Shami Haq Innovative Consulting Group

I think Aware Bear Computer Repair (i.e. Andre Leite Alves) may have been pushed from its coveted number one position in the office thieves’ hall of shame by a company called Innovative Consulting Group (using the domain name groupiconsulting.com), founded and co-owned by the very unreliable and suspicious Ihtisham (Shami) Ul Haq.

For the record, I have nothing to do with this fraudulent and illegally operating international ‘company’ called ICG, nor do I have any stake in any activity that either promotes, endorses, or encourages the outsourcing of software development (or any other such) activities.

Summary

Innovative Consulting Group, in its own words, “is an IT consulting and development company in service on the market since 1999” and they “help companies around the world” through the many outsourcing activities that it allegedly offers. This company was found to be using an image of my home office on its main website, fraudulently implying that I am involved in facilitating or rendering of their “good services”.

The copyright infringement by Shami Haq and Innovative Consulting Group (Islamabad Pakistan)After a very quick round of legal negotiations and settlement offers, Shami Ul Haq agreed to pay US$25.000 as a settlement fee and to remove the image from the ICG site. Shortly thereafter Innovative Consulting Group (ICG) took the addresses of its US office location (in Virginia) off the site and substituted a phone number for the address of its Australian office—only to replace that with an e-mail address a day later and after being confronted with the fraudulent addresses used by his company, in silence and the dead of night took off the Australian address too. Clearly, Innovative Consulting did not wish to be found anywhere besides its office in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Just as obviously, these are the sudden actions of a company or one or more individuals that have something to hide. In this hall of shame exposé, you will learn just what ICG has to hide—and it’s not just the fact that they are operating unregistered businesses illegally. Read all about Innovative Consulting Group in Islamabad, Pakistan. We’ll even show you the REAL images of their American offices. I guarantee you’ll get a few laughs out of it.

The website of Innovative Consulting Group (ICG) at the time of notification of copyright infringement. If the site still exists after this hall of shame exposure, you can find it at groupiconsulting.com.

A little background to put things into perspective

Those of you who know me personally or professionally know my clear and outspoken opinion on the subject of outsourcing (to low-wage slave-labor countries in what still is or used to be called the Third World). My experience with outsourcing, in particular assisting companies that have “outsourced their butts into a corner”, is such that I not only apply that experience to help those who have ended up with minor or total disasters as a result of such outsourcing but also help and prevent such disasters from happening in the first place. You will often hear me talk and consult about the dangers of outsourcing to companies in India and China as well as helping the companies in the Western part of the world understand just why things are not always as easy, clear, and cheap as they had hoped for. Some companies I’ve consulted for have lost millions of dollars on outsource projects. This goes far beyond “They are taking the jobs away from us,” though in many cases that is also true.

You can imagine that I would consider the association of my office with an outsourcing company that targets Western countries a direct attack on my integrity and reputation. The more than 17 million visitors to my website attest to the strong public association between those office photos and my business. Based on the photo on the Innovative Consulting Group website’s home page, it would be easy to assume I was affiliated or associated with them, or worse, had a stake in the company and its activities, and therefore never mentioned Pakistan because I wished to drive outsource money away from India and China and into my own pockets. That would be an entirely reasonable, if incorrect, conclusion for a visitor to the ICG website to reach. I’m sure you understand that under these conditions I was ready to take on this company head-on. I was not about to let them get away with this.

The information from the web designer

I became aware of this copyright infringement when I received a tip regarding screenshots posted to Deviant Art by Bilal Malik and decided to notify Bilal of the trouble his client was in and how he, as the designer of the Innovative Consulting Group website, could be in trouble depending on the kind of indemnification clause in his contract with the company.

The Innovative Consulting Shami Haq Scam as presented by the webdesignerBilal Malik immediately removed the image from his Deviant Art pages and informed us that he did not have any part in the copyright infringement because the company (Innovative Consulting Group) did not want to pay for stock photography and provided their own content to the web design company that Bilal worked for when he designed ICG’s website. He also informed us that he created this design for the ICG web-site around March of 2009. That meant nearly 2 years had passed between the creation of the site and my discovery of the infringement.

The other interesting thing that Bilal Malik said, however, was that both he and Innovative Consulting Group were based in Pakistan and there would be no way to sue over copyright matters. Luckily I had already consulted with my attorneys on this matter and re-educated Bilal on that subject.

Facts about copyright law in Pakistan

Anyone else who thinks that copyright laws don’t exist in Pakistan is misinformed. The fact is that Pakistan signed the Copyright Ordinance of 1962. This Ordinance is a derivative of the English Act of 1914. In addition to that Pakistan is also a member of the Berne Copyright Union and Universal Copyright Convention. In 1992 the Copyright Amendment Act was signed into law in Pakistan and since that time allows for stiffer penalties and damages for offenders that are guilty of copyright infringement. Even of more interest is that under section 71 of Pakistan’s copyright laws it is not only the company that commits the act of copyright infringement that can be held liable: liability extends to every person who was in charge of the company at the time the infringement was committed.

First contact with Mr. Ihtisham Ul Haq ( Shami Haq).

Because I believe in a personal approach and keeping the lawyers locked in their cages until they are deemed necessary, I sent off a notification with additional information to ICG. They were informed of the infringement, the consequences, the unforeseen effects, and of course their legal position and my thoughts on how to resolve the matter. I prefer to have companies and individuals settle their matters out of court if possible, because it’s the best option for everyone involved and there is often no real benefit from the higher costs (and higher damage claims) and length of time involved in a formal legal suit.

Shortly after that a response arrived from someone who signed with just “Ihtisham,” without giving any indication of his or her full name and certainly not a job title. Rather unprofessional, I thought. But then again I am not familiar with business etiquette in Pakistan. The best part was that the response said that the images of the home office used indeed “showed similarity”. (Gee, ya think?!) And the message asked whether more of my images were found elsewhere on the site. But “Itisham” entirely failed to take responsibility for ICG’s actions, even though it was no longer possible to blame the web designer for the infringement. Needless to say, if you do that you’ll just get the legal chapter and verse in more detail.

Settlement reached

Chapter and verse read and the lawyers rattling the bars of their cage with eagerness to take things to a higher level, another response arrived from Mr. Shami Haq saying that he was ready to compensate me for falsely associating me with his business.

