This is a practical ‘how to’ slow or stop a pirate from stealing your work. By understand how a pirate network operates, you can better equip yourself to identify and deal with issues when your content is stolen.
A pirate looks for content in the niche they are selling. Content thieves obviously want the most in demand content (music, movies, courses, photos) but they also want volume to satisfy the audience.
Just like you or your affiliates they are marketing to a base of users for conversions. They put time, money, and resources into everything you do except they get to take what you had to spend on content creation and they get to use that for advertising.
The large-scale operations we see are pirate companies. Companies, with health benefits, paid days off, company retreats, launch parties, and even affiliates. Some are in countries that protect their acts, many are in the US trying to look like they are not. They advertise on google, Facebook, and ad networks that require buy ins that are 10x a month what you may spend in a year.
With that thought in mind know that you are fighting a competitor. They are competing with you for eyeballs and dollars.
If you are not taking active steps to protect content then you are doing a disservice to your paying customers and definitely to your affiliates.
Act as if it was going to be stolen and work backward. Simply, that means register your work.
FIND STOLEN WORK:
Check to see if content is stolen. Take 10 minutes once a week and do some searches using your product name and free or some permutation of that and if you find your work being infringed.
SEND A TAKE DOWN NOTICE:
If you find infringing work copy and paste the link and send a DMCA takedown notice.
You can use our FREE DMCA Notice Generator.
A week later, check the link, if you see its still up, do a who is and send another to the same location and the sites host. Check back in another week and keep going.
You can also submit that same link to Google to hurt that infringers search engine placement (SEO). Click here to submit infringing links to Google for removal. That doesn’t take that long and again you are protecting your work.
If you are working as an affiliate for a product and you are working for free until you make a sale from which you will only get a percentage you need to know that the company you are providing your traffic to is watching your back. Another way to look at it, if you are selling your or someone else’s product for $500 and a pirate is marketing it for $23.95 you are competing against $23.95 to make a $500 sale. Unless you have a real one on one relationship with a buyer, realistically when presented with the option, who is that surfer going to buy from?
I have heard large course creators say well that’s not my audience. They wouldn’t do that.
I would suggest that a surfer doesn’t know what they don’t know. I see sites that look just like a real affiliate site, same copy, same artwork, same design only the price point is significantly less.
Do not assume that a surfer can tell the difference.
I at times have been initially stumped and I have been successfully hunting pirates for over a decade.
We are going to run through A problem SITE and simple acts that can potentially solve a huge traffic and dollar hole for course creators.
As the example I will use Amy Porterfield.
A couple of years ago I was asked to go fish on Amy Porterfield for a company that was doing a case study.
At the time I knew nothing about Amy and I am not picking on her now. She is a great example of what I am talking about and AMY IS NOT ALONE. Both her operation and the pirate operation appear to be highly successful, well run operations but I would suggest Amy’s legal advisor is not protecting her affiliates as well as they could.
Amy sells a product called Courses that Convert. You can buy it for $997 or 12 monthly payments of $97.
Affiliates who are screened through an application process get 50% of a sale. Affiliates are now competing against free or $69.95 for lifetime access from the pirates.
Amy is a wonderful, caring person who having spent time with her, I truly believe that she cares and wants her students to succeed. I went to a seminar she held in San Diego and I was blown away by what she and her team put on and who she brought in to teach. The snacks were nonstop and Amy made a point of making time for all who wanted hers during breaks.
I think that the live workshops have the most value if you are paying money to any of these influencers. Why the live? Because two years ago I spent four minutes to find Courses that Convert for free and places that sell it and accept PayPal. In that same period of time, I found courses from every major player you could think of. Tony Robbins, Tai Lopez, Brendon Burchard, Bob Proctor, Marie Forleo and on and on. Today, these same sites are still live and collecting money. That tells me that in spite of the protestations I have heard from these influencers and their representatives on podcasts they are shooting blanks at piracy with people who may have good intentions but do not have a clue on how to effectively manage an anti-piracy effort.
What this telegraph to me is that since their courses are all free the only place to get new or unique information or if you want to meet them is at a live event otherwise no need to spend a dime with them.
It also shows me that if I wanted to sell their courses as a pirate site chances are nothing will happen to me and if it does, I can simply settle for a fraction of what I make and move onto another producer or producers. I could kill it being my own affiliate.
