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Is this legal?

Discussion in 'Virus & Other Malware Removal' started by suzi, Jan 30, 2003.

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  1. suzi

    suzi Thread Starter

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    I just read a question on another forum where someone wanted a product to download an entire website. This product was recommended.

    http://www.metaproducts.com/mp/mpProducts_Detail.asp?id=2

    How can that be legal?

    It says it can download even protected sites:

    copied and pasted from metaproducts.com:

    "(5) Access to Protected Web Sites

    Offline Explorer excels at downloading protected web sites, because it supports HTTP and NTLM authorization, it can submit logon forms, and it supports cookies and referrers. It is also possible to submit custom forms using a new feature in the program's Internal Browser. "

    Isn't that theft? If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck...
     
  2. IMM

    IMM

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    Protected code (particularly pages) simply doesn't belong on the internet. If you don't want it read - don't put it in the public library! Us older net types are actually a little cheesed that people (most of whom had less to do with creating the net than Al Gore) figure that they should be able to do whatever they wish with a person browsing their site, and that someone should carry a stick or set of chains to enforce their right to do so.

    Re: the autentication - if it authenticates, then it authenticates. That's just automated browsing and the passwords or whatever have to be initially supplied to the program.

    Actually, such programs aren't really new (don't know much about the one you pointed at however). A minor variation on this sort of web-crawling theme is how search engines get their links (though they are probaby a little more respectful of .htaccess etc., than I imagine the program you point at is).
     
  3. suzi

    suzi Thread Starter

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    Did I misundestand what this product does?

    It appears that by using that software I could download anyone's website to my own hard drive. If I did that, then I could alter the graphics, re-sell them, print copies, whatever. Or a website that has confidential information... an online business, files with people's credit cards, medical information or whatever.

    Is that what this product gives access to? Maybe i don't really understand the technology - but it looks like it says one could do that.

    Reading something is not the same as copying it and altering it or reselling it or whatever. Browsing a site is like reading a book, yes. But just like recording companies don't want their CD's copied and Microsoft does not want anyone copying their operating system CD's and selling them or sharing them.

    It seems to me like this product allows anyone to steal proprietary information. People spend thousands developing websites. What gives anyone the right to come along and download it to their own hard drive to do whatever thet want with it?

    Or - like I said, am I misunderstanding what the product does?
     
  4. IMM

    IMM

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    It appears that by using that software I could download anyone's website to my own hard drive. I could alter the graphics, re-sell them, print copies, whatever.
    Perhaps it's easier to use IE's "Save As, web page complete" function - but you wouldn't get the pages it links to w/o having to do it multiple times and doing a little hand editing.
    Altering graphics would I suppose render them original (depends).


    Re credit cards - I don't think you would have the authentication to get there. I'd read the protected sites stuff as it will react properly to enter your password and user name etc., which gives you access to the protected site - though the subject is more complex than that. You won't be authenticating yourself at the NSA with it :)

    I don't know what you're referring to when you say proprietary - perhaps you mean the kelloggs's logo which is copywritten (and cuttable from the cardboard box as well as the site). You might find yourself in trouble if you started to use it for your business.
     
  5. suzi

    suzi Thread Starter

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    Maybe I didn't use the correct word when I said proprietery. I was thinking if I paid a graphic designer a lot of money to create a logo, say, for my site and I had it copyrighted, I would not appreciate someone else taking it and using it or altering it slightly and using it.

    I suppose that software is not that big a deal but it just shocked me to think that someone could take an entire website and download to their own computer. My site is a hobby site but I've spend hours and hours doing it, learning as I went.

    Although if someone liked it enought to download it, maybe I should be flattered. ;)
     
  6. Balzac

    Balzac Guest

    Every page you visit --you download onto your hard drive. You have all the images and code used to make Tech support guy's site in your Internet Temp Cache.

    As far as stealing code, graphics layout etc. goes. If you don't want it stolen don't put it on the web. Most people steal other people's ideas that have stolen other people's idea that have stolen other people's ideas then complain that someone is stealing their ideas.

    Stolen for education purposes only: ;)

    Ways to prevent web page theft

    Use the <INVISIBLE> </INVISIBLE> tags around the entire document.
    Use the DONTSTEAL attribute in the <BODY> tag.
    Ftp to your server, select all files and directories, hit "Delete".
    Put every existing copy of every file on floppies, place them in a shoebox and bury them in the backyard. There is another version of this method which involves placing the floppies in a plastic bag and hiding them in a different sort of hole. Both are equally effective.
    Password protect your entire site and make sure no one has the password, not even you.
    Employ a small but fanatically loyal and well-armed band of mercenaries to guard your site.
    Start>Run>format C:\
    Attack dogs, preferably rabid.
    Use any version of Microsoft Frontpage to create your site. (This won't prevent people from viewing your source, but no one will want to steal it.)
    Don't put your pages on the web.

    http://www.vortex-webdesign.com/help/hidesource.htm
     
  7. suzi

    suzi Thread Starter

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    :rolleyes: I'm not worried about someone stealing my site; it just seemed like a strange concept that someone could download it, make changes or whatever and then use it as their own on another site.

    What you said is like saying don't publish a book if you don't want someone to read it...
     
  8. Balzac

    Balzac Guest

    No......I'm not saying that at all. There are copyright laws that supposedly govern the Internet. Going through the hassle and expense of enforcing them is a different story.

    http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html


    Remember, to steal from one is plagiarism....to steal from many is research. This was stolen in a fair use kind of way.
     
  9. suzi

    suzi Thread Starter

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    Sorry I misunderstood. Those are good links you posted. I know it is hard to enforce those kind of laws. Look at the music and file swapping thing...

    I think the RIAA will ultimately be fighting a losing battle because as soon as they come up with protective mechanisms, some wiz kid is going to find away around it. In one way I understand them wanting control, and in another way, I also understand the freedom that the internet brings and who really wants to completely suppress that...
     
  10. IMM

    IMM

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    I think the RIAA will ultimately be fighting a losing battle
    You never know - they seem to have purchased enough members of Congress :)
    Let's hope that they don't turn the public library into a semi-private one, with their friends as the toll takers.
     
  11. brendandonhu

    brendandonhu

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    A person can edit your page anyway.
    Right click on a graphic and choose Save. Or Right click the page and choose "View Source". This is simply an automation tool for viewing a page offline, all you need is a browser to steal someones graphics or pages.
     
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