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  1. #1
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    Unhappy DMCA copyright infringement Notice. Need advice DESPERATELY

    Dear community,

    I received a DMCA copyright notice from dreamhost.com and they have taken down the website. The unfortunate thing is I do not have backup of the database as well.

    Yes it was foolish of me not to take disc database backups.

    Below is the copy of the email I received.

    Hello,


    We have received a formal DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notice
    regarding allegedly infringing content hosted on your site. The specific
    content in question is as follows:


    link removed


    The party making the complaint (Emma Rutherford --
    Internet3@Publishers-Antipiracy.net), claims under penalty of perjury to
    be or represent the copyright owner of this content. Pursuant to 17
    U.S.C. § 512(c), we have removed access to the content in question.


    http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17/92chap5.html#512


    In reviewing the site we found that you appear to be facilitating the
    illegal distribution of quite a bit of copyrighted content including
    books, magazines, etc. here:


    link removed


    Including:

    link removed

    http://rapidshare.de/files/2569807/J...tor_Hansen_-_C
    hicken_Soup_for_the_Soul.pdf.html


    link removed

    http://rapidshare.com/files/114050026/TE20080510.pdf


    link removed

    http://rapidshare.com/files/75993412...t_Management.r
    ar

    http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-P...mart-James/dp/
    0814408796/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211225464&sr=8-1

    (for just a few examples)


    Unfortunately as a result of this activity we will no longer be able to
    offer you hosting and your account has been closed for Terms of Service
    violations.


    Karl
    I do not mind them disabling the hosting, but all I am asking for access to my server so that I can backup my database atleast. I will delete all copyright material and put it back up.

    We were mentioned in the press as the website of the student, for the student and by the student. A scanned copy of that can be reproduced if you need it.

    We also were Online forum partners with TiE summit 2007, the WORLDS LARGEST entrepreneurs conference. more details on http://www.tiesummit.org

    I say the above just to put in perspective that we are a legit forum and our purpose is not to spread copyright material but to help students.

    The forum is a very famous educational resource for management students across the country.

    I have emailed them apologizing and asking for getting the backup of the database atleast.

    Respected Sir,

    I am apologetic that users uploaded copyright content on the website. I do understand the concern and will personally take care of such issues in future. If given a chance I assure you that all copyright content will be deleted by my team asap if you allow us to continue with your hosting.

    With effect the plan of action would be to :

    a.) setup a team and remove all copyright content in the next 48 hours.

    b.) Ban the users who uploaded copyright content

    c.) Inform all users that they cannot upload ebooks.

    I also understand that you might not be able to co-operate in this regard, in which case please allow me to at least backup my database so that the site can be relaunched after removing copyright content on some other server.

    The site is home for thousands of management students and it would be unfair for them to loose out on educational resource due to malpractices by a few users.

    Eagerly awaiting a positive response.
    But I got a reply stating they wont be able to help me out.

    Hello,


    Unfortunately we won't be able to reinstate the account; the forum in
    question had a specific area to post ebooks thus it appears that the site
    owner/moderator/you were at very least complicit with the posting of this
    content until now.


    Also, unfortunately data backups are not available for accounts closed
    due to Terms of Service violations.
    I have emailed them back pleading for the database.

    All i wish to have is a few hours access to my account so that I can backup my database and files. Complying with the law is assured as I do not intend to break it in any way.

    This is my hardwork of years and years and yes my career depends on it.

    What Can I do to get back the database?

    Please do not reply with "You fool, you must've taken backups" . I am regretting not doing that already.
    Last edited by Sarah; Jul 3, 2008 at 00:05. Reason: links removed on request

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru Ruben K.'s Avatar
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    Unfortunately we won't be able to reinstate the account; the forum in
    question had a specific area to post ebooks thus it appears that the site
    owner/moderator/you were at very least complicit with the posting of this
    content until now.
    Are they claiming that all e-books are illegal content?

  3. #3
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    As you can see in the cache, the ebook was not uploaded as attachment on the site but a member post the link to its download page on rapidshare.com one day back.

