Copyscape.com Catches Another Website Thief: Affordable DJs Las Vegas – Rocco Saruby

Copyscape.comAbout two months ago, I reported major plagiarism of a wedding industry website, owned by Sasha Souza. Sasha brought the hammer down on the offending Alicia Allen, and her website.

AAEventPlanning.com has been undercover (requires login and password) ever since. updated – 9-23-13 Domain name and website, abandoned.

I recommended a number of tools to protect your site from plagiarism. The top one being Copyscape.com.

Today, Copyscape.com paid off for Sight’n’Sound, a Las Vegas company. Their website was highly plagiarized by another Las Vegas area DJ service, AffordableDJsLasVegas.com

It could have been an accident, you say… No… hell no! Take a look at this partial screenshot, and my explanation that follows.

Plagiarized copy

DJ Jodi Harris, Co-Owner of SightNSound, calls herself the CEO of Fun. Strategically, Affordable DJs inserted two words: and Master, and thought that would be OK. By itself, that might have slipped by. However, this blurb shows Rocco as having won an award from the Las Vegas Chapter of NACE. Problem is, Rocco isn’t a member of NACE, and the award was won by Jodi Harris.

Jodi spoke with Rocky (Rocco) this afternoon. They do know each other, having collaborated on a couple of bookings, several years ago. He claimed ignorance on the plagiarism issue, laying it off on his webmaster, Linda Strasberg (reportedly hired from the Yellow Pages). He told Jodi he would have the webmaster call her. Two hours later, no phone call, but magically, this block of copy has been removed from the site.

FYI: Laying it off on the webmaster doesn’t fly. If he didn’t know the plagiarism, he should have known, and it is still his problem.

My guess is Rocky will be pressured to shut-it-down and create a fresh site. If he resists, the hosting service will be contacted about the plagiarism, and they will shut him down.

MY ADVICE: Protect your intellectual property. 

And… it’s bad enough to plagiarise from a business several states away. Plagiarizing from a business across town is incredibly foolish.

I’ll report back on how this plays out….

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Wedding Website Thief: How to catch one

website thief

A recent post about website piracy made major waves and created awareness on a number of levels.

Several people commented and contacted me, directly, sharing that they had found other people/businesses copying their content. The tool I recommended was CopyScape.com. Frankly, I was a bit shocked at the instant repercussions. I would strongly recommend that everyone have their content cross-checked.

Chef Tamika of RFA Catering was one of the commenters who found that content of hers was copied. In her case, it was an entire image gallery was copied to another business’ Facebook page… without permission or credit. In her comment, she asked, “What do I do, next?”

Here are my recommendations

This is the part where I declare: I’m not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV or as a blogger; however, I’m suggesting some sound steps (which will include touching base with an attorney).

  • Once you have discovered that a website, gallery, Facebook, or other internet site has misappropriate your content, you need to document it. I’m on a Macintosh computer, and I use a free gadget program called SiteSucker. Just enter the misbehaving web address, and it will download the entire site. It’s important to do this BEFORE you contact the culprit, so you have a record of the entire, as you saw it.
  • Not sure if SiteSucker will work for Facebook. If not, I would take a more cumbersome approach of taking screenshots of the offending pages. Those pages will show your images, concurrent with the thieving company. Screenshots can now be taken with Mac operating system. I use a gadget program called SnapzPro from Ambrosia Software. Those of you on Windows should be able to track down comparable tools for this documentation.
  • What should happen: The #1 Goal should be to get the bad-guy/gal to take down the content, immediately. It’s find to be angry and think that there should be damages, but those are side issues. Focus on getting the pirated copy and images taken down.
  • Write a demand letter: Much like a small claims court situation, the first thing to do is communicate that you’ve ‘found them out’, documented the piracy, and are DEMANDING that they remove the offending content within a specified time frame. Say… 48 or 72 hours. If it were me, I would email them AND send the same letter by snail mail. A phone call is fine. And, I would recommend that the demand ALSO BE BY EMAIL AND SNAIL MAIL, so there is no confusion or argument as to what was discussed on the phone.
  • Do you need an attorney? I feel very confident writing a demand letter. You may not. If you don’t, I would write a draft of what the facts are. Then bring that checklist and documentation to an attorney. Your attorney will turn the facts in legalese, probably charging you for 1-2 hours of work. And, when the pirate gets the letter, the site will come down in a hurry.
  • What if they offender doesn’t comply? At that point, there are other threats and promises that may come into play. For one thing, notifying the hosting company that there is copyright infringement occurring on their servers will get their attention. Sending them a copy of the same demand letter and documentation will usually motivate them to get the content taken down. A hosting company doesn’t want to get involved in the liability issues of one of their customers.

