Cloning Merchant Sites - Affiliates Beware!

by JMSD
4 replies
Hi

Contrary to claims made by one WSO which enables affiliates to clone merchants' sites in minutes, this practice is illegal because it is, in effect, passing off the site as one's own when, in fact, each cloned site is the intellectual property of the merchants concerned.

I don't know of many merchants who would tolerate this practice, let alone encourage it, even though the end result is the WIN-WIN factor of affiliates promoting merchants' products.

Intellectual property theft is against the TOS of Google, Clickbank and any self-respecting merchant who cares about their brand or product.

The reason I know this is that when one of our sites was cloned by an affiliate (against our TOS) and he ignored our polite and several requests to take down the site and build a real affiliate review site if he wished to continue promoting our product, the matter was reported to both Google and Clickbank.

The result was that the cloned site was taken down within a day or two and Clickbank wrote to us to say that the offender had been permanently banned from promoting not only our products but also other Clickbank products. So you see, Clickbank takes such matters extremely seriously.

So, if any affiliate is thinking of taking the easy way out (cloning or framing a site), without the express WRITTEN permission of the product merchant and/or ignoring the TOS of any merchant, concerned, then think again.

You may win a few sales commission until you're found out (there are easy and quick ways of being alerted to copy sites), but it may be at the risk of losing your entire Clickbank account and, perhaps, your livelihood as well.

Hope this is of some help to affiliates and would-be affiliates who may not realise the risks they run in their quest for quick solutions to the time-consuming business of building a review site for each affiliate product.
#affiliates #beware #cloning #merchant #sites
  • Profile picture of the author hiphil
    Hi,

    One of the most popular internet money making programs suggests cloning merchant sites as a quick way of setting up your affiliate site.

    The argument being, that the merchant will be so pleased with all the sales you will generate in this way, they will overlook the copyright violation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sfrew
    Under the new FTC rules, and a recent court case, affiliate programs need to be monitoring their affiliates routinely for any kind of TOS or FTC violations. I get the impression, however, that you are one of the few actually doing any monitoring.

    Just how many affiliate programs monitor their affiliates for what they are doing on their blogs or sales pages?
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  • Profile picture of the author Willie Crawford
    Not only do many affiliate programs expressly prohibit this but
    some even get VERY upset when you out rank them in the
    search engines for their own keywords, and I've heard of more
    than one that terminated affiliates primarily because the
    affiliates outranked them for their target keywords.

    I do have a problem with that unless the keywords are
    trademarked :-)

    That's off on a tangent, but merchants do often spend a LOT
    marketing their own products, and so they get upset when
    affiliates infringe upon their efforts.

    At least read the TOS, and has already been pointed out,
    cloning a merchants intellectual properly is bad juju...
    and could lead to lawsuits, and you losing hosting, merchant
    accounts, third-party processing, etc.

    My 2 cents!

    Willie
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    Over 800 High-Value Domain Names For Only $20 Each!
    Yes, It's Crazy!

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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Cloning and framing the merchant's sites is against most TOS for these programs. Market Health is one exception where they give you a branded site to promote their products. There are a few others that do that also, but there was a thread just yesterday where the guy was using a WP plugin whose purpose was to cloak affiliate links and it iframed Amazons's pages. Amazon banned his account. They do not allow iframing their pages.
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