10 replies

I just picked up a domain that lapsed.

I can now go back using wayback and pickup all the previous content including downloadable PDFs

Is this legal?

The content and pdf only mentions the website and not a particular person, so I'm assuming it's ok.

Anyone ever done anything similar?

  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    No, it is not okay. You bought the domain, not the rights to the previous owner's content.
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  • Profile picture of the author leliahawkins31
    I agree to you "Paul", it's like buying a house without papers.

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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    It is not legal nor ethical at the same time. You do not own the previous website or the contents there on, you just have ownership over the domain name and that's it. Do not claim it as yours, otherwise you might get into some trouble down the road.

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  • Profile picture of the author Maxwell Stinson
    Yes yes! The previous answers are right!

    You bought a domain. The previous owner has property on that domain which is not yours. You shouldn't touch as you risk legal problems.

    Alternatively, you could get in contact with the previous owner and ask what you can do with all his property. That's what I would do in your situation.
    B2B telemarketing: lead generation & appointment setting -- that's my game! Click here to learn more.
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  • Profile picture of the author GailTrahd
    However, Max also has a great point. If the original owner sold the URL they may be willing to sell the content and pdfs as well. You should contact them to see what deal you could strike. And, if you don't get too anxious about making a deal they may not want too much for it either!
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    It isn't legal and you don't really need to do this unless you really are creating a copy site.

    Check Google for indexed content and backlinks. If Google has URLs for the site in its index and is counting backlinks, you can recreate content for those things.

    So make sure there is a page/url for any backlinks that point to an inner page so they don't get dropped for 404 errors. Baclinks to the main url will still go to the homepage no matter what it is.

    You can find tools or outsource to make this process easier.

    I think you need to do this quickly or Google will start indexing your site and removing the missing urls from its index.

    But if the wayback content isn't indexed in Google, you aren't really going to get any benefit from copying it. Google will still have to crawl and reindex, so it may as well be new content.
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  • Profile picture of the author ActionToCash
    I'm no lawyer, so don't take my thoughts as legal advice, but I wouldn't do it - period! Get some plr content if you have to with unrestricted rights, but don't plagiarize unless you want a lawsuit on your hands.

    Best wishes in you endeavors,


    Happy Marketing!!!

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  • Profile picture of the author rendell
    Use your own content , it is not legal to leech on others work even if they threw it away.

    Ever notice that people who spend money on WSO, memberships and courses, are always complaining about being broke and not making any money ?

    They should have bought ASSETS instead.

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  • Profile picture of the author abraham26
    Contact the owner of previous domain and ask politely to allow you to publish all content. Otherwise is not ok.
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