Affiliate Marketing Mistake #8: Copyright Infringement – Using Content and Photos without Permission

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Readers often ask me questions regarding the acceptable use of photos and content that they’ve found on other websites and I’m SO glad that those folks take the time to ask the question!

My Experience as a Copyright Infringer

Thankfully, I learned the most important lesson about copyright infringement very early in my Internet marketing career.

I’d pulled a picture of a scantily-clad, very good-looking guy draped in an American flag from a dating site (like to use on my affiliate dating service review site at

As it turned out, that wasn’t copasetic (legal) in the least.

The good-looking guy was a model and the picture was owned by his agency. The pictures shouldn’t have been posted publicly by the model himself. His modeling agency’s legal representative contacted me by email and demanded I pull the picture immediately or suffer legal consquences for copyright infringement, i.e. theft.

NOTE: The legal penalties for copyright infringement are that an infringer pays the actual dollar amount of damages and profits. The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed AND the infringer pays for all attorneys fees and court costs.

Quaking in my boots and never having been on the wrong side of the law, I pulled the picture immediately.

Since that incident, I’ve always either used photographs I’ve taken myself or purchased from a stock agency like iStock.

Becoming the Victim of a Copyright Infringer

After publishing the Super Affiliate Handbook in 2003 and gaining much more publicity for my website, copyright infringers descended on my sites, stealing content and photos that I had purchased.

Although finding copyright infringers is frustrating and represents a huge waste of my time, catching and taking them down is a game of cat and mouse I’ve now played for years and thoroughly enjoying winning… as I always do. :-)

Just recently, a site that stole a complete article and feature photo of mine came to my attention through a trackback link. I love STUPID thieves. Here’s a screen capture of my original article about

Here’s a screen capture of my original article about 3 Fabulous Food Bloggers.
copyright infringer

Now here’s a screen capture of the stolen article.


Yup, no doubt about where they ( got that photo and content. I’d purchased the photo through a stock agency and added the text to the graphic.

I immediately looked up the domain name through and got the name of their hosting service ( to whom I sent a copyright infringement report. The stolen article was removed shortly afterwards.

This particular thief was tenacious, however.

How to Take a Copyright Infringement Thief Down

Every time I posted a new article, he copied it to his website. Sometimes the articles were published ‘as is’ and other times they were run through an article spinner, with results that would have made the most basic reader of English cringe.

I sent 2 more infringement reports about articles which were taken down, but then the thief moved his site.

He wasn’t stealing only my articles, he was stealing 100’s of articles every day. In one month alone, he’d published over 3,000 articles on his brand-new website. WOW! And the site wasn’t ‘curated’ as such, it was all just stolen material.

I discovered the new host was BlueHost as follows:

Domain Name: WYBIN.COM
Registry Domain ID: 1995310921_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server:
Registrar URL:
Updated Date: 2016-02-09T02:18:23Z
Creation Date: 2016-01-18T14:28:41Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2017-01-18T14:28:41Z
Registrar: FastDomain Inc.
Registrar IANA ID: 1154
Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1 801 765 9400
Reseller: BlueHost.Com
Domain Status: ok (
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: SIVA BANU
Registrant Organization: HITMAXZ
Registrant City: JAFFNA
Registrant State/Province: JAFFNA
Registrant Postal Code: 40000
Registrant Country: SRI LANKA
Registrant Phone: +94.768034687
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: SIVA BANU
Admin Organization: HITMAXZ
Admin City: JAFFNA
Admin State/Province: JAFFNA
Admin Postal Code: 40000
Admin Country: SRI LANKA
Admin Phone: +94.768034687
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax:
Admin Fax Ext:
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Organization: BLUEHOST.COM
Tech Street: 1958 SOUTH 950 EAST
Tech City: PROVO
Tech State/Province: UTAH
Tech Postal Code: 84606
Tech Phone: +1.8017659400
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: +1.8017651992
Tech Fax Ext:
DNSSEC: unsigned
URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System:

Last update of WHOIS database: 2016-02-09T02:18:23Z
For more information on Whois status codes, please visit

Same thief, different host.

I sent BlueHost 2 copyright infringement reports on the 6th article stolen as follows:

Attn: Copyright Agent

Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:

I am [the exclusive rights holder | the duly authorized representative of the exclusive rights holder] for the pages created at;

These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon your site at the following URL(s):

I have a good faith belief that the use of this material in such a fashion is not authorized by the copyright holder, the copyright holder's agent, or the law;

Under penalty of perjury in a United States court of law, I state that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the exclusive rights holder for the material in question;

I may be contacted by the following methods (include all): (my address, phone and email);
I hereby request that you remove or disable access to this material as it appears on your service in as expedient a fashion as possible. Thank you.

