How to Protect Our Independent Camgirl Websites From Copyright Infringers
While all camgirls should be concerned about copyright infringers who use our copyrighted pictures and webcam videos for their own purposes, as independent camgirls we have an additional concern: protecting our personal independent camgirl websites. Recently I had an experience with a couple of copyright-infringing domains that were hosting copies of my entire websites (including this one) on their own domains, so I figured I’d write about some of the strategies I’ve been employing successfully to solve the problem.
How Do Unethical Webmasters Infringe Upon Our Copyright?
In trying to figure out exactly what was happening in my situation, I learned that there are three main methods that are employed to copy a website to another domain. The first, scrapers, are scripts employed by unethical webmasters to ‘scrape’ (or basically copy) the text and images that appear on our websites and place that content on another domain. Scraping can be as basic as a simple cut/paste job or it can be done using software that performs that copy/paste work automatically. With scraping, only the content of pages and posts tends to be copied, not the entirety of a website (design, header, background, etc).
Website mirrors is a form of scraping on a site-wide level. With a website mirror, you are essentially looking at your own website replicated on another domain. Many webmasters mirror their own websites for legitimate purposes (countering censorship, easing traffic to a specific domain, etc) but website mirrors can also be used by unethical site owners to steal your website in the hopes that they will gain search engine traffic from your hard work. Of unethical site mirroring, site owners who perform what are called ‘302 redirects’ are the most damaging. With a 302 redirect site mirror (also known as a 302 highjack), a webmaster will mirror a website and then attempt to trick search engines into treating the mirror website as the original version by using 302 redirects, which tell search engines that the mirror domain has temporarily moved to the original domain. As such, the original domain is perceived by search engines to be the copy and can be penalized accordingly. Webmasters that employ 302 redirects are trying to steal search engine rankings that the real site owners have built, it’s a form of theft that not only steals content, but steals visitors as well, in that the copy of the website can often rank higher in search engines than the original website.
How to Find Infringing Domains
The easiest way to find scraped copies of our independent camgirl websites is using a service such as copyscape. Unfortunately, finding mirror domains is often not quite so easy, as I’ve found from experience that mirror copies do not show up in copyscape. To check for a mirror copy of a website, search for the site name without the tdl (as in, search for ‘sitename’ instead of ‘sitename.com’) and scroll through the pages of results. If a website is performing a 302 highjack of your independent camgirl website, chances are it will show up in the search results.
How We Can Protect our Independent Camgirl Websites
In dealing with copyright infringers and protecting our independent camgirl websites, our best recourse is first to block offending websites from accessing our own. Following that, we need to send DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown notices to webmasters who copy our content, hosts that allow infringers to use their services and search engines that index infringing domains.
There are several standard DMCA templates floating around on the net, but the gist of each is that you must identify yourself as the legal owner of the copyright, state where your original material can be found on the web, and list the URL of every piece of offending content found on the infringing domain. In the case of domains that have created website mirrors of your own website, you’ll have a pretty long list of offending URLs. It’s not sufficient to state that your domain ‘mysite.com’ has been copied without your permission on mysite.piratesite.com, you must list the individual URL of each blog post, page and picture attachment. Like I said, expect to be compiling a long list. Then you must request removal of the offending material and sign it with your name, address, telephone number and email address and send it via email or regular mail to the appropriate contact person.
How to Find the IP, Host and Contact Info for Offending Domains and their Website Hosting Companies
To block an offending IP, first you must find out what IP the website uses. That’s pretty easy to find by searching for the domain using any of the free IP checkers available on the internet. Once you’ve identified the IP/IP range you can simply block the IP(s) using .htaccess.
To find the website owner and host, search for the WHOIS information for the domain. There you will find the owner of the domain and the name of the website host. Send a DMCA takedown notice to the domain owner ‘abuse’ contact listed in the WHOIS. If that doesn’t work and the offending material is not removed, send a DMCA notice to the ‘abuse’ contact email address listed under the hosting portion of the WHOIS. Some hosts will demand a DMCA in hard copy, and in that case print out your DMCA notice, sign it and send it to the physical address provided by the host.
If the infringing mirror of your website is appearing in search results, you can send DMCAs to the major search engines as well. Search engines have no control over material located on the internet, but you can send a DMCA notice requesting removal of infringing content from search results. A great resource for sending DMCA takedown notices to search engines can be found here. Each template DMCA has the recipient address already filled in so you don’t need to search for this information separately.
When I found my beloved websites mirrored on other domains I was initially quite shocked, but with a bit of research I discovered that this is actually a pretty common phenomenon. Further, the more popular and prominent your website is, the more likely it is that an unethical webmaster will try to steal your own work for his or her own benefit. In that sense, having someone else steal your work is actually a sign you’re great at what you do. Try to find a little consolation in that 🙂
If you find a scrape or mirror of your own independent camgirl website take a deep breath and start searching for contact information and the website IP. Block the IP/IP range of the infringing domain and then start compiling the URLs required for an effective DMCA takedown notice. Send the DMCA takedown notice first to the website owner, and if he/she doesn’t respond, DMCA the host and the search engines (if the infringing content is appearing in search results).
With a bit of work, time and tenacity we can protect our independent camgirl websites, and all the hard work we put into them. I know first-hand that dealing with copyright infringers can be a frustrating situation, but we can prevail if we follow the procedures legally afforded to us by the DMCA.
If you’re experiencing the same problem and are running into any difficulties, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to provide any information or advice I can on how to deal with the situation successfully.