And now for something completely different. There's a lot that goes on here at DPReview without informing any of our visitors. Web Piracy (the taking and republishing of material from this site) is one of those things. Over the last two-three months we've had to deal with at least four foreign websites who had copied content (text and graphics) from this site and republished it. This is the story of some success, and how you can help us.

Content piracy on the Internet

Often we discover such sites purely by accident, just two days ago we stumbled over the site I'm talking about at the moment, who have not only taken text and graphics from our reviews, news and articles, translated them to Chinese but also copied the design and layout of this site. (It's worth noting that they'd also taken a few items from Steves-Digicams, Imaging-Resource and DCResource).

We of course immediately sent them (cc'd to their ISP and their ISP's backbone connectivity provider) a cease and desist order and demanded all illegally copied material be removed. And this isn't the first time this has happened, previously we've had to deal with a Brazilian site and a Taiwanese site (two).

These people openly copy text and graphics (it's always amusing to see pictures of my own hand, cat, home, surrounding area on a Chinese website) from this site and republish as their own with their own names and copyright statement below the text.

Worst of all none of these sites has ever contacted me first to request permission, I am indeed interested in producing versions of DPReview.Com in other languages, but ONLY approved sites and ONLY in direct association and more importantly governing control of ourselves.

I personally spend thousands of hours putting together this material for our readers, not so someone else can take it as their own and profit.

Drastic action

Yesterday we put a block IP ban on all addresses in China, anyone attempting to access this site from China would have seen a message explaining why we'd taken this action. This morning appear to have taken down most of the material we identified, their site design is still a huge rip off of this and I'm sure there are other items that we've missed but I've neither the time or patience to pick at the bones.

In just 12 hours we have received over forty emails from genuine readers of the site in China requesitng that we reconsider and remove the IP ban, we will be doing so later today.

Your help

This is where DPReview needs your help. If you regularly browse foreign language websites and/or know of foreign (or English language) digital photography / camera sites which appear to have DPReview material on them please contact us as soon as possible.

Visit our Pirates Hall of Shame