How To Protect Your Product/WSO From Blackhatters !?

43 replies
Hi guys,

I wasn't too concerned about that subject so far but now that I've my own successful WSO running I have a new perspective.

Fact is that popular WSO's end up being shared for free at Black Hat Forums.

What can we do about that?

I've come up with 2 ways so far to protect my WSO, any other suggestions are very much appreciated.

First Way:

Change your title on a regular basis. Truth is that black hatters as well always scan through the WSO section to see what's new. If they come across a popular WSO, they head over to one of the black hat forums and search for your WSO title to see if it's already available to share/get for free.

Now if you change your title on a regular basis, I believe that you can limit the damage.

Let's assume I start my WSO with 'Newbie Article Blueprint Exposed', the WSO gets popular, lots of views and 5 star rating.
A black hat guy catches up on your WSO and submits it to the black hat forum under that title.

3 Days later I change the title to e.g. 'Total Ezine Marketing Domination'.

Now other black hatters see your thread and they head over to the black hat forum to look for 'Total Ezine Marketing Domination'.
But they won't find your WSO because the other dude listed it under 'Newbie Article Blueprint Exposed'.
This way you can limit the damege in my opinion. Thats what I do at least.

Does that make any sense to you?


Second Way:

Most of the black hat forums have a 'Not To Share' list, means their members are not allowed to share products on that list.
Also members in general are not allowed to share other member's products as long as the publisher is an active member.

So here is the solution. Sign up and get to be an active member, make 3-5 posts a day or week and then you can request that your product can't be shared on that forum.

This way you should be protected as well.

Does that make sense?


That's what I came up with so far, I hope it helps and if you have more ways please let me know here.

It takes a lot of hard work to create your own product and you deserve to have it protected.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers,
mario
#blackhatters #product or wso #protect
  • Profile picture of the author Droopy Dawg
    1. Password-protect your ebooks. Sure there are "cracking" programs out there, but its just one more step for them to get to your goods.

    2. Create a membership site that requires a login to acces the information.

    There are more, but this is all I can think of


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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
      There are always going to be people doing this. The people that steal the content wouldn't have purchased it anyway.

      I agree though, a membership is the way to go and that's what I'm thinking of doing with my new course.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by Droopy Dawg View Post


      2. Create a membership site that requires a login to acces the information.

      ...


      More than anything, this one helps a lot. Role-based security is pretty difficult to overcome without an outright exploit or brute force attack.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
        Let's say my next product contains one ebook and two short videos.

        Do you think it makes sense to open up a membership site just to launch
        a ebook/report that may come with a video?

        cheers,
        mario
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        ‎"Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good at -- something that's bigger than you are, and you can't hardly wait to get at it again today." Whit Hobbs

        Visit My Website: http://www.mariobrown.net/

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        • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
          Mario,

          If I were you I'd be happy with a secure download link. Although memberships scripts are a good investment, I don't think you'd need one.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ghalt
          Originally Posted by yellowboy View Post

          Let's say my next product contains one ebook and two short videos.

          Do you think it makes sense to open up a membership site just to launch
          a ebook/report that may come with a video?

          cheers,
          mario
          Yup...I do.

          Once you own something like RAP (sold by a regular Warrior), and the RAP Membership plugin, it's pretty easy to setup a membership site that has decent security.
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  • Profile picture of the author milan
    Mario, you should ignore you own advice lol You're suggesting people do it the other way around than normal. You should not spend so much time thinking about that, not to mention working on that. Better spend your time doing something for your legitimate customers, making a new product etc. Don't get into this defensive mindset. There's only so many hours in a day...
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    • Profile picture of the author Nevada Gal
      Originally Posted by milan View Post

      Mario, you should ignore you own advice lol You're suggesting people do it the other way around than normal. You should not spend so much time thinking about that, not to mention working on that. Better spend your time doing something for your legitimate customers, making a new product etc. Don't get into this defensive mindset. There's only so many hours in a day...
      Have to say this is the way to go - focus on working with your clients and building customers. The rats will always be running with the rats. You just focus on sailing your own ship.....

      Good luck
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      Another site sold...

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    • Profile picture of the author PMB
      Originally Posted by milan View Post

      Mario, you should ignore you own advice lol You're suggesting people do it the other way around than normal. You should not spend so much time thinking about that, not to mention working on that. Better spend your time doing something for your legitimate customers, making a new product etc. Don't get into this defensive mindset. There's only so many hours in a day...