Based on the length of time the image was used and because it incited visitors to the ICG website to question my ethical standards and statements regarding outsourcing, and because Innovative Consulting Group deliberately committed copyright infringement as well as false advertising , my lawyers recommended I make an offer with the following options. One was a lump sum payment of US$25.000. One was a rectification on their website for the duration of one year with a mutually agreeable text that would disclaim my perceived association with them. Or a combination of the two for half the amount as a lump sum and half the period of time. Very quickly Mr. Ihtisham Ul Haq responded that they preferred to settle according to the first option, a lump sum payment of US$25.000 and asked for bank information, etc. to deal with the matter swiftly.

The speed at which they agreed was both surprising and suspicious. The general assumption was “That’s too quick, it appears they have something to hide”. Well, clearly they had, and did, and still do, but we’ll get to that part next! 🙂

My reputation is NOT for sale for $25

A few days later another response from Shami Haq of Innovative Consulting Group arrived asking whether he was correct that the US dollar amount was “twenty-five” dollars. I guess the notion of the number actually meaning “twenty five thousand” must not have occurred at the time of agreeing to that particular settlement option. I can’t begin to tell you how much we had to laugh but let’s just say that the entertainment value provided by ICG that day was certainly one of the best so far.

It does show, however, that something is seriously wrong with Innovative Consulting Group if they consider US$25.000 to mean “twenty-five” dollars. Even with the cultural difference of dots and commas there’s just no way you can mistake that number for its actual value. But then again, ICG and Shami Ul Haq claim that the company provides:

High-quality development such as web design and development, database design and integration, programming, web site maintenance, e-commerce solutions and Application development. We help companies around the world to leverage the power of the Internet by placing highly qualified design and programming specialists, project managers, and analysts at their fingertips. We beat deadlines and leave our clients completely satisfied. In addition, the relatively our weak Currency is allowing us to drop our prices, making us a favorite service provider for US-based clients. We have the skills you need, and we have the credentials, portfolio and client references to prove our abilities.

AND THIS COMPANY CLAIMS THEY ALSO WORK IN THE FINANCIAL IT INDUSTRY?!

It’s real easy to drive the point home here. What company in their right mind would want to outsource their development or IT tasks to these amateurs? Are you sure you want to have such numerical errors in your financial systems? Outsourcing is cheap and you get what you pay for but in the case of Innovative Consulting Group you might actually see your numbers vanish by a thousand-fold when “experts” like Shami Haq are part of your business. It does show that Mr. Ihtisham Ul Haq has the ability to make money disappear. 🙂

But that’s not all Mr. Shami Ul Haq can make disappear. Read on to learn just how he made his offices in the USA and Australia disappear OVERNIGHT.

But first let’s have a good look at this company and then the founder and co-owner because it is crucial to understand what is being presented and how what is being presented ends up being nothing more than a total scam based on lies and other very suspicious behavior.

Who are Innovative Consulting Group?

According to their own words they claim to:

Maintain high ethical standards in our dealings with clients and business partners, and make decisions that factor in our principles first and foremost. We treat each client’s business as our own. We care how they perform over the long term.

Ethical standards? I would argue that a company that doesn’t want to pay for stock photos and would rather steal content from the web has the ethical standards of a weasel with a drug addiction problem. Treat the client’s business as your own? I wasn’t your client and never will be, thank you very much. Please don’t treat my business as your own as you have done for nearly 2 years!

Since our inception, we have been committed as both business and community leaders. We believe that to build a successful company we must contribute back to our community in hopes of making it a successful environment for others. By making financial donations to registered charities that provide food and shelter to the needy, we hope to fulfill our obligation towards those that Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala tests by financial hardship.

I plead ignorance on the whole Allah Subhana thing they mention but I can read the financial hardship part and I think they might be in for that for the long run. If not by the trouble they have unleashed upon themselves and by their own decision and doing then certainly by the in-depth investigative exposé about the scam these jokers are running and how they target US companies who wish to outsource (their money) to this Innovative Consulting Group in Pakistan. I think that real financial hardship is yet to hit them.

Oddly enough, if you dig real deep you will find that this “multi-national outsourcing company” with the allure and presentation of that of a large corporation actually in more recent years only offered web-design and development services. But overnight it transformed itself into what you can see on their website at groupiconsulting.com. Some of the people and companies that allegedly outsourced their money to them include:

  • Ken Dawson / Federal IT Publications, USA
  • Usman / NEIMS
  • Ikram / CCP
  • Steve Philly web Solutions, USA
  • VisageIT, USA
  • Phoyola ArqITech, USA

Who is this Shami Haq (a.k.a. Ihtisham Ul Haq)?

Shami Haq, liar, thief, plagiarist, copyright infringer, con-artistShami Haq claims to have been educated as MCS Software Engineering 1999-2003 at the Naval University. Unfortunately I was unable to obtain any verification of that. Based on public information out there, Shami Haq’s specialties (and that of the Innovative Consulting Group ‘company’ that he founded) include; Project Consulting, Software Development, Web Development, IT Infrastructure, Web Design, IT Outsourcing, Offshore Dedicated Team. It’s a shame that his specialties fail to list “content theft” and “impersonation” and “lame copyright infringement” along with “pretending to operate foreign businesses” and “pretending to be a multi-national company”.

Mr. Ul Haq also claims to be the founder of Federal Advantage, which operates in the Information Services Industry and provides on-demand federal resources & contact solutions. Or is otherwise described as “A collaboration of information for businesses to gain more opportunities to do business with the federal government”.

If that’s not enough for you, he also claims to be the founder of Federal IT Publication which is some kind of “GSA IT Catalog” and an “informative IT Directory offering in-depth information about vendors who provide products and services on GSA Schedule 70”. Mr. Shami Ul Haq also claims to have been the owner of WebSauce Technologies, a web design company that supposedly existed for a period of 3 years between 2002 and 2005. From the details on WebSauce you can see that Shami offered his “services” for $5 per hour. Yes, that’s right, $5.

If you look at the way Innovative Consulting Group, through its website, presents itself as a large multi-national outsourcing company and then examine their actual activities you will find that it is mostly just really simple and below average web stuff. Perhaps the presentation of the company was wishful thinking or just pure delusion. Either way the reality shows it is definitely deceptive.

Where is Innovative Consulting Group based?

Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Business Addresses Before Being CaughtInnovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Business Addresses After Legal Trouble StartLet’s get to the real fun part and expose the Shami Shame for all to see. Yep, you’ll now learn the true locations of this amazing outsource company from Pakistan. I’ll provide you with some images of the locations and the addresses that were listed on the Innovative Consulting Group web-site. You will learn all about this fraudulent company and its founder and co-owner an what he’s involved in when he’s not trying to sell glass top dining tables from the so-call “business address” in Australia (oh, yes, that’s right, we have plenty more information on the location in Australia and Mr. Shami Haq than we’re publishing here… yet).

