Tag Archives: mtl blog douchebags

I’ve got a funny story to tell you

So a a few days ago, , the host where our web is/was hosted received a letter from MTL Blog and promptly forwarded it to us with 24-48 hours to comply. This is why www.stopmtlblog.com has a notice of complaint message and all the content was taken down. The good thing is we never paid or put any personal info for that host. The bad news is I know the person who was hosting me and they were not happy. So after some scouring of the web and a round or 2 of drinks later all is well in the world. We have this new domain name and hosting. Both of which are rather difficult to be taken down. Sadly it’s not free and in the future, I will write on why you should never host web sites in North America. Content is fully backed up but sadly this site is slower, oh well…

So you may be asking how did this happen? Who did this? Well MTL Blog’s CEO sent a complaint email to the host and they said the following:

 

email complaint screengrab

letter part 2

The irony is not lost on me, that a company that rips off the Intellectual property of newspapers, writers, bloggers, content producers, and photographers is crying foul and using the claim of trademark infringement.  I also find it hilarious that they just registered their trademark a few days ago as you can see here. Or take a look at the screen grab to see the dates where it says filed 2014-07-21.

trademark

 

As we sign off for the weekend, we would like to ask for your help. Changing hosts isn’t easy or cheap. If you want to, please send us some money, and because we keep everything anonymous, we will be accepting donations in bitcoins. I call it the Bitcoin legal and hosting fund. First we pay the hosting company bills, then we save up for lawyers. A more detailed explanation can be found here. So anything you send that can help defray the costs incurred in this move and possible lawyer fees are welcome. As well, please share via social media.

bitcoin donation QR Code

You can send your coins to this address above, or it you are new to bitcoins go to a local bitcoin ATM locations can be found here, bring your phone and display the above QR code when the machine asks you where to send money.

Here is the text of their email it’s in 2 parts the 1st one and a follow up. I have taken the liberty to make the links point to two of my favourite parody sites Blog Mtl and  MTL Blog.sexy  any links to MTL Blog are just wrong.

Here is the original text it was sent in 2 emails, They actually messed up and send the one they wanted to send re: Blog Mtl. It makes sense that since they get their stories wrong on their site, they would get their complaint wrong in an email.

Hi,
>
> This is my formal trademark infringement claim for stopmtlblog.com
>
> Physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf
> of the trademark owner.
> Charles Lapointe
> CEO
> MTL Blog
>
> Identification of the trademarked work claimed to have been infringed or a
> representative list if multiple works are involved.
> Domain name, name & content
>
> http://www.mtlblog.com/
>
> http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/opic-cipo/trdmrks/srch/vwTrdmrk.do?lang=eng&status=&fileNumber=1686087&extension=0&startingDocumentIndexOnPage=1
>
> Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing that
> should be removed or access to disabled and information reasonably
> sufficient to enable the online service provider to locate the material
> (usually a URL to the relevant page with description of items on that page
> claimed to be infringing).
>
> Domain name, name & content
> http://www.stopmtlblog.com/
>
> Information reasonably sufficient to allow the online service provider to
> contact the complaining party (address, phone number, e-mail address).
>
> *With guidance from my lawyer*
>
> We have received multiple complaints from many users that think that this
> blog is our site (they call themselves Blog MTL). It is a misleading,
> ironic, sarcastic and slander website created by a group of individuals
> that want to ruin our reputation with local clients and users (in Montreal,
> Canada).
>
> Our company and website is MTL Blog, Inc (http://www.mtlblog.com) and we
> need this site removed as soon as possible. It is affecting the credibility
> of our business and thus affecting our ad revenue and potential client
> growth.
>
> If you cannot take it down, we will need to file an injunction against
> BlueHost to know the identity of the creators to be able to file an
> injunction against them afterwards.
>
> Statement that the complaining party has “a good faith belief that use of
> the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the trademark
> owner, its agent or the law.”
>
> I have good faith to believe that the creator of this website does not
> have the power or authorization to wrongfully accuse of stealing content
> and using our trademark in their domain name.
>
> Statement that the information in the notice is accurate, and under
> penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on
> behalf of the trademark owner.
>
> As the CEO and applicant of the trademark application, I have
> authorization to act on behalf of my organization to file this trademark
> infringement.
>
>
>
> Please let me know if you have any questions and if I can assist you with
> anything else going forward in our request.
>
> Thank you,
>
>

“It has come to our attention that we have a group of local individuals who
wish to destroy our reputation and brand through public slandering and
display of false information about our brand. Stopmtlblog.com not only
infringes on our trademark but is using its name to spread out defamation
about our product and company.

