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We have been working on a gaming website. Recently while making note of the major traffic sources, I noticed a website that I found to be a carbon-copy of our website. It uses our logo, and everything else the same as ours, but with a different domain name.

Their domain name is not however pointing to our site because at several places the links are like: carbonccopy-website/our-links. This website even has links to some images as: carbonccopy-website/our-images.

How could they have done that, and what can I do to stop it?

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2 Answers 2

Not all countries have strong copyright laws. This is unfortunate. In the U.S. and Europe, there are legal actions you can take. In India (I may be assuming too much here), I have no idea. I suggest contacting an attorney and simply ask a few questions. In the U.S., this is a criminal act and any civil action can result in recovering payment for damages plus punitive. In India, you may have some of the same options.

Now onto the DMCA:

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a U.S. Copyright law that can be used to your advantage. It is in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). I suggest at least looking at the linked to Wikipedia page briefly.

With Google, you can file a complaint using the DMCA Dashboard. This may require a Google account. You can find out a bit more of what Google does here: Google - Legal Help: Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

This option not only files the complaint with Google, but makes this complaint a part of a larger Chilling Effects network. But there is no legal action taken with a Google DMCA filing.

Again, I do not know what options you may have in your country, but I did find this with a complaint form link on the bottom of the page, which may help.

Some websites offer advice on how to contact the owner of the other site. I do not recommend this in your case because it is so blatant a violation, you may be better off simply filing a complaint rather than tipping off the violator.

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First, enable hotlinking protection as covered here:

This will prevent the images from being used on other domains but yours, unless of course they download the images and link them from their own server.

Next, find some info about the owner and hosting company:

First, use WHOIS lookup tool like this one. This will hopefully point to the hosting company or registrar. If you can get the registrar to take down the site, do it. Hosting companies can be very uncooperative about this stuff though (I work for one ;P).

Second, run an NsLookup on the copier's domain. You should see a section for "email:" that you can obtain the server admin's email from, but maybe not. If not, grab the IP you see as the primary A record and run a WHOIS on that. This will give you the ISP, or hosting company/IP holder. Look them up, call them, email them, etc...to tell them about what's going on.

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