How do I get a website to stop using our property?
April 23, 2008 1:47 PM   Subscribe

How do you find out who to contact when a website is using your "copyrighted" material to generate ad revenue?

This website:

Appears to be a collection of skiing and mountaineering trip reports for climbs and ski descents in Washington State. The shitty part is that they appear to be A) getting all of their content from the personal websites (,,, of my friends and acquaintances and B) using it to generate some potential Google ad revenue. The owners of these sites that I've spoken with are not keen on having their work used as a simple one-click revenue generator for someone who can't even ask permission to use it.

The site has no contact information that I can find -- I'm wondering if I can track down the owner of the domain, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

Last part -- do we have an expectation of "copyright" to this material, given the circumstances?
posted by Pantengliopoli to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Whois info -- -- has all of the registrant's info (address, phone, email, etc). (Probably not necessary to repost here, so you can go there to find it.)
posted by inigo2 at 1:49 PM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: Very fast... thanks inigo2.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 1:51 PM on April 23, 2008

Hmm, from your description I thought they were copying your material and presenting it as their own, but it looks like that site just has links to blog posts and whatnot. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that anyone can link to whatever they want to on the internet.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:55 PM on April 23, 2008

To answer your last part - I don't think you have any real expectation in this case. The site links to your friends, but doesn't take their content and host it without credit. If this counted as infringement, the internet pretty much wouldn't work anymore.
posted by sanko at 1:55 PM on April 23, 2008

IAAL, but I am not your lawyer. Yes, you have copyright in photos you take.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:56 PM on April 23, 2008

Best answer: On the technical side, if it's your own website you might be able to break their links to your site for most people by blocking their domain as a referrer. It's more commonly used to prevent people from hotlinking images, but it would work with normal links too.

That method obviously won't work for places like flickr where you can't block specific referrers.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:02 PM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: Good points re: copyright and the internet, thanks all. I'll look into blocking that domain as a referring source, unless I get a positive response from the owner. Thanks!
posted by Pantengliopoli at 2:21 PM on April 23, 2008

Check out this post on Looks like Google will respond very quickly if you send them a DMCA request.
posted by helios at 2:23 PM on April 23, 2008

Best answer: They're only linking to the pages. They're not actually copying the content from them. This is neither illegal nor even outside the bounds of generally accepted internet usage. Do you suppose the MeFites who make posts in the Blue ask permission of the owners of the web pages they're linking to before doing so? This is no different.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:30 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oops, I didn't realize it was just links to your content... In that case, you're probably not going to get a positive response from the owner, since he/she is doing nothing wrong. You do realize that Google also is making money by linking to your friends' pages through search results, right?
posted by helios at 2:36 PM on April 23, 2008

If they're linking to your pages inside of frames (so that their ads surround your content), there are ways to break out of frames using JavaScript. Google for "frame breaking javascript".
posted by dws at 2:40 PM on April 23, 2008

If you block them as a referrer, they will still have the same text and links on their page (and the same attendant traffic and revenue), but you and your friends will not get any visitors out of the deal. Or am I missing something here?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:46 PM on April 23, 2008

They aren't using the copyrighted content of you or your friends. If that were true, then MetaFilter and every other site on the internet would be guilty of infringement. Linking is how the internet works; you will not receive the least bit of attention of respect from the webmaster because this claim is ridiculous.
posted by cgomez at 3:06 PM on April 23, 2008

Response by poster: Okay, okay -- I get it :) Thank you all for not speaking to me like a complete idiot... This is just the first time any of us have had our sites used for something like this and it's a little bizarre. I'll shuffle off with my ridiculous claim now.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 3:33 PM on April 23, 2008

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