This morning, I was searching for some information on the web. In the course of my search, I stumbled on an image that we had on Mobility Arena. Curiosity got the better of me. So, I clicked on the image and it led me to a Mobility Arena clone. It was a blog that was essentially reproducing all Mobility Arena content – text, images and video. It had our posts word for word with our watermarked images. No editing was done on the lifted content. There was no attempt to hide the flagrant theft. It was pure copy-and-paste. Amazing.
The First Mobility Arena Clone
This wasn’t the first time that a blog has been caught lifting Mobility Arena content. But this was our first time of seeing this level of brazen stealing of our original content. Like a team member said, this website seemed to exist solely for the purpose of cloning Mobility Arena. It was the first Mobility Arena clone. Or at least, it was the first one that we are aware of.
To Look Away or Not?
We could unlook. It was the easy way out. Just unlook as we had done countless times in the past. One time a few years ago when a newspaper lifted our content, we got a lawyer to threaten them with legal action. The newspaper sat up and made amends. One other time, we emailed another content thief over their actions. And one other time, we left messages for another blog that was lifting our content. Besides those times, we have generally unlooked.
Perhaps it was the brazenness of this situation. We were looking at shameless, wholesale duplication of many hours of our original content. So, we decided we would not unlook. The Mobility Arena digital team got working.
What We Did
One: we filed a copyright complaint with the offending website’s webhost, giving URLs of a few copy jobs and describing the full extent of content lifting that was going on on the site. We asked that they take the website down. Two: We filed an intellectual property theft complaint with Google.
As at the time of writing this blog post, this Mobility Arena clone is no longer online. That happened rather quickly. Less than 12 hours. We should do this more often. We likely will. Perhaps the copy cat site will pop up elsewhere on another webhost some day. Perhaps not. If it does, we will be waiting. We are done unlooking.