Yesterday was interesting. I got back from my part time day job (developing sharepoint applications in case you’re interested) and checked the site activity on the worldsnowboardguide.com. The stats were way up on what they should have been, and when i looked deeper into it there was a huge number of page views from a specific IP address which wasn’t one my many recognised search engines that hammer the site. The browser user agent didn’t have anything to suggest it was a bot, but in 45 minutes they had hit over 11,000 pages on the site. It didn’t seem to be a denial of service attack, but there was very few repeated pages in the log.
I did a whois lookup on the IP address on cqcounter.com for the offending IP address 188.8.131.52 and have sent all the info to the host BT and we’ll see what comes back. I’m now spending my Easter weekend, doning my Coldfusion hat and changing the code, so that in future it can detect and prevent this kind of stuff. If i get the chance i’ll try and package things up nicely and stick onto sourceforge.net as i couldn’t find anything that did such a thing.
This kind of thing isn’t that unusual, but what came next was, and turned me into a screaming nut job and I am so angry about this. Part of my googling around trying to find a Coldfusion component that could detect these attacks I stumbled upon a blog on sitepoint.com that talked about a website called Copyscape.com which basically searches for copies of your content. All you do is stick in a URL and it tells you if any of the content on that page has been used on any other website. So i did this with a few URL’s of some of the more popular pages on the site and found some small sites and forums that had quoted some excerpts, most of which linked back to WSG and on the whole i’ve got no problem with this kind of thing as it gives us traffic. However one site kept on cropping up, skoarder.com and upon visiting their site, i flipped out.
Every single one of the resorts they cover includes a big chunk of the review from WSG, and it doesn’t stop there. Resort statistics seemed to have been copied and finally the ultimate proof, they’ve stolen a stack of photos. There is no mention of WSG, they haven’t asked permission, it is blatent theft and i’m not having it.
This time not only have they copied some of the text, but this time also a photo I took of Pete.
Talk about caught red handed. So what do I do next? I’ve obviously written a pretty strong email to the owner and explained in no uncertain terms to remove the content immediately and i’ll be contacting own-it.org about starting criminal proceedings, so stay tuned to see what their response will be. Copyscape.com do have some great advice about what to do next, and it’s certainly a site i’ll recommend to anyone who wants to see what thieving so and so’s are out there stealing your content.