During our legal communications and interactions the US office address was removed from the ICG website as was the office address in Australia. Instead the office in Australia only had a phone number. A day after those changes were detected the Australian office ‘lost’ its phone number and only listed the central e-mail address for the company. Eventually everything except the address in Pakistan was removed from the site. Suspicious? Offices that vanish into thin air might be a common thing when the owner of the company is called Shami Haq. This is the behavior of someone with a very clear and present consciousness of the need to hide. Unfortunately for Mr. Shami Haq, we already had the addresses and kept them on file and also have screenshots of everything. So now let’s have a look at these addresses. Put on your laughing face because you’re going to need it!

The US office of Innovative Consulting Group

8507 Kernon Court. Lorton, VA 22079. USA.
Phone: 702-626-09033

Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia

Is it just me or does this US office location and address simply not match the allure and presentation provided by their multi-national looking IT outsourcing services website?! And guess what, the property at 8507 Kernon Ct, Lorton Virginia is owned by a Mr. MAHMOOD HAIDER.

Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia
Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia
Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq Mahmood Haider 8507 Kernon Court Virginia
In fact, if you really want to know, at the time of writing this the land value is $78.000, the building value $187.333, the total property value is $265.330. It’s 1554 square feet of land with a 1440 square feet living area. It’s a 2 story townhouse (4 bedrooms 3.5 bathrooms) connected to water and sewer but has no gas connection but does have a fireplace. It was built in 1986 and the most recent sale is from 03-28-2006 at a price of $425.000. The sale before that was 4-26-2000 for a price of $165.000.

And just how are MAHMOOD HAIDER and Shami Haq connected? Once I have information on that I’ll be sure to let you know in an addendum. Perhaps Mr. Haider is the co-owner of Innovative Consulting Group because no other co-owners can be legally found or discovered by regular means.

Mahmood Haider also sold a property on Eastgate Lane 7312 to Sarah K. Anderson for $333.000 and another property on Curtier Drive 6035 to Travis J. Upton and Tiffany A. Wight for $180.000. However, before you start wondering, no, there appears not to be any license for a realtor or real-estate agent by that name.

The phone number listed (703-626-0933) belongs to the Herndon, Virginia area. Other information also directs the radius of the location to include the 8507 Kernon Court location in Lorton).

The Australian office of Innovative Consulting Group

13 Rolain Ave. South Morang, Victoria 1732 (should be Victoria 3752), Australia
Phone: 04-3128-1331

Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq 13 Rolain Ave South Morang Victoria Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq 13 Rolain Ave South Morang Victoria

Another little plot somewhere in a typical residential area that certainly does not fit the way the company presents itself as a large internationally operating corporation. And not only that, according to other information, another company is registered to the address at 13 Rolain Avenue; Zach’s Distributors. A company that distributes funeral, cremation, etc. goods and materials.

The other thing to take note of is the postal code that ICG listed on their website. It consistently shows 1732 when in fact the actual post-code is 3752. Strange that an international outsource company like Innovative Consulting Group can’t even get their own post-code right, doesn’t it?

The Pakistan office of Innovative Consulting Group

Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq E-11/3 MPCHS Islamabad PakistanSuite #03, 2nd Floor, Multi Trade 1, Plot #11
E-11/3, MPCHS, Islamabad. Pakistan

Phone: +92-51-253-4529

Indeed, it’s one large building site based on those images. However, those image may be quite old and likely actual buildings now exist at that location.

Of course, it could be a site that recently saw some impact of terrorist-seeking drones or just a complete mess of some other kind. The lack of building cranes, vehicles, or stashes of materials do make it seem odd for just a building site. Either way, this is the location of a company that presents itself as a big outsourcing multi-national? If you believe that I’ve got easterbunnies with bridges to sell you.

And if that’s not enough the address and phone number are used in other places on other websites as well. For example a company called ETCON ME, based in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, with just a PO Box, a phone number and an e-mail address.

Shami Haq Innovative Consulting scam: Same Address and Phone Number as ETCON ME Innovative Consulting Group Shami Haq Ihtisham Ul Haq AddressThis comany, ETCON ME, also lists an address and phone number in Pakistan that is identical to that of Shami Haq’s Innovative Consulting. The phone number also shows up for a completely different address for Innovative Consulting. This time on an address listed as: 1-B, Street No. 50, F-7/4, Islamabad, Pakistan. This while the listed “owner” of the company is: shahzadyounis91.

Business license and registration

You can probably sense this one coming a mile away. After some initial searching and contact with the relevant agencies and authorities in both Virginia (US) and Victoria (Australia) it became clear that neither ICG nor Shami Haq had no business registrations or business license in either location.

Anyone with a little knowledge about business knows that it’s illegal to conduct business without the required registration, license, and in specific cases various permits. This may very well explain why, after our initial round of legal interactions, the company’s website no longer had their foreign offices listed. Let’s look at their business statements once again:

In addition, the relatively our weak Currency is allowing us to drop our prices, making us a favorite service provider for US-based clients. We have the skills you need, and we have the credentials, portfolio and client references to prove our abilities. We maintain high ethical standards in our dealings with clients and business partners, and make decisions that factor in our principles first and foremost.

So here we have a company, Innovative Consulting Group, founded and co-owned by Shami Haq, who also goes by the name of Ihtisham ul Haq, operating illegal and unregistered business entities with addresses in Australia and the US, claiming to have credentials and high ethical standards.

There are more appropriate ways to describe this situation and for lack of such on their site I will happily provide it: Innovative Consulting Group is FRAUDULENT and Shami Haq runs A SCAM. Because no matter how you examine this, left right top or bottom, front or back, the unregistered illegal nature of the non-existent business entities used in their “dealings” with alleged clients is everything except honest and ethical and truthful. Instead, it is all the opposite of that. Everything about Shami Haq’s Innovative Consulting Group reeks of misrepresentation and suspicious behavior.

Their “testimonials” are FAKES!

