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Thread: Getting ripped off!

  1. #1
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    Default Getting ripped off!

    Since February I've been doing the whole internet lesson thing on my website. A couple of bumps here and there but it's been going pretty good. A couple of weeks ago I had someone order 15 lessons and pay with paypal. I thought cool.........They came back the next day and ordered 40 more at 10.00 a piece. I thought " Wow, they must have really liked those lessons and be pretty well off". On Friday I got an email from paypal that the person who owns the credit card is asking for a charge back because the purchases weren't authorized. the thing that ticks me off is that I can see from the records that all those lessons were downloaded. It really ticks me off that someone would do that. I'm even wondering if it's some college kid using Daddy's card without permission. I really hope he doesn't get away with that.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    That's worrying, I've had Paypal do that once and after contesting it I got repaid but it took a while and Paypal are not the easiest people to deal with. The next thing you know they will be selling them on ebay - watch out.

    I once found someone was offering my entire site in PDF format.

    I would make sure you have copyright notices on all your PDFs. It won't deter thieves but it will make it easier to claim if and when they are pirated.

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    Distinguished Member and Forum Contributor 2008 saxmanglen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    That's very uncool Steve.

    Your stuff is a great service and quite a value too.

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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    Bummer!

    I doubt it had anything to do with daddy. Sounds like just plain old dirt bag credit card ID theft to me.

    Keep a serious eye on ebay and the new websites offering lessons so it doesnt snowball.

    (Maybe Guardala is trying to pay off his attorney bill)
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    That's so sketchy. That's why I'm so hesitant in posting any of my work online, either for free or to purchase. It's unfortunate that there are so many people out there that have no consideration for people's work.

    Is there a way of controlling the PDF's with a password?

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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    Quote Originally Posted by BCWesolowski View Post

    Is there a way of controlling the PDF's with a password?
    Yes, there is.
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    Forum Contributor 2013 Kenneth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Yes, there is.
    But it probably wouldn't help Steve's problem, though. He could password protect the pdfs, i.e., he could set a password that will allow a user to open, but not manipulate or copy the contents of the pdfs, but once he sells them he's obliged to also give the buyer the password, and that's all a scammer needs -- he gets the goods, and he can sell the pdfs with the same password.

    Granted, the password can then be used to prove that the pdfs were stolen, but you still have to go through all the trouble of tracking the scammer down and proving that you were the originator of the pdfs -- I would set a password that goes, "CopyrightofSteveNeff-NH-USA-2008" to make it clear that the pdfs were your work.

    Steve, I hope everything turns out for the best.
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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 MyMartinTenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    I'm no computer geek, so I'll defer to any that show up -- but is there a way to track the IP address or otherwise of where the downloads went? Maybe you could prove that it really was this guy. Or, maybe he gets exonerated and you feel better about the fact that he's not out his $$ just cause someone stole his card.... Just a thought.

    Sucks, man. Sorry.

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    Forum Contributor 2011, Distinguished SOTW member, and SOTW Bean Burrito spartacus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    Quote Originally Posted by BCWesolowski View Post
    Is there a way of controlling the PDF's with a password?
    Yes. If you download my book from Casa Valdez you will see that it can not be printed or copied - only used online. A PDF program like "PDF Typewriter" or "PDFill" allows you to set security features that prevent copying and printing. Of course this can be hacked by someone with the knowledge. No doubt my book, as well as Neffs book, will end up on a torrent somewhere soon.
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    This is the downside to delivering lessons online, once people have the source they can distribute freely, even if you hosted them on youtube or myspace the audio and video can still be ripped.

    You should certainly have the logs from the web server showing the user's IP and authentication to the site under the registered username. I'd be providing them to paypal to illustrate that the sale was valid and a service was delivered. If the card wasn't authorised then it's probably been stolen in which case the vendor wears the ripoff.

    This is quite a worry, as a paying member of Steve's site I know how much work has gone into this stuff and it is quite valuable to students (and to Steve!)

    Unfortunately digital rights management is quite an immature technology that has a long way to go address this stuff. I've always felt the best way around this is to provide an encrypted vault that can only be accessed with a certificate that can be revoked online at any time, inside the vault is the intellectual property, a player and maybe a whole OS that blocks ripping from the parent OS..... it doesnt exist yet - maybe I should patenet the idea!

    I hope Paypal support you in this case Steve, they are quite happy to take their cut when things are going well.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Getting ripped off!


    sorry to hear.
    it'd be somewhat of a comfort if you heard the details and were aware of your risks. can't you request this, since it was you, the merchant, that is "paying the price"? i mean, it may be a bit of comfort to find out that the "purchaser" may not intend anything but personal use.

    shouldn't this be the credit card company's responsibility? they make buttloads of money on usury and exhorbitant interest rates - they should provide protection for their customer and the merchants that accept their cards. it's always one or both of those parties that suffer, and it seems to be an epidemic. the financial instituion that issues and charges for these things should provide the security to use/accept them. not and an "extra" cost, but as an expected service.
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    Default Re: Getting ripped off!

    Quote Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BCWesolowski View Post
    Is there a way of controlling the PDF's with a password?
    Yes. If you download my book from Casa Valdez you will see that it can not be printed or copied - only used online. A PDF program like "PDF Typewriter" or "PDFill" allows you to set security features that prevent copying and printing. Of course this can be hacked by someone with the knowledge. No doubt my book, as well as Neffs book, will end up on a torrent somewhere soon.
    Unfortunately, some of the pdf password crackers i've seen are idiot-proof. No knowledge required. Just hit the button, et voila...
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