Hosting an IMVU Fan-Site

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by Don Von Alpha Dom · 4 posts
10 months ago
Posted 10 months ago · Author
One of the hardest things about running an IMVU fan site such as our own ... is protecting your assets from being shut down via fraudulent legal threats sent towards your service providers. IMVU inc / Together Labs regularly pays mercenary brand protection services, who make a yearly sweep of the internet ... sending fraudulent legal threats and malware reports to service providers, reporting any and all websites that host content related to IMVU. One moment you are running a successful IMVU themed blog ... and the next morning your website is down, your email inbox filled with emails accusing your site of DMCA, malware, phishing, and anything and everything else IMVU's dickish mercenaries can falsely accuse you of.

After running an IMVU related fan site for 14 years, here are the tips and tricks we have learned ... for protecting your website(s) against IMVU's overly aggressive brand protection department.

1) don't use copyright words in your url / domain name, (example: IMVU) You can only get away with this if your domain was registered before 2014, before the letters "IMVU" were copywritten.
2) run your domain through a reverse proxy (like cloudflair or ddos-guard); otherwise IMVU's brand protection goons will deploy darkweb services to ddos your website offline and convince your service providers that your assets are too much of a risk to host
3) host your site on an offshore hosting server (norway, sweden, and poland are the best right now, as their free speech laws protect you against dmca takedowns)
4) host your site on a private server, not shared hosting, otherwise the other websites who share a server with you can / will complain after IMVU's brand protection mercenaries start attacking them as well ... which can result in you getting booted off of the server
5) if you can, get a .org or country controlled domain (like .uk or .in) If you get a .org you can claim non profit organization or union status, which protects you from many types of legal threats
6) avoid the US, Russia, and China based services ... their censorship laws can be a real bitch to deal with
7) make sure all emails your website sends out follow the can-spam act laws, to prevent your mail server from being blacklisted
8) if your site has registration, tell users not to use the same username / pass as their IMVU account, so no one can accuse you of being a phishing website
9) place a warning on your site that you are in no way affiliated with imvu inc / together labs, again ... so no one can accuse you of being a phishing website
10) if you allow user posted content, make sure you have a TOS and flagging buttons, to report content that breaks your TOS; this protects you on so many levels, ... otherwise someone can register to your site ... post illegal shit, and then get your site in trouble for it
11) keep nightly database and source code backups on a sperate backup server hosted by a secondary host provider, just in case something happens to the physical server you are renting; disaster recovery plans are the difference between a quick recovery on a new server and loosing everything
Posted 9 months ago
Thank you Dom for all the great info in this message thread. Im sure its going to help alot of our great family n friends out there who run into this problem alot with web hosting.
Posted 9 months ago
Congratulations for 14 years.

Agreed 100%, fraudulent legal threats sent towards your service providers. But you guys hard work made it possible.

Thanks for a lot of key points to maintain site.
Posted 9 months ago
@Don Von Alpha Dom

Thank you so much for your helpful tips....it is greatly appreciated. Stay safe everyone.

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