Plagiarized Website

RIVER-VALLEY.COM is a domain name which I have been holding since 26 March, 1998. I had allowed the domain name to be used by Focal Image (India) Private Limited, an IT enabled service company located in Trivandrum, India of which I am one of the directors. All versions of the website of this domain from October 1999 to till date are also available at Internet Archive.

On 21 September, 2013, it came to my notice that has been copied verbatim under another domain name, RIVERVALLEYTECHNOLOGIES.COM. On checking the whois information, it came to my notice that one Catherine Smith has registered the said domain as recent as April 20, 2013. You might note that this website has not yet been archived at the Internet Archive as it is only a recently created one.

I have not authorized or given permission to a person named Catherine Smith to copy or display information about us or represent us in any manner. As such, this is a clear case of theft of information and misappropriation or misrepresentation of my identity and property and that of our company’s properties. More so, showing me/us as ‘founders’ in some unknown domain may cause to level allegations of impersonation against me/us and I face the risk of becoming liable for acts done by someone else.

I have given a few screenshots of both cloned and original websites placed side-by-side as a proof of what I have told above. The intentions of the offender are still unknown to me. In the meantime, I would request you, the gentle visitor of this page, to help me by providing a comment to this post vouching the correctness of what I have told above after visiting both the websites.


20 Responses to “Plagiarized Website”

  • From the evidence presented by you, it seems there has been a clear case of violation of copyright and trademark of your company. I think this is extremely serious and you should take all efforts to protect the brand and image of your company. 

  • I have gone through both the websites, besides viewing the screen shots provided on this page, and can vouch that the domain is indeed an exact clone to the original website 

  • Yes, the website seems to be recursively copied. Being a client of river valley for so many years, I can vouch for

    Have you registered an abuse to the domain registrar and the hosting provider? I just checked the DNS records, and all the address records for the fake website are pointing to this ISP:;q=

    They have provided their abuse email address and phone numbers.

  • These snapshots provide ample evidence to the plagiarism. Wondering what might be the objective behind this. I’m sure you’d take necessary steps to teach the person behind this blatant theft
    Regards sundar

  • I have gone through both authentic website and the new site and found the latter one is a verbatim clone of contents. As the copyright owner of the original site, you can certainly assert your rights if the latter website is not authorized by you.
    I too would suggest contacting the ISP and said person found by whois. 

  • There’s certainly something fishy going on. The links on the “false” website still link to the authentic web pages; notice how the view counts get updated on both sites when a page is viewed. Is someone doing some redirect scripting over here? What’s the purpose?

  • Dear CVR,

    You are clearly victim of plagiarism which is illegal. Please seek legal remedies. 

  • Dear CVR, I can vouch that you’re the founder of River Valley Technologies since ’98. This is clearly an act of someone cloning your intellectual property without permission.  You should send a DMCA takedown notice to the ISP as well as to Google to avoid them taking away your search traffic. Hope you have this resolved soon.


  • This  is really shocking! Wonder what  to this person’s intentions are! Whatever they may be, I am should take whatever actions you can to protect yourself from liabilities and to ensure that he or anyone else does not repeat such mischief. Having visited your site several times during the last few years, it is clear to me that this other site is an absolute copy of yours.

    Appears to be quite mischievous. Sorry to hear about all this trouble.

    Warmest regards,

  • Your screenshots are clear evidence of copying, but when I go to or now, I get default Apache pages, not the cloned RVT pages.  I hope that means the issue is resolved.

  • The cloned website has been pulled down around 1900 hrs IST on September 25, 2013. The post and your comments have done the job. However, I will bring the matter to the notice of the ISP and registrars for further action. I would extend my sincere thanks to all my fellow netizens who have acted in a timely manner in the most appropriate way.

  • Lian Tze: There’s certainly something fishy going on. The links on the “false” website still link to the authentic web pages; notice how the view counts get updated on both sites when a page is viewed. Is someone doing some redirect scripting over here? What’s the purpose?


    Many thanks for this observation, Lian Tze. I too noticed this phenomenon. Surely, it needs a careful and thorough investigation of the logs of our website.

  • By 1300 hrs IST today (September 26, 2013), the site is up and running again, but this time, it redirects to the original site.

  • Dear CVR,
    Exactly! This is what I found right now as soon as I clicked the link of the new URL. Now the link takes the visitor to the original site. This further motivate us to be even more attentive in protecting the authenticity of our brand, website and the content.
    Hope we get legal remedies for this issue when approached.

  • Hi CVR,
    As the preceding respondents, when I visit the site, I get to see
    I see these strange things in Wireshark:

    • – The browser asks for the address of, and then immediately for the addresses of, without apparent reason.
    • – The browser asks for the web page at, even before asking for the web page at
    • – The communication with consists of a SYN, ACK-SYN, SYN sequence; the browser never asks for a web page.