How can it be that major players are missing these sites? It is not uncommon. The most obvious is though their legal counsel may talk a good game they have zero practical experience. Again, not uncommon.
The second is also not uncommon and that is when you are making money, you don’t always look in the rear view or the side mirror to see what else is going on.
You don’t want to upset the cart, shift focus, get a reputation, be the first in the industry. For all of the groundbreaking talk, producers don’t typically act on piracy they RE-ACT once it hits their pocket book.
We have seen this is Hollywood, we saw this in the music industry, we see this in the adult industry.
This to me is a missed opportunity. Why? From a marketing standpoint, how would feel about a producer who said WE actively work to stop piracy – to protect our customers – our affiliates – and sponsors. If you are spending your hard-earned dollars with us, we are going to make sure we provided you with the best deal.
They cannot say that if the best deal is the essentially the same product for $400 less than what they sold to you for. If they are leaving an affiliate in the wind competing how is that a win? It’s a happen stance you were able to get in front of the pirate and chances are at their numbers they will bump your placement in time. This is a fact.
- I could do an entire series of episodes on how Adult Tube Sites shocked the Adult Pay site game.
- How Napster rocked the music industry.
- How free movie sites caused Hollywood to create more special effect driven films to get you to come to theaters.
Back to our pirate…
Two of the locations I found are using exact ad copy and artwork that legitimate affiliates are using.
I am not going to breakout this large whole pirate network in one episode instead we will focus on one of their websites.
The first site I found using Google was millionairestools .com. Another one from the same network was getwsodo .com
I will say to any content producers who have content on these sites, this is an easy case with all of the elements I love. Cases like this can get you a collection that can fund the rest of your anti-piracy campaign.
Millionairestools.com has courses from Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Tai Lopez, Brendon Burchard, Bob Proctor, Traffic & Conversion Summit 2019, you name it, they have it.
The stats are impressive: For my fellow stat junkies…SEM Rush shows millionairestools.com has over 7,200 backlinks. The site is only a competitor to other sites in the pirate network. 70% is US Traffic. The categories they are scoring on are the same ones you would want as an affiliate. Similar Web says it gets 347K hits a month.
AmyPorterfield.com gets 159K hits a month – average duration is 2 minutes. 52% of the traffic is US based.
Getwsodo.com shows 1.2M hits a month. 29% is US traffic, 79% is direct traffic. Top categories are online marketing. 44% is Facebook and 37% is YouTube traffic. They are sending traffic to Teachable and Clickfunnels and pushing ad traffic from Google.
That site has a Facebook page with 1189 followers.
This network appears to run a chat board on another URL that provides information on marketing and sales. They let members chat and pitch courses and it looks like they trade courses. They have full blogs and reviews on the courses. Each blog has a sales funnel and up sales.
Are you seeing a theme? This too is a well-oiled machine. This is a large scale financially viable pirate enterprise.
Point A is we want the content down.
First thing I do is copy and paste the infringing URLS into a notepad. These are the links we would use to send a DMCA Notice to show the location of the infringing work.
If this were a case I was building, I would want to capture major pages before we sent a notice.
Next look for emails you can send an email to.
On the Millionaires Tools DMCA Page it shows an email of millionairestools [at] gmail.com. They say, “Millionaires Tools will remove any link per trademark or copyright owner’s request. Send full URL of the link along with your company’s email address to millionairestools [at] gmail.com. All requests will be processed within 1-2 business days.”
This is a bad actor trying to look like a good actor.
The problem is that under the DMCA they are not afforded service provider protection. They put the content up, they are selling it. This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
This moment here is why it’s important to have registrations. IF that stolen content is registered and the images are registered and the text is registered, there is teeth to a takedown notice and the start of a real case. Any demand you make after that can have real consequences.
Hopefully at this point, you have been able to at the very least get your content down.
If you wanted to push it, the next step would be to have an attorney file a DMCA Subpoena. That should cost you less than $1K. That is a tool that allows you to get the information that an infringer gave to the service provider. In this particular case you can get information from the host, the processor, and the registrar.
More often than not, a pirate will get wind of this from their provider and reach out to work something out. They may use a fake name on Skype, an IP Phone number or something else to hide who they are but so what, a person you can talk to is a person you can work with.
If not, you can always escalate with the new information gained from a DMCA Subpoena.