      I like this approach. In my opinion, you should have some protection in place but your main focus should be to business development. You could set basic procedures like those that have been discussed above ie: watermarking, membership sites, passwords, etc. but don't let it hinder your flow of creativity. Just my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
    Milan good point, I totally agree brate, makes a lot of sense you comment
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    ‎"Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good at -- something that's bigger than you are, and you can't hardly wait to get at it again today." Whit Hobbs

    Visit My Website: http://www.mariobrown.net/

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    • Profile picture of the author amaechi007
      I think milan is right. You're better of spending more time developing new products. However if its a product you've invested so much to develope, it makes sense to protect it.

      I often times see warriors that spend few bucks to repackage a plr product, only to spend thousands trying to protect it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel2010
    No need to do anything because they will download it, read it and forget about it right away. These are people who hardly do anything and when they do, it has to be "shady".
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  • Profile picture of the author Daisuke
    youve obviously been to "that" forum, you probably got some stuff on that forum for free too... hypocrite
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Daisuke View Post

      youve obviously been to "that" forum, you probably got some stuff on that forum for free too... hypocrite
      Prime example of the mindset. You are not dealing with rational people here. The pirate community suffers from a form of insanity.

      Note the word "probably" in this accusation of hypocrisy?

      The honest vendor is a hypocrite because of something the pirate made up in his head.

      And you'll never convince him that this is in any way less valid than things which are really happening. They just don't grasp the difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    Originally Posted by yellowboy View Post

    Most of the black hat forums have a 'Not To Share' list, means their members are not allowed to share products on that list.
    Also members in general are not allowed to share other member's products as long as the publisher is an active member.

    So here is the solution. Sign up and get to be an active member, make 3-5 posts a day or week and then you can request that your product can't be shared on that forum.

    This way you should be protected as well.

    Does that make sense?
    This is a good idea but there are a couple of problems:

    1 - The time you'll need to spend on these forums takes away your time from product creation or even from writing on this forum. Is it going to be worth it?

    2 - As mentioned, the people scanning Black Hat forums are looking to download stuff for free. Chances are they would never purchase your product, if they can't find it on a forum they will look on a torrent site.

    Best thing would be to consider it the cost of doing business and move on. Take some easy steps that don't consume a lot of time to keep honest people honest:

    - Change your WSO title periodically if you wish, providing it doesn't impair your legitimate WSO sales.
    - Make sure you have a secure download link (such as e-Junkie) so that the Black Hat poster can't just link to your Thank You page.
    - Put a script on your Download page that reads back a users IP address and displays it, along with some text saying it is being recorded for security purposes (it doesn't really have to be) - this may scare some buyers into not sharing the link.
    - Brand your products with your link and logo so that even the stolen downloads have some value to you.

    I feel your pain, it's a real drag seeing someone ripping off your hard work. But it happens, in a warped way it's flattering and in a small way it may serve to spread your name and enhance your reputation.

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
    hi all,

    thanks for the recommendations.

    @mywebwork: I really liked your tip to say something on the thank you page like: Your IP adress will be recorded for security reasons.
    I will definitely implement this!

    I will also consider a membership side if its easy and not too time consuming.

    I guess the main point is like you guys said, focus on product creation and don't spend energy/time on black hatters.

    Secure Download link, password protection and a membership site sound like easy but effective ways to have some protection.

    Thanks for the suggestions and help,
    mario
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    ‎"Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good at -- something that's bigger than you are, and you can't hardly wait to get at it again today." Whit Hobbs

    Visit My Website: http://www.mariobrown.net/

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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Soos
    What you're doing is a bunch of 'lower skill-set' busy work. If you feel it worth it...pay someone $20bux a week to make your posts...change titles etc. (money amount just relative). Occupy your time with building your business. That is what makes you money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Alexander
    You can pay 179 for Aweber, which you might use in the future. I wouldn't waste my time worrying about it.

    The people that steal ebooks probably wouldn't buy one from you anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dexx
    You can't prevent file sharing on warez, and blackhat sites...just accept that.

    Instead, be sure to add in ways to profit from your WSOs within the product:

    i.e. Resource Links, affiliate links etc.

