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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    sites who steal exclusive coupons
    I have a question.
    I am starting to take legal action against some of these sites who've been stealing my exclusive coupons. My first action is always to ask then demand the content be removed, but some of these places don't seem to care.

    now my question... I was wondering if anyone's attempted action against these sites, and how it's gone. I know my site is quite a big bigger than most of these other sites, but I want to protect what's mine.

  2. #2
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    You can talk to the merchants and try to get them to drop those sites. It's been successful in some cases like the recent Retailmenot posting other site's coupons.

  3. #3
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Another thing that helps stop that: Try to get merchants to implement truly exclusive codes that track to you no matter where the traffic came from.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    That sounds good, but my issue is that we have a lot of exclusive coupons like this for a lot of stores, so some sites have taken dozens of our links. Some of the merchants are cool about helping out, but the majority really don't want to deal with it, or are so slow to take action or even respond.
    And some of the sites like retailmenot just take the coupons whether they're affiliate links or not, so the stores just say they can't do anything to those places.
    I have been successful with some truly exclusive links so I get credit no matter where the link comes from, but just not with more than a few... And I like the exclusives on MY SITE, so people keep coming back to me for other stuff.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Are the sites copying your written content or just the links? (I'm not sure links themselves are considered copyrightable content, since there are millions of duplicate links throughout the internet).

  6. #6
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Send a Cease & Desist email/letter then send it to your states attorney general and the sites state too! Make sure you indicate that on your C&D. Better yet, fax it to the SAG's for better response. It may not work but the pucker factor is worth your effort.

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    i would say if the merchants are giving you coupons that are not truly exclusive to your site, then the merchants are just distributing general coupons to you, other affiliates are not that bad ethically to pick up coupons in reality are "general/non-exclusive coupons".

    If they pick up truly exclusive ones, they help you to make more sales and money anyway.

    No need bother such issue too much

  8. #8
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    That's now how it works. They are bad for getting coupons off of other people's sites. They are exclusive in the sense merchants usually make the codes as the sites name. If your site is blahblah.com, they might give you a 10% off any order code BLAHBLAH. The problem is enforcement and merchants need to just drop the sites that steal exclusive coupons or give them their own. One of the two.

  9. #9
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    I am not sure how you can file a dmca takedown since you do not own the copyright of the coupon, if anyone does (this is pretty grey if even they do) it is the merchant. They would have to file.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    truly exclusive or not really depends on the merchant, not the affiliate, ask the merchant when you get it.


    >> usually make the codes as the sites name. If your site is blahblah.com,


    merchant does it just out of convenience, it tells nothing about exclusivity or not.

  11. #11
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    I am not sure on this one, as chetf stated there is no copyright etc... Just like Wal-Mart matching a coupon from Target where the company gave target exclusive coupons.. I know that is a little different, but if someone is basically giving the coupon out then it is no different than the type of "dreamhost" coupon system where "50FEB87" That coupon has been around where it's $50 off monthly hosting or $87 off yearly hosting- where a person can get a year of unlimited domain hosting & free domain for like under $40, but who get's the referral fee the coupon person, the referral's email that's put in?? There are sites that quote coupon codes everywhere.. FYI: THAT IS NOT MY CODE NOR DO I KNOW WHO'S IT IS!! I just quoted what it said- something about $10 goes to a charity or something... ANyways it would be hard to push that far.. My suggestion is i would look at the merchant's support & if they can not guarantee you that if your code will give you credit- maybe drop them.. I know it can hurt to not have the selection etc.. but the time & headaches you probably spend on this might just pay off focusing on the merchants that actually take care of their affiliates when they give them a "exclusive" code-- Because it is not exclusive if someone else can get credit for it.. Just my thoughts...

  12. #12
    Not that fat. ReallyBigGuy's Avatar
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    Its tough to fight, but can be worth it.
    Last edited by ReallyBigGuy; February 15th, 2007 at 10:38 AM.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador newestuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simcat
    Are the sites copying your written content or just the links? (I'm not sure links themselves are considered copyrightable content, since there are millions of duplicate links throughout the internet).
    My problems are that The links are just links... but some sites steal the code which is usually: MYSITENAME (which is trademarked), and some even steal the text, which says "Exclusive MYSITENAME Coupon for $x off $x". So by them stealing the code and using it on their own site, they're using my trademarked name to compete with me, which can't be legal. when they take the whole text, i'm sure it must be some bot, but that's my name too.

    I hate googling for my own site name, only to have my competitors sites show up because they stole my coupons.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by newestuser
    My problems are that The links are just links... but some sites steal the code which is usually: MYSITENAME (which is trademarked), and some even steal the text, which says "Exclusive MYSITENAME Coupon for $x off $x". So by them stealing the code and using it on their own site, they're using my trademarked name to compete with me, which can't be legal. when they take the whole text, i'm sure it must be some bot, but that's my name too.

    I hate googling for my own site name, only to have my competitors sites show up because they stole my coupons.

    I would get some legal advice on this one. I think that a cease and desist letter from an attorney looks a lot more imposing than one that you send yourself.

    I'm guessing that they are scraping your site for content if they actually post "Exclusive MYSITENAME Coupon for $x off $x". It sounds like they are not even monitoring what is being posted.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager adambha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr_Sacc
    I would get some legal advice on this one. I think that a cease and desist letter from an attorney looks a lot more imposing than one that you send yourself.
    This is true, but if you wanna save some money a do just *a little* work you can be very effective on your own.

    First, send a demand letter, not a cease and desist. A demand letter sounds stronger and gets them thinking more about a courtroom than simply saying, "Stop doing that!" And use scary terms like 'pro se litigant', which only means that you're representing yourself.

    A demand letter states a few simple pieces:

    - Your full name and address
    - The deceptive practice claimed
    - Your specific injury (or potential injury)
    - The relief you demand
    - A time line for response.

    And you probably want to send it certified mail so you have proof of delivery.

    These are just the basics of a demand letter, you can do a little research and find more useful info.

    Of course, the usual disclaimer: I am not an attorney and this is only my opinion. Please seek appropriate legal counsel before taking any action...

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Vrindavan's Avatar
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    >> - Your specific injury (or potential injury)

    if the coupon is in your site name, i cannot think of ONLY injury, PLUS to your very benefit by promoting your site name or domain



    the coupon : exclusive or not --> owned by the merchants always

    the letters on the coupon --> your trademark

    Thus ??

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