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2180 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2013 10:30 PM by debeachrental RSS
jbarbara321 Contributor 96 posts since
Mar 17, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 8, 2012 9:31 AM

Stealing My Advertisement Descriptions

I have an unusual issue and not sure how to handle it or if I should just let it be.  I advertise with 2 orher websites besides HomeAway and have 2 properties in the Adirondack Mountains in NY.  I have noticed over the last few years that people who are new to renting in my area are copying part of my house and area descriptions and using them to advertise their house. In the past, I just changed my descritpion to make it original again and didn't think much of it.  


This morning, I noticed a new house went up for rental in my area and they copied and pasted my description of my house and the area, cleaning fees, things to do, rental rates, personal quotes etc. WORD FOR WORD!  The only thing they changed was the amount of bedrooms and took out "fireplace" because they don't have one.  On one of the websites, we are the only 2 houses in the town and we had the exact property description!  I ended up changing it but do I say something to her?

  • mlbmaine Active Contributor 903 posts since
    Mar 2, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 10, 2012 9:53 PM (in response to jbarbara321)
    Re: Stealing My Advertisement Descriptions

    I think that I would say something to the other property's owner.  I know that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but this is ridiculous. I think that it would create a negative impression of each property with potential renters.  It could also confuse potential renters and they might think that the properties belong to the same owner because the descriptions are the same.


    Also, you mention that they have copied "personal quotes."  Are you referring to guest reviews of your property?  If they are copying those, that sounds like fraud to me.  If they are making up bogus reviews of their property by copying your guest reviews, I think that you should notify VRBO/HomeAway and see if they will take some sort of action against the owner of the other listing.  Good luck!

  • densheff New Member 11 posts since
    Sep 20, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 5, 2013 10:31 AM (in response to jbarbara321)
    Re: Stealing My Advertisement Descriptions

    I was the first one in my area to advertise on VRBO in 2001 and after a few years of great success others signed on. I find my discriptions, rates and policies on almost all of the competetors sites. In this market R&D means "Rip Off and Duplicate". That's just the way it goes.

    • carol Senior Contributor 2,150 posts since
      Dec 10, 2010
      Currently Being Moderated
      Jan 5, 2013 11:14 AM (in response to densheff)
      Re: Stealing My Advertisement Descriptions

      Rates and policies would not be covered under copyright protection, but descriptions should be.   I would contact the other owners and protest, but try to keep it cordial.  They are your competitors, but they also are your allies when it comes to standing up to local regulations.  


      Perhaps you could also try to complain to HA?  They are violating the Terms and Conditions of HA advertising:


      ...Terms does not include any right of collection, aggregation, copying, scraping, duplication, display or derivative use of the Site nor any right of use of data mining, robots, spiders or similar data gathering and extraction tools without our prior written permission; ...


  • debeachrental New Member 18 posts since
    Sep 11, 2013
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2013 10:30 PM (in response to jbarbara321)
    Re: Stealing My Advertisement Descriptions

    I just noticed that a neighbor did the very same thing to me. I've been with VRBO for 10 years and keep an eye on the competition in my area, especially in my community. They listing is new and they copied almost word for word. So, I wrote to them and also reported it to Home Away. That was yesterday and so far, I haven't heard anything back from the owner or Home Away. I'll keep you posted.

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