Investigation launched into Copyright Infringement, plagiarism, and internet theft


The Forest-Blade was recently made aware that the website, which was previously operated by The Crossroads Chronicle newspaper before their closure, is active again and taking content from our website, is actively pulling stories published on and publishing them on their site, while also removing bylines and putting their own byline on it. They have not been given permission to do so, and as is stated in the Copyright/Terms of use on, “We retain full copyright ownership, rights and protection in all material contained on this web site, including but not limited to material submitted by community contributors. Except as otherwise expressly provided in these Terms and Conditions, you may not copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, rewrite, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any material contained on the Web Site without the prior consent of the copyright owner.”

We have submitted copyright infringement and plagiarism abuse complaints with the necessary entities in an effort to have the offending site taken down, but the process involved can be complex and lengthy before anything can be done. We wanted to make you, our community, aware that we do not know who owns or operates the site, why they are taking our content, or what their intentions are.

We spoke with Greg Bennett, Mayor and former owner of The Crossroads Chronicle and its website, about the website being active again. Mayor Bennett stated that he had “absolutely zero” involvement with the site and was not sure who was operating it.

“The corporation is dissolved,” Bennett said. “It is not mine. Absolutely nothing to do with me.”

As you do in other areas of your everyday life, we encourage you to exercise extreme caution online, especially with websites you are not familiar with or do not conduct regular business with. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, be aware of the following to protect yourself while using the internet:

Sharing personal information with others you do not know personally is one of your biggest risks online. Sharing sensitive information such as your address, phone number, family members’ names, car information, passwords, work history, credit status, social security numbers, birth date, school names, passport information, driver’s license numbers, insurance policy numbers, loan numbers, credit/ debit card numbers, PIN numbers, and bank account information is risky and should be avoided.

Beware when opening emails from unknown people or sources, especially when they are unsolicited. Clicking on links or downloading attachments can infect your computer with a virus or subject you to fraud, malware, or a scam. Some viruses harm your computer, while others have the ability to steal your personal information and ultimately your identity.

Beware of scams that use links in emails directing you to a website or providing you with a phone number to call. Some links in emails can be deceiving.

In general, beware of email scams and websites that try to trick you into sharing your personal information. A website that looks legitimate can be set up quickly. Remember legitimate customer service representatives will never ask you for personal information or passwords. Consider not responding to unsolicited emails, never click on links in these emails, and be cautious if you are asked to respond quickly.

Keep your computer’s operating system, browsers, antivirus, and other software up to date with the latest or daily security patches.