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WEB/DIGITAL My name & picture being deceptively used

Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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I have had the craziest month with people blatantly plagarizing my copyrighted materials, promoting themselves as working with me and now a website that has a picture of me that seems to indicate that I am involved in & promoting a program, that I am not.

My attorney has talked to the owner's attorney, but nothing has changed on the website. I vaguely remember that you can go to the hosting company and file some kind of complaint. I can get an injunction, but frankly, am tired of paying legal bills to protect against bad guys. I'd love to get him blackballed at his hosting company. Of course he could move it, but I would love for it to be not easy for him.

Suggestions??
 

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slim_jim

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Jan 31, 2008
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Yes, you should be able to contact his hosting company about copyrighted material and ask the hosting company to contact them to remove it. If not resolved in a reasonable time frame, ask the hosting company to suspend the account, (shutting the site down).

If not successful, escalate to your legal team. A letter to the hosting company would probably do it.

HTH
 

mtnman

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Eeek. That sounds like a pita. I'm sure MJ would have something to add....I remember him mentioning fraudulent impersonation of his companies before. Sorry, I can't put my finger on the thread to add at the moment.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I have had the craziest month with people blatantly plagarizing my copyrighted materials, promoting themselves as working with me and now a website that has a picture of me that seems to indicate that I am involved in & promoting a program, that I am not.

My attorney has talked to the owner's attorney, but nothing has changed on the website. I vaguely remember that you can go to the hosting company and file some kind of complaint. I can get an injunction, but frankly, am tired of paying legal bills to protect against bad guys. I'd love to get him blackballed at his hosting company. Of course he could move it, but I would love for it to be not easy for him.

Suggestions??
Diane,

Hosting companies will remove copyrighted material by shutting down the offender -- I have gotten websites to remove material by approaching the hosting company and Google. Google has removed ads for me that promote fraudulent material as well.

GoDaddy is very responsive if sites they host plagiarize or steal copyrighted content. Deal with the 3rd parties vs the offender.
 

carlhuber

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Jan 31, 2008
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promoting themselves as working with me and now a website that has a picture of me that seems to indicate that I am involved in & promoting a program, that I am not.
Jeez, seems like an actual potentially good reason for a lawsuit for defamation of character and reimbursement against damaged future earning potential.
 
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Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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Thank you all. It's so disheartening. Why on earth do people behave like this?

It helps to hear that it's happened to others, although I'm sad it did.

Reps all around.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Thank you all. It's so disheartening. Why on earth do people behave like this?

It helps to hear that it's happened to others, although I'm sad it did.

Reps all around.
I had my site stolen, word for word, graphic for graphic, client by client once ... all they did was change the logo. They even stole customer testimonials! It is very disheartening to see graphics I created, words I wrote taken in seconds -- let us know if you get this resolved.
 

aptohosting

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I have had the craziest month with people blatantly plagarizing my copyrighted materials, promoting themselves as working with me and now a website that has a picture of me that seems to indicate that I am involved in & promoting a program, that I am not.

My attorney has talked to the owner's attorney, but nothing has changed on the website. I vaguely remember that you can go to the hosting company and file some kind of complaint. I can get an injunction, but frankly, am tired of paying legal bills to protect against bad guys. I'd love to get him blackballed at his hosting company. Of course he could move it, but I would love for it to be not easy for him.

Suggestions??
Diane PM me the details, I think I can fix this once and for all (free of charge).

Tom C.
www.aptohosting.com
 
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Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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The other party is pretty litigious. I've seen him do stuff like this before and wait for someone to slip up, then sue. The last person who he did it to ended up crossing some lines (because he got mad) the guilty guy threatened him with court, went somehow to binding arbitration and ended up getting use of the other guy's optin database. I still don't know how that all came down, because it seemed to me that the guilty guy (the one doing this to me) really was wrong in the deal. It's like "Pacific Heights" only with the Internet instead of a San Francisco mansion.

So my attorney is writing him an email, letter and fax today with strong "cease and desist" or we're taking action on Friday. I'd like for him to just go away, but I wonder if he isn't trying to bait me into doing something so he gets my database.

I'll let you know what happens.

This sure sounds like another book, doesn't it?
 

Allthingznew

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Aug 26, 2007
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This sure sounds like another book, doesn't it?
And that is why you will not only come out of this ok, but ahead. Every obstacle is an opportunity. Rep + for living the example.
 

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Russ H

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Diane-

Speaking as a property owner here, are there things you can do to switch your database over to a different owner?

If you did that, and if you did it NOW, any changes that occurred from the inception of this website could be quantified, later on down the line.

