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posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 12:24 PM
Ethics are a tenuous platform to be sure. They are required of those who are in a stewardship position like Simon Gray, SkepticOverlord and myself, Springer find ourselves in here at ATS.

What do I mean by ethical stewardship?

I mean NEVER usurping the truth to make a dollar.
I mean NEVER shutting out one position or perspective because it doesn't agree with ours.
I mean NEVER attacking another to make ourselves look better/smarter/more honest or appear to be a victim.

Recently a website took the liberty of grabbing one of our largest threads and created a derivative work from it. They didn't have the ethics to simply ask us first. We would've worked with them to create the most visibility possible for their work had they only asked.

To make matters worse they ended this work with lies and false statements about our beloved ATS, Simon Gray, SkepticOverlord and me, Springer, personally. They unethically inserted our site name in the HTML of their title KNOWING it would dramatically improve the google results and hoping to confuse surfers into thinking they were reading ATS sanctioned work. All this to increase their own traffic and sell their products, the usual fare, books and whatnot...

Upon seeing this UNETHICAL transgression SkepticOverlord and I contacted these people and asked them to change their article to reflect an ETHICAL use of our content. The response was more accusations and double talk. To be fair, I will state that they made two corrections which, while encouraging, have virtually no impact on the traffic gains and additional exposure using our name will bring them.

Again, we would've welcomed their work and helped in any way we could had they only asked. We have done this many times in the past, history proves that we are open to helping anyone get to the truth.

The owners of this site have agreed that we will never exploit what we have here in an unethical way for the sole purpose of increased traffic, making money or any other reason period.

You can imagine how we feel when we see someone else doing exactly that, exploiting ATS' good name to make money and increase their traffic.
(a week of their traffic is equal to a few hours of ATS' traffic)

Our blood sweat and tears, not to mention significant financial investments, have been poured into this site to make it what it is today. To watch an outsider not only take advantage of that in a way we would not and then make derogatory, inflammatory, UNTRUE statements about us as individuals (Simon, S.O. and myself) and the site in general is more than we can tolerate.

Our legal advisers are on top of this and our legal response will be forthcoming in the near future. It is beyond unfortunate that these people are so rude, dishonest and arrogant but there it is. It is equally unfortunate that this will probably have to be dealt with in court when all it would've taken was an ETHICAL request and we would've been working together instead fighting in court.

That's the problem when people are unethical, they never seem to do the right thing upfront, they always seem to cheat first and "steal" rather than simply ask. I guess it's because they would never share their own assets they expect they have to act this way to get their goals met not realizing that there ARE ethical people out there willing to help. Sad...


[edit on 1-10-2006 by Springer]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 12:58 PM
...and the legal case will end up boosting them even more, just like they want.

To be honest, I wouldn't be shocked if they did this on purpose. They will [more than likely] loose the Court case, the Judge will pass on it and find out that they do not have the money to pay for it. They'll get off with a small fine and their website traffic will get a massive boost, along with making you seem to be more like Government "Puppets" *.

I'd not be shocked if this was the whole purpose of what they said, to damage ATS more than people suspect.

* Not claiming you are.

[edit on 10/1/2006 by Odium]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 01:18 PM
Just wanted to say that I support you guys 100% and I'm glad to hear that the legal side of things is being handled.

So many people think that 'the good guy finishes last' and that that justifies unethical actions. I believe that even if that is true, it's no excuse to act unethically. I'd rather come in last than act in a way that's out of integrity with what I know is right.

This whole debacle (which I've read about elsewhere on ATS) makes me proud to be a part of this site. I know that should I ever have a question about practices, I can trust you (the administration) fully to behave with honor and do the right thing, regardless what the price might be.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this incident. It's totally lame. AND I couldn't be more proud and pleased at the way you're handling it. Thanks for giving us the assurance that this is the way things are done at ATS.

Is there anything we can do to help?

[edit on 10-1-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 01:39 PM
I'd suggest they are likely only defaming ATS for the publicity. ATS is clearly an open forum for discussing issues of importance in the world, no matter your position on the subject, and I don't know how anyone who truly loves freedom can argue with that. There are always little issues here and there as there are on any forum, but they are not major problems. I believe ATS to be one of the few major bringers of light to the internet (on the level of the Wikimedia sites - Wikipedia, Wikinews and so forth). Keep up the good work, all of you.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 02:53 PM

The link above takes you to an OUTSTANDING bit of investigative work done by our own ZeddicusZulZorander on the "people" who lack the ethics to be honorable...