Rosalind Gardner

P.S. This is the 2nd copyright infringement report I've filed with you about this site and other complaints have been dealt with directly with the site owner. ALL the material on this site appears to be stolen from other bloggers... and it would be prudent simply to shut him down and delete the content.

THAT message finally got the job done.

Here is what Wybin looks like today…


Gone, gone, GONE! The idiot wasted a few months of his time stealing from others, trying to make money. I doubt he made a cent. He had all the social networks in place and I never saw a single Facebook like.

Anyway, the moral of the story is NOT to take content or pictures that don’t belong to you.

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

Stay on the right side of copyright infringement law by:

  1. Writing your own content.
  2. If you like an article and want to share it with your readers, write a short paragraph about what you found interesting and then link to the article. Don’t reproduce more than a sentence or very short paragraph of anyone’s work without their permission.
  3. NEVER use a picture from another site unless you either have permission, or permission is granted for use on the site. For example, you can often use pictures posted on Wikipedia without having to request permission. Check out Wikipedia’s Image Use Policy first, though.
  4. Some sites providing ‘free’ images require that you post a link back to their website. Be sure to add that link.
  5. Take your own pictures using either your phone or a digital camera. I do this all the time. If you’re promoting a product that you use, take a picture of you using the product. That adds a lot more weight and credibility to your review. Here’s an example of how I reviewed my Vitamix food processor on my personal blog.

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March 29th 2016 affiliate marketing, News

5 Ways Mobile Is Changing News Consumption

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BARCELONA, Spain—Media executives from television, online and magazine news organizations are optimistic that a mostly mobile audience will present new opportunities for reporting and engagement, even while revenue challenges remain.

Speaking on a Mobile World Congress panel Thursday, executives said there are still challenges with making money and efficiently streaming data on mobile. (Elisabetta Romano, head of TV and media at Ericsson, pointed out that experiencing a six-second delay can be as stressful as watching a horror movie alone or doing a math test.)

For Arlie Sisson, Condé Nast's vp of product and design, 2016 is "the most exciting year to be in content" as legacy publications continue to test their tech talent through branded and editorial innovations.

Here are five ways the mobile audience is changing modern media:

1. New partnerships are possible.

The mobile era allows legacy publications to collaborate with new media properties and tech companies in ways they couldn't a few years ago, Sisson said.

"How do we monetize this differently? We look to our partners for that," she said. "There are new partners in this space. We just revealed the first cover of Vanity Fair on Snapchat, the first publication to do a pop-up channel. Totally monetizable. It's so exciting and a beautifully done demographic in that sense—but on the same side, a new and interesting product that our sales team is excited to take out to market because it's new."

2. Media has been democratized.

While some journalists bemoan the idea of casual observers equipped with cameras scooping them—or replacing them—citizen journalists and other partners can potentially help news organizations cover everything that's happening at any given time.

"What I think we have to accept though is that media has been democratized," said Jimmy Mayman, evp and president of content and consumer brands at AOL. 

3. Advertising needs to catch up.

The advertising industry hasn't caught up yet with where users are, Mayman said. Because of that, it's hard for news to move entirely to mobile with a revenue model in place first. While 70 percent of AOL's viewers are now mobile-first, that doesn't mean the other 30 percent doesn't exist—nor does it mean the 70 percent who are mobile-first aren't consuming content on a desktop.

"There is a gap, right? There is a delta between the amount of users we see on mobile platforms and the money that is right now flowing in from the advertising perspective," he said. "So if you made that call tomorrow, obviously you would be leaving a lot of money on the table. We would not be able to do that."

4. More technology requires more technology investment.

News has gone from broadcasting to one-to-one interactions, Romano said. While that creates opportunities, it also creates challenges on the backend that aren't visible to consumers who simply want their video feed to work. 

"That means that it's real time, it's based on what the people want to watch and from which device they are watching it," she said. "I would say that there is technology in the delivery chain of the network that is hiding the complexity … the technology software and the cloud are enabling it to do all this processing in real time on the fly."

5. Video will be more vertical—and virtual.

How users consume video means publishers and advertisers need to change how they create it. While vertical video is becoming more popular thanks to platforms like Snapchat, virtual reality is also on the forefront. Andrew Hawken, head of digital media at Sky News, said his team has already begun experimenting with virtual reality storytelling and plans to do more of it.

