'

    The email will give you a third party dating so know one can say you just fiddled with the
    code.

    Now you are sort of protected.~Fred"

    TRUE, AFAIK! It's not guaranteed (even Fred said "sort of" protected), but it's a boost in your favor...

  20. #20
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kat:


    Missdonna, There is a cashed copy of your Smithonian heisted page on Google
    here
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    That's amazing! It wasn't there when I looked for it. It looks like I have won my battle, though, so I don't need anyone to testify that the page was there. I made a copy of the page when it was there, but later I realized I didn't have any proof it was on their site. I figured having someone else see it and save it would be a good idea.

    They have already changed their link from the copy to my actual page. We battled for a while about whether they needed to just delete their copy or change it to a redirect to my page. This morning they agreed to make the redirect. Last time I checked it hadn't been done yet, but I think it will happen.

    This whole thing was far more trouble than it was probably worth, but I can't bear letting people get away with that sort of thing. I couldn't make them pay me, but I made their attorney read about 7 letters from me, and respond to them. That' s something.

    Thanks all of you for your help and suggestions. I think it's all over now. I won't be sure until I see the redirect on their site.

  21. #21
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    It sounds as though you might not need it now, but one more resource might be the Wayback Machine http://www.archive.org/index.html
    They keep copies of how web pages looked in the past.

    Elisabeth Archambault

  22. #22
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Thanks. I tried that and it wasn't there. I suppose if you looked you could find it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] I've learned a lot from this whole exercise. But I'm not going to go to all the effort required to protect all my thousands of pages. Most aren't worth protecting anyhow I suppose. But that one is special.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by buckworks.com:
    It sounds as though you might not need it now, but one more resource might be the Wayback Machine http://www.archive.org/index.html
    They keep copies of how web pages looked in the past.

    Elisabeth Archambault
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

  23. #23
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    This is truly amazing. All I wanted was for them to change their link from the illicitly copied page to my own page, and change the copied page to a redirect. What could be simpler?

    And they finally agreed.

    Last week they changed the link so it pointed to my own page, but they didn't want to do the redirect. Then they agreed to do the redirect, but they put the redirect page in a different place, so bookmarkers and search engines won't be able to find it. AND they changed the link on their page so now it goes to the new redirect page. Which they did a horrible job on.

    Grumble grumble.

  24. #24
    affiliate emeritus missdonna's Avatar
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    Can they make me do this? I'm keeping a public log of all my correspondence with the Smithsonian folks. They have finally (sort of) made the changes I wanted to correct the situation.

    Now their webmaster is requesting that I remove his name and email address from my site. I'm tempted to just reply that I'm looking into it and I'll get back to him next week (their standard reply to my requests) and then later tell him I've made the changes when I actually haven't. (their next responses) but I just wonder if I have the legal right to publish the emails I have gotten from them? But then again, if they are copyrighted material, I guess that puts the shoe on the other foot.

    At this point I have (sort of) gotten what I wanted from them, and I just want to have a little fun with them, and maybe let them know how it feels to be on the other side.

    Comments?

  25. #25
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    IANAL, but I strongly recommend NOT telling them you have made a change when you have not. Lying in a possible trademark/copyright case is not a good idea (no matter that they have done it).

    I don't know if they can "force" you to remove their info, but if keeping it there is to teach them a lesson, I'd take it down. I doubt they'll learn anything and why spend any more energy/time/annoyance on this situation than you already have? If you've gotten what you want, don't let them suck up any more of your resources.

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