04.11.2010 Uncategorized Comments Off on DMCA Complaints and Ugg Boots

DMCA Complaints and Ugg Boots

Ugg Boots has been filing massive numbers of DMCA Complaints. The complaints are disturbingly vague, and yet Google has been processing and approving them.

The complaints state:

Our firm represents Deckers Outdoor Corporation, (“Deckers”) in trademark
and copyright matters. Deckers is known in the trade as UGG Australia and
owns the UGG trademark. Pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §512, we hereby request that
you expeditiously remove the websites located at the domains in the
attached spreadsheet from your search index for violations of United States
Copyright law. Google has my signature on file.

In addition, investigation suggests that the website(s) is/are being used
to sell counterfeit UGG goods from China and/or other foreign countries to
consumers in the U.S. These counterfeit sales violate multiple U.S. laws,
including Title 15 of the United States Code.

Examples of the complaints can be found here:

We have not received a complaint from Ugg Boots, also known as Deckers Outdoor Corporation, or their lawyers, Greer, Burns & Crain, Ltd.   In fact, our own Cheap Uggs page is actually benefiting from these complaints, because many of our competitors have been kicked out of the SERPs.  However, I am worried about the chilling effects of this combination of the business practices of Ugg’s and Google.  Ugg has successfully removed six entries from the first page of Google’s search results, twenty-one entries from the page two results, and thirty-two entries from the page three results.

Note the wording of the complaint, “for violations of United States Copyright law.”  That’s it.  That is the entire proof offered — and Google complies without question.  The lawyers go on to suggest “that the website(s) is/are being used to sell counterfeit UGG goods from China and/or other foreign countries”, but that appears to be immaterial to their claim or their request.

I would like to know their nature of Ugg’s claims, and I believe that Google should want to know the nature of these claims before censoring web sites from the search results.  Censorship is dangerous stuff, only slightly less so when done by corporations than by governments.

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25.12.2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Web Sites for the New Economy

Web Sites for the New Economy

It’s no secret that the economy is tanking, and will not be recovering for many years.  Taxes are rising, which takes money directly out of the pockets of consumers.  The War on Global Warming will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and the cost of compliance with new government regulations will be dwarf even that.  The cost of servicing the national debt and other non-discretionary federal spending will soon leave little money for anything else.

However, as with all changes, this also brings opportunity.  Web publishers are quickly adapting to the new economy by creating web sites and web pages on how to receive government funds, how to deal with unemployment, and how to adjust to a lower standard of living than the one to which we have become accustomed.

Our own entries into this rapidly growing niche include Live Dirt Cheap and Homemade Guides.  These sites contain useful information to help people live better on the percentage of their money which the government allows them to keep.

I believe that this information will be useful even when the economy does eventually recover.  Financial conservatism is seldom a bad idea.  It helped our grandparents weather the last depression and it will help us weather the current one.

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17.09.2009 Uncategorized Comments Off on Google’s Lack of Political Humor

Google’s Lack of Political Humor

I am very tired of Google penalizing my political sites.  I have web sites in dozens of niches, but it’s only the political sites which get penalized by Google.  Google will probably penalize my other sites just for mentioning this.  <sigh>

Oddly, it’s not only serious political sites which Google censors.  Many years ago I built a site called Political Humor.  Well, Google apparently has no sense of humor when it involves making jokes about their influential friends in Washington.  Google penalized the site by dropping it to PR0 and removing it almost completely from the search results.

The site has been penalized so long that I didn’t bother to update it for the last presidential election.  Effectively, I allowed Google to silence my voice.  I feel terrible about this.  Yahoo and Bing have such tiny shares of the search market that they are almost irrelevant.

Instead, I must expand beyond search to route around Google’s secret censorship of the ‘net.  I will rebuild and update the site later this year — possibly on a new domain.  Then I will promote the site via social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  I will not let Google silence my voice.

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