What a group these two have cultivated! The word Con Artists comes to mind very quickly when reading this...


[edit on 1-10-2006 by Springer]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 04:59 PM

Originally posted by Springer
What a group these two have cultivated! The word Con Artists comes to mind very quickly when reading this...


What I find amazing is that the very next post after Zed's is defending these people against Zed's so called attack.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 05:59 PM

Originally posted by JIMC5499
What I find amazing is that the very next post after Zed's is defending these people against Zed's so called attack.

Me? Attacking? Never!

I was simply making a "parody" of information.

What I find interesting is that they claim there is a coverup either with 9/11 or even here at ATS. This is the same group that seems to have many skeletons in their closet, but doesn't want to discuss such things openly.

Hypocracy lives it seems.

They also claim that the major sum of their "knowledge" was channelled through a ouija board from an unknown source...and yet 9/11 eyewitnesses are "non-credible" sources?

They also steal from others, refuse to comply with requests to change that, and then slander the owners of ATS?

They act how they wish, say what they wish, refuse to change their actions, and claim to have knowledge that nobody else could possbly have and they are different from the current government how?

This in contrast with ATS, which is a place where I have always been able to have my say WITHOUT restriction by simply following the decorum. I have been give open license regarding the ATS handbook I made, store merchandise, and other projects. In the upcoming Conspiracy Masters forum (which I do intend to join) I can openly share in profits of my work. I am able to post and blog and podcast just about any topic I wish. I can even openly disagree with the owners of this site at any time.

THAT is ethics.

I know it's trendy to think that it's all nazi oppression and so on here at ATS, but I have never experienced such either in the open or even behind the scenes.

[edit on 10-1-2006 by ZeddicusZulZorander]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 06:06 PM
I suggest that ATS used more strick regulations when it comes to copy rights material.

So it can keep the integrity of its materials in case something like this happens again.

Just an opinion I am not very well informed in how copy rights works but it seems to work for others.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 06:33 PM
That is sad that they did what they did, and even sadder that it is'nt more of a rarity in the world (physical and cyber) today.

On this I stand behind this (sites) administration 100%.

I'm wondering though, does anyone think this might make some facet of the news?

Would be cool if it did, because than I could use the news story for my current events class (Technically "Contemporary Social Issues" class).

[edit on 1/10/2006 by iori_komei]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 06:45 PM
I thought it was fun reading the link to her blog posted by another member here, then when you go to her blog (today) she says that person wrote to her to basically apologize for doing it .

Oh, and she thinks the person behind this site (and other forums) is Christian Bailey?

Okay - too much amusement for me. I hate to say it, but after reading over all this stuff, between the two threads and then checking some of the links, no you just can't let this one go.

As nasty and draining as going the legal route might be (and I personally consider legal action a matter of last resort), as well as how the action itself can be twisted by others, I don't see any other choice in this instance. It's just a matter of principal, and if you don't stand behind your principals - what have you got?

You go guys!

[edit on 1/10/2006 by Relentless]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 06:58 PM

Originally posted by Odium
...and the legal case will end up boosting them even more, just like they want.

To be honest, I wouldn't be shocked if they did this on purpose. They will [more than likely] loose the Court case, the Judge will pass on it and find out that they do not have the money to pay for it. They'll get off with a small fine and their website traffic will get a massive boost, along with making you seem to be more like Government "Puppets" *.

Actually I doubt they could sue for any real money unless the contents of that page were registered before the infringement with the U.S. Copyright Office.

From their site:

If registration is made within 3 months after publication of the work or prior to an infringement of the work, statutory damages and attorney's fees will be available to the copyright owner in court actions. Otherwise, only an award of actual damages and profits is available to the copyright owner.

Of course they can get an order for them to remove the material.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 07:08 PM
I remember this thread. I was even participating in it until it was locked down and I got kicked to the curb

Still, Traffic trolls can be a headache at times. I understand why they do it though, oftentimes a site can live or die by the traffic it generates, and if you can’t afford to buy some advertising, create your own. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more on ATS.

