How long before a big launch product creator or his customer (that's you!) ends up in jail?

39 replies
I've been learning how to market on the internet for more than 5 years - I hesitate to say 'internet marketing' as it now has so many potentially negative connotations!

I use online marketing skills and techniques to build authority blogs on subjects that I am genuinely expert in, to build niche sites promoting affiliate offers, but also to drive traffic to online retail for my business and for customer list building etc.

I have NO problem with people making IM-centric information products that HELP people to learn the skills that actually work and that give them ideas and education that will lead them to make a legitimate income using the wonder that online marketing truly is.

However, and I know I'm not alone here, I am sick to death of big ticket product launches touted as push-button solutions that newbies (and people who should know better!) are dragged into and blow huge sums of money on without any hope of getting a result.

If it looks too good to be true, IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

Building a site, creating a product (or mastering affiliate marketing), driving traffic and testing WILL make you money.

Looking for the instant fix WILL NOT.

BUT the biggest problem that made me post this rant is that not only are some of the latest launches sailing close to the bone with what they promise to deliver (which I believe not only brings the whole IM industry into disrepute but will also land the product creators in very hot water with the FTC), but a few seem downright illegal to me.

Naming no names (....yet), in a couple of recent launches I have seen systems touted that scrape YouTube and Facebook for content, automatically repost it and add affiliate links. Genius, you might think.

Me, however - as a copyright lawyer of 20 years practice - I look at that and think someone is going to jail!

Copyright infringement is obviously something that is part of civil law (i.e. you can be sued for a remedy and damages) but it is also potentially a criminal act - see what the RIAA is doing to serial downloaders in the US!

If you buy a product that automatically scrapes videos from YouTube and reposts them as your own - I can't see how that wouldn't be a criminal offence - at least in the UK and the US.

Plus, if you've shelled out thousands of dollars for these systems and everyone starts doing it - don't you think that YouTube, Facebook et al are going to see and shut it down?

So, you're out of pocket & the system doesn't work - but you might be hearing from the FTC or worse!

So, where does that leave the product creator? - Perhaps they aren't out to be so brazen about it and don't realise that what they are offering is so potentially illegal and incriminating.

Perhaps they don't care?

And I certainly don't necessarily want to see people go to jail...but the whole scenario is exploitative, wrong and a little bit scary.

I couldn't believe how oblivious to the illegality of what they were advocating the pitch for this YouTube product was - as ever it was just all about how easy the money would be!

I guess it boils down to this.

IM is perfectly legitimate - if you do it right. Sell quality stuff (info or products) and don't abuse people's naivety and faith.

Learn some skills and do right by people.

This industry is overdue a serious clean-up and I see the FTC and the sheriff riding over the hill gunning for people.

I for one am going to make damn sure I'm not in the firing line.

How about you?
#big #creator #customer #ends #jail #launch #long #product
  • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
    You must have been reading my mind Ian!

    Awesome post!
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    • Profile picture of the author Ian Clifford
      That particular launch - I was watching the webinars and thinking, 'Don't they realise that what they're suggesting is not only unethical - i.e theft - but criminal?'

      I was literally gobsmacked that anyone could be so upbeat about recommending illegal activity!
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Ian Clifford View Post

    However, and I know I'm not alone here, I am sick to death of big ticket product launches touted as push-button solutions that newbies (and people who should know better!) are dragged into and blow huge sums of money on without any hope of getting a result.
    It's not like they're going to stop.

    Wherever there are people looking for fast results with no work, scammers will come out of the woodwork to take their money.

    The big three on this are sex, health, and money.

    Everyone wants to have more and better sex. They want better health, whether it's strength or athletic performance or weight loss or a cure for cancer. And they want more money. So in these three areas, the world is FULL of lying, cheating scumbags who will say anything to get your money.

    And in all three of these areas, there are still a great many products and services and people that will really, honestly help you get what you want. But they're not making the same promises. None of them are claiming "get laid TONIGHT using this method," or "turn twenty pounds of fat into rock-hard muscle by next month," or "make thousands of dollars in less than a week."

    Look for the low-key offers. Those are the ones that matter.
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    • Profile picture of the author donhx
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      It's not like they're going to stop.

      Wherever there are people looking for fast results with no work, scammers will come out of the woodwork to take their money.

      So true. In a sense, the scammers and the scammed deserve each other. But is always wrong to steal the intellectual property of others.

      We all want freedom on the Internet, but some abuse the privileged, so the FTC or others step in, and it is harder for everyone. Freedom should bring responsibility, not scams.