    That way there is still the opportunity to make money from within your WSOs should they be shared...but realistically it's like the old saying goes:

    People who download or steal your products weren't going to purchase them anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Silvester
      Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

      You can't prevent file sharing on warez, and BlueFart sites...just accept that.

      Instead, be sure to add in ways to profit from your WSOs within the product:

      i.e. Resource Links, affiliate links etc.

      That way there is still the opportunity to make money from within your WSOs should they be shared...but realistically it's like the old saying goes:

      People who download or steal your products weren't going to purchase them anyway.
      Mate,

      I completely disagree. If you load your products with a heap
      of affiliate links your only going to p*ss off your buyers and
      the people that stoleyour product will only steal that product
      too.

      In the unlikely event a thief actually purchases a product
      through your affiliate link, they just get a refund and you
      dont get the commission.

      Its a Lose, Lose Situation.

      Take Care,

      Michael Silvester
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    • Profile picture of the author Jay Jennings
      Originally Posted by Dexx View Post

      You can't prevent file sharing on warez, and BlueFart sites...just accept that.
      There are ways to slow it down. One way that requires spending a few bucks starts with posting a help wanted ad on the Soldier of Fortune web site. I'm not going to detail the rest of the steps here because I'll be putting out a WSO soon...

      "Explosive Profits That Won't Cost YOU An Arm And A Leg"

      Keep an eye out for it.

      Jay Jennings
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Ayres
    You have to consider though that if you keep on changing your titles people that have previously bought it on WF would also think it is a new product everytime you change the title
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Silvester
    Hi Guys,

    You can always watermark your products with
    pdfmarker.com

    That way you know exactly who shared it. It makes
    each pdf unique to each buyer.

    Take Care,

    Michael Silvester
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    • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
      Originally Posted by Michael Silvester View Post

      Hi Guys,

      You can always watermark your products with
      pdfmarker.com

      That way you know exactly who shared it. It makes
      each pdf unique to each buyer.

      Take Care,

      Michael Silvester
      Michael,
      This would be a good solution if the watermark wasn't too obvious. If one is willing to post a copyrighted product on a forum, there more than likely willing to crack that PDF to remove any personal information as well. Unfortunately, cracking a PDF (making it easy to edit) isn't a hard task.

      What would be more affective in my opinion would be putting personal info or identifiers somewhere in the PDF that isn't well noticed. Maybe hidden inside a random page number mid text. Most of these crooks aren't even applying or reading the information so hiding the unique identifier mid book would be unlikely noticed, thus likely not removed.

      Whereas putting a unique header/footer on every page stands out like a sore thumb which, yes, would deter the average user from sharing their ebook. But we aren't talking about the average user here either.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by Michael Silvester View Post

      Hi Guys,

      You can always watermark your products with
      pdfmarker.com

      That way you know exactly who shared it. It makes
      each pdf unique to each buyer.

      Take Care,

      Michael Silvester
      Awesome, I'm going to check this out!

      I'm now always putting my products on a membership site. I use Memberwing in order to create a Wordpress membership site fast. This way I have some sort of protection.

      My last product actually just got posted on one of the BH forums 3 days ago. So far it's only the report that got shared because I have my videos within the membership site.

      The report itself is not too detailed, the meat is in the videos. I did that on purpose because I knew that this might happens.

      Anyway, I now always focus on the people who actually bought my product and I spend my time providing more great content.

      Still, I'm going to check out pdfmarker.com.

      Cheers,
      Mario
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      ‎"Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good at -- something that's bigger than you are, and you can't hardly wait to get at it again today." Whit Hobbs

      Visit My Website: http://www.mariobrown.net/

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  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Dave, it takes about 2 seconds using Michael's awesome script.

    Select the PDF you want to add a watermark to and click the button, he's made it about as simple as can be.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrafficMystic
    you can watermark you pdf automatically using e-junkie. It embeds the buyers name and email address into the pdf document on purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Silvester
    Brian,

    Great idea, and we are actually going to
    implement that in the next upgrade.

    Take care,

    Michael Silvester
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  • Profile picture of the author Gee S
    But if you put it on a membership site, they may still be able to rip the content once they log in right? How about doing a membership site and disabling the copy function. Is that possible?
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  • Profile picture of the author Suthan M
    method #3: Ask them to fly a kite and share the product away-cos lol, they can steal the product- but they cant never steal the knowledge away from me... (and support)

    Dont care about them- care about YOUR customer... Invest the time worrying about how to make your product consistently better for your customer experience, and you will be rewarded
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    Whats the latest movie you watched? Anything good?

