Ecommerce Director at Monocore
20 January 2011 16:12pm
I work in a niche market within the ecommerce sector and run one of the more established and sophisticated sites. Unfortunately, some of our smaller competitors are stealing parts of our site design and content.
This started with product descriptions and the entire content of our the terms and conditions (sometimes even leaving our company name in place) but it's now progressed into the look and feel of the site being used. One particular competitor has changed its site pallette to match ours as well as the entire site layout and many of the images.
Not only have they used entire chunks of our layout, design and HTML, they're also using the text from our pages word for word in many cases.
I'm just wondering whether anyone has any tips for dealing with this. Our emails go unanswered and the company really doesn't seem to care about our requests.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Director at Watson Hall Ltd
31 January 2011 18:30pm
Probably a trip to your lawyers is needed now. But make sure they have a track record in "new media".
CEO at Econsultancy
02 February 2011 10:23am
Do you know if they are having any success with copying you? For example, are they trying to (or succeeding in) ranking in search better by copying you? I'm just wondering whether it's worth your time fretting about them. Though if they're undermining your brand and getting some traction then obviously the legal route starts to be more appealing. I doubt you can protect/defend your site design per se (that could be seen just as 'best practice') but if they are 'passing off' your brand then that's a clear infringement.
03 February 2011 08:14am
Thanks for your helpful comments.
While they still have a header which looks completely different to ours, there are so many striking similarities between the sites that it looks like passing off to me. The similarities between the two sites are certainly far closer than you'd get by chance alone, and the fact that they've stolen chunks of source code also demonstrates infringement.
Interestingly, within our niche market copyright infringement seems to be widespread. A Google search for a sentence used on our terms and conditions page shows that the same wording has been copied by more than a dozen other sites in our market. On the plus side, I suppose it is quite flattering!
Digital Marketing/Online Marketing Specialist at Ecommerce Freelancer
23 June 2011 13:43pm
In my opinion, I am afraid either you could be penalized by google for Plagiarism. I would certainly get some of the top search engines notified before thinking about legal action.
Some hosting companies have terms and conditions that are against such activities as copyright infringement, plagiarism and much more.Verify to find who is their hosting provider. Then get to their terms and conditions to see what it says. If they are hosting with such companies, make a serious complain and their website could be deleted with immediate effect.
Also you would need to verify the age of the website. This is because, they could claim you copied from them. But then there is always "cache" that could show how far the website has been edited over the years.
If this person for example is from Russia, Asia or Africa then you are in trouble because it won't be easy to go after them.
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