Yes. It’s not just Andre Leite Alves of Aware Bear Computers who’s good at writing fake testimonials and then removing them from the site when the fraud is exposed. Shami Haq is equally pathetic when it comes to the way he DECEIVES potential clients with FAKE testimonials. For example, here are a few that come straight from the site of Innovative Consulting Group:

Innovative Consulting was an amazing service provider to work with. Their quality of work was excellent, and completed all specifications required. They even made some changes after the project was complete. They did a great job, and we will use them again. Highly reccomended A++.Steve Philly web Solutions, USA

Innovative Consulting did a great job on my project. Their quality of work was excellent. All specifications were completed and on time. Price can”t be beat. Highly reccomended A++.
Steve Philly web Solutions, USA

Innovative Consulting showed infinite patience in developing the web portal and did a great job. In the instance that there were problems they took great pains to sort it out once I brought it to their attention. Would definitely work with them again.
VisageIT, USA

I am so glad that I chose Innovative Consulting. The staff was professional and very, very helpful and patient. I will definitely work with them again. I have begun referring my friends to them. They gave me exactly what I was hoping to get in a website. Two thumbs up for Innovative Consulting!!!
Phoyola ArqITech, USA

Shami Haq too stupid to change his FAKE testimonialsGuess what. There is no company in the US by the name of Steve Philly web Solutions. Go look it up yourself if you think otherwise. Or better yet, try and find that portal mentioned in the “testimonial” of VisageIT. But the best is yet to come. Try finding that oddly named Phoyola ArqITech. There exists NO SUCH COMPANY. In fact, as you can see below, that company ONLY exists on 3 pages on the internet; two of which are testimonial pages of Innovative Consulting Group (i.e. Shami Haq’s scam company) and one that you will find on the NEW SCAM COMPANY called GLOBAL CONSULTING (www.gc.com.pk).

Notice in the lower-left corner of the page (click the image to enlarge) it has the exact same testimonial as that over at the Innovative Consulting Group website. Are all these fraudulent con-artists operating on the same low intelligence that they always re-use their fake testimonials? It certainly appears that way for Mr. Shami Haq!

Their “company news” is FAKE TOO

Shami Haq of Global Innovative Consulting calls this a successful delivery of a platform siteIt is not just the testimonials that are obvious fakes. The company news on the Innovative Consulting website is just as fake and designed to create a false perception that Shami Haq and his company had an involvement with the projects mentioned there. But the facts are that he had nothing to do with the National Rabta Information Portal or the “Successful Implementation of SIM Information System”. The company news articles are just general articles taken from the actual reporting media in Pakistan as you can see here and here.

The only company news article that fits Shami and his scams is the one about having successfully delivered a new platform site for “Coach To Coach”. Or as the news article puts it; “Innovative consulting Web consultants have melt there skulls in the implementation of social netoworking plateform for CTC. CTC is a global networking company designed to promote the finest qualities of each individual coach in their respective field”. Yet the date on that company news article has changed at least twice in the past two weeks and I don’t know what’s so successful about having created the site that you can see in the image on the left.

Global Consulting Pakistan

Global Consulting, another SCAM COMPANY by Shami HaqShami Haq probably thought that he could dump his US and Australian “office addresses” from the site and in a worst case scenario just make the entire site vanish just like any other criminal and con-artist would. So he prepared Global Consulting (www.gc.com.pk) as the next NEW SCAM to continue on with his fraudulent business activities. Unfortunately that will not happen for Global Consulting since it is now nicely exposed and available in recorded form here on the site.

The domain has only been very recently registered and if you examine the site (I won’t be putting up all the screen shots of all the pages here even though I of course have them) you will find the structure, topics, areas, and everything except the design, to be identical to the Innovative Consulting Group website. Except the Global Consulting site is not yet finished because Sami has been working his butt off trying to setup that new scam. He even hasn’t gotten around to adding some suspicious addresses on the new site.

Global Consulting Shami Haq SCAM PakistanShami Haq can not spell simple wordsPoor delusional wannabe-scammer Shami Haq even has this little “IBM Business Partner” logo on the Global Consulting site. Guess what… Oh, you already guessed. Yes, IBM has never heard of either Shami Haq or Ihtisham Ul Haq or either of the companies! The second screenshot on the left shows a different design for his latest scam. Note that the image that was pretended to be used as the site’s main page has a copyright notice of 2010 (while Innovative Consulting listed 2009 even though it was 2009), proving this to be the “fallback” plan Shami has to rid himself of the crisis of ICG. Also note that the footer says “designed by Megatronix Studio”. That’s a web design company in Pakistan. Once Shami noticed that we had discovered his latest scam under a new name and with yet another new site he quickly removed everything from the web server and put up the sign you can see on the left. Yes, you’re right, he can’t spell construction. Then again, why would you want to outsource a single dime to a scam that claims their site is “under upgradation”. It’s not even a word.

Also compare the following two texts of Innovative Consulting Group’s website and that of Global Consulting’s website. From Global Consulting:

Global Consulting is an IT consulting and development company in service on the market since 1999…. Global Consulting team with experience of over 8 years is available to ensure client satisfaction through timely and quality service provision. We help companies around the world to leverage the power of the Internet by placing highly qualified design and programming specialists, project managers, and analysts at their fingertips. We beat deadlines and leave our clients completely satisfied. In addition, the relatively our weak Currency is allowing us to drop our prices, making us a favorite service provider for US-based clients

And the one from Innovative Consulting Group:

Innovative Consulting is an IT consulting and development company in service on the market since 1999.. Innovative Consulting team with experience of over 8 years is available to ensure client satisfaction through timely and quality service provision. We help companies around the world to leverage the power of the Internet by placing highly qualified design and programming specialists, project managers, and analysts at their fingertips. We beat deadlines and leave our clients completely satisfied. In addition, the relatively our weak Currency is allowing us to drop our prices, making us a favorite service provider for US-based clients…

Wow. What a scam. And what an obvious scam. Just as well this con-artist is being reported to all available authorities before any US company ends up losing their money to a fraudulent individual with most definite suspicious intentions.

Shami Haq engaged in PLAGIARISM AS WELL

You think you’ve heard it all? You haven’t. If you look at the text portions of both the Global Consult and Innovative Consulting websites you will see a use of the English language that Shami Haq has been incapable of in his communications with us. He stole most of the text on his websites from OTHER SITES. Here’s just one small example from their services descriptions:

Application Maintenance Service which handles all the small to big complexities pertaining to your business applications. We can correct the defect and also enhance the capability of the application.

Now GOOGLE IT.

Want another one? How about this one:

Offshore Outsourcing has come a long way from its origins as a strategic source of inexpensive talent. Global Consulting offers world-class offshore outsourcing and consulting services guaranteed to cut costs and improve quality.

Which is the same as this one over at another outsourcing place called Netsoft Consulting:

Offshore Outsourcing has come a long way from its origins as a strategic source of inexpensive talent. NETSOFT offers world-class offshore outsourcing and consulting services guaranteed to cut costs and improve quality.

