Around February 2010, 7Safe created a portal called InfoSec Media. The site is a simple information security news aggregator. Rather than create their own news content or summaries, 7Safe pulls in content from a wide variety of other news sources. This practice is generally considered acceptable, as long as the aggregator does not violate the laws of "fair use" and copyright.
InfoSec Media's aggregation does not honor "fair use" quoting, and does not respect copyright. For each article posted, the original title is left intact, but the byline is stripped out and replaced with with "Posted by Hayley on $DATE". This gives the impression that the content was posted by "Hayley", not the original author and publication. This practice is not acceptable by any standards in journalism or information security. "Hayley" has no author biography, and the site provides no other obvious information about the site's owner, but 7safe does have an employee named Hayley. 7Safe is listed as a sponsor along with 4 other companies, and not as the site owner or operator. This, along with a handful of links at the bottom of the page that go to various 7Safe services, are the only visible links.
The articles included on infosecmedia.org are typically reproduced almost in full, leaving out between one sentence and a couple short paragraphs. This goes well beyond fair use quoting, violating the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) of U.K. law, and Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107 - 118 of U.S. law. 7Safe is based in the U.K.
Additionally, the InfoSec Media Disclaimer is particularly interesting. One part of the disclaimer warns users that the site, which is run by a company offering security services, cannot guarantee the site will be virus free:
"We do not warrant that the servers that make this website available will be error, virus or bug free ..."
The disclaimer goes on and tries to suggest that links to external websites are "for the convenience of users", despite reproducing articles in their entirety at times. While blatantly ripping off this content, 7Safe goes on to say they are "unable to provide any warranty regarding the accuracy or completeness of the content of such sites", but apparently do not mind as they steal content every day. Finally, 7Safe says that their disclaimer is subject to change without notice, and that if changed, the new language is retroactive to the first date of publication of the website. Legally, that is absurd.
Along with 7Safe, the site lists four additional sponsors:
The fact that 7Safe is soliciting sponsors would imply that they are profiting off of this site. This is one of many reasons why they are violating fair use laws when reprinting articles. Worse, 7Safe was previously alerted to this via Twitter and did not act on it.
The following table shows just how much content is being lifted from the original source. Included are links to the InfoSec Media article, the original article with source publications, and notes about the percentage of content reproduced.
|InfoSec Media Article||Original Source||Content Comments|
|Most Wi-Fi routers susceptible ...||Most Wi-Fi routers susceptible ... on Sophos Naked Security Blog||91.3% of article reproduced. Full article includes 2 sentences more.|
Note: Article also lifts 1 graphic from original.
|New Chinese space plans ...||New Chinese space plans ... on The Register||94% of article reproduced. Full article includes 1 paragraph more.|
|Kaspersky claims "smoking code" ...||Kaspersky claims "smoking code" ... on The Register||92.7% of article reproduced. Full article includes 1 sentence more.|
|Facebook scams now spread by ...||Facebook scams now spread by ... on The Register||85.4% of article reproduced. Full article includes 1 sentence more.|
|New "Highly Critical" Windows ...||New "Highly Critical" Windows ... on LiveHacking.com||100% of article reproduced.|
|2011 is the Year of the Hacktivist ...||2011 is the Year of the Hacktivist ... on Wired.com||93% of article reproduced. Full article includes 2 sentences more.|
Note: InfoSec Media doesn't even link to original.
|In WikiLeaks Case, Bradley Manning ...||In WikiLeaks Case, Bradley Manning ... on Wired.com||92.4% of article reproduced. Full article includes 4 short paragraphs more.|