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Cloned a Website, Now Owner Wants $700 OR Sue Me

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by achokshi, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. achokshi

    achokshi Registered Member

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    I cloned a website using HTTrack website copier, then just took 2 html files and edited them, put them up. Now this site is my LP for Google Places SEO work, I'm trying to land offline local businesses; however, I simply threw the website up and didn't SEO it at all nor did I try to land any local businesses yet. However, I got a call this morning from the owner of the site I copied, pretending to be a prospective buyer and basically was an embarrassing phone call for me now that I think back on it because I was guiding him through the website that was his.

    Then he told me that if I don't pay him $700 for the rights to the website, he will give this case to his lawyer. Now I didn't pay him, because I thought deleting his files from the server and deleting the files off my computer were enough. However, he is saying that it's costing them money to completely rebuild the site because "he doesn't know what I'm doing with the files." I mean, I deleted them, told him my case and he still wanted cash. I know that this may sort of be my fault, but I didn't make any money off this site, and he was the only customer that I talked to on the phone. I am sure that he recorded the phone call, but still, now he said this is going to his attorney. What will happen? I'm only a 19 year old university student who's had a squeaky clean record. What the hell will they do to me?
     
  2. gpgip

    gpgip Junior Member

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    nothing will happen, he's just talking, and he cant record the phone call without your permission, at least not to use it in court, nothing is going to happen, he just trying to scare you
     
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  3. stelios0

    stelios0 Junior Member

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    Its fraudulent to record someone through the phone calls(at least in my country),if you dont have his permission.He is idiot if he sue you,because he gonna pay too much to the lawyer for nothing,you could also have said that someone hacked your comp and remotely controlled it or something like that
     
  4. Danny1111

    Danny1111 Elite Member

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    he isn't going to sue you

    it would cost him too much and he wouldn't get the money back from you in the first place.

    if for some reason you speak to him again or he emails you - simply say I'm a broke college student .. good luck - and hang up
     
  5. gecoder

    gecoder Newbie

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    The price of $700 totally says that he is bluffing... Suing you will cost him much more I guess.
     
  6. orlandolongwood

    orlandolongwood Junior Member

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    gpgip is partially incorrect - in most states you can record your phone calls. The following states require both parties agree to the recording. You will notice that New Jersey is not on the list, so his recording (assuming he is in NJ as well) is perfectly legal.

    • California
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Illinois
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Michigan
    • Montana
    • New Hampshire
    • Pennsylvania
    • Washington

    Did you check the Wayback Machine to make sure they aren't cached there? Is the whois on your domain accurate?
     
  7. bushbabie21

    bushbabie21 Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    He might be able to take you to small claims court
     
  8. Mokai

    Mokai Junior Member

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    99% chance hes trying to scare you, sometimes the hassle does not justify the reward for him
     
  9. Dumper

    Dumper Supreme Member

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    Definitely don't listen to this guy or take his advice but yeah, asking for a measly $700 is a good indicator that he's full of shit.

     
  10. achokshi

    achokshi Registered Member

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    He is in Florida, so I guess he is not allowed to record it? The whois on my domain is inaccurate, however he does have my full name and my legal business name (I own that business, but don't really use it), so pretty much he has my contact info. I deleted the website and everything, he even told me that this happened before and the guy didn't pay so they took him to court and he supposedly lost thousands.

    I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens. He told me it was the fact that I illegally downloaded his files and then published them to be mine, but all I used was two html files which were edited and stripped of any of his logos, I just used the template really. I understand I was wrong but this shouldn't be a huge problem in my life right?
     
  11. katara

    katara Regular Member

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    he will pay lawyer thousands of dollars just for $700 ?

    i dont think he will do something against you just ignore him
     
  12. achokshi

    achokshi Registered Member

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    He said the $700 was for the rights to buy the website because they have to REBUILD IT now since I have all their files and supposedly I'm feeding it to file-stealing terrorist goblins.

    I HAVE ONE QUESTION, because he's making it sound like using HTTRACK is illegal, is it illegal to download a website and then modify it and then throw it up? Not generating traffic to the website, simply putting it up?

    This guy is making me feel like I murdered someone.
     
  13. w84it

    w84it Regular Member

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    "copyright" ?:rolleyes:
     
  14. Westernstar

    Westernstar Registered Member

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    I would think that it is better to simply build your own WP website. With WP it is no big deal to build your own website in a short period of time. Then one will not need to worry about such things. Instead one can concentrate on making money.
     
  15. terryv48

    terryv48 Newbie

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    Not a poker player, are you son?

    As many poster indicated, this is simply a bluff. There is no way the guy would sue you in the first place. If he would think he has a case, it would certainly be for much more than 7 bucks!

    Although you seemed to have cowered when you shouldn't have, it is not too late to assert yourself. If he contacts you again, tell him you have considered his request and would suggest he go ahead and file suit. You will then be done with him.

    One more thing. He is not making you feel like you murdered someone. YOU are making you feel that way!
     
  16. trubnut

    trubnut Regular Member

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    Take the experience and learn from it, if you can't even be a'#%ed to put together your own website with your own content how do you expect to achieve your goals/dreams/ambitions?

    Do it once and do it right.

    I know if it were my site you cloned and i had put my hard work and effort into it i'd be pissed too, wouldn't you?
     
  17. CenTex Hosting

    CenTex Hosting Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    depending on what state you are in. Like in texas only one party has to know that the call is being recorded. In that case he would be able to use it here in Texas.

    I don't think nothing will come of it. 98% of the time people they say they are going to get their lawyer don't have one.

    Then if they do decided to go after this. They will have to hire a lawyer to do this. In most cases they want to be paid upfront for the work as they know that its going to be a long shot and might not win.

    Most companies will put that the files on the site are copy write on them. over 85% of the web sites on the web have never files for a copy write.

    Next they will have to prove the value of the site which is a hard one cause every place you look values are different.

    In the long run it will cost him more than what its worth.

    IMO
     
  18. SpeakToTman

    SpeakToTman Regular Member

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    I think his taking a FAT chance bud...

    How strong do you think his case looks? He cant even prove it was you that stole his files...and technically you did not steal his files...you copied his layout...

    You have not gained anything by using his copyright...you owe him nothing...its his own choice if he wants to rebuild his entire site, but he cant expect you to be liable...
     
  19. KraftyKyle

    KraftyKyle Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Don't worry about it man.
     
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  20. jr_sci

    jr_sci Senior Member

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    Common.. talk to him again and tell him you are a kid.. ! QWhat's there to lie or even if you are speaking the truth... 19 year old and tell him you are already bank rupt.. ! tell him he will spend much more money with lawyers so, ask him to take it easy.