JUST WHO MIGHT THE “USER” BE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Aug. 24, 2020) — The second website in just over a year conducting blanket plagiarism of The Post & Email’s content has been sent a copyright-infringement notice, according to a message this writer received Monday evening from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The website, “todaystopics.com,” consists entirely of our daily articles presented in the same categories featured on our home page with all bylines and internal links removed. More than a week ago, a reader informed us of the website, after which we sent a copyright-infringement complaint through its “Contact” portal which received no response.
The website claims our content as its own at the bottom of each page with, “Copyright © 2020 todaystopics.com.”
As in the first case, todaystopics.com uses Cloudflare as a proxy security service. We first contacted Cloudflare, which was listed as the host, and were referred to AWS as the actual hosting service.
AWS’s message responding to our subsequent formal complaint reads:
We’ve received your report about alleged posting, hosting, or distribution of unlicensed copyright protected material on Amazon Web Services. We’ve completed an initial investigation of the issue and learned that the activity you reported originated from a user of our network.
We take reports of copyright infringement very seriously. We’ve taken appropriate action in response to your complaint to remove or disable access to the material and to notify the user who posted the material of your complaint. If the user sends us a counter-notice, we will forward such counter-notice to you with additional instructions.
Thank you for alerting us to this issue.
AWS Trust & Safety
Amazon Web Services, LLC
Little more than a year ago, this writer discovered a website named “hothealthblog.com” which functioned in an identical way, reproducing our featured categories and all articles shortly after their publication, removing bylines and all attribution, and claiming all of our copyrighted material as its own. Also hosted by AWS, the website was taken offline after AWS investigated our report of copyright infringement.
Todaystopics.com has removed the attribution we routinely add to the images used in our articles, which could constitute a second level of infringement.
The site’s “About” section employs plagiarism by changing only slightly the wording of The Post & Email’s similarly-named section, which reads:
“The Post & Email (www.thepostemail.com) is a new media initiative begun in August 2009 to perform the investigative work which the mainstream media has neglected to do for at least three decades. We strive to present a new model for news publication in which citizens from all over the nation and world can submit reports and editorials and speak the truth without the restrictions or doctrinaire principles of Socialism and Marxism. We are committed to a Free Press for a New Generation, of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.