      The abusers should be publicly exposed. Not here, since it is against the rules, but there are plenty of other places where it is allowed. Emails sent directly to the people who do this sort of thing might get them to stop and think about what they are doing. It's not right by any standard.
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  • by scraping youtube content you mean posting youtube videos on ones own site automatically via software?
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  • Profile picture of the author ArticlePrince
    If I got upset over every launch of an overhyped, under delivering product, I wouldn't ever get anything done. They obviously don't care what they are doing and won't until they're caught. You can't let it get to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian Clifford
    Jason - no, this prodcut scarped the YouTube video and reposted it to YouTube on your own channel - just plain wrong.

    CDarklock/ ArticlePrince - I know what you both mean - I just felt that this had stepped over the line and could get people who'd spent 1000's of dollars in serious crimianl trouble!
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    • Originally Posted by Ian Clifford View Post

      Jason - no, this prodcut scarped the YouTube video and reposted it to YouTube on your own channel - just plain wrong.

      CDarklock/ ArticlePrince - I know what you both mean - I just felt that this had stepped over the line and could get people who'd spent 1000's of dollars in serious crimianl trouble!
      So if I'm getting it right, this software scrapes youtube videos, and then reposts them under your account with the names you give them?

      If that's what you mean then yes I totally agree it is very wrong unless you have permission to do so by the owner.

      At first I thought you meant software that just scraped embed sources and then below the video on the actual site placed an affiliate link.

      I don't see small time crooks being punished any time soon on the inet. I do how ever see these product creators who get massive response with a less than quality product getting some sort of slap.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
        While I agree with what you're saying, here is the cold hard truth and it is
        based on my own experience and solid facts.

        The reason people sell these pipe dreams is because that's what you want.

        And please don't tell me it isn't because I have the proof.

        Just recently, I launched a very honest and up front training product. It
        was quite comprehensive and extremely underpriced.

        In the sales copy I said straight out...

        "It takes time...lots of it."
        "It takes work...lots of it."
        "It is NOT a push button solution."

        I made fewer sales of this product than of any product that I have
        created in almost 8 years of doing this.

        People come here and say that they want an honest product, that they're
        not looking for a push button solution.

        But, for the most part, they are liars.

        It is exactly what they want.

        What they say and what they want are two completely different things.

        I was handing people, for a song, all the knowledge that helped me build
        a business that has made me as much as 16K in a single month.

        They didn't want it. They didn't want any part of it.

        Not when they saw...

        It Takes Time...Lots of it!
        It Takes Work...Lots of it!
        It is NOT a push button solution!

        So save your rants about these illegal, unethical and bull sh*t products
        because until the people who buy them (and hunger for them desperately)
        stop buying them...

        NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.
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        • Profile picture of the author bengirwb
          How about a site that lets someone post YouTube videos he didn't create so the site can put ads around it and split the income with him. The creator of the video gets zilch.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
            Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

            While I agree with what you're saying, here is the cold hard truth and it is based on my own experience and solid facts.

            The reason people sell these pipe dreams is because that's what you want.

            And please don't tell me it isn't because I have the proof.

            Just recently, I launched a very honest and up front training product. It
            was quite comprehensive and extremely underpriced.

            In the sales copy I said straight out...

            "It takes time...lots of it."
            "It takes work...lots of it."
            "It is NOT a push button solution."

            I made fewer sales of this product than of any product that I have
            created in almost 8 years of doing this.

            People come here and say that they want an honest product, that they're
            not looking for a push button solution.

            But, for the most part, they are liars.

            It is exactly what they want.

            What they say and what they want are two completely different things.
            I was taught from an early age that, in business, the only customer opinion that really counts is the one backed by cold, hard cash.

            Run a survey, and people will tell you what they think you want to hear or what they think they are "supposed to" answer.

            Same with posting in an online community like this. Folks know they shouldn't want easy-button GRQ plans, so they say that, then go out and buy a few GRQ products 'just in case'.
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          • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
            Originally Posted by bengirwb View Post

            How about a site that lets someone post YouTube videos he didn't create so the site can put ads around it and split the income with him. The creator of the video gets zilch.
            Ah, I think I know what site you're referring to. Actually, the creator of the video gets exposure for his video and the SEO benefits from embedded links - which is why they allow people to embed their video in the first place. As someone said, people who create the videos and upload them to YouTube have the option to disable embedding.

            What about the millions of blogs who embed videos in their blog posts? Are they not allowed to monetize their traffic with ads just because they have an embedded YouTube video on the site?