    I have received only 2 emails from them as yet, which I have mentioned in the original post

  4. #4
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    If it's just text you want, maybe google has cached versions. If it's files they're probably gone.

    Your ISP has your backups but they believe the content is copyrighted by someone else and therefore could not knowingly allow transmission, even to you. It could be construed that they are also violating the DMCA if they do.

    If you really need it you might want to talk to an attorney. This is not legal advice and is a long-shot but there may be a legal remedy where the data could be considered as evidence to protect against future litigation. You might be able to get a court order for the host provider to turn over the data. I have never heard of this but I do know that if she sued you she'd need evidence and that data is it and your defense would have just as much right to it as she does in proving your case.

    For others. Backups are easy and can be automated very quickly. Most good TOS's have a clause they the ISP can delete your account and content anytime they want to especially if there's a violation.
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.

  5. #5
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    If it's just text you want, maybe google has cached versions. If it's files they're probably gone.

    Your ISP has your backups but they believe the content is copyrighted by someone else and therefore could not knowingly allow transmission, even to you. It could be construed that they are also violating the DMCA if they do.

    If you really need it you might want to talk to an attorney. This is not legal advice and is a long-shot but there may be a legal remedy where the data could be considered as evidence to protect against future litigation. You might be able to get a court order for the host provider to turn over the data. I have never heard of this but I do know that if she sued you she'd need evidence and that data is it and your defense would have just as much right to it as she does in proving your case.

    For others. Backups are easy and can be automated very quickly. Most good TOS's have a clause they the ISP can delete your account and content anytime they want to especially if there's a violation.
    The files on the server are research reports made and uploaded by management students. Apart from that there are interactions just like on sitepoint of students amongst each other helping on bschool discussions, campus discussions, discussions on the business world. NONE of which is against the law.

    The reports uploaded and the interactions made are most precious to me and the community.

    I have worked years on creating this community and dont wish it to end in this manner.

    Not only am I depended on it but also thousands of management students visit it daily to gain knowledge and insight about the management world.

    Any advice as to get the database back is greatly appreciated.


    PS : is there a software that can download text from google cache? i wish to start with that right away.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    You should immediately setup a new forum with some other hosting provider and point the domain to that new forum. You will quickly loose the community if the forum is down for a long time.

    Normally, the domain is blocked and database is still accessible via IP unless it is a very diligent hosting company. Look for the welcome email that you got from the hosting provider. Try connecting to the database using the IP address, with little luck it should still work.

    Next time you should put a little disclaimer on the website as well!
    Mukul Gupta
    Indus Net Technologies
    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  7. #7
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    the disclaimer was already there on the website @ mukulgupta.

    How do i download the database via IP ?

  8. #8
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    i tried downloading through the ip and it did not work

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by milliondollars View Post
    the disclaimer was already there on the website @ mukulgupta.

    How do i download the database via IP ?
    Disclaimers do not stop you from infringing on copyrights, it's been tried. If your [former] hosting provider is refusing to release the backup file you will likely want to (1) put up a new forum immediately explaining the site has had a complaint and will be returning with it's full history soon (2) contact an attorney to discuss protesting the DCMA claim or making a claim against Dreamhost to get back your data. If you can not afford an attorney you can try and contact the DCMA complaining source and/or Dreamhost but it doesn't sound like either is likely to budge.
    - Ted S

  10. #10
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    Yes,

    It is correct, put a new forum and access the database host using ip address. Try your luck. But i don't think how long they keep the database as well.

    We can't restrict the users to make such things on forum. Of course if you have moderators, it may be possible.

    Try to redirect the domain immediately to a new domain with forum so that you will not loss much visitors and members.

  11. #11
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    I leveraged my contacts and had a talk with couple of CEO's and Directors of various successful companies. They said that its a fairly simple problem and dreamhost should not have problem handling over the database or sending a data DISC.

    My contacts dont directly have any sources in dreamhost (as of now).

    I dont wish to talk the legal route but wont give up that easily as well.