Maybe you want an even more interesting example to show just how widespread the Shami Scam goes? OK, let’s have one. Here’s a text straight from the ICG and GC scam websites:

As responsible citizens of this world, we try to do our part in making our surroundings, and the world by extension, a better place to live. Since our inception, we have been committed as both business and community leaders.

Shami Haq Stealing and Committing PlagiarismThis is the same text used by a company called Gleam Technologies, IIIrd Floor, #16-7-310, Azampura, Chaderghat. Near Sahifa Masjid, Hyderabad-500024. See for yourself in the image linked here. Who’s ripping off who here? Is India stealing from Pakistan or the other way around? Given Shami’s questionable activities I’d say Shami is the one doing the stealing.

But there is something even more interesting about that Gleam Technologies website. Notice the little “Integrated Services” logo in the bottom left? Where have you seen that before? Yes, on the Innovative Consulting Group website! Incidentally, the same text is also used by TechZone Systems, LLC.

As you can see, the exact same word for word text portions can be found on other (some also rather dubious!) websites. What did all these websites, including Shami’s sites, use for this? Some pre-baked “scam in a box” product? Some kind of “all your lies for $4.95” type product or did they just all decide to copy major portions of texts from other sites, companies that really do know what they’re talking about when they had those texts written for their (original) site?

Shami the scammer is even so careless and negligent to show that he has been stealing most of the site for the new scam company Global Consulting. Pay attention to the screen grab via this link. So in addition to all those technical, development, and IT services the company also has a service called “INTERVENTION FOR TEENS”? Yeah, right. Forgot to remove some left-over bits from a set of frames you copied from somewhere, Shami?

I (do not) hate to be the one to say it but it looks to me like Mr. Shami Haq is not just a completely failed web-fiddler but a rather failed criminal who’s still trying to learn the basics of deception, lying, and stealing. Considering all the things you can read about here (and double check for yourself if you want) it is evident that Shami wants to become a “Mr. Scammy” and follow in the footsteps of bigger criminal con-artists. So far he’s being an amateur at all of it, though. Copying texts from other outsource companies in India? If you ask me that’s beyond pathetic and exceedingly desperate.

Bottom line, both Shami Ul Haq’s websites use copied portions of texts that originate from at least 51 other websites. If anything, it does PROVE that Shami is good at stealing. It also SHOWS that getting caught hurts when it gets exposed like this.

What’s next?

Quite a bit, actually. It wouldn’t be in my best interest to announce that here, but you can imagine that some further investigation is going to take place while I have my lawyers notify all the relevant authorities regarding the illegal business operation and suspicious behavior by Shami Haq and Innovative Consulting Group. Pending some of the further information we’re awaiting, a decision will be made to start legal proceedings. If nothing else it might rid the world of a fraudulent company and their vague misbehaving founder before they grab more money (and perhaps jobs) by illegal means out of the economies from their preferred ‘hunting ground’ in the US.

On a slightly related subject there is another even more serious thing to consider. Lots of organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) repeatedly bring to our attention the money laundering schemes conducted by shell companies (i.e. front companies) in the west in order to funnel the money generated to Pakistan to fund international terrorism. I’m sure you’ve heard of it in the media over the past many years just like we all have heard and seen it. In case you haven’t you can familiarize yourself with the subject matter here, here, here, here, here or here, or maybe even here and here.

Considering the profile of this company, the illegal operations in Australia and the US, the sudden disappearance of their office addresses the moment that Innovative Consulting Group through Shami Haq discovered that the matter of the copyright infringement was going to be publicized, the clearly fraudulent nature of the construction and presentation the company wishes to project, and all the other information above, certainly can be categorized as “suspicious behavior” and “suspicious activity”. As we’re frequently informed, such suspicious activities should be reported to the proper authorities so it can be examined and dealt with.

Conclusion

Would you really want to outsource anything to Shami Haq (a.k.a. Ihtisham (Shami) Ul Haq) and his Innovative Consulting Group (groupiconsulting.com) or Global Consulting (www.gc.com.pk) knowing that:

  • Shami Ul Haq enters into agreements it does not honor.
  • has fast moving office addresses that can vanish overnight.
  • does not appear to be operating as a legal registered business in Australia.
  • does not appear to be operating as a legal registered business in the USA.
  • copies their texts and mission statements and company values from other sites.
  • are now proven to be deceitful liars and NOT real businesses.
  • was unwilling to pay for stock photographs according to the web designer.
  • is careless and negligent when it comes to using content without permission.
  • pretends to be a lot more than the company really is.
  • claims to render services for the financial sectors but don’t understand basic numbers.

What if Innovative Consulting Group provides cheap web design and development work to you and by its own ignorance and carelessness causes you to be exposed to potential legal trouble and in response to your complaint will simply move offices again in the dead of night? They certainly show all the typical behaviors normally associated with a fraudulent operation.

I’m sure everyone agrees that all of this says:

GAME OVER SHAMI!

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Qld. Connectors & Cables

I was made aware of this case of copyright infringement using an image of my Home Office by someone who had seen my website and recognized the image on the Queensland Connectors & Cables website. Something that happens a lot and isn’t surprising considering just how many visitors my website gets, on average.

The person that notified me is a local in the area of where Qld. Connectors and Cables is operating from, namely Milton QLD, Australia. The company itself is located at Unit 2/10 Dorsey Street and had been notified by the individual that found them using my image. However, Qld Connectors and Cables didn’t respond to that and failed to take the image offline so the information about the company was passed along to me.

As you can see from the screenshot above (you can click it for a larger image) an image of my Home Office was being used to promote a USB-SVIDEO device. According to the marketing statements the converter works as a second video card and allows you to connect an extra monitor to your desktop PC or laptop’s USB port and will support resolutions of up to 1920×1200 and 2048×1152.

Unfortunately, the choice of image in combination with this device IMPLIES that a setup like my home office would be possible with the device. There are several other brands of these things out there and trust me, creating a setup like mine will not work with these devices.

However, the way Qld. Connectors and Cables presents it and attempted to conduct their marketing and sales efforts is what I consider to be FALSE ADVERTISING. After all, you are using an image of a setup that is completely different, technically different, and designed for a different purpose than the product that was being advertised on their site.

Shame on Qld. Connectors & Cables for false advertising.