            BTW, the site I think you're referring to has already been reviewed and approved by Big G.
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        • Profile picture of the author EvolBaby
          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          While I agree with what you're saying, here is the cold hard truth and it is
          based on my own experience and solid facts.

          The reason people sell these pipe dreams is because that's what you want.

          And please don't tell me it isn't because I have the proof.

          Just recently, I launched a very honest and up front training product. It
          was quite comprehensive and extremely underpriced.

          In the sales copy I said straight out...

          "It takes time...lots of it."
          "It takes work...lots of it."
          "It is NOT a push button solution."

          I made fewer sales of this product than of any product that I have
          created in almost 8 years of doing this.

          People come here and say that they want an honest product, that they're
          not looking for a push button solution.

          But, for the most part, they are liars.

          It is exactly what they want.

          What they say and what they want are two completely different things.

          I was handing people, for a song, all the knowledge that helped me build
          a business that has made me as much as 16K in a single month.

          They didn't want it. They didn't want any part of it.

          Not when they saw...

          It Takes Time...Lots of it!
          It Takes Work...Lots of it!
          It is NOT a push button solution!

          So save your rants about these illegal, unethical and bull sh*t products
          because until the people who buy them (and hunger for them desperately)
          stop buying them...

          NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.
          Well said and understood.

          However, with all businesses it's a two-way street here. Responsibility falls on both sides.

          Sure some people are desperate and come looking for a quick fix and as long as there are there will be wolves at the gate ready to pounce.

          However, there are measures that site owners should take to minimize these scams. Right now the U.S. is building up it's cyber warriors and implementing more stringent online protocols. Things got real lax under the Bush Administration but now things are tightening up and fast.

          You do NOT want to get caught in the maelstrom.

          Misleading solicitations can get you into all sorts of trouble and on the web the charges can be compounded.

          I work with an army of attorneys. Most were so late in seeing what the web had to offer even the Feds were slow to catch up but things are changing. As their software and computer systems increase in efficiency and power it's gonna be a whole new day soon and there will be no warning. It was a matter of lack of manpower and know how but that's changing rapidly.

          Human nature is predictable. Left unfettered it will spiral into chaos, however, there are things each of us and as a group can do to install the proper ethical firewalls and increase stability and assured realistic profits and potential.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kay King
            You can't blame only these sellers and excuse "desperate people". Many aren't desperate - they are lazy, don't think rules should apply to them and are concerned only with "money for me". When you have buyers at that bottom feeding level - you'll have sharks gathering there to scoop them up.

            That is business in the real world. It's why people sell knockoff products and get rich schemes. With so many in IM who want success without work or time, you'll find people selling "leverage". With so many dreamers, you will find people selling directional rainbows pointing at imaginary pots of gold.

            kay
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            • Profile picture of the author Ken
              I've just recently built a site just like the ones some of you are discussing.

              I didn't purchase a guru product. The idea was entirely mine. I looked
              around for the software that could make it happen and then put the
              site up.

              I have several regular sites that do not market to IMers but I wanted to
              perform a service for IMers in return for all the help I've received in
              the past.

              It seemed to me that I could perform a service to Warriors and other IMers
              if I could filter through the millions of videos on YouTube and other
              video hosting sites to gather those videos most relevant to internet
              marketing.

              The are not hosted on the site, they are simply embedded.

              As for the creators of the videos, in my opinion, they will get even more
              'targeted' viewers for their creations as the site promotion continues.

              For the marketing apprentices among us it makes finding relevant videos easier because I'm categorizing them.

              Yes I'm attempting to pay the hosting by putting a few ads on the site.

              This is not an apology for having used others material., just hoping to
              show that not all scraping is a bad thing.

              The site is in my sig. Let me know how you feel. (I'm sure you will)

              Ken
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              • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
                Originally Posted by Ken View Post

                I've just recently built a site just like the ones some of you are discussing.

                I didn't purchase a guru product. The idea was entirely mine. I looked
                around for the software that could make it happen and then put the
                site up.

                I have several regular sites that do not market to IMers but I wanted to
                perform a service for IMers in return for all the help I've received in
                the past.

                It seemed to me that I could perform a service to Warriors and other IMers
                if I could filter through the millions of videos on YouTube and other
                video hosting sites to gather those videos most relevant to internet
                marketing.

                The are not hosted on the site, they are simply embedded.

                As for the creators of the videos, in my opinion, they will get even more
                'targeted' viewers for their creations as the site promotion continues.

