Steve McCabe MP House of Commons London SW1A 0AA Keir Starmer QC Crown Prosecution Service Rose Court 2 Southwark

Bridge London SE1 9HS 14th September 2012

Dear Mr Starmer, 1. I am writing to you in relation to a company, How To Corp Ltd1, which created a product, TrafficPaymaster2, that appears to be specifically designed to circumvent the rights of copyrightholders. I believe offences under Section 107(1), (2) and (2A) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 19883 may have been committed by individuals connected to How To Corp Ltd. There may be other breaches of the law identified pursuant to a full and proper investigation. 2. How To Corp Ltd was founded in 2005 by Grant Shapps MP and his wife, Mrs Belinda Shapps.4 Mr Shapps used a pseudonym, Michael Green, to run the company.5 The HowtoCorp.com website has been active and trading since at least 2002.6 Mr Shapps has claimed he stepped down from the business in 2008 and said it has since been run solely by his wife, Mrs Shapps.7 In 2008 he transferred his shares to his wife and resigned his directorship according to documents filed with Companies House. 3. In 2011 How to Corp launched TrafficPaymaster. There are two versions of TrafficPaymaster, a “Regular” version costing 297 US Dollars and a “Pro” version costing 497 US Dollars. The differences between the two, taken from the promotional site, can be found at Appendix A.8 4. Both versions of TrafficPaymaster are “autoblogging” software packages designed to be uploaded to an internet server. Once installed the user can specify the type of blog they wish to create, specify the subject of the blog, integrate click-through advertising relevant to the subject of the blog and then set the software to automatically generate web pages. 5. The content of these web pages is created by “scraping” content from other websites, i.e. copying it and using it without permission in the process of running a business. This might constitute copyright theft. The “Pro” version of the product “spins” the content using integrated software called TheBestSpinner. “Spinning” is changing certain words in the plagiarised content
www.howtocorp.com http://www.trafficpaymaster.com/ 3 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/48/section/107 4 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digitalmedia/9517370/Grant-Shapps-business-plagiarising-software-and-breaching-Googles-rules.html 5 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/dec/08/1 6 http://wayback.archive.org/web/*/http://www.howtocorp.com 7 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/sep/07/google-blacklists-websites-grant-shapps-family 8 http://www.trafficpaymaster.com/specialoffer/
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to make it appear to search engines that the content produced is original content. Transcripts of promotional videos explaining this can be found at Appendix B. 6. An example of “spun” content can be found here: http://www.golf-swing-help.org/How-ToSwing-In-Golf.html. This site is owned by Seb Fox of How To Corp Ltd.9 The original content appears to be found here: http://www.articlesbase.com/golf-articles/golf-swing-plane-secrets1123997.html. The original content is published under a Creative Commons license which does not permit alteration nor does it permit republication without attribution. 7. TrafficPaymaster is specifically promoted as a way of generating altered or unaltered plagiarised content that will appear high up in search rankings for the product being promoted by the user and then generate click-through revenue through services such as Google AdSense and Amazon Associates. 8. There appears to be a forum in which users of TrafficPaymaster can discuss the service. This appears to indicate active collusion in the creation of “spun” and un-“spun” plagiarised content. On the promotional webpage at www.trafficpaymaster.com, it says: “If you're successful in getting hold of a copy of TrafficPaymaster then you'll also enjoy the company of other users in the TrafficPaymaster Owner's Club Forum... This is the place to hang out and chat through different strategies with fellow TrafficPaymaster owners.” 9. The stealing of other people’s content is an offence under Section 107(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Creating an article specifically designed or adapted for making copies of copyrighted work is an offence under Section 107(2) of the Act. Section 107(2A) of the Act criminalises the communication of copyrighted works in the course of a business. Commission of any three of these offences would allow a judge to impose fines and a jail term. TrafficPaymaster and its associated services appear to be designed to aid or abet the commission of such acts. In having used the software, the law may have also been broken by users, including “Seb Fox” of How To Corp Ltd. 10. I believe there is sufficient prima facie evidence of a breach of the law to warrant investigation. Yours sincerely,

Steve McCabe MP

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http://whois.domaintools.com/golf-swing-help.org

