About two weeks ago, I noticed some unusually high traffic on my site. This got me investigating the access logs to see what was going on. It turns out someone was like spam visiting my site, but as I was investigating that, I saw another unusual thing. I was getting a lot of POST requests to my site from another URL. That was odd. So I followed the referring site and came across this:
This site (which I will not link to, because I don’t want it getting any page views) copied the entire HTML for Nose Graze, copied all the styles/CSS/images and uploaded them to their own site, and replaced the content with advertisement material. So basically, my whole site has been copied and is being used for spammy looking advertisements.
Obviously the first thing I set out to do was submit a DMCA takedown notice. But the problem is this site is being hosted on what’s probably a dedicated server on a hosting site from Luxembourg, and they don’t give a shit about DMCA. I did submit a copyright infringement complaint to them, but all they said was:
we forwarded your complaint ot the customer and asked him to resolve this issue.
It’s obvious right off the bat that ROOT S.A. put a lot of into that reply. [/sarcasm]
So basically, they forwarded my complaint to the client—the person who blatantly stole it in the first place. They’re not going to take down the site or insist that the client remove it. They’re just going to inform the person who stole it and let them decide how to proceed. Well the person who blatantly stole it isn’t going to remove it just because I decide to complain.
DMCA notices that are sent to well known shared hosting companies or free sites (Blogger, WordPress.com) are usually dealt with well and swiftly. The problems arise when the thief has a dedicated server with a company that’s not in the US (so DMCA doesn’t apply) and doesn’t give a shit about copyright infringements. ROOT S.A. is clear that they’ll only take action against things like child pornography, as they say on their Abuse page:
This being, please solely contact us using the below email address to report content hosted on or transmitted via root servers that is blatantly illegal such as child pornography, inciting racial hatred or inciting violence content or in case of attempt to defraud the public via, for example Phishing attempts.
Any other type of claim shall be addressed directly to the applicable party and therefore will be disregarded by root.ROOT S.A.
Fair enough if the theft was questionable or ambiguous, but in this case, my entire design and logo have been stolen. It still even says “Design by Creative Whim” at the bottom. And the comment form was copied straight from Nose Graze, so it actually sends a POST request to https://www.nosegraze.com/wp-comments-post.php if someone tries to use the comment form. This is such a blatant and thorough copy that I find it disgusting that it wouldn’t be immediately and forcibly taken down.
At this point, the only remaining option is to start paying to have the site taken down (hire a lawyer or professional copyright infringement service).