                For the marketing apprentices among us it makes finding relevant videos easier because I'm categorizing them.

                Yes I'm attempting to pay the hosting by putting a few ads on the site.

                This is not an apology for having used others material., just hoping to
                show that not all scraping is a bad thing.

                The site is in my sig. Let me know how you feel. (I'm sure you will)

                Ken
                I like your site. I think it's an excellent idea.

                There's nothing wrong with embedding videos. If there
                is, they'll have to go after You Tube.

                Tsnyder
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            • Profile picture of the author VanessaB
              Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

              You can't blame only these sellers and excuse "desperate people". Many aren't desperate - they are lazy, don't think rules should apply to them and are concerned only with "money for me". When you have buyers at that bottom feeding level - you'll have sharks gathering there to scoop them up.

              That is business in the real world. It's why people sell knockoff products and get rich schemes. With so many in IM who want success without work or time, you'll find people selling "leverage". With so many dreamers, you will find people selling directional rainbows pointing at imaginary pots of gold.

              kay
              Do you think that 'leverage' is not important for a business owner to comprehend?

              -Dani
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        • Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          The reason people sell these pipe dreams is because that's what you want.
          I totally agree. This "push-bottom easy" pip dreams are there because that's what people want. Let's be honest: most people dont want to work for their money. They want the magic pill, thus that's what smart marketers sell.
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

          I made fewer sales of this product than of any product that I have
          created in almost 8 years of doing this.
          Steven, no offence intended here, but...

          Your coaching and training offers are scary.

          It seems like they would be hard. It seems like I might fail. And it seems like if I did, you would be disappointed in me.

          I'm not worried about the first two. But that last one? That's a deal-breaker.

          I don't know how other people feel, but that's pretty much why I'm probably never going to join one of your coaching programs.

          So I'd suggest the work and time aspect is probably not as big a deal as you think.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Douglas
      Originally Posted by Ian Clifford View Post

      Jason - no, this prodcut scarped the YouTube video and reposted it to YouTube on your own channel - just plain wrong.
      Yes, that is very wrong. I can't imagine how someone could have a launch for that and how affiliates could promote it. That would be like someone creating a software that scraped the War Room and built a membership site from the content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rsberg
    Im not sure about Facebook as far as scraping for content but YouTube is a fairly common source of content for many marketers. When you set up a YouTube video you are given the chance to keep it from being embeded by anyone else, if you don't then according to the way YouTube is ran/organized it's basically fair game.

    Infact, each video that isn't set to keep people from using it offers any person the ability to get the "embed code" which alows anyone to place that video on their website.

    I agree with your basic point in this thread that stealing content or trying to sell someone something that teaches or enables them to steal content is a bad thing but lets keep in mind that the definition of "stealing" is often misused and misrepresented when it relates to content republishing and IM.

    Just food for thought...
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    • Profile picture of the author bobbobson
      Originally Posted by Rsberg View Post

      Im not sure about Facebook as far as scraping for content but YouTube is a fairly common source of content for many marketers. When you set up a YouTube video you are given the chance to keep it from being embeded by anyone else, if you don't then according to the way YouTube is ran/organized it's basically fair game.

      Infact, each video that isn't set to keep people from using it offers any person the ability to get the "embed code" which alows anyone to place that video on their website.

      I agree with your basic point in this thread that stealing content or trying to sell someone something that teaches or enables them to steal content is a bad thing but lets keep in mind that the definition of "stealing" is often misused and misrepresented when it relates to content republishing and IM.

      Just food for thought...
      Very valid point. I'm not a fan of this practice anyway as I much prefer making my own content, but software that speeds up something that is already completely legal/acceptible like social bookmarking or article spinning is nothing new.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
    That isn't what he meant, though.

    About two posts up he mentioned that people were taking videos off Youtube, copying them, and uploading them on their own channel - completely different from embedding.
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    • Profile picture of the author bobbobson
      Originally Posted by Mike Hlatky View Post

      That isn't what he meant, though.

      About two posts up he mentioned that people were taking videos off Youtube, copying them, and uploading them on their own channel - completely different from embedding.
      In which case, YouTube should in theory be able to bring action against people if need be. It certainly should be easy enough for the content creator to prove they uploaded the video first, and therefore own the content.

      Shady, shady practice though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
    In theory, Youtube would be able to take care of it.

    However, there are millions and millions of videos on Youtube. Copying videos and uploading them probably happens every minute of everyday.

    I think that it would be very, very difficult to stop this.

    Unless, when someone uploaded a video they were able to create some sort of serial number for each video.

