U.S. Copyright Group steals copyrighted website design

The U.S. Copyright Group (USCG) responsible for enforcing copyright and intellectual property in the United States reportedly stole its website code from a competing service.

A TorrentFreak reader informed the popular file sharing news blog about six weeks ago regarding a new USCG site used to auto collect P2P settlements.  Rather than build a custom website and database to handle the transactions, the USCG stole the online template from Copyrightsettlements.com.

U.S. Copyright Group steals copyrighted website design

The irony of a copyright group stealing a website has some blogger snickering at how legitimate the group’s campaign against movie and music downloading can be.

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“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are not associated with the US Copyright Group and they are not authorized to use Copyright Enforcement Group materials,” a Copyright Enforcement Group representative told TorrentFreak.

A cease and desist order was officially sent to the USCG and TorrentFreak noticed the copyright group has already started taking the site down for maintenance.

The group is likely best known at the moment for assisting in an ongoing crackdown against users who pirated “The Hurt Locker” via BitTorrent and peer-to-peer networks.  Similar to the Recording Industry Association of America’s attack on P2P, USCG is using John Doe lawsuits to try to target file sharers.

Furthermore, USCG is expected to prepare a new round of John Doe lawsuits against other accused copyright infringers.  This little incident is just more of an embarrassment for the group, who has little credibility or reputation with consumers.

I’m surprised the group would try to do this intentionally without realizing someone would be clever enough to pick up on it.  It’s happened before when copyright holders and DRM supporters steal a technology or copyrighted material – but it’s unusual to hear if it leads to long-term punishment.

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