Appendix A – Difference between “Regular” and “Pro” versions of TrafficPaymaster

Appendix B – Transcript of YouTube videos produced by HowToCorp
TrafficPaymaster Revealed - find out more about how TrafficPaymaster Works
Guess you’re wondering how TrafficPaymaster actually works? That’s cool – let me show you inside… When you get TrafficPaymaster you’ll login to your Download Pitstop and grab the software. Simply download the zip to your own computer and follow 4 easy steps to send TrafficPaymaster to your website. Okay now you’re ready so prepare to rock and roll. Here’s your TrafficPaymaster dashboard and you’re simply going to fill out a bunch of information. First, TrafficPaymaster works because it creates tightly focused pages, based around your targeted keywords so we’ve integrated TrafficPaymaster with Google’s External Keywords tool. And TrafficPaymaster will just upload them. That’s how the software knows which pages to create for you. It’s pretty cool stuff. But hundreds of niche pages created around your keyword phrases is only the start. Next you will select a template or make your own so no two TrafficPaymaster sites ever need look the same. But that’s not all. Here’s my girlfriend Tabby to tell you more. You get to choose which high relevant items get to appear on your pages. Yeah that’s right. And PRO users get automatically spun, unique articles on every page. Aha. Plus your site can automatically rebuild itself meaning that your content is forever fresh just like me. SEO Man, really. Yes really. And don’t forget to enter your money sites.

Of course. That’s just one of the many ways to monetize your site. Absolutely. You know I love to include some Google Adsense as well. Oh yeah, that’s a surefire way to create income from the hundreds of pages you’ll be creating. You bet. Anyway, there are a bunch of other cool options. Yeah but we don’t have time to cover them all here. So when you’re ready simply hit the “Create Pages” button. Hey that’s me. Yeah, anyway, within seconds TrafficPaymaster gets to work creating your pages. And you’ll get to review your results immediately. TrafficPaymaster is simply the fastest way to create high-quality traffic-pulling content. Which the search engines are going to love. You know, TrafficPaymaster really works. But perhaps they still need convincing. Well why don’t we let them take TrafficPaymaster for a test drive. Hey that’s a great idea. Pick up your copy of TrafficPaymaster and test it out. Our 100% money-back guarantee means you have nothing to lose. So get TrafficPaymaster right now. And send a ton of traffic to your own site. Get TrafficPaymaster here. Don’t delay. It may be gone.

TrafficPaymaster 4-Minute Site Build and Flip
“Hi, I’m SEO Man and this is TrafficPaymaster.” Introducing TrafficPaymaster 4-Minute Site Build and ‘Flip’ in 10 Easy Steps Step One Go to Google Keyword Tool and Select Your Subject Great! 800 Keyword Terms My Lead Keyword Phrase “Running Gear” Step Two Register a Domain Take it! Step Three Download TrafficPaymaster Step Four Upload TrafficPaymaster to Your Web Host FTP TrafficPaymaster to your web host Use BINARY mode Step Five Register Amazon Associates & Google AdSense Join Amazon Associates & Google AdSense Search for Running Gear products Step Six Login to TrafficPaymaster Dashboard Step Seven Upload Your Google Keyword File Make a bunch of easy choices Drop In Your Money Site Code

Use Your Amazon Associates Code Add Money Sites, Google, AdSense, Amazon, Etc Promote anything you want! Step Eight Articles Automatically Spun by TheBestSpinner Choose article quality versus Original Decide whether site should rebuild Plus create site titles and much more Step Nine Hit Create Pages and Let Traffic Paymaster Work Magic! Pages automatically generated! Step Ten View Your Output Create Hundreds of Pages Build Then ‘Flip’ Your Profitable Site TrafficPaymaster Pages Can Contain… Facebook Feeds Twitter Feeds RSS Feeds YouTube Videos Pictures and Images Spun Articles Google AdSense Amazon Associates Program ‘Look & Feel’ of pages totally flexible Use the templates supplied Or create your own templates! You can send truckloads of traffic anywhere!

To your own sales letter… Or an affiliate offer… Or you can focus on making money through on-site advertising or clicks Generate hundreds (or even thousands) of pages with your affiliate links The options for delivering truckloads of traffic are literally endless And when ready set TrafficPaymaster to Cron Autocruise Set to produce pages every day – or even every hour! Then sit back and relax TrafficPaymaster: Your route to a ton of traffic! Get it now! “You see how powerful TrafficPaymaster is. Check out the easy instalment payment plan and get TrafficPaymaster today.” Easy Instalment Payment Plan at www.TrafficPaymaster.com

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