I wrote a massive, 2000 word rant about this yesterday morning, just to get it all out of my head, but what it basically boils down to is this:
The hosts of the site which had stolen 500 of my posts removed it on Friday night.
Not without a fight, and not before they’d recommended we hire a lawyer (AGAIN) to have it removed, but they finally, albeit reluctantly, agreed to take it down.
Oh, and they ALSO took down the OTHER site we found on Friday, which:
- was ALSO registered to Lin Shuideng.
- was ALSO hosted by the same US company which was hosting the first site.
- ALSO contained around 500 of my posts, copied and pasted in their entirety, complete with images and watermarks. In fact, it was the SAME 500 posts the first site had stolen.
I don’t get much luck with this kind of thing, do I?
Oh, and Lin Shuideng? Had around 300 domains. As far as we can tell, they were ALL hosting stolen material. This person wasn’t just ripping off me, he/she was ripping off HUNDREDS of people. So if the hosts had stuck to their guns, they would have required a possible 300 people to hire 300 lawyers, to file 300 pieces of paperwork, to stop ONE PERSON BLATANTLY breaking the law.
Because that would be fair.
In the end, the hosts DIDN’T remove Lin Shuideng’s hosting account because of the theft of copyrighted work. No, they said they’d found mysterious “other issues” with it, which had forced them to remove it. I’m not sure what could be worse, in hosting terms, than stealing from 300 people, but whatever it was, it got them to take down the two sites that were ripping me off, to my great relief.
I say “relief”. To be honest, I’m still mad as hell about all of this. And not just because yet another working day was lost, spent fighting an intellectual property thief, rather than doing the work I’m so far behind with, but because I don’t feel justice can really be said to have been done here. Sure, Lin Shuideng will have woken up the next morning to find that his/her illegal websites had all vanished into the ether, and that must’ve been a bit of a bummer. But… that’s it. There are no other consequences for this person, who will surely just start again on another host. Three hundred illegal websites is not a small thing. It is not an insignificant thing (not in a business sense, anyway). It is large-scale theft, and yet it will go totally unpunished, and there will be absolutely nothing to prevent this person going on to do exactly the same thing again.
That’s the way it is, though. If someone steals your physical property, the law will protect you for free. If someone steals your intellectual property, the law will extract a large sum of money from you in order to protect you. If you don’t want to, or can’t afford to pay, the criminal will be allowed to go on breaking the law, and that’s not fair.
We’re now waiting for Lin Shuideng (or the NEXT Lin Shuideng) to pop up somewhere else, stealing more of our content. It was Shoeperwoman.com this time, but next time it could be TheFashionPolice.net, or it could be this site. Or it could be YOUR site. Isn’t that a worrying thought?