For those who don’t know what a traffic troll is, here are the basic rules:

1. Write something inflammatory about a larger site, its owners or mod’s or even one of its most beloved members (like me) then post the article to your site.

2. Go to the larger site and post a thread about the terrible attack upon the site and its wonderful member(s). Include lots of hotlinks back to your site.

3. Sit back and watch the traffic bump you get from all the members of the larger site coming over to straighten you out or just to find out what all the fuss is about.

4. Keep the thread going as long as you possibly can. Keep adding the hotlinks to other stuff you claim to be bizarre on your own site. Hope other people in the thread will do the same.

The reasons traffic trolls do this is simple, it works. It can increase your rankings in the search engines and drive much more traffic your way from other sites as well.

99.9 percent of the time you won’t get caught, because most people don’t realize the scam you’re pulling off. I’ve never heard of anyone being sued over it.

I didn’t visit the site in question, but if they actually took protected content from this site, place it on their site and used THAT as the bait for the trolling, they deserve to be sued. That was an act of sheer stupidity on their part. Its far to easy to simply pick the fight using your own words and get it going with a couple of handles on your own site, then start the trolling.

Well, I’m glad this one was stopped. They waste the good energy of the decent members on any site.

Just my thoughts on it.

Love and light,


posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 07:19 PM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
Actually I doubt they could sue for any real money unless the contents of that page were registered before the infringement with the U.S. Copyright Office.

I was more thinking for defemation of character. The amusing thing with the internet, is the fact it is majorly untested yet as it is rather new. However, due to some of the things she has said they fulfill the criteria for her to be tried in the United Kingdom or the European Union. In fact, she could be fully barred from entering these Nation's or arrested depending on how good the lawyer is and how much money they wish to waste.

She can also be sued in the United State's, due to what she has said because she has intended to cause direct harm to a "Company". It is like me saying that a famous person is a "crack head" in a newspaper.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 07:35 PM
hmmm ... let's see ... ???

Perhaps ...They came along, at a most opportunistic time, in an effort to hitch a ride on the coattails of ATS's upcoming mainstream awareness.

Again .. Let's see ... ???

The Plan: ???

Find, monitor or just happen upon ATS ... Hijack the most viewed thread, of the most viewed Alternative Discussion board on the Internet, just prior to the advent of an upcoming public awareness/TV show ?

Maybe are hoping/gambling that the end will justify ($offset$) the means!?

Regardless of initial intentions, what have done, and are \currentlydoing is without question completely void of any/all morality, integrity and/or ethics.

Personally, professionaly, individually [they[/url] have revealed themselves as the E-excrement that they are!

Just my $.02


ADMIN EDIT: Removed links to stolen content

[edit on 1-10-2006 by Springer]

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 07:37 PM
I would think that stating an absolute CANNOT be declared as truth, and then turning around and STATING that there is "only one possible answer" to the 9/11 issue, is also futher proof of a group acting without ethics.

See my post here.

They did exacly that.

Would you like a doctor to say there is absolutely no cure only to turn around later and say there is one? And by some research you find out there could even be 2 or 3 cures? Not me, but then I actually care about things like personal and professional ethics.

Guess that is one reason I am here at ATS.

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 10:25 PM
It REALLY DOES COUNT when people come forth and show support for us.

I often wonder when I peruse the complaints section too often and see some of the stuff in there. I mean we TRULY believe and PRACTICE what we preach about ethics here. We try our BEST at least. Sure we screw up, we're HUMAN but I can't think of a time we made an error that we didn't own up to it and take our lumps.

After reading Zed's expose/parody I am disgusted beyond words. I also have that sinking feeling that it won't matter a hoot to these "people" what any court says or how much of a judgment we get from them.

These people allegedly/evidently RIPPED OFF their members in some raffle for crying out loud. Anyone wanna bet how long it takes them to disappear after court?

Oh well, the THREE Amigos can go to sleep tonight KNOWING we do our level BEST to operate at the highest level of honesty, integrity and fairness. We simply wouldn't be interested in anything else, it's WAY TOO much work!
When you're honest and ethical you don't have to "remember" anything.

Thanks again one and all.


posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 10:41 PM
ATS is head and shoulders above just about any other website I've seen because of the massive investment of management's time, money, and vision, as well as the god knows how many hours of the membership's research and creative effort.
The fruits of all of that investment can be right in front of anyone who takes the effort to find it, which is amazing. I love the internet, particularly ATS, for that reason.

