13 Oct 2010

Luuux: A place where Thieves get ahead

So I'm sure a lot of you have heard of this website Luuux, which offers bloggers compensation in the form of Luuux points, which then can redeem for prizes such as Louis Vuitton purses or iPads. Several Youtube Beauty gurus and other bloggers have promoted the site heavily, as they stand the most to gain from it. It's essentially a pyramid scheme site, where members get points for recruiting new members, blog comments, etc. I'm not too familiar with the exact ins and outs of how it works to be honest as I'm not interested in joining such a site.

However, it's come to my attention that Luuux is also allowing so-called bloggers to profit from stolen content, in some cases these users are copying and pasting word-for-word the pictures and information from prominent bloggers such as Scrangie, Temptalia, VampyVarnish, and I'm sure many others. From what I can make out, Luuux does have some policies in place against copyright infringement, yet is slow to act on these. There seems to be no monitoring of new posts to see if users indeed upload original content, or if they have just stolen their content from other websites.

The site seemingly disregards the hard work that bloggers put into their work. Real bloggers put in countless hours of meticulous research and some invest in expensive photography equipment to enhance their content. It's no surprise that copyright theft would happen on a site where members gain compensation for every post they make. These "bloggers" only have their eye on the prize, and don't think twice about stealing content from other people. What good can come from such a website?

You can read how tough a time Kelly from Vampy Varnish has had to have her stolen images removed from the site. She is but one of the bloggers affected. So far I haven't seen any of my own content on the site, but it still makes me mad that a website would do so little to protect the copyrights of those people who actually put in the hard work, and reward thieves.

I am hoping that Luuux puts in some more stringent measures to protect bloggers from copyright theft, and that members are forced to post original, meaningful content instead of spending 3 seconds on Google and copying and pasting someone else's hard work.


Real bloggers don't blog on Luuux.

What is your take on this?

32 comments:

  1. You know, I did used to use Luuux but I kept getting frustrated spending my time reporting posts than actually doing anything on the site. So lately I just left it.

    I'll be deleting my Luuux soon, I think it's easily to be wowed by the idea of easy products without "any cost" but so many people have been abusing it and I even see like 12 year olds on the site! It does distort the idea behind blogging from being something fun to being something that is all about pure profit

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  2. Was just having a look on the site as I hadn't looked before. I love that it states this in the rules:

    "If you are sharing content from another author's blog you MUST acknowledge them at the start of your post (say what you find interesting or what you like/dislike about their post) And make sure that you add the link to their original post so that they are fairly represented.

    If an author is unhappy about their work being shared, it is their right to have your post deleted and your points earned will be lost - so please make sure to acknowledge their work as much as possible to reduce the chance of this happening, and create a fair and friendly community to share great content."

    So they clearly don't mind someone publishing someone else's content provided they ask? Surely if the original author wanted to profit from their work in this way they would have put it on luuux themselves? The whole things seems like one massive joke to me.

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  3. OMG she even has people's watermarked photos! After I got through all of her stolen recipe posts I found "slllacqueredup" photos!!! Wow. All I can say is WOW.

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  4. it's orrible!
    how can someone accpt this???

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  5. Thx you for this great info! Thats why we have to put our blogs link in the images to prevent this.

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  6. the "real bloggers don't blog on luuux" statement makes me sad cuz although there are scumbags who try to cheat, i am one who posts original content on both my blogspot & luuux. i'm a college student who always can't afford to buy everything i want, so if there's a site like luuux where i can get free items (even though it'll probably take me forever), i'll be the first to admit that i'm going to take advantage of that.

    i just hope everyone who uses luuux isn't lumped into one negative category.

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  7. It is a massive joke Kelly!!! You can't just copy/paste a post that took me 1 hour to prepare (write, take pics, do some research if needed) and gain money/gifts out of it!! They should really sort it out and monitor what gets posted on their website!! The girl that was stealing Vampy Varnish's content got all her "posts" and Luuux points deleted!

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  8. After the Rock & Republic scam I avoid all of these type of deals.

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  9. Wow, I had no idea. It makes me feel like all the hours of meticulous work I put into my blog is just so someone else can potentially profit from my labor. I work really hard to make sure everything on my blog is 100% mine. If anything, we bloggers LOSE money blogging just by spending money on products to use/review, etc. But we do it because we love it, not so we or someone else can make $$. It's very discouraging. I guess each post will take me even longer now so I can watermark each photo before I post it. I've always known watermarking is a good idea, but it does take a while and I never really thought anyone would have much use for my content. I guess I was wrong...

    Thank you for this information!