Our company and website is MTL Blog, Inc (http://www.mtlblog.com) and we
need this site removed as soon as possible. It is affecting the credibility
of our business and thus affecting our ad revenue and potential client
growth.

If you cannot take it down, we will need to file an injunction against
BlueHost to know the identity of the creators to be able to file an
injunction against them afterwards.

Thanks again and feel free to reach out to me for any additional questions.

 

—-That was part 1—-

—This is the follow up—

Sorry, I would like to make modifications to this claim:

Information reasonably sufficient to allow the online service provider to
contact the complaining party (address, phone number, e-mail address).

*With guidance from my lawyer*

It has come to our attention that we have a group of local individuals who
wish to destroy our reputation and brand through public slandering and
display of false information about our brand. Stopmtlblog.com not only
infringes on our trademark but is using its name to spread out defamation
about our product and company.

Our company and website is MTL Blog, Inc (http://www.mtlblog.com) and we
need this site removed as soon as possible. It is affecting the credibility
of our business and thus affecting our ad revenue and potential client
growth.

If you cannot take it down, we will need to file an injunction against
BlueHost to know the identity of the creators to be able to file an
injunction against them afterwards.

MTL BLOG too lazy to write its own stuff so steals from MTL Gazette

Original content, that is the key in web traffic. Google always says that content is king and engagement a close second. For those who don’t work in the industry, original content is not easy. It takes time, research and money. Engagement is easier to pull off because all you need is something entertaining and people will spend time on it.

So after having exhausted almost all of its permutations of Buzzfeed style lists like top 17 Ramen restaurants in Montreal, MTL Blog moved to stealing content. I do want to take this moment to say that anything beyond a top 5 (i.e top 17 is not a top anything list but rather just a list). Now back to this week’s theft by MTL Blog.
Take a look at the July 28 article from the Montreal Gazette
 where writer Colin Harris (an actual real journalist) clearly spent some time researching it and preparing and where an actual qualified editor reviewed it.

air b n b gazette

Then take a look at the MTL Blog post later on the same day. They took the idea and ran with it adding little original content. Normally we would expect them to not cite their source but this time they did. Which makes my job easier (so thank you). The only extra info they added was from another Gazette article on the fines which you can find here.

air b n b mtl blog

So why is this wrong you may ask. While this is not 100% plagiarism, this is recycling someone’s work (in the twitter-sphere we call that a RT). They glanced over the article, found some extra content, slapped it together and voila, original content on their site. This is a part of the SEO game for traffic and engagement. It fills pages and gets them greater ad revenue.

Now journalists have a code of ethics they must abide by and it can be found here. Here’s where it gets tricky. MTL Blog is not a newspaper nor do they have real reporters. They just provide content like a PR company. Although they give the impression that they report news with articles like this and subtle tips like having newspaper on their Facebook page.

mtl_blog

Journalist who have their hard work stolen/lifted aren’t rewarded for it. Do you think that Colin Harris wants to be associated to MTL Blog? Did they ask him or the Gazette to use their work? I mean imagine how you would feel if you spent time working on something and then someone stole it, changed it up a little and made money off of it?

Oh well, let’s file this under just another example of MTL Blog ripping off content from other journalists, bloggers, writers and content creators.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

 

 

 

 

Virgin Radio 96 -Should know better

Today Virgin Radio 96‘s Facebook Page shared an MTL Blog post re: Jessica Biel. Now normally we complain about how MTL Blog steals photos and has questionable content but today we will call out Virgin Radio 96 for sharing and encouraging this.

Virgin_Radio_96

 

 When a legitimate media outlet like Virgin Radio 96 shares MTL Blog’s postings, they lend legitimacy to posts like this:
top half
Yup all class all the way… Good job Virgin 96.
As well, on a related note, the post from the Virgin Radio FB post has an embedded photo from the moment it was posted. That photo is no longer there because it belongs to Journal de Montreal.
Jessica_Biel_et_Justin_Timberlake_à_Montréal_Jet_Set_Célébrités_Spectacles
Now MTL Blog no longer has that pic up or links to Journal de Montreal. But when you post a link from FB, the image gets stuck in the post, it does not change unless you delete and re-post it. So Virgin Radio shows that photo was on the MTL Blog page. Someone at Journal de Montreal likely complained. We can’t tell for sure since we didn’t see the initial post, but MTL Blog’s poor track record and the Virgin 96 post would make us guess they stole that pic too.
This should not take away the fact that Virgin 96 should not be sharing and distributing content from a site that posts questionable content. Simply put, they are on par with a tabloid magazine in this instance. In fact, Le Journal the Montreal broke this story on July 23, while MTL Blog “broke” the story or, in this case, re-did it on July 24. Virgin should of just used the Journal de Montreal as their source, someone legitimate.

