Copycat peeking over my shoulder
Thread poster: Liss Myrås

Liss Myrås  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
Danish to Norwegian
+ ...
Apr 28, 2003

I allow my self to have a little \"blowout\" here.

For a longer period I have viewed how an another translator (with the same languagepairs) copying some of my promotional ideas, facilities, specialization areas and similar content I offer on my website, not formulated totally similar, but not far from, in this translators website and profiles all over the Internet. First I was not sure about this, and didn`t actually care, but yesterday a new \"discovery\" made me see the whole situation from another point of view, I am 100 % sure about this now. This person has obviously been following what I have been doing for a while, (online).

Oh yes, I fully agree that in the translator business (and other businesses) we often get inspired of each others ideas, so has I. I could not care less when someone borrow some sentences or some ideas from each other that can be difficult to form on a website, specially in the startup phase. But to \"copy\" the essential concept and ideas from a \"colleagues\" website like services, paymentoptions, memberships, software, text etc......(Yes....all of these are affected moore or less in this case)... step by step, and integrate it into \"it`s\" own cocept, is like grabbing the complete integrity from another translator! Why couldn`t this translator confine \"it\" self with just some of the ideas and facilities? And have some respect for what others may have worked out as an concept? We all really have our own ideas, talents and experiences to use, that`s whats make us unique in this business or what?

Yesterday I also discovered that this translator totally has copyed all my \"seach engine words/sentences\" that I have created in my website ... exactly word by word....not even considering that many of these words was/is ment for my particularly \"services\" and that they did not concern the other translator`s \"service\", purely afraid that I should receive more search hits on the Internet. But I guess this does not count now since this translator has added some of these words as specilizations too. Makes me wonder if there exist any tricks to protect some of the content in a website.

In this particularly case I belive it is nothing more that a poor copycat behaviour, a person who woke up from a \"hibernate\" and probably looks at me as a pure competitor, not a colleague. I could see this translator`s \"development\" pretty obvious, when I added a facility, membership, text etc., or changed anything that are visible on my site, only to find most of it on the other persons website/profile not long after. And this person has been longer in the business than I have, and should have brought about \"its\" own concept a long time ago!

Of course I realise and know that we all develop, grow and gain new translation experiences, and that most translators agree to the importance of finding our own specialities, when I finally did so I based it on what I have from eduction, certain interests, and work experiences, and I also managed to promote my self pretty well and got reliable customers so I can make a living out of this (do I have to mention that this is hard work). Someone obviously didn`t adopt my progress for some reason.

What happens if we all (in same languagepairs) offer the exact same service? I belive one adverse effect could be a strenghtening of the problem with agencies who press down our rates. This problem already exist for sure, let`s not feed it! ;o)

\"Professionalism means integrity\" did someone write here in the Proz forums a while ago, I really agree to that one icon_wink.gif

Well people, what I would like to ask is: Where does the \"ethical\" limit goe regarding our integrity and uniqueness as a translator online? Or....are there any limits at all? I am not sure if I`m overreacting here, or rather should consider all this as a big compliment? icon_rolleyes.gif

(sorry for my clumsy English, I could`s see clearly under this \"blowout\") icon_lol.gif

All the best from

\"A Norwegian fury\" icon_smile.gif


Sonja Tomaskovic (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
English to German
+ ...
Annoying Apr 28, 2003

Dear Liss,

I can really understand how annoying this is. I have been working on my own website for months now and will probably need some more time to finish, before I really decide to have it published. And it is really a horrible feeling to know that someone could just copy and paste some of my content without spending a minute to think about it.

Have you ever considered to contact this person and ask for clarification on this?

Apart from this, consider to add a copyright notice on each and every page you have, including a link to an additional copyright notice, that stipulates all the necessary dos and donts on your website.

Here are some links that could help you:


Sonja icon_wink.gif

[ This Message was edited by: sonjav on 2003-04-28 11:43]


Marc P (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
German to English
+ ...
Furious in Norway Apr 28, 2003

Hi Norwegian Fury,

I also visited your site. Congratulations - I wish mine were as attractive.

Like Sonja, I was struck by the fact that the copyright notice only appears on the home page. But you probably need to get expert advice before attempting to defend your copyright. Also, I am very sceptical that you could apply copyright to a list of search terms, and even if you could, it would be extremely easy to get around it.

As to the originality of your ideas: I\'m afraid I couldn\'t find anything that could be regarded as original in the sense of intellectual property, which you could defend by applying for a patent or trade mark, for example.