    Can someone pm me contact details of any proficient lawyers who can help in this case?

  12. #12
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    The site has a alexa ranking in the top 28,000 sites in the world.

    I wonder whats going to happen to this ranking until I get a reply from the dreamhost team.

    Does anyone have similar experiences, do they reply to the mail or hiring a lawyer is the only recourse?


  13. #13
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    I have to wonder if the database is already gone by now. If this was on a shared host, they may have run some script that went through and cleaned everything up. I worked for a hosting company once and most of the time they had no hesitations about deleting people's sites and databases. People would call asking where's their stuff, and there wasn't a thing we could do - their content was gone.

    My recommendation would be contact them, ask for someone in support management, and beg.
    renkai.com

  14. #14
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    No it was a VPS, we were paying approximately 130 $ upwards for it.

    They would still have the database IMO because even they know that it was a pretty harsh step taking down the site without warning.

    Have not got a reply from them.

    There should be SOME WAY OUT !?

  15. #15
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    I have no advice to offer you but I want to say I feel for you and I'm sorry you're having to go through with this when it appears you were just trying to help students out. Best wishes in getting it all sorted out.

  16. #16
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    Don't they have a number you can call to talk to tech support?
    renkai.com

  17. #17
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    thanks @ graedus.. i was helping students and my career revolved around the same. Will take a lot of time to reach back where i was.

    Don't they have a number you can call to talk to tech support?
    No, they dont offer phone support

    I'm going to file a counter DMCA on monday on grounds that I never got to see the data that they claim infringed. They took the whole site down without warning or notice.

  18. #18
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    Hello, here's the update.

    I finally should be able to download the database. The problem is the database is HUGE and my company internet connection wont be able to backup the database as quick.

    I need a hosting company to download and store the database for me so that I can use my relatively slower connection to download it and evaluate it.

    If you know anyone who can help me in this regard, Please PM .

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard TheRedDevil's Avatar
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    Why dont you just get a dedicated sever somewhere else, that way you get a place to offload the db as well as setup the site again?

    Obviously you do not want to stay with Dreamhost after this, who knows how long it will go before they pull the plug again.

  20. #20
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    i already got a dedicated box, and yes the db will be offloaded on it but before that I will need to download the db on a high speed connection if they put a time frame restriction.

    So IMO a 50 gb download in 12 hours would need a 15mbps connection .

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard TheRedDevil's Avatar
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    A 10mbps connection will download 50GB on 12 hours if you get 1.2MB/sec the remaining 50KB is considered for overhead.

    If you have a 100mbps connection it will take a little over a hour if you get full speed.

    The problem however, is that I dubt you will manage to get full speed on either of the connections from Dreamhost if they offer you to download it from your VPS. So keep that in mind.

    The reason I mentioned that you should get a dedicated and download the content yourself, is that if you let someone else do it you have no control over what they will do with the content. If your unlucky they might decide to use it for their own gain as well.

  22. #22
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    point well taken,

    and as i said, i have already purchased a dedicated box. I'm not sure if I will have ssh access to download the database server 2 server.

  23. #23
    I Never Give Up roosevelt's Avatar
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    To be honest with you disclaimers like that or something that states, if you are from government, you cannot access the website doesn't really work.

    And also whether you host the product or not, you are sort of like a proxy. So you can also be penalized for that.

    If your Dedicated Box has CPanel, then you can try copying your account from Dreamhost to yours using WHM.

    I would hire somone from www.scriptlance.com to make the move. This way someone with better connection can move the files or basically makes things easier for you since you don't have to worry about the technical issues.

  24. #24
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    thanks for the heads up @ roosevelt

    BTW.. its been 2 days since i got their email that I will be getting the db asap.

    Are there holidays in hosting companies? I hear today is a public holiday in the US.

    Is the delay because of that reason ?

  25. #25
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milliondollars View Post
    ...I hear today is a public holiday in the US.

    Is the delay because of that reason ?
    Probably. It's a federal holiday, and most business are closed.


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