MLT Blog steal from La Presse

So on our last posting we spoke on how MTL Blog stole a pic from Resto Montreal, a large Montreal site. Now it seems that MTL Blog upped their game and went for a bigger fish and stole from La Presse.

In their “Spécialité falafel”, writer Eve Dumas has a write up on Falafel Freiha and a photo clearly credited to Marco Campanozzi, of La Presse. The article is dated 03 octobre 2011 and the photo credit is quite visible as you can see in the photo below.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 11.14.24 PM (2)

Now comes MTL Blog’s “Best Montreal Falafels” – all 20 of them. On  a personal note, picking 20 falafels in Montreal and calling them Best is not really a “best of” list. Usually people choose top 5 or top 3, not 20 spots which likely covers a good portion of places that serve falafels. I would also like to add that having a spot situated in Laval  (Falafel Freiha is situated on 3858 Boulevard Perron, Laval) is kind of nonsensical when you are doing a “Best Montreal Falafels”. . The Montreal part should be rather important.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 11.13.31 PM (2)

That being said, MTL Blog felt it would be nice to use the pic from La Presse (take a look at the screen grab above). Maybe they felt they wanted to feel like a real news organization so taking the pic would make them legitimate.  It’s more likely that they were lazy and sloppy as seen by the multiple instances of taking photos and not crediting them. Although I doubt that La Presse would allow their image to be used on another site which is kind of a competitor for web traffic.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

 

MTL Blog steals from RestoMontreal

Sometimes MTL Blog impresses us by how lazy they can be and this time, they kicked it up a notch and stole not 1 but 2 pictures and not from small local bloggers but from RestoMontreal an actual business whose Legal notice starts with “WARNING: We take copyright infringement very seriously.” It’s a doozy and we included a screen shot in case you don’t feel like clicking on the link above and reading the whole thing.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.33.24 PM (2)

So in a less than inspiring article on MTL Blog, they did a “10 Montreal Middle Eastern Restaurants You Must Try Before You Die”. They felt that the pictures from RestoMontreal would add some credibility and style to their article. So why steal 1 pic when you can steal 2! First up is the food picture for Rumi. You can see it here and then after see the stolen/ un-cited one from MTL Blog.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.32.49 PM (2)

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.31.59 PM (2)

Next up is the exterior shot of Rumi the 1st being from RestoMontreal and the second screen grab is the same pic but on MTL Blog.

.Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.32.33 PM (2)

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.31.29 PM (2)

Normally MTL Blog steals from small local bloggers. This time they decided to steal from someone much larger and organized. At least they don’t discriminate in who they steal content from.  Kudos to you, Mtl Blog, for not discriminating!

Although not a legal opinion, MTL Blog should consider asking for permission of copyrighted material especially when it is implicitly stated on that company’s web site. I mean MTL Blog may wonder why people get angry at them for stealing, maybe they need to realize that you need to ask for permission before using someone else’s content. The same way that stores get angry when you walk out without paying for stuff. Putting  a link to the source is a start but it does not imply consent of the use of the content. RestoMontreal likely paid someone to take those photos, they are clearly professional photos and those don’t come cheap.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

 

MTL Blog Steals pic from Roasted

So today’s stolen content victim is local food blogger Roasted Montreal. who has an incredible site for food, parenting and is also a content writer for multiple other sites.

She has a good write up of Montreal’s popular Kazu along with plenty of photos, one of which is the Ramen Noodles with Pork pic seen below. This picture goes back to March 2011.

roasted montreal kazu orginal pic

 

Next on the block is the original photo but used on MTL Blog’s Ramen write up from May 2014, with no citation / source at all. In fact, most of this post is lacking any sources for the pictures and trust me, they can be found on other sites as original content.