An attorney’s advice is always good. Typically, though, pirates will fold like a cheap tent, when found out.

Hope that helps…

Andy Ebon - signature

 

 

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Get Married Magazine leaps the pack with technology breakthrough

GM-triple-logoA technology breakthrough? In a magazine?

Yes, that would be correct! Read on, about the dramatic new feature that will be part of Get Married Magazine, beginning with its Premier Issue (October 2009). An addition that will intrigue and inform brides. And benefit advertisers with a new and different connection to online content, directly from Get Married Magazine.

GET MARRIED MAGAZINE IS THE FIRST BRIDAL PUBLICATION TO USE THE CUTTING-EDGE MICROSOFT TAG, BRINGING PRINT PAGES TO LIFE

With the click of a smart phone camera on the pages of Get Married magazine, busy brides connect instantly to videos, websites, photos and information – while on the go

ATLANTA, August 4, 2009 – Get Married Media, an integrated tri-media wedding planning resource with national platforms online, on television and in print, announces today that Get Married magazine is the first bridal publication to ever use the new Microsoft Tag technology, giving readers instant entertainment and connection to videos, website, photos and information on a mobile phone.

The Get Married Microsoft Tage
The Get Married Microsoft Tage

Throughout Get Married magazine, select editorial and advertisements will have a Microsoft Tag printed directly onto the pages.  After a quick download of the free application to an internet-enabled camera phone, busy and on-the-go brides just aim and snap any Tag within Get Married magazine, immediately turning the still Tag into rich, interactive content on their phone.

As part of its fresh approach to planning weddings, Get Married is using multi-media in an innovative way as never seen before – integrating its expertise in TV and production, along with its internet proficiency, with a print medium – Get Married magazine.

Microsoft Tags, the sophisticated technology powered by High Capacity Color Barcodes (HCCBs), will enhance the Get Married magazine readers’ interactive experience.  The technology allows the users to interact with the content in the magazine in new ways using their mobile device, making it more informative, immersive and fun.  “Tagged” editorial and advertisements will turn traditional magazine reading into ground-breaking, rich, multi-media experiences within the wedding and bridal industry.

Get Married magazine’s promise to reinterpret the rules starts with the publication itself, and integrating Microsoft Tag changes the way brides read a magazine, gather inspirations and connect with advertisers,” said Stacie Francombe, founder and president of Get Married Media.  “We are bringing our expertise in video and online to the magazine pages, moving beyond the traditional ways of delivering a bridal publication — from the newest interactive technology and latest trends in bridal shopping and style to a colorful, fresh voice in the wedding genre.”

With the small, colorful Microsoft Tags, Get Married magazine offers brides – who are busy working, planning and playing – quick, easy and convenient connectivity to information when and where they want it – with no typing, fumbling with URLs, texting short-codes or launching browsers.  Brides can learn more about a product, save Tags for later viewing, and make a purchase – directly from their phones.  With Tag, Get Married makes the process of planning a wedding more convenient and even more fun.

Get Married is taking user interaction to the next level with Tag.  They have brides who are really engaged, incredibly focused on planning and shopping for their weddings, and Tag allows them to stay in the moment,” said Aaron Getz, business leader for Microsoft Tag. “Advertisers in Get Married magazine can deepen the relation with the brides making their ads immediately actionable and more entertaining. Besides they can track the actions brides are taking and inform their marketing strategy.”

Get Married is working closely with advertisers to incorporate Microsoft Tag in their print ads and to track and monitor the success of the campaigns.  The Tags enable advertisers to further connect brides and consumers with their brand, while influencing purchase decisions and enhancing brand loyalty.  For its first issue launching October 2009, Get Married magazine is offering free Tags to advertisers on full- and half-page ads.  In addition, advertisers can provide the video or Get Married will produce with existing advertiser footage and content.

For more about Get Married magazine’s Microsoft Tag, please visit www.getmarried.com/magazinetag for a step-by-step, including free application download, list of Tag-friendly phones, as well as actual Tag to test on your mobile phone.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Wedding Business CLOSED – Will this be you?

Friday, I made a very pointed post about a Las Vegas bridal store and wedding planning business that is closing its doors.

I couldn’t help but remember tucking away this cartoon for future reference. The future is now.

Is the subject of this cartoon you? If you need a professional website and search engine optimization evaluation, don’t hesitate to inquire.

wedding business closed
Is this you?

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog