Copyright Infringement by itravelNZ

It was with a feeling of deja vu that I recognised 36 of the 40 cafes in our Unusual Cafe Guide were listed on itravelnz.co.nz, itravelnz.com and the associated travel app. Other “French words” not to be repeated here were used when I realised actual content from our Unusual Cafe Guide had been taken without our knowledge or permission and reproduced word for word on itravelnz.co.nz, itravelnz.com and the associated travel app (hereinafter referred to as itravelNZ). Copyright infringement didn’t stop at the cafe guide, content was taken from elsewhere on our website so we engaged an Intellectual Property firm to act on our behalf.

We note from visiting the itravelnz.co.nz website on 8/11/13 that they acted swiftly on receipt of correspondence from our solicitor. They have either temporarily or permanently removed all 36 cafe listings from itravelNZ websites, and the entire section of ‘Eat & Drink’ on the itravelNZ travel app. It’s interesting to us that all 36 cafes were removed from the itravelNZ websites, not just those where copyright had been infringed. An acknowledgement perhaps that not only had our copyrighted content been taken but also the very idea of listing character cafes? The cafes on itravelNZ were listed under “Business Type: Place with a Character” (see below), the introduction in our Unusual Cafe Guide says “Have a cup of coffee or tea in a cafe with character”. Only a few cafe listings remain on itravelNZ as at 8/11/13, showing that the cafes in our guide made up the majority of cafe listings on itravelNZ.

To illustrate the copyright infringements by itravelNZ we have included three webshots taken from itravelnz.com on 16/9/13. Webshots from our Unusual Cafe Guide are also included.

itravelNZ copyright infringement ……

Note: itravelNZ reproduced our content in its entirety under the heading ‘Description’.

Webshot from the Unusual Cafe Guide on thecuriouskiwi.co.nz…….

itravelNZ copyright infringement …….

Note: itravelNZ reproduced the second paragraph under the heading ‘Description’ above (minus my words in brackets). Note that the description was copied complete with my error (gum should replace gold in the first sentence).

itravelNZ copyright infringement ……

By itravelNZ reproducing the first paragraph in the ‘Description’ above it came across as a personal recommendation, which it is, but my personal recommendation, not theirs ……

Webshot from the Unusual Cafe Guide on thecuriouskiwi.co.nz

I found only two personal recommendations on itravelNZ under the ‘iEat’ category. Both recommendations are marked as ‘Editor’s Choice’ and  are written by Yuri Volna (the owner of itravelNZ). One is for a ‘Brewpub‘, the other a ‘Ale & Cider house’. Is it just a coincidence that along with ‘Place with a Character’ itravelNZ listed ‘Brewpubs’ too? Brewpubs also feature on thecuriouskiwi and both venues are listed, although no content was taken from our Brewpubs section.

itravelNZ claim that “With the help of local writers and travellers, our itravelNZ® database is growing all the time“. Our experience shows that one way itravelNZ is growing its database is by infringing the copyright of local writers and travellers like ourselves.  We weren’t willing to accept this and sought legal advice accordingly. If itravelNZ or any website has used your original content without your permission feel free to contact us if you’re wondering what your options may be.

2 thoughts on “Copyright Infringement by itravelNZ

  1. Hello Yuri
    In response, and to clarify a couple of points –
    An idea may not be mine, but the Unusual Cafe Guide is subject to copyright and it was pretty much transplanted on to your app and website, character cafes and all. There are thousands of cafes in NZ yet the majority of your listings were the same as ours, as was some of the content (our content obviously). I’d prefer to let lawyers decide on issues around copyright, content, intent and ideas. However people know a knock off when they see one.

    This is the first time I’ve heard from you personally, although you did apologise via our lawyer. I’m sure you knew how to contact me 😉

    It may have been nicer for you to get an email … likewise, it would have been nicer for me to get an email before our content was taken. I may well have provided it as long as the source was acknowledged. We sought legal advice because of the amount of copyright content taken and to stop our website being replicated elsewhere. As you know, and alluded to above, you (or whoever it was?) made a start taking copyright content from our Unusual Accommodation Guide as well. We didn’t read your entire site or app but we knew if we took legal action it would ensure our content was removed, and quickly.

    As for bitterness, maybe angry is a better word. You could refer to our lawyers letter sent in November 2013 in regard to redress, we’re still waiting. I’m also curious to know who it was that took our copyright content, feel free to email me personally about that.

    In regard to your last sentence – perhaps you meant for your comment to be posted a little earlier – April 1st?

    I’m curious to see the new developments on your site, Rachael

  2. Hi Mike & Rachael,
    Just came across your website again and noticed this page.
    What can I say… yes we use local writers and have more than 1000 places being done by them. An idea of having a ‘unusual places’ being listed came to us from looking on other sites (not yours) like http://www.quirkyaccom.com/, http://www.uniquesleeps.co.uk/ and so on…. an idea itself is not new and seems not ‘yours’ either BUT the way how information was added in to our app that time is not in a line how we do our business and I have appologised to you straight away as soon as I got aware about it. Would be nicer to have a ‘friendly kick’ by a phone call or email from you instead, but I understand your feelings and can hear that ‘French’ words of yours….. Any way, ones more time – sorry, sincerely sorry. You run an interesting site and put a lot of love and energy in to it – I can see it and appreciate it; if I can do anything to you to get that bitterness out – I am happy to look at it. During next few months we will start to upload new data including categories iEat and iSleep – if you can help – please(!) help (conditions can be discussed personally). Kind Regards, Yuri

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