Needless to say, after Qld. Connectors and Cables did not respond to the original notification and I was informed of this infringement it didn’t take long (under 2 hours, a very quick result) to resolve the matter. A single demand explaining the legal and potential harm to their reputation was enough for Qld. Connectors and Cables to reconsider the way they were promoting this USB-SVIDEO device and the image was immediately taken down as the demands stated.

In case you’re wondering, the squashed format of the stolen image of my Home Office is entirely the way that Qld. Connectors & Cables had put it on their site, making the multi-wide-screen setup look even much wider than it really is. The least you could do when you steal my office images is to at least make sure the proportions are still correct, I would think! 🙂

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Astucemedia

Just when you thought no company could not sink any lower than Andre Leite Alves of Aware Bear Computers, think again. If there ever was a company deserving of being exposed in the “hall of shame” of copyright infringers it’s Astucemedia, Inc. in Montreal, Canada. I present to you the fraudulent misrepresentation and copyright infringement:

Astucemedia in Montreal using a copyrighted image without permission:

The design and graphics of the site are, I hope, actually their own and not also snatched from elsewhere. I have blurred the design out of respect for their copyright concerns, which is more than I can say for them and their total disregard in such matters. If you want to see what it otherwise looks like check their site. I’m sure you can find the original image here or here.

Notice how they pasted their company name and logo onto the wall. Why do that unless they wanted to create a false perception? What reason could Astucemedia have to associate me with their business activities? The obvious ones? Perhaps. But there might even be ulterior motives involved that I can only theorize about and will share with you later in this “hall of shame” exposure. Or you could just scroll down a bit.

How Astucemedia’s copyright infringement was discovered

A mutual client (which remains nameless) of Astucemedia and more recently of yours truly asked me what my involvement with them was. None, of course. After a few seconds of confusion and further communication it was pointed out to me that my office was prominently displayed on their website. What a great move, using my office on your site, this client now has doubts about the professionalism of Atucemedia and I most certainly agree with the client on that. How’s that for being stupid… unless it wasn’t mere stupidity?

Astucemedia’s response to the copyright infringement

Of course, Astucemedia was contacted about this blatant copyright infringement. Since they are a company that is technically playing around in my “backyard” of 3D computer graphics I offered them a chance to take responsibility and own up to their actions. Unfortunately they decided to quickly swap the image with another (one watermarked as copyright 2006 by Google) yet didn’t show any common decency or professional courtesy to respond.

No “sorry”, no apology, just total silence. This shows me exactly what kind of company Astucemedia and its management wishes to be and highlights the unprofessionalism they convey. It’s possible that the management at Astucemedia wasn’t creative enough to come up with a typical lame excuse or a flat out lie. Not the kind of non-response you’d expect considering that they had the benefit of using my home office image since April 2008 (according to caches on the internet that were used in the research of this case of infringement).

What sort of company is Astucemedia?

It is important to know that Asucemedia is “a design and technology company providing on-air broadcast graphic services using exclusively using Vizrt, Wasp3D, Ventuz, Orad, Brainstorm, Chyron Hyper X and Miranda/VertigoXmedia and also traditional tools”. They are specialized in “elections, weather, news, sports and branding” and has staff based in the USA, Canada (147 St. Paul West, Suite 320, Montreal, Quebec), Switzerland (Rte de Taillepied 85, 1095 Lutry, Lausanne) and United Arab Emirates (the UAE one operating only through a cell phone number). They create visual content for TV networks such as ABC, ABC7, CBS, Fox sports, AlJazeera International, TF1, TSR, WBZ, MusiquePlus, MBC, and others.

In their own words they offer; On-Air Broadcast Graphic & Virtual Set Design and Integration, Interactive Graphics for screens, Video Wall and Virtual, Stereoscopic 3D Services, Real-Time Data Integration, Broadcast Graphic System Advice & Rental, Channel Branding, “Turnkey solutions for Elections, Weather, Sports, News, Finance”, Graphics for Event and Presentation, Live Web Streaming with graphics, and Training.

I’m sure my readers understand that a company like Astucemedia, having as its core business the creation of content for clients, must be intimately familiar with intellectual property and copyright matters. For a company that presents itself as experienced professionals it is nothing less than absolutely shameful to be negligent using unverified and unauthorized content. Shame on Astucemedia, indeed. Reckless, careless, and unprofessional are the words that come to mind to apply in this situation.

Who are the people responsible for the business at Astucemedia?

The owner, Alexandre Leclerc, currently appears to be busy in trying to sell software in the Middle East as the managing director of Feeling Software. This company is involved in “big brother” type solutions for security and surveillance cameras; Omnipresence 3D Security Platform (3D Pro Design, Central Command, GeoLink, iGuard) and provides things like license plate recognition and mobile surveillance. If only it could have been used to keep an eye on his other company and prevent t from negative attention. I think I have a client for Feeling Software, a company called Astucemedia certainly could use some internal content surveillance to guard against the use of unauthorized materials and prevent it from being used to create a fraudulent misrepresentation.

Alexandre Leclerc, by his own information, is the owner of Astucemedia since October 2003. The domain certainly has been registered at that time and shows the registrant to be Alexandre Leclerc, 301 Chemin Club Marin, Iles-des-Soeurs. However, information on the Feeling Software website claims he started the company in 2006. Since March 2010, Alexandre has taken up a role as the managing director at Feeling Software but Alexandre but is still very active for Astucemedia because he’s been posting about job positions as recent as August 2010. Perhaps Feeling Software isn’t working out too well for him or isn’t keeping him busy enough. Obviously Alexandre is too busy to apologize for the copyright infringement conducted by his company.

Previously, during 2003 to 2006, Alexandre was a project manager at Miranda Technologies (also in Montreal). It appears that many people at Astucemedia have come from Miranda Technologies, such as Michel Croibier (listed on their website for their office in Switzerland). And there is Jean-Francois Poirier, named as the CTO at Astucemedia and formerly a software designer at Miranda Technologies.

I never had any contact with any of these individuals but in order to provide full disclosure in this expose I shall mention that I have experience with some Miranda Technologies products. However, that dates back to 1994 when we were doing a large development project that involved Matrox Studio OEM systems and hardware 3D DVE boards. Titania, I think those were called, forgive my memory since that’s 16 or 17 years ago now. So my connection to the company that some of the people at Astucemedia came from predates Alexandre Leclerc’s arrival at Miranda Technologies by some 9 years. This was even several years before Mr. Leclerc started as a graphics designer at VertigoXmedia.

Why Astucemedia simply used an image without permission?

If you have any ideas about that feel free to leave a comment on this article. However, because Austucemedia has declined to respond to their flagrant image theft while having been provided ample opportunity to do so I am going to make a few educated guesses.

