The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper may now be the world’s second most popular newspaper online, but the publication has also drawn a great deal of criticism for its right-wing leaning position on many subjects, such as immigration.
As such, Istyosty.com had been set up as a proxy service that lets users browse the Daily Mail website without actually landing on it, but we’ve just learned that the site has been taken offline due to legal threats.
Istyosty provided users with shortened links so they can easily share Daily Mail stories with others using cached pages on it own servers, thus affecting the ‘hits’ on the Mail Online website. The proxy service also worked for The Sun newspaper.
All that remains is the above message, accompanied by a mugshot of Paul Dacre who is the current Editor of the Daily Mail. There is also a rather hard-hitting link just below it titled ‘Paul Dacre Must Die‘, the content of which is as extreme as the title suggests.
Exhibit A, the only other link on the site’s current holding page, is a PDF of the Cease and Desist letter dated the 8th of August from the intellectual property counsel that represents Associated Newspapers Ltd, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online.
Part of the letter states:
“Our client recently became aware that you have been operating a website located at http://istyosty,com that, without authorizatron, copies, displays and makes available to users full reproductions of stories and images contained on the Mail Online website (the “Infringing Website”). The Protected Works that you are offering are subject to valid and subsisting copyright protection in the United States, as well as under the laws of other countries.
The Protected Works may not be reproduced and distributed by anyone without the permission of Associated Newspapers, and no such permission has been given to you. Your use of the Protected Works in connection with the Infringing Website constitutes a blatant violation of the copyright laws.”
It goes on to say:
“As further evidence of your deliberate and willful infringement, your website states that the Infringing Site displays “cached” web pages from the Mail Online website, so that users can access stories originally published on the Mail Online website without going to the Mail Online website itself, thereby ensuring that our client’s site does not record a “hit”, when the story is accessed.”
The letter demanded that the site be taken down by August 15th, or else legal action would be initiated.
It’s interesting to note that whilst Associated Newspapers is a UK news publisher, and Mail Online sits on a .UK domain, that the copyright infringement is specifically noted in the Cease and Desist letter as taking place in the US, and the IP counsel is also based in California. This presumably is because Istyosty sits on a .com domain, which is managed by US firm Verisign.
It’s not clear whether Istyosty will appear back online at any point, but at the time of writing there does still seem to be at least one Mail Online story available via its cache.