    I do not understand how this browser behaviour is achieved. The website at now only has a log of visitors to its URL.


  • Dear Simon,

    It seems to be a “fishy” matter. I need to investigate further before I make a comment as I suspect that there is a fair chance of tinkering with our web server.

    Many thanks for this insightful comment.


  • Hi CVR –

    I think you’ll find this is basically a “false alarm”.
    You may know “Catherine Smith” better by the name “Mary Smith” (note the email address in the whois record!), which I think is what she usually uses, though her full name is apparently Catherine Mary Smith. She’s been connected with River Valley and Focal Image in the UK for many years; I recognized her name from a time when Kaveh had her handle some expense reimbursements for me. You could check with him if you haven’t personally had any contact with Catherine/Mary.

    Not sure what has prompted her to register “”, but I doubt it is with any malicious intent; perhaps there has been a lack of communication, but that’s probably all. Right now it looks like that domain just returns an HTTP status code of 301 “Moved Permanently” with the new location set to So in effect it’s just acting as an alias.

    HTH … JK

    • Dear Jonathan,

      • Is it right to plagiarize a website? 
      • Does Catherine Smith have any authorization to plagiarize or redirect to or make alias of our website thereby misrepresenting facts?

      These are the questions in my mind. I had mailed Catherine Smith for an explanation. It is more than 48 hours now and I have not heard anything from her.


  • Oh my goodness. I have heard of a storm in a teacup but this takes it to a new level!!
    CVR, there is nothing “fishy” going on. You need to learn to control your paranoia. 😉
    And thank you, Jonathan, for your injection of common sense in this thread!
    Some facts:

    The domain is not a domain belonging to you that you are allowing the India company to use. UK and India have been trading as River Valley Technologies for some 10 years, so it is the domain of the companies, but you happen to be the registrant.
    For reasons that I have since clearly told you by email, we decided that UK would use when communicating with clients. 
    So we registered the domain, through Catherine (Mary) Smith, our wonderful bookkeeper.
    Mary has been working for us for more than 10 years and has been in weekly contact with the India office during that time, so you know perfectly well who she is. has always been the web site. So for the good of the companies, we thought in case anyone were to try and look at the new domain they should be redirected to that site.
    We simply redirected the new domain to our standard web site. There was NEVER any “cloning” or “plagiarizing” and no “misrepresentation of facts”. Please reread Jonathan’s reply who has stated it simply and clearly.
    The new domain has just been set up and has no content. It is hard to find even when you Google it directly. The only way to go there is to enter it manually into the browser. I suspect you did that when you saw an email from UK with that ID (on 20 September), in which case it would have been clear that it is our domain. If not, perhaps you can tell us how else the site “came to your notice”.
    Mary forwarded the email that you had sent to her, “introducing” yourself, and virtually accusing her of plagiarizing, etc. The poor lady was worried and still is. She did not reply because I told her not to bother. Kindly do not harass her any more. Contact me if you have any more problems on the matter. I did reply to you two days ago explaining all this but you still don’t seem to want to let the matter rest. I hope all is now clear and we can all get on with more important work.
    If anyone (respondents here, clients, staff, ex-staff) has any questions on what has been said, or any related matters, you can email me in complete confidence using kaveh [at]


    • The purpose of this blog was to vouch the correctness of observations I had made about two unrelated domain names. Few respectable netizens have witnessed the same on their free will. The responses in the spurious domain name after publishing of this blog have also got recorded in the process.

      As to the claims and counter claims to the ownership of domain, there are plenty of correspondence available as records and this is hardly the place to argue over it. You have gone back ten years in history, but my possession of the domain predates by another five years.

      Your owning up responsibility for the domain name RIVERVALLEYTECHNOLOGIES.COM does not change my complaint any bit. I still maintain that it was an illegal act.

      I still believe that Catherine Smith owes me an explanation as the owner of the domain RIVERVALLEYTECHNOLOGIES.COM. Others can own or disown at their will and pleasure.

      Since I had a complaint, it was my responsibility to write to Catherine Smith first, she being the registrant and I have written in the most civil manner. Since it was an email that I had sent to her, I am sure that it would always be available for examination on the aspects of ‘harassment’. I wonder whether your arguments would have been same had Catherine Smith duplicated the website without your consent?

      If it was a beneficial act, why was such a high level of secrecy maintained?

      Allow me to wind up this discussion as it has served its purpose well to unearth the people behind the action. I sincerely thank each and every one of those who have posted their views on the issue, be it for or against thereby ascertaining the role of netizens in prevention of cyber crimes.

      Thanks again to all.

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