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Privacyprotect.org send me a message about my website. Is this serious?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by francis1017, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    Hello everyone!

    Privacyprotect send me a message about my site. Which is some instagram blackhat.
    Send directly to my real email.

    Hello,

    Someone has initiated contact with you regarding your Privacy Protected domain name xxxx.com.

    The contact details of the person are -
    Name: Instagram Brand Protection
    Email: enforcement@mm-instagram.com
    Message: The message from the above person is attached to this email.

    Regards,

    PrivacyProtect.org

    The message:

    " To Whom It May Concern, We are writing concerning your registration and use of the domain name xxxx.com, which contains the Instagram trademark. You are undoubtedly familiar with Instagram and its worldwide renown in providing photo sharing and editing services and related products and services through a number of channels, including through its mobile application software and its website available at Instagram.com. Instagram owns exclusive rights to the INSTAGRAM trademark, including rights secured through common law use and registration in the United States (Reg. Nos. 4,170,675 and 4,146,057) and internationally. Instagram is a global leader in photography software for mobile devices, with over 30 million registered users. These users have uploaded more than 1 billion photos for editing and sharing with others either directly or through their social media networks. Due to Instagram?s exponential growth and immense popularity, the Instagram brand, is frequently, if not daily, referenced in the media and pop culture. Its fame entitles it to broad legal protection. We have recently discovered that you registered the domain name xxx.com, which incorporates the famous INSTAGRAM mark. Instagram has an obligation to its users and the public to police against the registration and use of domain names that may cause consumer confusion as to affiliation with or sponsorship by Instagram, dilute the distinctiveness of its INSTAGRAM mark, or otherwise tarnish the mark. Accordingly, in addition to civil actions, Instagram and its parent Facebook have filed numerous proceedings pursuant to ICANN?S Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (http://www.icann.org/en/help/dndr/udrp) to secure the transfer of infringing domain names. Moreover, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act provides for serious penalties (up to $100,000 per domain name) against persons who, without authorization, use, sell, or offer for sale a domain name that infringes another?s trademark. While Instagram respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, Instagram must take action to stop the misuse of its intellectual property. As you can imagine, various third parties around the world have attempted to wrongfully capitalize on Instagram?s reputation by registering domain names that include or are derived from the INSTAGRAM brand. Such names are confusingly similar to, dilutive of, and can tarnish the INSTAGRAM mark. We understand that you may have registered xxxxx.com without full knowledge of the law in this area. However, Instagram is concerned about your use of the Instagram trademark in your domain name. Accordingly, we must insist that you immediately cease using xxxx.com and disable any site available at that address. You should not sell, offer to sell, or transfer the domain name to any third party. Please confirm in writing that you will agree to resolve this matter as requested. If we do not receive confirmation that you will comply with our request, we will have no other choice but to pursue all available remedies against you. Sincerely, Edith Legal Dept. Instagram, Inc. "

    This is a serious threat for me I think (If real). Honestly I got scared. Though I am using an offshore hosting. Should I bring down my site? Any advice?
     
  2. JoeMongan

    JoeMongan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Here are a couple of things to consider besides a couple of grammar mistakes
    in the email they sent you. (I glanced at it so I can't call out the grammar police on this one)

    1. Rule of thumb is if it's not in your snail mail box then forget it.

    Next thing to know is offshore hosting does not mean anything if you are a citizen of the
    country where the lawsuit and court proceedings can take place, however if the offshore
    web hosting account is not in your name then do not reply and keep making money.

    Any and I mean anytime you are planning on messing with the silicon valley mafia consider
    being as anonymous as possible. Bank while the getting is good and pull the plug once it's
    not a feasible and safe source of income.

    -RK
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  3. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    Thanks.. But the offshore hosting has my real full info (so f***ing stupid)..
    Actually it's on my mother's name because I am using her online card to pay.. I'd rather kill myself than making trouble using my mother's name..

     
  4. givensia

    givensia Regular Member

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    Law school student here. Do you have their logo on your website for any reason? This letter seems unprofessional to be honest, especially coming from a prestigious company that has the best lawyers in the world. At first glance, it looks fake to me.5
     
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  5. JoeMongan

    JoeMongan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Eh this is a tough decision then because this could be competition messing with you or
    a scammer trying to pry money out of you. Now all you can do is think about how much
    this project is really earning you and is it worth taking a chance on? I am not in your position,
    but if it was me I might just drop it, clean it up and move on with a lesson learned about
    offshore hosting.

    People tend to have a misconception of how safe offshore hosting is. It's really only as safe
    as the name you give them. :)

    Good luck
     
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  6. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    Thanks for the reply..

    Here's the only logo that I have in my site.. The blank ones has the name of my site, sorry if I had to delete it..

    [​IMG]
     
  7. givensia

    givensia Regular Member

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  8. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    It's just a new website, not even 1 month old actually. I messaged my offshore hosting and look what would they do. It's earning like $10 a day not from SEO but from the videos I link to it.. Though I've invested like $100 for it to rank and now it is ranking #20 in my target keyword..

    I think I'll request in the offshore company to change all my info (can't edit) in their site..

    Thank you for the reply my friend..
    I am from the Philippines btw..
     
  9. JoeMongan

    JoeMongan Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Based on what Givensia revealed on the other thread I am willing to bet 100% you are safe, but let
    this scare be a lesson to you. When I am facing a potential lawsuit from a company the size of eBay,
    Instagram or Facebook I am not settling on the hosting company to provide protection for me.

    Heck I would not even change the info on the account. Sure you can continue using this hosting plan for now, but later on if you decide to do something similar then really consider fake info and crypto currencies for that real layer of protection.

    -RK

    PS: Just read you are from the Philippines. In that case press on my friend you have
    nothing to worry about. :cool:
     
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  10. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    It is the standard first letter from MarkMonitor brand protection company. Do a whois check on that sender's domain mm-instagram.com and you'll see MarkMonitor owns it. Most likely the reason for the mm prefix in the domain name.

    These guys are serious business and paid to protect trademarks and copyrights worldwide. You can read all about them at markmonitor dot com.

    My suggestion is to take it down and don't renew the domain when it comes up for renewal. After you do that listen to some good advice, don't mess with domains with trademarks in the words. It's only been mentioned about 1000 times at least on BHW. Typically if you take it down on first contact they won't mess with you. If you ignore them then you'll find out how resourceful they can be.

    Good luck.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  11. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    Thanks.. But I'll wait for my offshore hostings reply..
     
  12. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    agree to you mate.. Just searched it just now http://whois.polodomains.com/domain/ozvSKX3MRwnZaMNsPvJSsQ.._info.html

    And it is real.. It is serious and I don't want to mess with anything.. Going to take it down..
    Thanks for rabbitking and givensia anyways..
     
  13. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    SMH - good luck with that idea. Your offshore hosting isn't involved in this matter. MM will most likely now contact the registrar, get the information you provided when you purchased the domain and send a certified letter, signature required, to that person explaining damages and penalties associated with intellectual property infringement. MM could care less about your hosting company and whether it's the USA or BFE.

    last_great_act_of_defiance1.jpg

    EDIT: It looks like you changed your mind while I was drawing :D

    Yeah good idea to squash that problem mate.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014
  14. francis1017

    francis1017 Supreme Member

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    Yup it's better to shut the website down than say sorry later..
     
  15. sudorank

    sudorank Power Member

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    File under trash can.....

    If they can't be bothered to send me a decent smail mail then I'm not gonna bother removing anything.
     
  16. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    I haven't read the thread but it appears you have answered your own question.
    No point in stressing, just take the site down. Good Luck