Palmlix.com’s Thieving Owner also owns A-GC.com

A while back I did a post titled More on Image Thieves: Palmlix.com Wallpaper site because of the difficulties that I was having trying to get the owner; one Muhammad Farhan, to remove images of mine that he had stolen then placed on his w a l l p a p e r site for free download without my permission, consent or authorization.

After that article was written Muhammad Farah used a service to hide his contact information called domainsbyproxy.com, but I contacted them and this email series is the result of that exchange (read from bottom up for chronological order):

Dear Mia McPherson,

As we have not received proof that our customer attempted to contact you, we are disclosing our customer’s non-public contact information for the limited purpose of this complaint. We will not cancel our proxy service unless the registrar advises us that they are in receipt of a pending UDRP dispute or lawsuit.

Registrant Contact Information (identical for both domains):
Paul Davidson
Address removed because Paul Davidson is listing a mailing address that does not belong to him, the owners of the home are distressed that he has not updated his mailing address
PH:+44.07796225022
paul@splodgemarketing.com

Please be advised that this information was provided by the customer. As such, Domains By Proxy cannot guarantee its accuracy. If any of the information proves to be invalid, please let us know and we will take steps to request updated information from our customer.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Very truly yours,

L. Villeneuve
Office of the General Manager
Domains By Proxy, LLC

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: PALMLIX.COM::627300
From: Mia <>
Date: Fri, March 01, 2013 5:20 am
To: generalmanager@domainsbyproxy.com

Your client did not contact me within the time period you specified nor did they remove the images from their web site that they have stolen from me. I request that you disclose the registrant’s contact information.

This person is using your services to hide from the people who have complaints about his illegal use of our images and his copyright violations which is in violation of your terms of service.

Mia McPherson

Bird, Nature and Wildlife Photography
OnTheWingPhotography

On 2/21/2013 10:00 AM, generalmanager@domainsbyproxy.com wrote:
>
> Dear Mia McPherson,
>
> Thank you for your message concerning the domain name PALMLIX.COM.
>
> Domains By Proxy (“DBP”) provides a proxy registration service that allows its customers to register domain names without listing their contact information in the public WHOIS database. Since DBP is listed as the registrant of all domain names for which it provides service, it may appear that DBP operates or has an interest in the domain name or website. That is not the case; DBP is neither a domain name registrar, nor a hosting provider.
>
> We have forwarded your complaint via email to our customer. In this email we requested that our customer contact you no later than close of business on February 28, 2013. If our customer fails to respond to our request, we may then disclose the registrant’s contact information.
>
> As Domains By Proxy does not have the ability to remove content from any website for which we provide our proxy service, you will need to contact the hosting provider. Generally the operators of the DNS name servers and the hosting providers are the same. For your convenience, we have listed the hosting provider below. Please note this is the information from the DNS records:
>
> CloudFlare, Inc.
> abuse@cloudflare.com
>
> Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
>
> Very truly yours,
>
> Jeffrey Renoir
> Office of the General Manager
> Domains By Proxy, LLC

I have dealt with CloudFlare.com repeatedly about the owner of this site and find it a waste of my time to contact them, I still have never had a reply from the hosting providers that they have given me. I believe a complete whois should always be made available even when people are using a cloud service that lists the hosting provider. It is a misnomer to say a cloud service is a hosting provider when no files are stored on their servers and it is just a pass through service.

Note that the contact information provided to me by domainsbyproxy.com does not match the whois information of the screen shot I created for Palmlix.com prior to Muhammad Farhan using their services:

palmlix-whois

In case you are wondering why I am writing about Palmlix.com again I came across a referral to my site today from a post titled “Good wallpaper bad wallpaper” on http://eddyandreuben.blogspot.com that mentioned the issues I had been having with the thieving owner of Palmlix.com.

I had not checked the site in some time because I have been extremely busy but after reading the post I went on a search for my stolen images on Palmlix.com and found that all of my images were removed, the pages either go to a generic IE error page or to a “404. Whoppppss NOT FOUND :(” page on the site itself.

However; in my search I found another site using some of the same images stolen by Muhammad Farhan, who had changed the files names on my images to names which always included “mia-mcpherson39s”. That site is A-GC.com and when I did a whois to find out who owned the site this is the result I found:

a-gc.com-whois

Note that the Administrative contact and Registrant are exactly the same for the whois on Palmlix.com and A-GC.com

Registrant:
arkana
maguwo
bantul, Yogyakarta 55198
ID

Administrative Contact:
dzifa, shofa mbah_sastro07@yahoo.com
arkana
maguwo
bantul, Yogyakarta 55198

This person, whether they are Muhammad Farhan as he claimed in his first email to me or if he is dzifa, shofa, or the name Paul Davidson given to me by domainsbyproxy.com this person knows full well he has stolen my images and used them illegally on Palmlix.com and now he has several of my images on his other scraper site, A-GC.com.

a-gc.com-stolen-owl-image-mia-mcpherson

This image is mine, it even shows my name in the file name and it was one that this thief had used before on Palmlix.com and was removed the first time I wrote to Muhammad Farhan due to his infringements.

burrowing-owl-copyright

This is a close up of the “downloadable” version stored on the A-GC.com website ILLEGALLY. It says my name, it lists my web site so the ignorant statement on Palmlix.com of:

All wallpapers and backgrounds found here are believed to be in the “public domain”. All of the images displayed are of unknown origin. We do not intend to infringe any legitimate intellectual right, artistic rights or copyright.

Is quite frankly a load of Horse Manure. My images are not “Public Domain” he knew where he got them and as such purposely infringed on my rights.

And on his other scraper site A-GC.com disclaimer:

Please do not ask for permissions to use these images in your projects, as we do not own the copyrights for them. All images displayed on the site are provided only for personal use as w a l l p a p e r on computers, cell phones and other personal electronic devices. In case of an error where you are the owner of an image and feel it is used unknowingly, please contact us so we can immediately remove it from our website. We do not intend to display any copyright protected images. a-gc.com is an online service provider as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We provide legal copyright owners with the ability to self-publish on the internet by uploading, storing and displaying various media utilizing our services. We do not monitor, screen or otherwise review the media which is uploaded to our servers by users of the service. We assume copyright violation very seriously and will vigorously protect the rights of legal copyright owners. If you are the copyright owner of content which appears on the a-gc.com website and you did not authorize the use of the content you must notify a-gc.com in writing in order for us to identify the allegedly infringing content and take action. For any problems or questions please email to: mbah_sastro07@yahoo.com

Color emphasis is mine to make points about those statements.

Muhammad Farhan admits that they do not own the copyrights (for these images) – Yet he used MINE again even though this infringement crap has been going on since November of 2012.

feel it is used unknowingly - Muhammad Farhan KNOWS he has used my images KNOWINGLY and he knows he is using the rest of the images knowingly too.

We do not intend to display any copyright protected images. a-gc.com is an online service provider as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. - They do use the images on this site without the authorization of the copyright owner and they do not give a damn about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

We assume copyright violation very seriously and will vigorously protect the rights of legal copyright owners. – Vigorously?? That is freaking laughable, they are doing quite a lot of vigorous THEFT. Protect?? What a stupid statement when NONE of the images on Palmlix.com or A-GC.com belong to Muhammad Farhan.

All images displayed on the site are provided only for personal use as w a l l p a p e r on computers, cell phones and other personal electronic devices. – Muhammad Farhan does not have my permission or authorization to OFFER any of my images for download for ANY reason or device. It is an infringement of my copyrights, it is THEFT.

And this statement: We provide legal copyright owners with the ability to self-publish on the internet by uploading, storing and displaying various media utilizing our services.

This is patently false. There isn’t a place ON A-GC.com to register to self-publish, upload, store or display images. This is just crap put on the site to mislead people into thinking that the legitimate owners of all the stolen images have uploaded them to this server themselves and it is a damn lie.

This is theft, pure and simple. Below are two more of my stolen images that are being used without my permission on A-GC.com

a-gc.com-stolen-pelican-image-mia-mcpherson

a-gc.com-stolen-se-owl-image-mia-mcpherson

I have had several people email me asking for this thief’s contact information because he has used their images without permission and that is why I felt it was important to write yet another post about copyright infringement on Palmlix.com and now A-GC.com so that the owners of images used without permission on these two scraper sites will have the information I have about this copyright offender.

