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EMPICS call their lawyers in "website copycats" case

29 January 2001 - EPUK

EMPICS, the world’s leading independent sports photo agency, has briefed solicitors after it discovered that Allsport Limited, its giant global rival and part of Getty Images, had allegedly copied text from a number of pages from their website.

It is claimed that the cut-and-pasting was so crude that EMPICS trading name “The Sport Archive” had been left in TWICE on the Allsport site in text copied from EMPICS.

East Midlands based EMPICS chief, Phil O’Brien said, “I couldn’t believe it. We launched our TheSportArchive.com consumer site almost two years ago to enable sports fans to select from over 380,000 sports images. Our format has proved extremely successful and we have achieved very impressive site visitor statistics.

When I logged on to the Allsport ‘me too’ site ‘sportsfanarchive.com’ I could see they had flagrantly stolen pages from us. They had straight lifted the terms and conditions and help section. “It was so bad that on a couple of pages they weren’t even smart enough to change our name to theirs.”

O’Brien went on, “They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but we had committed ourselves to a great deal of expense – and our professional web team spent months planning and developing our website. In an industry where the law of copyright should be understood and respected I could not believe their arrogance and naivety.”

A strongly worded letter from EMPICS lawyers has been sent to Allsport’s London office, seeking damages and costs, alongside a demand that the offending pages be immediately removed from the Allsport website

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