Perhaps Astucemedia does not have nice offices to show. Maybe, for their commercial marketing purposes, they figured it would impress their (potential) clients by using an image they felt was impressive enough to use even though any person with half a brain would know that using images without permission or from an unverified source is a really carnal offense, ESPECIALLY in the content creation industry!

One could also argue that Astucemedia had a strong desire to enter the “hall of shame” of copyright infringers and desperately wanted the number one position held by Andre Leite Alves of Aware Bear Computers in Rochester. Or maybe they wanted to show they were better than David Dik of Linado at modifying an image. It’s possible they just wanted to show themselves as an unprofessional business that lacks moral judgment while displaying a disgraceful disregard of other people’s materials. But why wish to be perceived as lowly as “common thieves”?

An ulterior motive for using my office without permission?

Oh, right. You were probably waiting for this since I mentioned it earlier. Again, lacking a response and clarification from Astucemedia and concluding that they wish to stick their heads in the sand regarding the responsibility of their actions, I am forced to theorize along a different direction.

Let me start by saying that the field in which Astucemedia conducts its business is a field that I am intimately familiar with. After all, I’ve been around in that field for over two decades (over 20 years). Astucemedia is not, by any leaps or bounds, a market leader or “big name”. Of course, marketing statements may imply otherwise but that’s certainly not my perception of them. I think I had vaguely heard of them many years ago, at best. I don’t know what reputation Astucemedia has, whether one exists or not, but can certainly say that according to my experience with them their reputation went from non-existent to plain awful.

What I do know about reputations is that my involvement in the development of (realtime) 3D Virtual Set and Broadcast Graphics software and solutions predates the careers mentioned in the profiles of the people in charge of Astucemedia. I might be presumptuous and pretentious for saying it but I like to pride myself on a rock solid reputation throughout this industry. I would even go as far as to say that my renowned reputation probably goes much further than that of Astucemedia and its (ir)responsible management.

It would be beyond stupid if Astucemedia were to mention my name or the names of my businesses on their site because there has never been any involvement or affiliation. But with the widely recognized images of my home office throughout its various incarnations I can’t help but seriously question whether someone at Astucemedia thought that they might gain something by explicitly using an image that is easily and quickly identified with me and my activities. In other words, to simply use an image that might be linked to my reputation for their commercial or reputational gain by fraudulently, falsely, and very possibly litigious unauthorized using it the way they did.

What Astucemedia has gained by copyright infringement and implied affiliation

They certainly haven’t gained the implied affiliation because I’m officially stating right here and now that I am not, nor ever have been, and certainly would not ever now, wish to be affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form.

They also haven’t gained positive attention. I know what happens when I start blogging and when I am inspired to add a company to the public and eternal “hall of shame”. But Astucemedia’s unauthorized use of my content over this long period certainly makes them very deserving of the negative attention they have brought upon themselves. What they have gained is that they are now on my radar in different ways. Pending some more investigation to hopefully uncover the reasons of their actions I reserve my right to take full legal action (in laymen terms; “sue their asses off”) and they’re aware of that.

Astucemedia has also gained generous space and bandwidth on my site and a very serious consideration for the top copyright infringer on the (unfortunately) growing “hall of shame”. There’s no physical prize in being the #1 on that list but there is a price that comes in the form of a big jar of “google juice” (the SEO experts out there will know what that means).

Conclusion

It’s a shame that a relatively small, and to me mostly unknown, company in my very own “backyard” has felt the need to let it come to this. But they had a lengthy period of time to discover their infringement before I did (unless of course they already knew from the moment they used the image that they were doing so with completely different motives). They were then provided a generous amount of time to respond to my inquiry and request to own up to their responsibility in a professional manner but what Astucemedia has shown beyond a doubt in my mind is that they do not wish to act in a responsible manner

And that could be bad news for their clients! I certainly have nothing good to say about any company involved in the creation of content that shows this level of negligence towards the content of other professionals. There are plenty of other broadcast graphics design companies out there and, as far as I know, none of them have felt a need to use content stolen from my site.

Update 12-17-2010

Astucemedia responded to the initial communication claiming that the freelancer/company that did their website provided that image. Right, where have we heard that one before? Oh, a few dozen times already. And guess what, that argument has never held up in copyright matters. It seems Astucemedia does not want to take responsibility. What I find surprising is that a company in the field of content creation doesn’t know that the finger pointing “they did it” does not diminish or alter the responsibility of the company accepting and using material without due dilligence.

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Rosalyn (Ros) Kaspi

Who the hell is Ros Kaspi and why did she use an image of my Home Office for an article about online entrepreneurs on one of her websites? Let’s dig a little deeper into this and uncover the ethical implications of copyright infringement as conducted by someone who is affiliated with what many people, including lawyers, are describing as a total scam and illegal business model. But let’s start with a screen grab of the article that was on her site prior to getting in trouble with me after the disovery.

The first thing to take note of is the domain that the website runs on which is called itpaysyoutoplayblog.com. Maybe it’s just me but with domain names like that the sense of it being some kind of financial scam comes to mind. The About page of the site doesn’t even have any content so the owner and author of the site, which was identified as Ros Kaspi (Rosalyn Kaspi) probably didn’t want to provide any information there.

The second thing to notice is that the article “Online Opportunities for Entrepreneurs” contained an image of my Home Office (in its previous setup) and associated me and my business activities with the content of the article. That, dear readers, is certainly the quickest way to get me to rain down lawyers on you. Additionally some amounts of money are mentioned including various names of people like Richard Sears, Alvah Roebuck and companies such as Sears. None of those names or companies have anything to do with me or vice versa and certainly have nothing to do with the image of my Home Office.

Because Rosalyn Kaspi did not leave any information on the site to help in the process of contacting her about the copyright infringement and the false impression she created with the article the summons and notice was added to the site as a comment that awaited moderation. However, that comment awaited moderation for over a week, well beyond the deadline stated in the notice of infringement. In fact, at the time of writing of this article it is still showing as awaiting moderation which shows you just how involved Ros Kaspi is
with this site of hers
.

A search was started to find Ros Kaspi. One of the first things discovered was a phone number and a traveltvi4pay domain and the fact that Ros Kaspi speaks for a company called Travel Ventures International (she signs her communications with that company name). The company appears to provide “online travel discounts” of some sort and a quick search into TVI revealed a lot of material on many different websites claiming that TVI is a total scam, including an attorney explaining why TVI Express is not legal in the US or Canada.

