used-buses.net copied by eBay
Since we publish the way we categorize buses at used-buses.net publicly in a set of bus type definitions, we check for plagiarism every now and then. There's lots of obscure outfits on the web that prefer to copy other people's work to putting in the sweat and inspiration themselves. Since search engines nowadays tend to punish suspected plagiarism, others using our texts can damage our position in the search engines.
But can you imagine our surprise when internet giant eBay turned up in one of our plagiarism searches? On this page we found an almost exact copy of our bus type classification system. The first part of our list of bus types was copied exactly, and after that some terms were mixed, probably to avoid plagiarism detection. But Copyscape got it anyway.
So, what would be the next step then? The response that Copyscape recommends involves first contacting the offender and then -if need be- issue a warning and ask the search engines to remove the offending site from their indexes. So should we start with asking eBay to remove the text? Yeah right! If they have the arrogance to copy our text and apparently think they can get away with it, why would they respond to a protest from a little guy like us?
Also: they are a large organization and it will probably take time to reach the person responsible for altering the text. And for sure eBay will not make the whole process too easy for us anyway. So why would we put in all that effort while they stole from us?
Also, having read Copyscape's advice "it is always best to seek professional legal advice from a qualified lawyer", and the fact that we can't really afford that- just the thought of contacting a company like eBay -let alone warn them- gave us nightmares about busloads of lawyers coming our way.
So we decided to just publish the proof here, hope that the search engines pick it up and not punish us for eBay copying our text, and hope the best of it.
So here goes:
Archive.org detected our classification of bus types first in September 2006
and the copy on eBay in February 2007.
Our plea to the search engines: please don't punish us for getting screwed by a big company. Thank you.