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Old 05 August 2009, 14:20   #11
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What site is it?
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Old 05 August 2009, 14:51   #12
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Doug I'm sure your web designer would be pretty pissed too and would love to have a word!
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Old 05 August 2009, 14:54   #13
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What site is it?
Yep, who is he? name and shame...
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Old 05 August 2009, 18:22   #14
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Dam cheek if you ask me!

I know who it is! I did a search on google. Can I recommend that this company isn't named and shamed on a public forum yet, before Doug has a chance of sorting this please. It's not fair on Doug! I'm sure he'll keep us abreast of the situation in due time.

I guess you know what you're going to go by now Doug, but suggest a chat first, followed up by Hosting server, RYA and Legal stuff.
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Old 06 August 2009, 00:54   #15
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Originally Posted by tim griffin View Post
Alternative is to contact the school explain to them that what they have done is breach of copyright and unless they remove it you will take legal action.
Doug, this would be my suggestion too, in the first instance. I found myself inadvertently on the wrong side of a similar situation last year: I had asked someone to produce some copy for me for a flyer, and only after it had gone to print did I realise that they had simply taken the text from another centre's website. Even though the print run ended up in the skip and the designer didn't get paid it was still rather embarassing (and to tell the truth it's something that I never confessed to the other centre, simply kept my fingers crossed that the few flyers that got sent before I realised what had happened wouldn't find their way there)

It may possibly be innocent on the part of the new centre, and I do always like to give people the benefit of the doubt initially. Even though I suspect - as I imagine everyone reading your post does - that this is probably not innocent at all, most things get sorted out better before the lawyers get involved (and no disrespect to any lawyers amongst us!)
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Old 06 August 2009, 03:31   #16
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UPDATE

Yesterday I issued a “Cease and Desist Notice” to the offender both by recorded delivery to his house/business address which will arrive later today and by email (whish he has received) in order to get things moving. I stated that I wanted all copied text removed within 24 hrs and written confirmation to follow.

I also emailed the hosting company asking them to remove the material and hand delivered a letter covering the same to the Director of the hosting company. I know that it was not his fault but now that he is aware of the copyright breach he can do something if his client (the offender) does not.

Last night the offender replied with this email

Quote:

Many thanks the letter and I’m sorry you feel I have directly copied text from your website, which I can assure you I haven’t. I was very carefully when writing the text for the new site not to plagiarise any other competitors sites, as you have stated search engines don’t look kindly on this. I used the course content from the relevant RYA publication.

You must realise that it is very difficult to re-Wright text that has been written several hundred times over and of course there will be some similarities in all websites….

I will of course, where I see fit, amend the text that you feel is copied. Unfortunately this won’t be done in the next 24hrs as I am away, it will also take time for the website company to amend copy.
If I had some how foolishly got myself in this situation and I was unable to amend my user managed site (although pick up email) I would call the web site hosting company and ask them to take it down for me. However as you can see above he not only denies ripping of thousands of words but suggests he will amend what he sees fit when he can be bothered. If you saw the extent of the copying you would laugh at his lie
Quote:
I was very carefully when writing the text for the new site not to plagiarise any other competitors sites
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Old 06 August 2009, 03:41   #17
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Doug, is the spelling / grammar correct in all the stuff he "copied". If it is then he obviously didn't write it! Seriously though, if you have any typos in there - he has probably lifted them too and that would prove he copied it - rather than miraculously arrived at the same form of words!
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Old 06 August 2009, 04:09   #18
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who is it then?
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Old 06 August 2009, 04:11   #19
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OK, here is your chance to decide whether he is telling the truth. There are thousands of words to choose from so I have just sampled a few paragraphs from the 2 sites. The First is from our Cowes Week 2010 description.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Off Site
The programme starts on the evening of Friday 26th of July at the boats home port where you will meet your skipper, and the rest of the crew for a safety briefing. The weekend is spent on board learning and practising the various racing skills and getting to know the rest of the team.

Following this training weekend the crew next meet on Saturday 31 July. This is where the fun really starts, following a briefing from the skipper you will make your way over to Cowes (Isle of Wight) where you will live aboard for the week, race each day and soak up the party atmosphere each evening. Cowes week is as much a social event as a race regatta.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The text I originally wrote for the Stormforce Coaching site
The programme starts on the evening of Friday 23rd July in Southampton where you will meet your skipper, mate and the rest of the crew for a safety briefing. The weekend is spent on board learning and practising the various racing skills and getting to know the rest of the team.