Some additional searching revealed even more interesting things from Kasey Chang and an article he wrote about Ros Kaspi and some other business thing she’s involved in. In Kasey’s words:

Who’s Ros Kaspi, you ask? Kaspi is half of the moronic duo who had been publishing increasingly hallucinatory entries about TVI Express, passing on messages from their uplines that made absolutely no sense at all.

And in another article featuring Rosalyn Kaspi we find this:

Kaspi and Jackson, who runs a TVI Express member website called IncreaseMyMonthlyIncome. They’ve published some crazy claims before, such as claiming a TVI Express convention in the Florida, US in 3 months even though TVI Express has no announcement doing so. Today, they released even MORE unconfirmed information, which is just… idiotic.

They claim that their upline (the new one, since the old one quit after getting a “cease and desist” from state of Georgia) …

Darren Aikens TVI Presidential in the United States today had a webinar with quest speaker Aknon, who is the current TVI Express Barrister of Marketing.

Do they even know what a “barrister” is? A barrister is what the Brits call a LAWYER or attorney. What the **** is a “lawyer of marketing”? What sort of a lawyer is he that won’t even give his full name? And where does he practice law? India? VP of marketing or president of marketing, I can believe. LAWYER OF MARKETING? Are they kidding me!?!?!?!

But what’s even more interesting is the fact that Kasey writes about Travel Ventures International (TVI) HAVING STOLEN ANOTHER IMAGE. You can see the images and the alleged infringement on Kasey’s site.

So clearly both Travel Ventures International (TVI) and Rosalyn “Ros” Kaspi have a history of copyright infringement for their personal and monetary gains as part of how they prefer to conduct their business. If you can call it a business because everything you can find online about Ros Kaspi and TVI certainly amount to a lot of scam related accusations that I’m sure have a very firm and solid basis considering the amount that can be found, including things like these:

Back in October 2010, Darren Aikens, another “presidential” TVI Express distributor, was supposedly Kaspi and Jackson’s upline, and claims to have talked to Tarun Trikha and a new “barrister of marketing” Aknon and relayed exciting news. Mind you, this is AFTER TVINorthAmerica got the Cease and Desist from State of Georgia.

So what you got here is a lie (by TROYSHELL) to “improve” a lie (by Kaspi and Jackson), about yet another lie, about a company that was founded on lies.


It should be obvious that all this doesn’t indicate anything good about whatever Ros Kaspi is involved in but certainly shows that affiliating themselves with others (or vice versa), without permission, is just part of how Ros Kaspi wishes to conduct her “business”. That is, until real legal crap managed to hit the fan, of course.

Luckily it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find the location of Rosalyn Kaspi (Chicago, Illinois, USA) and thanks to her avatar images used on many other sites like LinkedIn it was easy to find a trail of other sites using the same avatars which eventually led to an e-mail address at comcast.com. It then didn’t take too long to settle the matter!!

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Terapad

This is normally the place where a company or individual gets shamed and exposed for copyright infringement regarding my Home Office images. This time, however, I’m not going to expose just the user but the company that enables the user to commit acts of copyright infringement.

In this particular instance the individual responsible for the copyright infringement is someone by the name of Dennis Landayan who created one of the most awful looking websites I’ve seen since the dawn of places like Geocities and the tremendous amounts of crap that started to culminate over there. Dennis Landyan calls this eyesore of a site “Freedom of Technology”. But it seems Dennis may have mistaken his concept of “freedom” to extend and include “freedom to steal images”. I’ll let the following screen-grab fill in the rest of the picture.

Notice how the page has some automatically generated links for the Terms & Conditions and Copyright Notice. How ironic that they certainly don’t apply to the image of my home office used there by Dennis Landayan.

However, because Dennis Landayan has failed to leave any contact information on his chaotic and messy eyesore site there was no way to send a copyright infringement notice or summons. But Terapad (part of SiteJourney Ltd.) the company that provides Dennis Landayan the ability to host such an eyesore sire has to act under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). Unfortunately (for Terapad and SiteJourney) they have appeared repeatedly unresponsive to the DMCA notifications.

Shame on Terapad and SiteJourney Ltd.

Looking at the terms and conditions of use, Terapad provides individuals with a free web-site (much like Geocities once did), and has a clause regarding violations that clearly states:

23- VIOLATIONS
Please report any violations of these Terms and Conditions via email at labs@terapad.com

Guess what. There is no response nor any action when DMCA notifications are sent to that address. In fact, any other contact address or way of contacting either Terapad or SiteJourney Ltd. yield any response whatsoever. It is possible that Terpad has gone out of business or that SiteJourney is bankrupt and that what we’re seeing online are just the left-over skeletons of some kind of Geocities clone or failed experiment.

However, the unresponsiveness is also what essentially creates a bigger problem for Terpad and its parent company SiteJourney Ltd. because not responding and thereby allowing the infringement to continue makes Terpad and/or its parent company SiteJourney Ltd. liable and responsible for what is being hosted on their server(s). And that’s where the “fun” starts.

SiteJourney Ltd can be found at 40 Beaufort Court, Admirals Way, London, 14 9XL, England (UK). Tel: 020 7093 6040 and Fax: 020 7093 6041 while citing e-mail addresses for support support@sitejourney.com and a general address as labs@sitejourney.com. The latter address, as you can see, is the same as the address for any violations of the terms of service (TOS) of TeraPad.

It is unclear just what the relation between Terapad and SiteJourney Ltd. is but the site of the latter contains the following information:

Terapad.com is a revolutionary online publishing and eCommerce solution well adapted to the needs of small and medium businesses. It’s ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS), meaning there is no capital investment to make, no long term tie-ins, and no upgrade cost, ever.

Terapad is unique in providing a complete online presence going well beyond the traditional ‘web brochure’, and includes e-commerce, forums, image gallery, blog, RSS, event calendar, recruitment tools, support for internationalization, and 500+ other features.

This Hall Of Shame contestant will probably see an update in the story provided here as the last and final notice of copyright infringement has gone out to SiteJourney Ltd. After which there is no longer an excuse to claim ignorance nor any excuse for their prolonged and continued unresponsiveness of over 3 weeks (at the time of writing of this expose).

Needless to say it will be interesting to see how SiteJourney Ltd. is going to respond to a formal legal complaint and whether the results of that might break the company’s back or drive them to take their responsibility like any reliable web-hosting company should (and usually do!) but in the meantime they’ve found themselves a welcome place amongst the contestants in the game of who’s the biggest and worst copyright violator in the Office Thieves Hall Of Shame.

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