 

mtl blog kazu rame stolen pic

Just another example of MTL Blog ripping off content from other bloggers and content creators.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

 

Fake News MTL Blog style

Click baiting is the annoying practice of having a splashy photo or engaging headline that bait people into clicking on the link. You likely see a dozen of these items in your Facebook feed. Items like top 25 way to lose weight, or you won’t believe what person x did and survived.  Years ago we called these tabloid headlines, although in an age where people have an attention span of 140 characters or less, this is all the more prevalent.

One of the ways MTL Blog builds its base of viewers is through Facebook. As we discussed in a previous post, MTL Blog get lots of Facebook traffic.  In fact, 46% of it comes from Facebook while 7.3% from Google. Because Facebook relies heavily on user generated content, a like or share makes a page more popular / visible.
So when MTL Blogs runs a story with headlines like “Old $2 Bills Are Now Worth $20, 000” – “If you held on to them you may now be rich. ” People automatically believe that old $2 bills are now worth $20,000. They think it’s possible because MTL Blog seems like it’s a newspaper.

2 dollar bill mtl blog

Now read that carefully, what does it say? It says that Old $2 Bills Are Now Worth $20, 000. So that $2 bill you have stuck in between the old Encyclopedia Britannica in your parents basement is going to make you rich.

What the headline doesn’t say is that only a certain amount of bills are valuable. This practice just tricks people into sharing the page and liking it. And since few people ever un-like Facebook pages, the payoff is enormous.

Things got so out of hand even Huff Post had to chime in and set the record straight by using this little thing known as research and journalism.

huffpost

Some people may ask why is this a bad thing? Well if you are ok with the deceptive practice of link baiting, then maybe the fact that MTL Blog tries to pass itself off as news doesn’t bother you. Now a real journalist would laugh at that statement but ask yourself, what does their Facebook page say? Wait let me add some red arrows to it… Yup NEWSPAPER!!!!!

mtl_blog

Now that we are done laughing, think about it. Some people think that MTL Blog is legitimate news. Well if you look at how often they put out content then you would think it’s a news outlet, and they do write about what’s going on and you see it everywhere thanks to the fact they have over 50,000 Facebook fans.

So when you see articles on a tornado heading to Montreal people may believe it. Oh and in case you think I’m sarcastic about a tornado touching down, please check out our post regarding this.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

Friends don’t let friends like MTL Blog.

 

Stolen pics part III

 

For those who missed our articles showcasing how MTL Blog stole photos from 2 local bloggers, here’s another.

Local blogger Montreal Breakfast Review had their image used by MTL Blog and was able to get it down thanks to a tweet shaming MTL Blog. The MTL Blog stolen pic is no longer up but the previous screen grab shows the image in question.  You can see the back and forth on twitter.

mtl blog steals brunch

 

This was taken from a 2009 blog post found  here.  This is the 2nd stolen picture on the same post from MTL Blog. The 1st being from La Pantry and the write up can be seen here.

mtlbrunch

Thanks to the a tweet calling out MTL Blog, the image was removed. You can see the back and forth on twitter.

 A similar approach was used by Will Travel for Food regarding their image being stolen. Turns out that when you publicly call out MTL Blog they take down the stolen image. So if anyone has content stolen by them, please let us know and do use social media to call them out on it.

Stolen pic part II – MTL Blog steals from La Pantry

Mtl Blog is consistent, I’ll give them that.  But it’s not a compliment.  Once again, they have failed to ask for consent to post other peoples picture. We have a repeat offense very similar to our last post on the picture from a local blogger.

This time it is La Pantry who had their photo stolen. As you can see the original photo below is from December 2011.

le pantry original

 

While the stolen pic is used in a December 2013 article (seen below).

mtl blog stolen pic from le pantry

 

Normally when people want something they ask for it. When people just take it that’s called theft. Le Pantry spent money, time and effort on that post, and to have another site use that image without permission is simply wrong. What makes things worse is we have confirmation from La Pantry that they requested that the image be removed repeatedly and nothing happened.

We had success thanks to our last article when a single tweet got the content taken down. It seems that public shaming is the only way to get stolen content taken down.
twitter

 

It’s unfortunate that hard working people have to find their work on someones for profit site without their consent.

Remember only you can help stop MTL Blog by getting people to Un-follow them on Facebook. You can use our handy “Help! My friends are douchebags guide” as well as our “Help! My friends accidentaly liked MTL Blog” guides to Un-Following MTL Blog.

Friends don’t let friends like MTL Blog.