Following this training weekend the crew next meet on Friday 30th July. This is where the fun really starts, following a briefing from the skipper you will make your way over to Cowes (Isle of Wight) where you will live aboard for the week, race each day and soak up the party atmosphere each evening. Cowes week is as much a social event as a race regatta.
So we both plan to run Cowes Week the same way, below is an extract from one of our RYA courses- It is from the Short Range Certificate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Off Site
This certificate has replaced the old VHF Restricted Licence and is the qualification required to operate a marine VHF Radio. The course is taught using our range of 14 live DSC and Navtex sets. You can expect to practice on Simrad, Icom and Silva radios and a Nasa Navtex set during your course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The text I wrote for the Stormforce Coaching site
This certificate has replaced the old VHF Restricted License and is the qualification required to operate a marine VHF Radio. The course is taught using our range of 14 live DSC and Navtex sets. You can expect to practice on Simrad, Icom and Silva radios and a Nasa Navtex set during your course.
What a coincidence that 2 centres both have 14 live DSC and Navtex sets produced by Simrad, Icom, Silva and Nasa.

This next quote is quite large, I wrote it a few years ago when we decided to run our Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Prep Weeks a little differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Off Site
The Coastal Skipper Certificate of Competence and Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence are run together as they have so much in common. They are both a five day preparation courses run back to back with a two day exam. While the syllabus for each is very similar the Yachtmaster candidate is required to have logged more sea time and will be pushed harder in the exam. The key benefit of running the two courses in parallel is that students who are unsure which level to pitch themselves at can start the week and decide part way through which exam to go for. The external examiner will not know which exam you are each taking until he/she meets you.

We run the preparation courses for these two exams slightly differently from most other sea schools. We restrict the total number of students on board to four (rather than five). This means you will get more practice at boat handling, time at the chart table navigating and oppurtunities to take command as skipper. Additionally we do not mix our exam candidates with our non exam students just to fill our boat up. It is unfair on you if you have to sit through Competent Crew and Dayskipper Students learning how to tack, gybe, hoist sails and take a 3 point fix (it’s unfair on them as well).
We believe it is vital that everyone on board has the same focus and the same goal for the week. We find our exam crews bond very quickly as they will be crewing for each other in the exam.

We understand that exams are stressful and we like to reduce as much pressure as possible. We learnt a long time ago that there is no point someone going for an exam they are not ready for. For that reason we have tried to take away a financial pressure. If you get part way through the preparation week and you and your instructor do not feel that you are ready for the exam we are happy to hold the weekend credit for you for up to six months. This does not mean we will provide a second free preparation week but it does mean you will not have to pay again for the yacht charter, food and diesel etc. component of the exam. Once you are ready, you can re book either a whole preperation week at a reduced rate or just the exam for free.




Quote:
Originally Posted by The text I wrote for the Stormforce Coaching site
The Coastal Skipper Certificate of Competence and Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competence are run together as they have so much in common. They are both a five day preparation courses run back to back with a two day exam. While the syllabus for each is very similar the Yachtmaster candidate is required to have logged more sea time and will be pushed harder in the exam. The key benefit of running the two courses in parallel is that students who are unsure which level to pitch themselves at can start the week and decide part way through which exam to go for. The external examiner will not know which exam you are each taking until he/she meets you.

We run the preparation courses for these two exams slightly differently from most other sea schools. We restrict the total number of students on board to four (rather than five). This means you will get more practice at boat handling, time at the chart table navigating and oppurtunities to take command as skipper. Additionally we do not mix our exam candidates with our non exam students just to fill our boat up. It is unfair on you if you have to sit through Competent Crew and Dayskipper Students learning how to tack, gybe, hoist sails and take a 3 point fix (it’s unfair on them as well).
We believe it is vital that everyone on board has the same focus and the same goal for the week. We find our exam crews bond very quickly as they will be crewing for each other in the exam. We have maintained a pass rate of over 98% for these prestigious exams.

We understand that exams are stressful and we like to reduce as much pressure as possible. We learnt a long time ago that there is no point someone going for an exam they are not ready for. For that reason we have tried to take away a financial pressure. If you get part way through the preparation week and you and your instructor do not feel that you are ready for the exam we are happy to hold the weekend credit for you for up to six months. This does not mean we will provide a second free preparation week but it does mean you will not have to pay again for the yacht charter, food and diesel etc. component of the exam. Once you are ready, you can re book either a whole preperation week at a reduced rate or just the exam for free.
As far as I can see the only change is that he has removed the line “We have maintained a pass rate of over 98% for these prestigious exams”.

I could sample thousands of words of more text, however I think the above demonstrates that he has made no effort to write his own text, simply copy ours.

As soon as the web hosting company is open I will talk to them again. If he will not deal with the problem then I will.
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Old 06 August 2009, 04:15   #20
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oh dear, the same thing happened to me a few years ago. It is like being mugged with yr arms tied behind your back as you see someone stealing your business.

Upshot was that it is q hard to prove the copy was mine & while the lawyers spur you on for a fight (nice earner for them) the competitor is using your copy.

I just spoke to the robber directly & the copy was changed. Just one step below nicking your boat I reckon.

Worst thing was the copy & photos were identical, prices were slashed & my bleeding customers thought it was my site!
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