Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures, Vanuatu -
A few days ago I received a tip from the fishing community that my review of the 2019 Shimano Stella SW (HERE) has been plagiarised by a fishing charter company named "Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures, Vanuatu", which appears to be operating mainly in the Australian market based on the phone number displayed on their site
I checked their "review", and sure enough I found it to be a paraphrasing of my review, and my lawyer told me that in his opinion it goes beyond basic plagiarism and constitutes a clear copyright infringement. That review has the name of "John Cruz" as the author, and no reference whatsoever to me or my original review
My lawyer told me to begin by sending them a warning that my copyright protected work was being illegally used, which should establish whether it's a willful violation or an error, and whether it's an act of an individual or something the company as a whole stand by. I sent the following email to their displayed address "email@example.com", informing them that copyright infringement has serious consequences and giving them a chance to fix it and end it there
I had their article preserved in a judicially admissible fashion using third party archivers that save the page in question directly, showing the original URL and exact time and date on November 1st, one of which is HERE.
I then received this reply
The "John Carlo Cruz'' whose name appears on the review replied, making a priceless admission that he bears the responsibility, acting as if he has no idea what was going on or where the original review is, saying that he took it down and eluded to "contributors" who might be responsible. Not exactly sure why his name would be on something that was allegedly written by a "contributor", but having a general rule not to assign to malice what could be explained by sheer stupidity I assumed that maybe he is a simpleton who bought material and put his name on it without knowing its actual source. I removed the short note I had posted on the News page and sent him this reply, giving him an out that saves his face and ends it there since he had taken the offending article down
He then replied with this
I let my lawyer know that the matter has apparently been resolved and went about my life, but then a day later the lawyer told me that the article was back online. I checked my email to see what John Carlo Cruz had to say, particularly that he had said in his final email that he'll respond in a day, but I found nothing. No attempt to explain, no case, nothing but the cowardly silence of someone who apparently knew he was doing something wrong. I preserved the review once more after it reappeared, this time dated November 3rd on several archivers, including HERE
Not sure what our little friend here was thinking, but I guess he might have thought that being on the other side of earth I'll find the process of protecting my work too expensive or too slow to bother. Wrong. I do these things on principle instead of a calculation of effort vs reward, and at this point I decided that I'll change my goal from a simple take down to seeking statutory damages.
Let me pause here to quickly highlight some instances that should illustrate how my review was taken and consolidated in their sham article, since most people reading this won't be able to go through my huge review to compare. Once again, to check their article refer to a preserved version HERE since they can edit the one on the "Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures, Vanuatu" site (THIS) at any time.
From the beginning, the crook who stole my review couldn't come up with his own phraseology and used mine. Here the sham review mentions the reverence of the Stella name
But in reality it's my own words as seen in this screenshot of my reivew.
And this is theirs. Of course that paragraph is quite pointless in the sham review without the context where I mention that some women who don't fish mention Stella's name when contacting me, but apparently the crook lacked the intelligence to see that as he robotically copied it.
The sham review mentions keeping the "color scheme" of the "2013 model"
And its origin in my review down to even the exact phrases they stole "colour scheme" and "2013 model", still going down side by side in the same order.
Origin in mine
The crook found the rotor to be "aggressive"
My review. Imagine the coincidence!
The sham review links the aggressive rotor to the aggressive cuts, says they are to reduce weight, and describes their varied angles and depths
Goess where it all came from?
Original. This is just sad.
The real thing
The frauds say the claimed 25kg of drag is doubtful, and they got only 20kg from "personal experience".
Yeah, their experience is very "personal". In the clearest evidence to the fraudster's lack of basic cognitive abilities he didn't mention which reel size he's discussing and assigning these drag figures to.
Mine. See, I wasn't joking when I called it sad. I guess that person is the product of an amorous relation between two siblings. No one concieved normally is this stupid, no one.
The origin in my review.
My work. You'll notice how the blithering idiot also fails to mention which sizes don't have the back-up anti-reverse and which ones still have it, even though at the very beginning in the sham review they mention that Shimano has completed the release and all sizes were available. You can't fix stupid, you just can't.
I know this is getting tedious, but let me do one more because it's the most hilarious of all. Please, just one more!
The one signed by "John Carlo Cruz"
And mine. Just imagine the complete lack of self awareness as the fraud ripping my review assigns to himself my feeling of surprise, then takes us through the fictitious emotional and intellectual journey he went through as he tried to figure out the design decisions, all while he's just copying my words. This is something else. Truly makes the frauds I tackled in the past look dignified in comparison to that extremely dense specimen.
There you have it. I'm not looking for fights and could've used the hour or so I spent writing this on typing a few extra paragraphs in my next review, but this fight was brought to me and I don't shy away. I was minding my own business when someone not worthy of being called a man decided to rip off my work, and when I still tried to resolve it impacebbly and allow them a dignified way out they refused and decided that theft and dishonesty must reign supreme and win the day. My legal aid is preparing everything needed to inflict maximum punishment for these shameless acts and we've already traced their hosting service "ServersAustralia" to file a complaint for starters, but I also decided to go public for a good reason
I've always joked about the overrepresentation of Australian anglers on my site, constantly being my second biggest audience and totalling more than one third of my US readers despite America's population being 13 times that of Australia. Australians share my affinity for dry humour, non-politically correct anecdotes, and more importantly the no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything in life. This is why I felt that I owe it to them to expose this nonsense since that site appears to have mainly Australian clientele. This lack of integrity can't possibly be only limited to copyright infringement, and someone who does this sort of thing would pretty much do anything. Actually upon closer inspection of their social media accounts I became suspicious by the almost identical number of followers on both Facebook and Instagram
This and having some likes but almost always zero or one comment on many of their posts, are in my opinion signs of mostly fake followers who would click "like" but wouldn't post comments for having no knowledge of the subject. I explained in this previous article (HERE) how troll farms operate and how people buy "online reputation packages" along with thousands of followers and fake positive reviews and fictitious testimonies, etc. Whether this is the case here or not, no one knows, but what I know for sure is that ripping my review is not what decent people do.
This journey has just begun and I'm in it even if it takes years, and while I did not start it I will definitely finish it.
Be well everyone and stay safe out there.
November, 3rd, 2020