    They are able to do it with music, so it might actually be possible to do it with all videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rsberg
    I must have missed that post or it was posting while I was replying. If it's scraping and rebranding the videos (so to speek) then thats something totally different.

    I know there are literally millions of videos on YouTube but I would imagine if that becomes a common practice that it wont take long for someone of authority to correct it. YouTube doesnt want to get a bad name for allowing that to continue for to long Im sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    so true when I posted the truth about what is realistic in terms of effort and income I got harldy any sales. When I hyped up...I got big sales...

    so I dropped it. I moved out of that market. It's so true...people want easy,huige money making methods, no work,time or risk....try and bring in reality and watch your sales drop.

    Just recently, I launched a very honest and up front training product. It
    was quite comprehensive and extremely underpriced.

    In the sales copy I said straight out...

    "It takes time...lots of it."
    "It takes work...lots of it."
    "It is NOT a push button solution."
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  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    Ian,

    Excellent thread:

    I think I know the products and people you are referring to, and I have a couple of guesses as to why they think using and selling these systems are okay:

    1. A lack of understanding of the laws they are flirting with/a little bit of a lack of life experience.

    2. A part of it is they don't really care. As long as they feel "no one is watching" and as long as they feel like they are getting away with it, they don't see any harm in doing it if it makes them money.

    Those two reasons are just my guesses though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    It's unlikely many of these people will ever do any jail time or
    face criminal charges. FTC actions are usually in the civil realm
    where the penalties do not extend beyond monetary fines.

    Criminal charges are reserved for the most egregious offenders.
    Aside from them the FTC is mostly looking for money and spends
    their time going after those with the deepest pockets.

    Tsnyder
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    • Profile picture of the author alashton
      If you are so incensed by this why dont you name and shame the offenders. Give them a chance to defend themselves or not as the case maybe. Plenty of commercial product get a good slagging off on this forum - and that's the whole point of it - so give 'em what for
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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by alashton View Post

        If you are so incensed by this why dont you name and shame the offenders. Give them a chance to defend themselves or not as the case maybe. Plenty of commercial product get a good slagging off on this forum - and that's the whole point of it - so give 'em what for
        Read the forum rules. Rule #1 prohibits airing your grievances about people and products and naming them.
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        • Profile picture of the author Justin Jordan
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          Read the forum rules. Rule #1 prohibits airing your grievances about people and products and naming them.
          Even during Festivus?!
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  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    Hi Alashton,

    Whilst I agree that it is sometimes constructive to call-out people on some things, what you are suggesting is actually against the rules of the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author scortillion
    Excellent post Ian! You are so right. It really burns me when not only do people steal others content, but then create a product that urges others to do the same!
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  • Profile picture of the author gabbydeb
    I agree totally! You know it seems that buyers of these offers are always let off the hook, and treated as Children, who can't make their own decisions, based on whatever motivates them to purchase the product.

    I agree, that instead of focusing on someone else's product, work hard on creating your own, and possibly making it even better than theirs, if you think they are doing something wrong.

    Originally Posted by LD Carter View Post

    But why does anyone care? Focus on your own product instead of worrying about what the next man is doing. There's no money in that. If you feel that they're doing something wrong, how about you capitalize on the holes in their plans.

    ....or do people complain about things like this out of jealousy?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian Clifford
    Hey Guys - Phew!

    I went away to cook dinner for the kids - and send a broadcast to my subscribers! - and came back to see that debate had well and truly ensued.

    Fo those that weren't sure - yes, the videos are scraped from YouTube and reposted as the offenders own - that's what I thought was wrong (nothing wrong with embedding, I do it all the time - and it is, by the laws of all signatory countries to the Berne Convention (copyright law), a criminal offence.

    I'm thinking if governements are trying to get hard on downloaders of music and movies, maybe they should go after these kind of flagrant abusers first.

    EndGame - I'm sure you guessed right. Although I wouldn't name and shame them - that's the rules see - I don't think they really realise what they're doing is illegal.

    And, whilst I agree that we are all looking for the easy answers - Steve, you're so right that if you tell people it's hard they don't want to know! - that, for me, doesn't excuse something that strays this far over the line!
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  • Profile picture of the author mathew2812
    I stumbled onto this thread here while I was looking for a review for a product whish I received in the mail.
    <My Pushbutton Profits> which clearly states that the "ready" money sites they are selling is full of Videos, Music etc
    I wonder - hmmmm
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  • Profile picture of the author mathew2812
    <which> sorry spelled wrong
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