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Theft of Stories from Fanfiction.net

Important ETA! All of the Spamdex sites have been taken down except for one! Talkfictions.org is the only site that is still up. Good job, everyone; it seems our collective actions are getting somewhere!

So now we need to make Talkfictions.org go away. You can continue to file a spamdexing report with Google, and if you are an author living in the U.S., you can also file a DMCA takedown notice on your behalf with the site's host (contact information below).

Thanks to the sleuthing of mikononyte and bunn, we now have contact information for the host and reverse proxy for Talkfictions.org. Both are large, reputable companies that allow you to file abuse reports for copyright violations.

File a Complaint with the Webhost
Talkfictions.org is hosted by Enom. To file a support ticket with the host:

  1. Go to https://www.enom.com/contact.aspx

  2. Click the second option: "No, I have not submitted a ticket before."

  3. Enter your information into the web form.

  4. Click the tab at the top to Submit a Ticket.

  5. Complete the ticket form. Note that you are reporting a copyright violation for Talkfictions.org, a domain that they host. Provide a link to your stolen content. (Remember, you can pull this off of Google if you are not comfortable visiting the site itself. See below for instructions on how to do that.)

  6. Click Continue. One final pop-up will appear, suggesting articles that might help you. None of them will. Click to submit the ticket. If the ticket is submitted successfully, you will receive two emails from Enom, one with a password to check the status of your ticket and an auto-reply to the ticket itself.


File a Complaint with CloudFlare
Please note that Cloudflare is not the host and therefore cannot remove the site. However, they are a reverse proxy service used by our little thief, and they will intervene with the webhost in the instance of copyright infringement. Here is the CloudFlare abuse report form. Click the bright green "Click here to submit an abuse report" button on the right side of the page. Fill out the form, making sure that you provide a link to your content from Fanfiction.net that was stolen. Click the green Submit button.

Gratitude again to mikononyte and bunn for finding the contacts above. Many thanks as always to rhapsody11, our indefatigable copyright expert on the SWG and MPTT, for her advice and insight! (And another nod to to Rhapsody, who found and posted the exact same contact information for Enom at the precise moment that I did. This kind of brainsharing is what happens when you work almost daily with a person for over a decade!)

I am leaving up the original post below the cut/line. Please be aware, though, that some of the information it now contains is no longer relevant because the sites have been taken down.
/ETA




It was recently discovered that a series of spamdex sites has created mirrors of profiles and stories from Fanfiction.net. If you are an author on Fanfiction.net, it is very likely that your work has been stolen by one or more of these sites. Below is a summary of all I have been able to learn so far and some ideas on how to strike back at these jerks.

ETA: And they have apparently stolen work from FictionPress as well./ETA

On 8 February 2016, Tumblr user Rhov posted the following alert to Fanfiction.net authors about the theft of their work:

Dear fanfiction writers,

Please be aware that there are fake websites which have mirrored literally ALL FANFICS from Fanfiction.net. As far as I can tell, they are near-perfect mirrors, updating in real-time to FFN’s servers.

All of your stories, your profile, everything has been stolen and copied onto the following websites:

http://www.thebuystock.org/
http://www.talkfictions.com/
http://fictionavenue.org/
http://thanfiction.org/
http://hmofiction.org/

They are making profit off your stories with advertisements. This is called spamdexing. Please report them. Theft of this hefty magnitude, literally millions of stories, should not go unpunished.


Before you click on any of the links above, please be aware that several users have reported that the sites contain viruses and malware. If you want to check if your work has been stolen, I highly recommend using a search engine to search your Fanfiction.net username and the URL of the site you are searching (e.g., "Dawn Felagund hmofiction.org"). This should return links to your profile or work on that site, and you can see if it has been stolen without entering the site and putting your computer at risk. Here is a screencap of the search and what the results look like.

Rhov recommends reporting to Google if you find your work stolen on the site. This alerts Google that a site is manipulating content in order to boost its search results, and Google can take action accordingly so that the site doesn't show up in results. (Which penalizes the site because they make money by enticing people looking for Fanfiction.net content to click on their site instead and then click on their ads.) Here is Rhov's recommendation:

HOW TO REPORT


You can also send a DMCA takedown notice on your behalf. As fanfic writers, we are most familiar with this term as something that is served against creators of fanworks. However, as a creator of legal content, you are permitted to legally obligate a website that has stolen your content to remove it from their site. You do not need an attorney to do this. This post by Tikatu has a sample DMCA takedown notice that you can use.

Of course, I have no idea if this will make any difference. I was unable to find Whois information on any of the sites listed above, which tells me that they're already not playing by the rules--not surprisingly for people willing to steal the work of thousands of authors in order to turn a quick buck. Also, please remember that these sites contain malware and viruses. Don't go poking around looking for contact information if your antivirus is not up to date. (If you do go the DMCA takedown route and find contact information for these sites, please share it here, and I will update this post.) ETA: mikononyte had more luck with Whois than I did. (Who knows what I was doing??) In any case, she has compiled the Whois information (which includes contact information) for each site here./ETA

Finally, I have not seen this getting any play off of Tumblr, aside from what my comods and I have shared on our various groups. Please signal boost this. You can link to or use my post above if you want, no credit necessary (although please keep the credits in place for the Tumblr users who made the original posts I'm linking to and quoting from). Most fanfic groups are going to have a heavy contingent of users on Fanfiction.net, so it is imperative to get the word out.

Other ideas, suggestions, information--please share it in a comment!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
carlinjona
Feb. 11th, 2016 12:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting this. Found my profile on one of these sites. Is it okay if I pass on your information to my journal and fellow writers?
dawn_felagund
Feb. 13th, 2016 04:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, absolutely, please do!

Please note, however, that all but one of the sites have now been taken down. I've updated the post to reflect what we can do to get that final site taken down as well. I've left up the original post but some of it will be (thankfully) irrelevant now.
carlinjona
Feb. 14th, 2016 09:45 am (UTC)
Oh, that's good news. Thanks for spreading the word.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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