An agent has succeeded in getting his properties removed from controversial site Houser a week after he first requested it.
Mark Rowe, of RPS Estate and Letting Agents in Lee on the Solent, Hampshire, wrote to Houser’s US hosting company, Rackspace, claiming copyright infringement.
firstname.lastname@example.org emailed back, saying: “I’m writing on behalf of Rackspace in regards to a copyright infringement notice.
“Our client has notified us that the material in question has been removed and that they are in compliance. Please review the site in question to make a determination of compliance. If there are any outstanding issues with this matter please let me know so that I can take the necessary action to resolve this matter.
“Please contact us within the next 14 days. If we do not hear from you by 2/5/2015 we will consider this matter resolved. Thank you.”
The resolution achieved by Rowe comes after he and other agents have been in contact with Eye, frustrated by their properties still being on Houser despite requests for removal.
There has also been some anxiety expressed as to allegedly incorrect listings –for example, properties being shown on Houser as available when they have been sold or are under offer, and houses being shown as flats.
Eye has also asked Houser for an update on the removals process, but have had no reply from the firm or its founder Rocky Mirza.
Rowe had also tried to complain to local Trading Standards but was baffled to be told to report the matter first to Citizens Advice.
However, Rowe’s action in going to the hosting company has clearly been effective.
Rowe believes that other agents can use the same letter to similar effect, and he is happy for them to use his letter as a template –although of course you may want to make some adaptations.
You will need to send the letter – which gives a URL to an Eye story – on company headed paper.
Rackspace US, Inc
1 Fanatical Place
City of Windcrest
Mail stop: US 109-2301
Date (eg January 23, 2015)
Re: DMCA Notice, under Section 512 copyright of the DMCA –www.houser.co.uk
I own an estate and letting agency in [place, eg AnyTown] UK.
I learned last week that a website that Rackspace are hosting (www.houser.co.uk) is displaying our properties that we have for sale and to let. This data has been scraped from our own website without permission.
At no point have I signed up for this site to display my clients’properties and I have attempted to contact the owners on a number of occasions both by email and phone over the last week to have the profile and property information removed. Each time I have phoned or emailed I have had the promise that it would be removed but it is still showing. Our profile can be found here [ ]
Identification of copyright activity [link to your firm’s properties on Houser]
The images and property descriptions are scraped data that we own the copyright to and I wish to be removed.
Our information and copyrighted information is available on our own website [insert what it says on your own site]
I am not alone in that there are thousands of other agents across the UK that have had their data scraped and are also not wanting to be on there. Please read this article for more information.
My contact information:
[Give your full contact information, including name, name of company, full postal address, phone number and email]
I can confirm that the information provided is accurate and under penalty or perjury, that I am the copyright owner and authorized to act as the owner and have exclusive rights to the photos descriptions and company profile information being displayed.
Name and position