Few days back I was on live chat monitoring our traffic and I noticed that I'm getting traffic from Pro-Solution.net. I was bit puzzled as to why that is... so I decide to visit the URL and to my surprise our website word for word and code for code was appearing on that domain.
First I was bit happy that our design and content is good that someone is ripping our design… then the reality sets in... Questions start flowing... Is one of our competitions trying to sabotage our natural SERPs (search engine result pages) rankings by duplicate content penalty? How will this affect my website stats? How will this affect my AddThis.com stats? Are my live chat request stats going to be wrong? What can I do to stop this?
Before I can do anything I need to figure out who are these thief’s... so I explore the site a bit and nothing their other then the first page... but they have phone number listed... lets take the diplomacy route and ask them to remove the site or at least change the text... I dialed the international number and get network is busy or number is wrong... no luck.
So I do a quick WHOIS on the domain to see if the registrar information is available... no luck there either... it is protected. Okay... lets do a reverse DNS lookup... ping the domain, find the IP and find other domains hosted on that same IP. Wola success, 55 other domains. I visit each one and notice another domain http://www.cyberonline.in with our site design and content... do a WHOIS on the domain... get the contact info... call and same message network is busy or number is wrong... 6 man hours lost but was able to answer that it is not the competition... as no other dealer websites are on that network... and this company is based out of Chennai, India.
Okay well diplomacy route is not working out... so what are my legal options?
According to The Plagiarism Today article “Web Design Plagiarism” we can't really do anything about the site design... but due to line for line code copy we have intellectual property rights and since the site is hosted in the States I can file a DMCA compliant with the hosting provider and article on LearnAboutLaw.com provided a sample copyright infringment DMCA notice to service provider. Now I just need the service provider info... quick IP whois on ARIN provides me firstname.lastname@example.org. I have filled the DMCA complaint and lets see what happens.
In the mean time I will defiantly be playing the shame game as suggested by zenscope studio blog. I have already posted the site on pirated-sites.com and this blog entry. Who knows Pro-Solution or Cyberonline will read this blog entry and take the site down.