Just a thought.

-Russ H.

PS It would have to be done CAREFULLY-- the last thing you want is this bozo claiming your change was due to his actions (and that he deserves the proceeds).
 

Jonleehacker

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I still say that having them removed from the search engines is the best approach. Dealing with them on the ISP, or hosting level is only a temporary fix since they can easily move the site.
 

Russ H

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Agreed agreed about the ISPs.

You can change ISPs in a heartbeat.

Hit 'em where it hurts: GOOGLE, msn, yahoo.

Once they're off the search engines, they're invisible.

-Russ H.
 

Andrew

Contributor
Aug 8, 2007
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Just like Jonlee posted, go with the DMCA notice. Don't even bother with a C&D.

Send a DMCA notice to Google, and a notice to the individual's webhost. This will screw up their business, they will lose their Google traffic and probably have their site shut down until they can move it. A C&D isn't even a slap on the wrist, they may or may not even remove the content.

See this link (Google cache, no idea where the article was moved): http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:rZaTDJJs3GoJ:www.plagiarismtoday.com/?p=105+DMCA+requirement&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

Anyone who wants to protect their content should register the copyrights with the US Copyright Office. You should be able to cash in on the infringer without even going to court (e.g. you owe me $10k in licensing fees or we can go to court and you can pay $25k plus your own legal fees.)

You might want to consider using a lawyer that specializes in IP too..
 

Z5 FILMS

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Aug 13, 2007
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Never happened to me. But I would start with Google. They can change ISPs, but Google can kill them dead forever. I don't think they will have any problem with your wishes.
 

Bobo

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Mar 25, 2008
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Hi Diane,

I was just browsing your site looking under the things the lawyers make us say...
I'd suggest you put a very strong copyright notice on your site (sites???) and add a link to the Copyright page to your existing pages and the template you use for new pages.

Being famous in internet circles is double-edged sword. The rules of etiquette that exist in polite society seem to cease and there is an amazing phenomenon by which otherwise rational, polite, well-educated people go online and instantly engage in the electronic equivalent of a monkey-poo throwing contest at the zoo.

The advice you've been given is sound but let me offer another piece of advice: Go gently. Report the copyright infringement to the ISP, Report the use of your image without your consent to the ISP.
Be a little careful about going after strangers online. The sad truth is that it is easier for them to make your life unpleasant than it is for you to defend yourself and see them punished. If you ask your lawyer to file suits and go after e-scum then a couple things will happen:

1) There is a certain type who will love the importance bestowed upon them and redouble the effort to annoy you. I am sure you have heard the standard warning on pig wrestling and why you should not engage in it: You wind up bruised, sweaty, smelly and covered in poop and the pig has a blast.

2)The other thing to recognize here is that if you sue all these guys you will lose and your lawyer will win. That is unfair, that is not reasonable, that is not just... but it is true.

I TRULY and personally feel your pain on this one and hope never to become famous on the internet again. There are people who will steal your material and those who will try to tear down your credibility simply because you have been successful.

One other note: You are well known bordering on famous so you need to control your image. When you do a photoshoot for a book cover you need to own those negatives or make sure the publisher controls them. When someone asks to take a picture with you it is a good idea to politely mention that before they can publish it they have to run it by you.

Silver lining: Spend 100 hours focusing on your next investment rather than fighting this battle and in the end you will be far ahead. The other guy will still be... well, let's just say it's better to scrape it off your shoe and move forward.
 
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Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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Bobo,

Your post really made me think. Thank you for that. I have way too much emotion invested into this issue right now and need to start thinking more strategically.

More later - I'm just letting it all sink in.
 

Bobo

Bronze Contributor
Mar 25, 2008
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No problem. I know first hand what it is like to have people do this sort of thing and it cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars because I let it get to me and I, quite frankly, got my feelings hurt by the betrayal.

My lesson learned is that there are more good people out there than bad ones and surrounding yourself with the good ones isn't just good business, it's also a pretty good way to go about life. This will get more true over time for you due to the position you are in.

Feel free to PM or email for more specifics on the sort of stuff we've run into, how we dealt with it and why I go around using a clown's name online these days :) Hang in there and don't sweat the small people.
 

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Merkin Man

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Jul 25, 2007
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I haven't seen Diane around these parts lately. Does anybody know what ever happened with this?
 

slim_jim

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Jan 31, 2008
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I haven't seen Diane around these parts lately. Does anybody know what ever happened with this?
I thought she was busy with new opportunities. ATW had mentioned going to one of her seminars, along with some of the things she was working on.

But yes, we miss her.
 

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