"We're really excited about this," Hawkin said. "In terms of [the] golden age of journalism and all that good stuff, the opportunities offered by 360 video and virtual reality are really fantastic. We've done quite a lot of this already. We did a big thing on a migrant camp where we did 360 virtual reality. The reporter said it challenged everything he knew with how to do journalism and television. Your classic TV has a beginning, middle and an end. …This was completely different. Where was the reporter in this scenario? But it really felt to us, in terms of immersiveness, like taking you right to the heart of an important story."

February 26th 2016 Mobile, News, Technology

Affiliate Marketing Mistake #4: Not Owning It

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When you have don’t have much to invest in your new online business, it may seem prudent to build your business on a site like,, Weebly or some other service that offers free domains and websites.

However, choosing a free domain or hosting is a HUGE affiliate marketing mistake.

While I’m all for reducing costs where able, owning your own domain and having a hosting account should never be considered an option for the following reasons:

  1. Hosting on a free domain is not really free. The owners often place advertising on your site from which they benefit.
  2. You have less disk space, low bandwidth, and no access to your MySQL database.
  3. The sites are often slow to load.
  4. You get little or no SEO (search engine optimization) benefit. It’s rare that a site hosted on a free server will show up in the search engine results, especially if it is a subdomain. A subdomain is usually formatted like
  5. The owners of your free website make all the rules. If you don’t follow their rules, they can cancel your account at any time for any reason, and usually without warning. That happened to me many years ago and is something that I discuss in the Super Affiliate Handbook.
  6. But the biggest downside to using a free website indicates to merchants with affiliate programs that you are a novice marketer, and many, if not most, merchants will decline your application to their program on that basis alone.

Serious affiliate marketers register their own domain names and hosting accounts with good providers.

To make money takes money… although domain registration and hosting is a very small expense for starting a business that can reap big rewards.

You can get a free domain registration when you host your site with BlueHost.

Otherwise, if you don’t wish to host with BlueHost, you can register your domain name with GoDaddy and choose your own hosting service.

Here’s a list of the hosting services I am currently recommending.

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February 19th 2016 affiliate marketing, News

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes: The Series

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affiliate marketing mistakes

In January 2016, I started a year-long series of articles about affiliate marketing mistakes. Here they are in order of publication date:

  1. Affiliate Marketing Mistake #1: Blindly Jumping Off a Cliff
  2. Affiliate Marketing Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Niche
  3. Affiliate Marketing Mistake #3: Bad Writing

Please stay tuned throughout the year for updates and if you find the information useful please share it with others! If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


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February 19th 2016 affiliate marketing, News

Social Media Marketing World Virtual Tickets Now Available

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Tickets for Social Media Marketing World VIRTUAL went on sale today.

This is great news for those who can’t travel to San Diego to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016 but really want to learn from the sessions this event has to offer.

With a virtual ticket, you’ll get full access to the recording of 100+ sessions, for a fraction of the cost and be able to interact with others via SMM’s private LinkedIn group.

Recordings will begin posting within 10 days following the conference and you’ll have access for a full year.

If you want to better understand the latest social media trends, tips and know-how to grow your business, check out Social Media Marketing World’s conference and virtual conference options today.

By the way, you can check out the recordings for 2 full days after they are posted and still cancel for a full refund if you think this is not for you.

So… you have nothing to lose and a lot of social media wisdom to gain by signing up for either Social Media Marketing World 2016 in person, or a Social Media Marketing World VIRTUAL ticket.

If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!


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February 16th 2016 News

Yahoo Updates App, Homepage

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Yahoo announced some updates to its mobile app and homepage in the U.S. making it easier to get to news and content and follow developing news stories.

The company says it looked at the latest mobile trends to guide its design of the new app and homepage.

“With this update, we’ve made it possible to sift through more content in less time,” says Yahoo SVP Simon Khalaf. “You no longer need to open individual articles in multiple browser tabs; instead, you can simply scroll through related stories inline. Up top, our editors pick some of the most important stories you need to know, alongside content most relevant to you. For a more in-depth understanding of a story, see related stories by clicking the “heart” icon, or clicking through to find additional related stories below each article. Over time, as you click on more content, the Yahoo stream becomes more tailored to your interests. The more you use the app and homepage, the better your experience will be.”

“News stories have the power to start meaningful conversations,” he adds. “With tens of millions of you sharing your views daily as part of our vibrant community, we want to amplify your voice. We’ve made it easier for you to share your thoughts, engage and converse with each other about a particular topic or story. This new update surfaces comments directly in-line, making it easy to share and hear reactions from our community, in one place.”

