Now that I've finished re-installing the news database, Duck and
Cover is open for business once again. Our hiatus for the past
two days was because JJTek Hosting (our former hosts) are stupid. Initially,
I contacted JJTek about the databaase errors people were getting in the
forums re the "common word list" and "MYSQL_BIG_SELECTS". A
similar error was preventing me from doing a complete database
backup. In response, I received this e-mail:
From: "JJTEK Hosting"
Subject: copyrighted material
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2005 13:27:26 +0100
You have been breaking our terms and conditions by using your site for file distribution.
We need your agreement that you will remove all the copyrighted
material from your site. This includes all the video files (the
Hitchhiker's movie trailer, everything in /downloads/trailers, etc.),
and everything in /downloads/patches.
Once you have agreed to remove them the account will be re-enabled.
Seeing as the subject was "copyrighted material" and not "Breach of
contract" my initial thought was it was all about the fact we had the
Hitchhiker's guide movie trailer available for download, though I wasn't sure. At this
stage, access to the "downloads" directory on site had been disabled
but the site still worked. I made a post about this in the
Management Forum basically asking what we'd do about it.
also sent an e-mail off to JJTek asking for clarification: Were they
complaining about the copyright or the fact we had downloads at all.
Not more than a couple of hours
after that, the site was pulled offline, all of our access to FTP was
disabled and people
were re-directed to a "this account has been suspended" message. I then
got this e-mail in response to my query:
I apologise for not making the issue clear to you.
The issue is that you have been breaking our terms and conditions by
using your site for file distribution. File distribution is not
permitted with our Enterprise account and this is clearly stated on our
website. Please see http://www.jjtek-hosting.com/hosting/enterprisepackage.php under 'Unlimited Data Transfer'.
JJTek are allegeing that we had inadvertently breached our agreement with them by
offering a handful of files for download and that that constituted a "download server". We wanted our downloads
however and so by that stage, we'd decided to move to a host that would
allow us to keep them. Mr Teatime sent an e-mail to JJTek:
Hi, I see now you have disabled Duck And Cover. I understand you
had disabled the downloads due to concerns of copyright issues, then
the next thing I saw, the site was down. I would appreciate it if you
could enable ftp, ssh and sql so we can make dumps and transfer the
site to a different host. Since we were unable to make full backups of
the site previously as we were getting error messages (another member
of staff emailed you about this recently), which were host related
problems, we need the FTP access to be able to transfer the site fully.
Their reply half an hour later:
We need your confirmation that the offending files will be removed
before we can enable the site. The downloads were disabled due to
contravention of our terms and conditions as file distribution is not
permitted on our Enterprise account.
Teatime e-mails JJTek again:
We'll remove all the files from the site as we have decided to
move to a different host. We need FTP access to get access to the site,
to transfer it to the new host. We don't need the public site
reenabled, just the FTP and so on so that we can download all the
content and transfer it to the new host. This shouldn't take that long
- a few days at most - and we will delete everything from your FTP once
it's been transfered. Please let me know when we can access the FTP
again to do this...
Teatime also gave them a phone call... and here's the kicker.
JJTek decide to pull some of the worst shit I've personally experienced
a host do:
Further to your telephone call today, I am afraid we have now been
advised that we would be breaking the law by allowing you to download
the numerous copyrighted files you have placed on our server. This
includes downloads using ftp. The files are not in one folder, but
are in many different locations spread around within your site's root
folder. We therefore have no alternative but to delete the whole site
from our servers. We can leave your database on the server and allow you access to back it up once we have deleted the other files.
JJTek were unable to provide us with a list of these alleged
"copyrighted files" beyond the trailers and (arguably) patches even
though it appears to be clear that there were able to identify a
substantial number of them. They then deleted all the code I had
created (and which therefore I owned the copyright of) as well as
everything else. Fan Fiction, Fan Art... the whole lot. Gone. Keep in mind
that all of this happened over about a 12 hour period.
Needless to say that pissed the hell out of me and of
Teatime. As far as I'm concerned, JJTek have also breached their
own terms and conditions by failing to give us adequate written notice:
13.3.1 the other party commits a material breach of this Agreement
and, in the case of a breach capable of being remedied, fails to remedy
it within a reasonable time of being given written notice from the
other party to do so;
I'm also pretty sure they've violated a law or two by deleting *our*
content without permission and without due notice that they were going
to do so.We are now being hosted by much more sensible people on Sorcerer's Place who actually used to host us before we made the horrifying mistake of moving to JJTek.