Was web content copied to a competitor's website?

Was web content copied to a competitor's Web site?:


A holiday and airport parking related company had been working with another company on a project. The second company had been accused of copying large portions of the content from the first company's web site and using it on their own site.

My involvement:

My first task was to preserve the evidence. Accordingly, I made copies of all the Web sites involved. Both the client and the alleged infringer had several Web sites.

I then set about determining which of the two companies had created the content. I looked at various sources to determine the date that each site had been updated. At this point I discovered another site which also had much of the same content and with further investigation I discovered that this site was in fact where the content had originated. I presented this information to my client and their legal team at a meeting in their office. The member of staff who had claimed to have written the material was summoned to the meeting and admitted that she "may have borrowed some of the content from other sites to speed up the work". This was clearly a serious issue!

I also examined what loss would have potentially been incurred by the company that had asked for my assistance. It transpired that Google favoured their web site for the terms used in the "stolen" content so they were probably not losing business to their competitor because of the infringement.

I also brought Google's policy on duplicate content to the attention of my client in order to show why their site was beating the competitor site.

As far as I'm aware the case did not reach court.

More Case Studies from the IT Expert Witness