Stories now have follow buttons so you can receive notifications when a story is update.

The updated app is available in the the App Store and Google Play.

Images via Yahoo

January 29th 2016 Mobile, News, Technology, yahoo

Microsoft Launches Bing-Powered ‘News Pro’ App for iOS

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Microsoft has a new iOS app called News Pro in the App Store.

The app description says:

News Pro helps you search for news around your work every day. Fuel your unique interests with over a million topics to choose from. Get informed efficiently by locating the most important and relevant articles each day based off what interests you. Leverage the power of social networks for your daily news. You can sign-in on Facebook and LinkedIn to tailor your daily news highlights to your work experience and interests.

Find articles and topics you didn’t know you needed. News Pro allows you to extend the scope of your daily news updates by suggesting new topics to search based off your current interests and by helping you discover websites where you can read articles that are interesting to you. You can also search for news related to any topic right in the app so you can always be fully informed.

Here are the screenshots:






We haven’t seen an official announcement from the company, but the app was first reported on by Microsoft News, which says the app is powered by Bing News and comes from Microsoft Garage.

Images via Microsoft, App Store

January 27th 2016 bing, microsoft, Mobile, News, Search

Microsoft Launches A Bing-Powered News App For iOS Devices, News Pro

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newspro Microsoft today unveiled yet another application aimed at iOS users, with the launch of a news application that greatly resembles Apple’s own News application that comes built into iOS 9. Called “News Pro,” Microsoft’s app aims to offer readers a personalized experience by connecting them to articles that match their current interests, while also uncovering… Read More

January 27th 2016 microsoft, Mobile, News

Affiliate Summit East 2016 Registration Now Open

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Affiliate Summit East 2016

Affiliate Summit East 2016 is taking place Jul. 31 – Aug. 2, 2016 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The 3-day conference includes an exhibit hall with affiliates, merchants, vendors, and networks, as well as multiple tracks of educational sessions covering the latest trends and information from affiliate marketing experts.

There’s even a program dedicated specifically to Affiliate Summit newcomers.

Conference rates nearly double after May 13th, so book your Affiliate Summit ticket early!

Thoughts? Are you going? Leave a comment below!
Here are a couple of articles in which you might be interested if you are contemplating attending an industry conference…

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January 26th 2016 News

Yanik Silver is Giving Away Copies of His New Book… Want One?

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evolved-enterpriseMy good friend Yanik Silver just released his new book “Evolved Enterprise – How To Re-Think, Re-imagine, & Re-invent Your Business To Deliver Meaningful Impact & Even Greater Profits“.

It’s a practical roadmap for building a highly profitable, socially conscious, and purpose driven company from the ‘inside out’ and a step by step guide for entrepreneurs who want to add meaning to what they do… while automatically (and inevitably) multiplying profits as a result!

The best part is, he’s giving away the first 10,000 copies at cost!

The list price for the book is $19.95, but Yanik is giving away the first 10,000 copies for exactly what it takes to print and ship it — which means you can get brand new copy shipped to you for just $6.95.

That’s even less than the ‘shipping’ costs that most book launches will have you pay.

And here’s the kicker:

$1 from your payment will go directly to Virgin Unite to make an immediate impact on a worthwhile cause.

But hurry, Yanik is only doing this for the first 10,000 copies and they’re going fast.

Get your copy of Evolved Enterprise here.


P.S Here is what people are already saying about this work: just listed the Evolved Enterprise book as #1 on their “4 New Reads that Will Change Your Entrepreneurial Life” and “This book is a must read for all aspects of managing the cross section of your life and your business and how your brand speaks to the world.”

“There’s a transformative shift in business and what worked before is no longer an option. It’s time for evolved entrepreneurs, visionary creators, and change markers to rewrite the rules of business for the 21st century.” -Tony Hsieh NY Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of, Inc.

“Yanik Silver has focused his thinking and efforts for years on helping CEOs grow companies that care about people, causes, and others as much as they do revenue and profits. His book is a must read for anyone who cares about creating a company that ‘matters’.” – Cameron Herold, CEO Coach & Author of Double Double

“Yanik Silver is a truly conscious entrepreneur who understands that creating meaning for yourself — and everyone connected to your business — is absolutely vital in the 21st century.” – Chip Conley, former CEO Joive de Vivre Hotel group and author, PEAK and Emotional Equations

“Through free enterprise, one can benefit people all over the world… by contributing to a better way of life for all. Peace, love & happiness.” -John Paul DeJoria cofounder, Paul Mitchell Hair Care

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November 18th 2015 News