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