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  10. I have a LUUUX account, and there are some good qualities to it. The appeal (to me) is that it's extremely interactive, and you don't have to wait for people to 'discover' your blog, like I do with my personal blog. I put a lot more time into my personal blog, ironically, that no one really sees, because I don't know how to spread the word without 'spamming' people. I use LUUUX to at least interact with others, and yeah, hopefully one day get enough points to get something cool (in America, times are tough, money is rare to come by these days). When I see people copying or stealing other people's work, I report them. When I see someone spamming posts or posting duplicates just to get more points, I report them. It's sad that a few bad apples spoil the bunch.

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  11. LOL i jsut checked out this chics page and they took away everything she earned!!! LOL...

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  12. I joined some weeks back, but haven't been back. The site was so slow, and the whole concept just didn't sit well with me. Like Youtube, a lot of the people on their are underage and have hours to post and collect points.

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  13. Thanks so much for posting this...I'm sad to see so many girls joining this site in the hopes of getting a louis vuitton handbag...and saying that they have to do it because they "can't afford" to buy one on their own. Girls, first of all, you dont need a louis vuitton handbag. You really don't. Second of all, hasn't anyone told you that nothing's for free? Unless you're a very famous YTer who has tons of followers at her disposal, you're putting in your time and energy into this site to collect points when you can just go out there into the real world, get a job, save, and buy your Louis Vuitton AND have something to put on your resume at the same time. In my opinion, Luuux is unethical and I don't care what they claim to give me "for free"...my soul is not for sale!

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  14. I actually HAVE seen quite a few of your videos on Luuux, and I thought it was you at first. The thing is, they did credit you so I don't think Luuux is going to do anything about it.

    I do have an account on Luuux because I was hoping to gain enough points for a better camera for my channel, but most of my content is my own. Whatever content is not mine, I make sure to credit and place a source link within the post. I do wish Luuux would crack down more on people who post others' work, because with the rewards system, many people do post a lot of crap.

    I think saying that real bloggers don't use Luuux is a bit harsh, but I can understand what you're getting at.

    Meanwhile, here is the luuux user who posted some of your work in case you want it taken down:

    http://www.luuux.com/members/agathe-marianne

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  15. I always looked at luuux as a fishy site but people had so much to say about it I wanted to check it out, did one post and felt it was a waste of time. I rather blog on my regular blogger then waste my time in luuux. This post has made me wanted to officially delete my account. Thanks so much Julia !!

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  16. Had a quick look at their rules and according to this you are not allowed to use other peoples blogs,etc at all.

    "Plagiarism involves copy and pasting content from another author, as well as not referencing any images that are not your own. You must reference any images that are taken from another website or author, and written content must be in your own words."

    The site seems okay as long as people dont abuse its purpose, unfortunately people are abusing it! Typical of some people to take a good thing and twist it.

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  17. I was wrong, you are allowed to use other peoples work as long as you acknowledge the author...

    "If you are sharing content from another author's blog you MUST acknowledge them at the start of your post (say what you find interesting or what you like/dislike about their post) And make sure that you add the link to their original post so that they are fairly represented.

    As for this next bit it's rediculous. If you randomly use peoples work how are they supposed to know that you used it so that they can object and have it removed if you dont have to ask them first of all?!

    "If an author is unhappy about their work being shared, it is their right to have your post deleted and your points earned will be lost - so please make sure to acknowledge their work as much as possible to reduce the chance of this happening, and create a fair and friendly community to share great content."

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  18. It's pretty sad people don't see it's a classic pyramid scheme. I looked at the site a couple of weeks ago because a youtuber linked to it, and the whole thing screamed *scam* to me. It's a wrong way of monetizing online presence.

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  19. I feel bad, someone from Luuux commented on this blog with their response but somehow it got marked as Spam and I accidentally pressed delete instead of publish. This was totally done by accident, I feel like giving everyone a fair chance. If Luuux sees this, pls leave your comment again and I will publish it.

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  20. Hi Juiia,

    Thanks for the chance to post again, this was the original message.

    My name is Dave, and I work on the Luuux site. Luuux is a relatively young site and we are constantly learning how to improve it.

    The concept of the site is simple. Create a platform where people can share, blog and get something back for their efforts.

    A few months ago we saw a problem starting with copyright issues and we put in place procedures to counteract it. These have not been good enough.

    We are now going one step further and building a system to scan and check content as it is loaded into the site. This can take time, so we are recruiting more moderators to combat bad postings on the site with immediate effect.

    We have looked at ways to also protect images, but Luuux is not alone in finding this a little more complex to come up with a suitable solution.

    Luuux is a site designed to earn revenue from Advertising and Product sales. We then share revenue back with the bloggers who add content and interact on the site.