Administrative Contact:
dzifa, shofa mbah_sastro07@yahoo.com

When I find out who the original hosting provider is I will post that information too on every post I have mentioned Muhammad Farhan, Palmlix.com and A-GC.com in.

I have added a WordPress plugin called “iQ Block Country” to block Indonesia which is where Yogyakarta is located to prevent this infringer from gaining access to my images, the images he has currently posted on A-GC.com he had downloaded before and must have stored on his computer.

I will pursue every legal step I can to get my images removed from A-GC.com.

In case you hadn’t noticed, scraper sites like these tick me off. Our images are copyrighted the moment we take them and they are not to be used without our permission or authorization. This is theft. This is copyright infringement.

This thief is making money through advertisements on those sites and the ONLY reason people visit them is for the images, that is money that he does not deserve because he does NOT own our images.

And that is disgusting.

Mia

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16 comments to Palmlix.com’s Thieving Owner also owns A-GC.com

  • Nicole

    Son of gun! WHAT A BUNCH OF BASTARDS!!! URK. And ARGH. Keep at it, I have my fingers crossed that EVENTUALLY they will be shut down…

  • I am still contemplating reducing even further the size of my images.

    • Maria, I have reduced the size of the images I am posting, the thing is some of these thieves are stealing even thumbnails of images and then blowing them up. Granted those images look awful but the scrapers don’t care.

  • Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Dear Mia, It’s too bad there is not some legal remedy for you to persue to hold these guys accountable and to bring them to some sort of justice to recoup some of the losses you’ve endured through their theft. Until this kind of action is made available I don’t know what can be done. You certainly have accumulated a ton of evidence to be used if there were such a venue for you to persue.

    • Merrill, thank you for your thoughts on this matter. If I can find the actual hosting provider and if they do not remove my images they too can be held financially liable for this infringement.

      What ever happened to “if its not yours, don’t touch”.

  • Mia –
    A-GC.com might be hosted at Datashack.net. Host address for that website is 198.204.228.114. That is listed at arin.net as registered to “arkana” as a suballocation from 198.204.224.0/19, with that larger allocation owned by Datashack.net.
    – gcw

  • Mia, thank you for your hard and extremely frustrating work in tracking down this info on this egregious copyright offender. Thank you for the email of the admin contact. Let’s hope your images & everybody else’s get removed from these despicable websites.

    • Thanks Kerry, I feel that hosting provider should not allow w a l l p a p e r sites unless the owner can positively prove that they are the owners of the images or that they have written permission from the artists to display their images. Enough is enough already.

  • I’ve had images stolen and used in an international print and digital publication – one company. They made it right after I caught them, and it was a deliberate action. They claimed they got it from one of my sites where it was cropped *smaller* than the one they were using. Um, no! I’m afraid you can’t crop a stolen image *larger* than the one that was stolen. There was only one place I had the larger crop posted, and it was very clearly marked/noted that it was copyrighted by me and not to be used without permission. No mistake. (Like I said, they did make it right with me without much argument.) I keep posted images to smaller sizes, compressed JPG, but it still doesn’t guarantee anything. Image theives really get under my skin. GRRRRRRR!

    • Dale, I am glad the infringers made it right in your case but they really should have known better since they are in the business of international printing and digital publication. I doubt they let infringers off easy. I had a local company here steal 4 of my images and eventually they had to pay me.

      We just have to keep fighting to protect our copyrights

  • I’m sorry you continue to have problems with this thief and I hope in the end stealing other peoples’ images costs him more than he made stealing them. This is outrageous!!!

  • Dear mia,

    i imagine how you can be upseted by this kind of stole, one more time for you, it s very sad, and it will continue with an other one later… :-/

    if i was at your place, i will place a small waterdrop copyrigth in the middle of the bird (or the subject)
    almost transparent, like 5%, it doesnt disturb a lot.
    because, for a picture’s robber, with the signature in a corner, it s really easy in post tratement to copy an past background to hide it.

    take care

    • Eric, I should probably mention this guy steals images where the copyright marks are huge and that doesn’t stop him. He steals images from National Geographic, Disney and other well know businesses, foundations and groups. Subject matter simply does not matter to him, he has stolen images of people’s children.

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