It’s disappointing for us to see another person attempting to copy our hard work and creativity. We have become aware that “Balazs Kiss” also known as “Peter Bal Kiss” (Wellington, New Zealand) was advertising on Freelancer.com for ghost writers to rewrite original copy and the design of our Gold Smart website.
BalazsK states on Freelancer.com, “I need to rewrite the texts on the following website: http://goldsmart.co.nz most of (90%) of the texts needs to be re-written to the extent that it does not resemble to the original text. English native speaking only please…” And he goes on to say, “I need something similar design, pictures, icons, everything what makes it similar site.”
A ghostwriter is normally a professional writer who is paid to write articles, text, reports etc that are officially credited to another person. According to Wikipedia, “A consultant or career-switcher may pay to have a book ghostwritten on a topic in their professional area, to establish or enhance their credibility as an ‘expert’ in their field.”
Above: An extract from the freelancer.com website where Peter Balazs Kiss sought a ghost writer to re-write the Gold Smart website.
He’s classified the job under “easy website job, replicate website, rewrite all texts on a website, ghostwriting, and easy/fast job”. The only conclusion we can come to from the above advertisement is that there is a deliberate and calculated effort to leverage our original ideas and content. It’s frustrating to see someone do this rather than create something original and worthwhile themselves.
If you work hard, it’s not expensive or difficult to create your own ideas and content. However by using low paid ghost writers and designers they can save time and money to replicate our website and content.
A quick search of Google reveals on his LinkedIn profile that Balazs Kiss is currently a Senior Lighting Technical Director at Weta Digital in Wellington and has worked on many major motion pictures. His personal website states, “Balazs uses a variety of software programs in his work. Most of the time he uses Autodesk Alias Maya with Mental Ray or Pixar Photorealistic Renderman for his own work. He also uses Apple Shake for compositing and Adobe Photoshop or Right Hemisphere’s Deep Paint for texturing.”
Peter appears to be working closely with a Georgina Lany who runs a social media company called “Wicked Social Media” and “The Facebook ATM” promoting coaching, get-rich-quick style seminars and guidebooks that teach people how to make money from Facebook.com using her “21 fail-proof strategies and campaigns“, she also claims “I promise you that if you download the guide right now, and you get started right away, you will see money flooding onto your Facebook ATM account in less than 24 hours… You can too achieve financial freedom in a couple of months, while maintaining a sustainable financial freedom.”
On her YouTube channel she says, “I guess you know right now that to be successful in your niche you need to be connected with your targeted group, you need to be loved, trusted and need to provide free content so people will like you, trust you and at the end purchase from you. It’s a really hard work and takes a really long time.”
The actions described in this blog post are in conflict with the above statements made on their website. It appears as though the shortcut option has been taken by ghost writing content and replicating brands/websites that others have taken years and invested lots of capital to develop. We wouldn’t trust seminar advice from a couple that conducts themselves in this manner – would you?
Lawyers on behalf of Gold Smart contacted the owners of ‘FastCash4Gold’ to notify them of the copyright infringement on the 22 September 2011.
Here’s an extract from our letter: “The fastcash4gold.co.nz website infringes our client’s copyright because it substantially reproduces our client’s website notwithstanding that some minor changes have been made. The layout, headings and much of the text/images have been copied almost identically. Any changes that have been made are not significant enough to avoid infringing our client’s copyright.”
We received a response from a “Mr John McMartin” (perhaps the famous actor is now working for them): “Thank you very much for your letter. With deep regret we need to inform you that the FastCash4Gold website due to personal circumstances is now shut down. It has no connection what so ever to your email or your various accusations whats are without merit.”
Other claims from their reply include:
- “No pictures were used on the website whats (sic) are in the ownership of GoldSmart.”
- “The FastCash4Gold website is taken down, and due to personal circumstances it stopped (sic) every kind of gold/silver trading operation.”
- “We wish it is satisfactiory (sic) by you. In our opinion this matter is now concluded!”
- “If you wish to take it to Court, feel free to do so.”
Here’s the home page for ‘Fast Cash for Gold’ (right). You’ll notice the sections and navigation of the website are a direct copy of the Gold Smart website (below).
Please click on the images if you’d like to view the samples as higher resolution images.
SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF COPYRIGHT AND TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT
Navigation from both websites (identical):
Internal navigation from both websites (substantially similar):
Navigation, layout and content from both websites (similar):
Content from both websites (substantially similar):
Specific examples of copyrighted text (identical/substantially similar):
More examples of copyrighted text (identical):
Oops, they even forgot to change the company name (identical):
Copyrighted gold bullion photos taken from goldsmart.co.nz (identical):
We could continue ad nauseam with many more examples, however I think you can see how our website including text, images, layout and our registered trademark have been appropriated for use on the ‘Cash4Gold’ website.
- Mr Kiss’ claims that “No pictures were used on the website whats (sic) are in the ownership of GoldSmart” is false.
- The claim that the ‘FastCash4Gold’ website was taken down due to personal reasons is more likely that they realize they have been caught and couldn’t honestly say they have not breached our copyright or the Fair Trading Act.
- Their statement that “We wish it is satisfactiory (sic) by you. In our opinion this matter is now concluded!” is not only arrogant but does not meet our requirements for redress.
- We suggest they consult a Barrister of the New Zealand Courts before challenging us to take the matter further. “If you wish to take it to Court, feel free to do so.” They have attempted to deceive New Zealand consumers into thinking their website is our website and we have evidence (as sampled above).
It’s our opinion that it’s clear from the above that ‘FastCash4Gold’ and Mr Balazs Kiss were alert to copyright issues but thought that those issues could be avoided if their new website “does not resemble to (sic) the original text”.
The fastcash4gold.co.nz website infringes Gold Smart’s copyright because it substantially reproduces our website notwithstanding that some minor changes have been made. The layout, headings and much of the text/images have been copied almost identically. Any changes that have been made are not significant enough to avoid infringing our copyright.
We will keep you updated on further developments.