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Brock
    Membership sites have their advantages for product protection.

    However, 30%+ of my support tickets revolve around people who can't figure out how to login, or they didnt get their login email, or they forgot their password, etc.

    I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble...
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  • Profile picture of the author dholowiski
    1. Make content so wildly popular that you have a rabid following who will throw money at you no matter what you do, and the money lost on a few BlueFart losers doesn't even cross your mind.
    As with everything in Internet Marketing, easier said than done.

    [EDIT]LOL'ing at the keyword replacement. BlueFart!
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    • Profile picture of the author Hanz
      How about informing the admin of BlackHat forums to disallow your product from distribution amongst its members or legal action will be taken? That'll teach 'em!
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      • Profile picture of the author Emily Meeks
        Originally Posted by Hanz View Post

        How about informing the admin of BlueFart forums to disallow your product from distribution amongst its members or legal action will be taken? That'll teach 'em!
        Unfortunately, if it were that simple than said forums would be a lot more hesitant to snatch other people's products and distribute them.

        Multi-billion dollar industries are still battling this kind of piracy. The world may be getting smaller, but the Internet is getting bigger...
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        • Profile picture of the author NowIstheTime
          Originally Posted by TrafficMystic View Post

          you can watermark you pdf automatically using e-junkie. It embeds the buyers name and email address into the pdf document on purchase.
          Yes, I do this as well... And the unique and time/download limited pages of e-junkie and its PDF stamping feature are about as far as I am willing to force the security vs. convenience (utility) equation.

          I make it a point to let my buyers know that they are buying ME along with the product. Something they would not be able to get from any other free site. And when I mean ME, they are getting the ability to contact me for any further questions they may have regarding the product, and suggestions on how to best implement it.

          Of all the products I've sold, it's rare that I get people to followup with me, but all my customers know that I am available for them and that I care about their success.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by Daniel Brock View Post

      Membership sites have their advantages for product protection.

      However, 30%+ of my support tickets revolve around people who can't figure out how to login, or they didnt get their login email, or they forgot their password, etc.

      I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble...
      I have the same problem but it's better now because I tell my clients at the end of the sales letter and in the Aweber confirmation e-mail exactly what to do and where to find the e-mail with the log in details.

      This significantly helped me to lower the amount of tickets I get from people asking me how to log in.

      Originally Posted by dholowiski View Post

      1. Make content so wildly popular that you have a rabid following who will throw money at you no matter what you do, and the money lost on a few BlueFart losers doesn't even cross your mind.
      As with everything in Internet Marketing, easier said than done.

      [EDIT]LOL'ing at the keyword replacement. BlueFart!
      I'm actually exactly doing that!

      I've made this post almost a year ago and a lot of things changed since then. When I made this post originally I only had my first WSO out and I didn't want it to get shared.

      I know have a couple of products out and I don't really care if it gets shared or not. I do protect my products as good as I can and I make sure that I have a lot of branding within them but that's it. I focus my energy on creating new products and helping my subscribers.

      Cheers,
      Mario
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      ‎"Success is waking up in the morning, whoever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed because there's something out there that you love to do, that you believe in, that you're good at -- something that's bigger than you are, and you can't hardly wait to get at it again today." Whit Hobbs

      Visit My Website: http://www.mariobrown.net/

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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    I remember the first time I saw one of my colleague's products being putup on a black hat forum. I called him panicking and thought he'd be upset. He didn't care, lol. He said its just one of those things.

    I agree that we should take steps to make it harder, but at the end of the day if you've got something popular, its going to happen.

    One time I sold a script that I limited to 20 copies. I made each copy unique so if one leaked, I'd be able to trace it back to that person, and they knew it. It was never shared

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    It seems to me changing your WSO title is inviting confusion among Warriors. Do you have any that buy twice, thinking it's another product? Or perhaps some don't buy, because it looks like you're up to some funny business.
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    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
    I once had this happen to one of the first eBooks that I created. Someone on MMOwned.com decided to put it on up, and of course the admin and moderators didn't care, so I told them I would donate $40.00 to their site, the link was taken down in minutes but the thread was still up with the same title "_______ for FREE!". I actually ended up making MORE sales because the people that were at one time stealing it were now my testimonials. Best $40.00 ever spent.
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