    If the site is full of plagiarised content, we will lose out. There is no value to an advertiser to be associated with such a site, at least not one with whom we could build a lasting and valuable relationship.

    If the site can be built with great interesting and diverse content, we can attract a lot of viewers, who in turn may decide one day to buy an item from our shop.

    With reference to Kelly on Vampy Varnish we managed to resolve her primary complaints within 48 hours. Moving forward, we want to work with her and any other bloggers in removing copyrighted content from the site.

    Julia, your post is correct and we as a company are going to have to improve, build a better system and aim to stay one-step ahead of copyright issues.

    We want the blogging community to see us as a valid option, a good platform, and somewhere you can get a little back from blogging. To that end, we will listen and do everything we can to fix this and any other problem.

    Your only point on the post that we strongly disagree with is that Luuux is absolutely not a pyramid company or scheme.

    Users get points or Luuux$ for actions such adding content or comments, or if a friend signs up after clicking a link from a Twitter feed, Facebook wall or similar which they can then buy things in the Shop with.

    A pyramid scheme is something completely different and one which the members of this company would not wish to be involved in either on a professional or personal level.

    If Julia will permit me to say in these comments on her blog page, I can be found on the Twitter LuuuxCM account most hours of the day!

    I would be happy to help out with any issues or questions, especially about the copyright subject and content on Luuux.

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  21. I have a Luuux account and i post just like i do here on blogger just because you have some people that are dishonest dosnt mean the site is bad point out the people who are doing it not everyone dose it like myself. I love the site I get more info on their then I do on blogger. It should be an honer if people use what you put out their. If you dont want your info or things you put out their stolen then dont put it out their. Its the internet prepare for that to happen or insure yourself so when that dose happen you can get paid for stolen info or copyright infringement.

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  22. Wow, I'm actually a little offended by this. I know this is your website, but I think you should put the facts down before you literally bash Luuux as a whole. Yes, SOME users of Luuux steal content from other websites and that's why the FAITHFUL users of Luuux (which there are many) report them because we know it's not fair to take from others without asking and it makes the value of Luuux go down. How do you think Kelly even found out about that incident? ...

    Luuux is still a new website. The staff didn't even realize how big it would become until just a few weeks ago when the website was bombarded by subscribers of Youtube guru's. Ever since then, they've been working day AND night to get everything adjusted.

    I too am a blogger. I own my own website. I make my own entries. Everything I say is in my own words. I have an account on Luuux. Again, everything is in my own words. This is the case for many people on Luuux.

    By the way, Kelly didn't have a hard time whatsoever in having those posts removed from the girl who stole them. The very next day they were removed. Usually when a website is earning profit from posts, they can take up to a week to remove.

    Also, luuux is not a scam. Not only have the Youtube guru's received their prizes from Luuux, but many non-youtube guru's such as myself have received their prizes.

    Again...GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

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  23. It would be good if, as part of its copyright-prevention measures, Luuux could flag site names or URLs. That way, if a blog owner wants to go to Luuux and register as saying "I do not ever consent to allowing my posts to be re-used, embedded, or copied to Luuux", Luuux would have one quick method of ensuring that their content generators could not profit from others' work. Currently there are other Luuux content generators who are embedding others' YouTube videos, probably without those video-creators' consent. So there needs to be a way for people to opt out of their content being re-used on Luuux at all.

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  24. As a beauty blogger, I wouldn't be happy with anyone regurgitating large parts of my posts or using my pictures for their own gain. My creative commons license (and if you're a blogger and don't have one, I suggest you look into it right now - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/) specifies no commercial use, and considering the posters can earn revenue from this, I certainly consider it commercial use. I think the Luuux guidelines ought to caution people to CHECK the blog's disclaimers and make sure they're not violating them.

    If someone wanted to quote me (at most, a couple of lines) and acknowledged, fair enough. Huge sections of text? No way. I'd approach it like writing an essay, they don't allow you to copy huge chunks of text there, either.

    If someone wants to tell someone else what they thought of my post, they can do so by commenting on the post on my blog. Honestly, I don't really see the use for Luuux at all. If I wanted to advertise on my blog, I would. Why do it somewhere else?

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  25. Diana: Your statement is "It should be an honer if people use what you put out their. If you dont want your info or things you put out their stolen then dont put it out their. Its the internet prepare for that to happen or insure yourself so when that dose happen you can get paid for stolen info or copyright infringement."

