My Medium post got ripped-off. Is there anything I can do?
April 3, 2018 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Last week I wrote about a movie on medium. After a few days, I contacted the author of the movie to make them aware, and they told me they already found the review here. Conveniently, that site does not appear to have an option for contacting them while still making money off my original content without having contacted me. Is there anything I can do about that (e.g., at the very least making them add my name to this)?
posted by katta to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I asked something similar awhile back. Perhaps some of the advice there will help.
posted by agog at 12:54 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Down at the bottom, I see a very small source link that goes back to your Medium article. I assume that covers their butt when it comes to attribution.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 12:59 PM on April 3, 2018

DMCA takedown, and really scorch their earth over it because they have zero contact methods on the website. Like, sue them for the advertising revenue they've received on your story.
posted by rhizome at 1:02 PM on April 3, 2018 [12 favorites]

If they do this regularly, you can probably turn it into a troll-like action (but legitimate, because these guys _are_ actually stealing). Upload an article and file the copyright registration the same day. When it appears elsewhere, sue them.
posted by spacewrench at 1:08 PM on April 3, 2018

Do a lookup of the domain at This will provide you with contact information for site owners and administrators. It appears to be in Russia, so I'm guessing you may be SOL on this.
posted by slkinsey at 1:09 PM on April 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Not SOL, their hosting appears to be in Virginia:

$ host has address

$ whois

[stuff deleted]

NetRange: -
NetHandle: NET-108-59-7-96-1
Parent: LEASEWEB-USA-WDC-01 (NET-108-59-0-0-1)
NetType: Reassigned
OriginAS: AS30633
Customer: Websmart LTD (C02938022)
RegDate: 2012-02-27
Updated: 2012-08-23

CustName: Websmart LTD
Address: La Rue du Presbytere
PostalCode: JE2 6RB
Country: GB
RegDate: 2012-02-27
Updated: 2012-08-23

[stuff deleted]

# start

NetRange: -
NetHandle: NET-108-59-0-0-1
Parent: NET108 (NET-108-0-0-0-0)
NetType: Direct Allocation
OriginAS: AS30633
Organization: Leaseweb USA, Inc. (LU)
RegDate: 2010-11-18
Updated: 2016-06-06
Comment: Please send all abuse notifications to the following email address: To ensure proper processing of your abuse notification, please visit the website for notification requirements. All police and other government agency requests must be sent to

OrgName: Leaseweb USA, Inc.
OrgId: LU
Address: 9480 Innovation Dr
City: Manassas
StateProv: VA
PostalCode: 20109
Country: US
RegDate: 2010-09-13
Updated: 2017-01-28

[stuff deleted]

This basically reads from the bottom up. This IP block appears to be assigned to Websmart, and they appear to be UK-based, but every IP geolocator I try puts their hosting in Virginia, which is where Leaseweb is based, and has the parent allocation that contains Websmart's netblock, i.e. your dog was run over by a car driven by Websmart but owned by Leaseweb. I'd serve both of them takedown notices.
posted by rhizome at 1:33 PM on April 3, 2018 [5 favorites]

I've had luck in the past contacting the spammer's web host, specifically the abuse department. Last time I did this was a few months ago - I talked to a guy in the morning, sent him some links and screenshots, and the offending website was taken down in the afternoon.

Your offender is hosting with Leaseweb - here is the contact info.
posted by rada at 1:43 PM on April 3, 2018 [4 favorites]

I rent virtual machines from Leaseweb and they are very proactive and efficient about DCMA requests (meaning when I got a DCMA through their system they made it clear I had better fix it or bad things would happen) --

Although Leaseweb also has a content-distribution-network (CDN) service, which may or may not be what's happening here; you may think the server is a Leaseweb server, but it's actually somewhere else and Leaseweb is just caching content for a fee.
posted by AzraelBrown at 1:47 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's a Websmart IP that is allocated from Leaseweb. Websmart appears to be UK based, but the IP locates to Virginia. IP locating isn't perfect, but narrowing the targets down to two is workable. If it turns out the hosting is actually out of GB, there is a separate process there (generic source).
posted by rhizome at 2:05 PM on April 3, 2018

they appear to be UK-based

They're in Jersey, the Channel Islands. Notorious hole for anonymous offshore shell companies. They don't want to be found.
posted by scruss at 5:06 PM on April 3, 2018

That's fine, their US presence makes them susceptible to cutoff.
posted by rhizome at 5:10 PM on April 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

Heya, thank you so much for all your insightful answers. I will serve the DCMA takedown notice. Suing them is outside of my possibilities due to geography (also mine) and other things (finances, time), but I enjoyed seeing that as an option.

I also had contacted Medium about this, but they were not as thorough as you and basically said: There's nothing we can do for you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by katta at 2:00 PM on April 5, 2018

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