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BadBoyReport.com sued for $40M because they stole content

LAS VEGAS - Operators of Cheaterville.com last month filed a $40 million copyright suit against new rival BadBoyReport.com, a social network site that is stole content / "scraped" data and photos from Cheaterville.com.

As a result BadBoyReport.com has been shutdown, pending a trial outcome, and any attempts to go to the website redirect to Google.com

The lawsuit, filed at U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by adult industry attorney Ronald Green of Randazza Legal Group, says that BadBoyReport stole a lot of its content by an automated process known as “scraping”, using an information collection bot to steal information from another website and then repost that information on another website without permission.

Cheaterville’s website has operated for two years by allowing users to create accounts with the service, and then create profiles for known “cheaters” - those people who have been involved with violating the fidelity of an exclusive relationship by cheating on their partner - with user-generated  written, picture and video content.

BadBoyReport, according to online archive records, has only been on the web for several months and includes categories for cheaters, criminals and escort bad boys - and stole a lot of its information from its rival website in order to get a lot more content in an hurry.

From a SEO perspective this is a thing NOT TO DO. Stealing content is bad for your SEO, and as it turns out, it is also bad for your legal reputation because you can be sued for millions.

Cheaterville notes in its lawsuit that BadBoyReport, based in South Korea, also owns and operates Slander911, a service that will remove posts if it is paid $499 through a U.S. PayPal account. Basically its a dubious way of blackmailing people who have their information posted on BadBoyReport.

Even posts that have been adjudicated as false or defamatory remain up unless the target pays up, the suit said. So even if you try to sue BadBoyReport, their false claims stay up unless you pay them. And even if you do pay them, more false claims can reappear months later.

"The increased traffic BadBoyReport realizes from displaying its unlawfully obtained content from Cheaterville and using its trademarks in commerce without authorization leads to an increased number of removal fees, costing customers of Slander911 at least $499, and donations third parties make to BadBoyReport through PayPal, as compared to the donations BadBoyReport would received without using Cheaterville’s intellectual property," the suit said.

Cheaterville.com, operated by parent company ViaView Inc., has asked for statutory damages of $25,000 per copyright violation for a total of $40 million, plus unspecified punitive damages and attorneys fees. It also has asked the court to place a registry lock on BadBoyReport to freeze all PayPal assets pending the outcome of the case.

Operators of BadBoyReport have not responded to the lawsuit, but their website will remain shut down indefinitely if they fail to show up at court. (They are overseas after all, so they don't have to show up.)

Chances are more likely that the owners of BadBoyReport will just design and build a new website - and this time try to do the same thing, but without using content stolen from other websites.

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