Unfortunately, the world's biggest library lends itself more easily than any other this kind of repugnance, because 1. It can simply be copied and pasted. 2. It takes a certain amount of technical and legal knowledge to establish exactly the legal name of the original author, so people tend to think they can grab it, and even on the out chance that their caught, they can hope to claim themselves to be the original authors.It really is a serious problem.

I was thinking the other day (don't ask me why) about how one would explain the internet to an ancient scholar. I came up with something like this- the common laborer today can spend several hours a day at the library or the lyceum, be heard by thousands, be responded to by hundreds, can skip right past those who have less to offer, and has no geographic boundries for this activity.

We exchange information tens if not hundreds of times faster, a person's ideas can evolve in a matter of months where it might have taken years in an age of slower information. I couldn't help thinking that these relatively new abilities can't help but eventually create a revolution in human thinking- a generation given these advantages should be capable of being more several times more brilliant than any before.

BUT- publish or perish, right? The advantage of paper and ink is that it's attributed, it gains acclaim, it becomes known. There's something that just seems more scholarly about a book. In my opinion, the sort of theft and dishonesty that the offenders in this case and others like them have committed can threaten the credibility and the endurance of the ideas that develop on the internet, and also degrade the potential of the internet by causing the brightest to shy away from displaying the fruit of their efforts online.

These people have no integrity, but furthermore they have no vision and no respect for what the internet has to offer human thought. In so many words... GO GET 'EM!

posted on Jan, 10 2006 @ 11:25 PM
Ethicational Sitchics

I think I've made most of my feelings known elsewhere.

So I'll just summarize my position here.

1. I think ATS is within its legal rights and being reasonable. Reading the exchange of emails posted on the shar131 blog provided all the confirmation I needed of that – though the other, more public exchanges tell the tale clearly enough.

2. I think ATS has legitimate cause for taking legal action.

3. Despite all that, I think the best possible outcome would be for ATS and SOTT to resolve this dispute amicably and, in the process, perhaps help expose not only more of the truth, but expose more people to it.

4. However, cooperation is not the same as capitulation. I think it would be disastrous for ATS to allow a direct challenge to its intellectual property rights go unanswered.

5. Thus I hold out hope that – preferably behind the scenes – the owners of each website can work something out.

6. Meanwhile, regardless of how that goes, I urge members of both websites to try to avoid the “us versus them” mentality that divides us.

7. Instead, let's respect the fact that we are all fallible, and that no matter how sure we are that we know the Absolute Truth, we can still be wrong.

8. I want to see any and all 9-11 researchers who want to be involved participate in vigorous and well-documented debate on the question of the Pentagon attack as well as all of the many other suspicious events surrounding America's new “War on Terror”.

9. In this case, the Pentagon attack is a good place to start.

10. Honest disagreement need not be grounds for animosity.

11. We are much more alike than different.

I pray that my fellow ATSers -- as well as the membership of SOTT -- can agree on that last point, if not all of them.

Let the truth prevail over all else, whatever the truth may be.

posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 01:14 AM
One agrees with Vagabond.

Every person here makes a contribution to the greater whole of ATS- that is the nature of the site. We are a community. The sum work of the community is the fruit of all our labors, opinions, and thoughts.

Therefore, one could say that theft from the site is theft from all of us. Theft from one of us is theft from all of us. Simply put, the proud community of ATS shouldn't put up with these antics. There is something to be said for diplomacy, of course.

There is also something to be said for retaliation.

I'm not saying ATS members should take up arms and extinguish the SOTT site. I am, however, suggesting that ATS sue them into the ground. One should provide an example, neh? Amicable words to scam artists just shows vulnerability. These traffic trolls should not be getting away with such a thing.

Like Vagabond said, go get 'em.


posted on Jan, 11 2006 @ 04:46 AM

Originally posted by Springer
These people allegedly/evidently RIPPED OFF their members in some raffle for crying out loud. Anyone wanna bet how long it takes them to disappear after court?

Actually, from my perspective, I was thinking the most important contribution (to the entire internet) legal action could make was to get these possibly dangerous people off the net entirely. The expose website from former members of this group actually shows they are harmful to a lot of unsuspecting members. The less of this out there the better.

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