I suggest taking a practical approach. Take my site as an example. It contains lots of information on a particular subject (which I won\'t mention here, so as not to bore people). I have added copyright notices to my pages in order to protect my intellectual property. But in fact, I have become so strongly associated with this subject that if someone were now to copy it and publish the information elsewhere, the interest it would arouse would almost certainly INCREASE traffic to my site. So that\'s my advice: try to be truly original, and provide information which is not available anywhere else: become \"the source\" of that information.


[ This Message was edited by: MarcPrior on 2003-04-28 12:42]


Rob Albon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:13
Japanese to English
+ ...
Sincerest form of flattery Apr 28, 2003


I understand your frustration, but, like Marc, I did not see anything so unique as to be copywritable. If your admirer claims credentials that you feel they don\'t have, you could always report them. However, I don\'t see how your admirer can really harm you by copying your site. If your admirer is an imposter and cannot perform as advertised, those disgruntled clients should come to you in the end! Perhaps you can accept your admirers copying as sincere flattery!


Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:13
Italian to English
+ ...
I tend to agree with Marc... Apr 28, 2003

Concentrate on offering up something not found elsewhere. In my case, the great majority of visitors to my website don\'t start on my \"entry page\". They start on a page that is three levels deep - because of something I offer on that particular page and as such is listed early in search results. Once they are there, then yes, they tend to wander onto the other pages. But the simple truth is, were it not for what I offer on that particular page, I wouldn\'t have NEARLY the amount of traffic.

I don\'t know what the competition is like in your language pairs, but in mine it\'s pretty stiff, pretty much necessitating the need to focus on some sort of specialization.




On 2003-04-28 11:49, MarcPrior wrote:


So that\'s my advice: try to be truly original, and provide information which is not available anywhere else: become \"the source\" of that information.



Liss Myrås  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
Danish to Norwegian
+ ...
Originality Apr 28, 2003

Regarding the issue about originality:

I am aware that I`m not \"considerable\" original yet, but I am working hard to become so icon_wink.gif

That is one of the reasons why I have this \"blowout today\".

I believed I was on my way working towards some kind of a \"niche\", but I feel this is \"runned over\" by the \"copycat\".

Yepp, I like the thought about developing to become original (in the right way of course), that is what I was & will be aiming for, step by step....and preferably without to much \"parroting\" from this person.

Kind regards

Liss icon_smile.gif


Klaus Dorn (X)
Local time: 02:13
German to English
+ ...
maybe you should... Apr 28, 2003

sabotage his/her website...there are many ways and they are easy to learn...

No, just kidding, that wouldn\'t be professional from your end. I\'m a webdesigner and we have to live with this problem. My advice is, like the others, let it go.

Having seen your website I have only one suggestion:

In the menu - advices - change it to \"advice\". Advice is not countable and therefore has no plural in English. I think it\'s very important, that a website of a translator with English as their source/target language is written in immaculate English!


Liss Myrås  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
Danish to Norwegian
+ ...
Solved Apr 28, 2003

But Klaus...sabotage? icon_lol.gif bad boy icon_wink.gif

Well, this evening I have been in contact whith this particularly translator, we had a long and friendly conversation on the phone, so we kind of solved it out like grown people icon_smile.gif

I also want to say thank you to all of you for your interesting opinions, suggestions and personal contact.

And regarding the written English on my website, I have \"advertised\" for a nativ english proofreader to have a look at the text, I`m waiting for a reply. So finally that will be solved too icon_biggrin.gif

All the best from

Liss Myrås

[ This Message was edited by: L. Myrås on 2003-04-29 09:15]


English to German
+ ...
protecting web content May 1, 2003

Makes me wonder if there exist any tricks to protect some of the content in a website.


Yes, but they are as controversial as the method of copying someone elses keywords, site content, etc.,

There are scripts which will supply a different source code when a search engine robot visits the site, different from what is displayed via browser to visitors.

If you have sensitive information, you might consider installing a system requiring log-in/sign up with non-webmail email addresses, before such content is displayed. Another method: you could install a script that forbids access from certain IPs or displays a message to the visitor from such an IP. This works only if the same IP (or IP range) is used for access each time. Imagine the persons face if a message like \"Hi Bill, copying my site content again?\" would start flashing.


L. Russell Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:13
German to English
Disabling the 'View Source' option May 5, 2003

It is possible to disabling the \'View Source\' option, in your HTML code. Here are some links:



To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

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