Website using stolen AskMe content February 27, 2006 9:18 PM   Subscribe

This website is using Ask.Metafilter content. I ran a search on my username and it turned up a slew of MeFi returns as it should, but also a few other items that were amusing. But it turned up this site that "launched" last month. Something that should be looked into? Followed up on? Simply ignored?
posted by FlamingBore to Etiquette/Policy at 9:18 PM (25 comments total)

Whoa, it's like your run of the mill SEO gangbang but with no obvious monetization. I think under those conditions the acronym SEO is slightly modifed to WTF.
posted by scarabic at 9:22 PM on February 27, 2006

It's a SEO spammer, sucking in the ask mefi RSS and inserting links to their stupid home mortgage site (notice there is only one link repeated throughout the text on a single phrase).

Contact them and ask them to remove all mefi content, since you hold copyright on your posts.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:28 PM on February 27, 2006

Slight derail - and I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I'm a lazy man - but what's the legality of deleting posts and comments if the admins are not the © holders?
We are responsible for protecting our copyrighted material, and I'd assume that we would also be responsible if a comment violated a law (Slander, for example), but if our material is also subject to the implied approval of the admins, aren't they also culpable to a degree?

Not complaining about the situation at all - Matt and Jess complete me, His house/His rules, MeFi cured my gout, etc, etc, I'm just curious.

This is going to get deleted, isn't it?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:58 PM on February 27, 2006

Contact them and ask them to remove all mefi content, since you hold copyright on your posts.

Throw up the contact details here, and we can go all Angry Mob Justice on their asses.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:07 PM on February 27, 2006

Alvy, the phrase means no one can copy comments and sell a book. Copyright concerns the right to copy. Copyright isn't the right to display your speech.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:08 PM on February 27, 2006

Don't think I didn't pick up the snarkiness in those italics.
And thanks for the speedy reply :)

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:17 PM on February 27, 2006

*lights torch*
posted by mlis at 10:27 PM on February 27, 2006

Copyright isn't the right to display your speech.

Well, technically, it's impossible to "display" the speech on a Web site without making several copies of it for everyone who views the site. The server reads a copy from the database and stores it in RAM to pass to the Web server, and possibly in one or more caches. The buffer in the server's Ethernet NIC stores a copy as another copy is transmitted over the Internet. Then the buffer in the Ethernet NIC in the client computer stores it temporarily before it's copied into RAM. Then it hits the browser, which stores a copy on disk and/or in RAM before generating the copy that's displayed on screen. I believe that every copy made by a computer is considered a copy from a legal standpoint. A court might go so far as to consider the copy of your post stored in your computer's VRAM and the copy of it displayed on your monitor to be separate copies.

Of course, by posting content here you implicitly consent to all this copying because the purpose of the site is to display your content to other users.
posted by kindall at 10:37 PM on February 27, 2006

People read this shit? Sweet Cthulhu funnel cakes! I'm not at the bottom of the "I don't have a life" food chain!

Re: Copyright, copywrong. I'm pretty much anti-copyright... except when it comes to nailing assholes like this to a log and rolling said log off of a steep hill.

It's probably not worth it, financially speaking, and IANAL, but I'm in complete favor of suing said assholes into any given temporally removed geologic age - for fun or profit.
posted by loquacious at 11:27 PM on February 27, 2006

Thanks for boosting that page's Pagerank.
posted by cellphone at 1:45 AM on February 28, 2006

Hmm. Are you talking about raising the rank of this site talking about Home Appraisal? Maybe if we did something about the Home Appraisal, Home Appraisal, Home Appraisal, Home Appraisal, Home Appraisal, Home Appraisal.
posted by seanyboy at 2:25 AM on February 28, 2006

seanyboy, no, I'm pretty sure rewarding people for ripping off Mefi was the wrong way to go.
posted by tiamat at 4:08 AM on February 28, 2006

*wakes up, wipes the drool off his chin, tries to figure out what the fuck is going on here*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2006

Oooh, are y'all going to go after these guys too? Can I come?
posted by Otis at 6:12 AM on February 28, 2006

Road trip?
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:32 AM on February 28, 2006

At least on Otis' link they credit and link to AskMe.
posted by terrapin at 6:54 AM on February 28, 2006

Created On: 12-Jan-2006 23: 13: 33 UTC
Last Updated On: 12-Jan-2006 23: 13: 35 UTC
Expiration Date: 12-Jan-2007 23: 13: 33 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: Inc. (R318-LRMS)
Registrant ID: DI_2320899
Registrant Name: Rod Lynn
Registrant Organization: Rod Lynn
Registrant Street1: Ballinclea
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City: Donard Co. Wicklow
Registrant State/Province: NA
Registrant Postal Code: N/A
Registrant Country: IE
Registrant Phone: 1.35345404683
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX: 1.35345404683
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:

This is the only domain in the chain which doesn't have WHOIS data hidden. Try calling him up.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 7:37 AM on February 28, 2006

Obviously that phone number shouldn't have 1 in front of it.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 7:39 AM on February 28, 2006

353 is the country code.
Hello Bob Lynn.

I wonder if it's the same person, if it's a relative or if it has been joe-jobbed.

Domain name:
Registrant Contact:
Bob Lynn (
353 45 404683
Donard, Co. Wicklow xx
posted by seanyboy at 8:05 AM on February 28, 2006

Ha, a Paddy. Go figure.
posted by jamesonandwater at 9:39 AM on February 28, 2006

Hey! Some of us of Paddy decent might take offense at that.
posted by JeffK at 10:27 AM on February 28, 2006

Not when she drinks Jameson and Water we don't!
posted by ?! at 12:13 PM on February 28, 2006

Wow, some people are very confused about copyright around here it seems.

The stuff you write on metafilter is copyright you, you own the copyright and when you hit the 'submit' button you're (probably) granting matt a license to republish them. Unless you give someone specific permission to copy them, they will be violating copyright law, but they won't get into any trouble unless you the copyright owner complain.

One practical thing you can do is file a DMCA takedown notice to their ISP, who will then have 48 hours to do something about it, either to take down the content, or tell you to sue their customer. Their ISP is DEFENDER TECHNOLOGIES GROUP. They don't have a website, but they do have a forum. I wonder how they manage to get any customers.

Anyway, matt has no rights to your comments, and can't tell other people what to do with them.
posted by delmoi at 3:41 PM on February 28, 2006

How does one file a DMCA takedown notice? Is it hard for say, us overseas folk to do that?
posted by dabitch at 3:46 AM on March 1, 2006

Update: I'd emailed him informing him that he was using copyrighted material without permission and asked him to remove all such content from He didn't respond, but removed the text that I'd used to find his site in the first place. Unfortunately he still left a large chunk of the content.

I wrote him again explaining in a little more detail that if I went to his host he'd be shut down and lose his hosting fees. He just wrote me back to let me know he removed the entire directory.

Case closed.
posted by FlamingBore at 10:16 AM on March 1, 2006

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