    Ok spelling mistakes aside, this statement is so preposterous. That's like telling a novelist, well if you don't want to have your work copied and reproduced, just don't publish any novels. It is still plagiarism which is unlawful. I wouldn't find it "an honour" if people were to rip off my work and claim it as their own, and especially if they make money from it. Most others feel the same.


    mxstrxss: This is my opinion. My blog, my website, my opinion. You don't have to agree with it, but I have a right to post my opinions on my own site. Luuux should have had measurements in place to deal with copyright infringement before the site blew up as it did. The way the program is set up, rewarding bloggers for frequent posting over quality content, this was bound to happen. I hope it will resolve the issue completely but as of now, I am still seeing massive amounts of stolen content on the site from all sorts of sources. Hopefully it will get addressed completely, but if no Bloggers had spoken up about this, do you think anything would have been done by Luuux? Thank god there are bloggers out there who have the courage to speak their opinions. :) BTW I never wrote in my post the website is a "scam", I believe that people got their prizes. Maybe >you< should get your facts straight. ;)

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  26. @Diana: We don't need to "insure" anything as you put it. That's what the Digital Millenium Copyright Act is for. Consider that my "insurance". You should probably better familiarize yourself with it because I actually prosecute people for this exact behavior that's being displayed on Luuux. I have NO problem with having hosts take down entire sites for this very reason. I've done it before and I'll continue doing it to anyone who uses my property. Not a single Luuux user who has stolen my material has asked me for permission to use my intellectual property. I'd like to go into their homes and "borrow" their belongings without asking first and see how that goes over. Well, I mean--the door was unlocked, so what's the big deal? Right?

    And to any Luuux users who are reading this that are participating in this unethical activity: You might want to think twice before you right click on someone's images and post them. Did you verify the content use policy of the website owner who is actually hosting that image? I don't authorize any re-publication of my content or images to 3rd parties, and it's spelled out loud and clear--as is the case with most of us who are having our content used without being asked. Right clicking on our photos in Google and selecting "copy image location" to use as a "source" is definitely unacceptable. Using "Google" as a source for those images--also unacceptable. You can't even steal right.

    This isn't a Wild Wild West free-for-all people, so stop acting like it. We don't have to defend ourselves over what legally belongs to us. It's my prerogative not to have my site associated with Luuux, just as it's your prerogative to be on Luuux. SHOW SOME RESPECT!

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  27. I completely agree with your last sentence.
    Blogging should not be done because of an alterior motive - that simply distorts everything...that's the core of the problem with this site imo, it encourages quantity of blog posts, quantity of comments and quantity of friends, for simply no other reason that to up the point count!

    Now, I 'm not saying that everyone on there is like this, and I do understand why some ppl would get sensitive about it, but if you're already a blogger, wouldn't you want to know that the ppl commenting on what you're saying, are doing it out of genuine interest and not just cos they will get rewarded because of it?

    The way the site is built, it was pretty obvious from the start that it would lead to unoriginality eventually, sadly we 're witnessing content being stolen too!!!

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  28. @Diana - I think you're right in that most Luuux user will use it responsibly and honestly and it's a sheme everyone gets tarred with the same brush. Saying that Beauty Junkies Unite has a major point!! It's attitudes like yours that make people think it's ok to take what they want just because it's accessable and that's not right! It's called theft! It's illegal!

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  29. I have a Luuux account yes, i use it basically because it is a blog site that had a lot of stuff im interested in and its more of a community rather than some other blog sites. i use it for that but i also have a regular blog. i use it more so to get more of myself out there to more people. i hate that people use it for anything else or are copying from other people. still i think Luuux is a pretty good site that just needs to get into a groove and get their bearing just like any site needs to in the beginning. thank you for shaing this julie :) it needed to be said.

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  30. Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that I quoted your piece in my article: http://xnta.blogspot.com/2010/12/stop-thief.html

    Have a good one!

    x

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  31. I have a Luuux account yes, i use it basically because it is a blog site that had a lot of stuff im interested in and its more of a community rather than some other blog sites. i use it for that but i also have a regular blog. i use it more so to get more of myself out there to more people. i hate that people use it for anything else or are copying from other people. still i think Luuux is a pretty good site that just needs to get into a groove and get their bearing just like any site needs to in the beginning. thank you for shaing this julie :) it needed to be said.

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  32. It's not true. I have been a member of Luuux since last October and I have received an iPod Touch 4 32GB. I can assure you this site is legitimate. Luuux bans people for plagiarizing. The reason you see so many people with copied and pasted posts is because these people either haven't A) been found or reported yet, or B) ordered a prize out of the shop. You see, when you order a prize they do a very lengthy audit of all your posts, and anything that is found to be in violation gets deleted. So really if you think about it, these people are actually wasting all the time and effort stealing other people's work because it will just get deleted.

    Believe me, they do work hard to punish and prevent cheating.

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