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After DMCA, What Other Options?

 5:02 pm on Aug 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

One of my sites was ripped off by two domains (must be with the same person as it is both .com and .org of same domain). Total rip off -- including all our content, images, even logo and copyright information of OUR company. They did not even bother to change the logo and simply used our site's logo. Even their copyright notice is that of our company's name

We have sent a DMCA to the web host, and they said that "We have contacted our direct client regarding your report and expect a prompt response, including action against the abuser."

That was Friday last week and the two sites are still up

I have also filed a DMCA with the domain provider today.

What should be the next step? Can I do anything else other than wait?

I haven't sent Google any DMCA yet, though I have seen their Advertise with Us page (ours actually) indexed in Google already. I just don't want that site to be up longer and do more harm to us (duplicate content, etc)

Any advice will be greatly appreciated



 2:35 am on Aug 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Definitely notify Google (although good luck getting a hold of a human). The sooner, the better. They just put up this form today which might help. But... definitely file your DMCA's and go nuclear on them. Contact their hosting company too. You're lucky if they have a domain name as it's easier to track. The BIG pain in the neck is the spammers putting stuff up on Blogspot.

Here's the form from Matt Cutt's recent tweet:

"Scrapers getting you down? Tell us about blog scrapers you see:


We need datapoints for testing."


 7:49 am on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

DMCA them everywhere (file the request) Yahoo, Bing, Google, AOL, Facebook, Twitter. Anywhere you can find them


 7:50 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

After DMCA you have one option and that is to follow up with a copyright lawsuit.

If the host fails to follow the DMCA then they lose their safe harbor provisions.


 8:13 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've got a call in to a copyright lawyer right now, for a scraper located in an area where DMCA does not apply. I've asked them for a breakdown of my options, will post them here once I hear back.


 8:55 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

@wheel, doesn't matter where the infringer lives does it? I was pretty sure the US based SE had to honor the request, or the host if US based


 8:58 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Go to your local library, create a free Google account and then visit their Google Webmaster Forums. Using the URL of the site stealing your own content, ask why your site suddenly lost its rankings... (do it as if YOU own the scraper site) and why your adsense earnings are no longer streaming in to your network.

The question may be a bit premature... but true nonetheless.


 9:04 pm on Sep 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think matters where the hosting company is. If the hosting company isn't US based, then can't use the DMCA.

Thankfully, the SOB lives about an hour drive from me (I'm almost certain) and I connected with a (C) lawyer from a big firm a year ago at a linux event, who's also in the same place as the scraper. So get ready for the big swat.

I'd have some sympathy if they just cut and pasted unwittingly. But this guy's an experienced SEO, he's flogging adsense and is using my content on hundreds of pages across multiple sites.


 3:44 pm on Sep 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just had an exhausting call with a lawyer. It's difficult to get specific advice in terms of a direction out of them, but eventually I arrived at this.
- send them a letter saying I have records indicating I own the (C), I own it, they're infringing. Give them a date to remove the content, otherwise I will seek counsel.
- next step is a 'scary letter' as the lawyer said. $500-$1000.
- if that doesn't work, we can file something with the courts in my country, cost about $5K. If they haven't folded by then, they normally do at that point.
- only other option is a lawsuit which is $100K. Absolutely ridiculous. They can break the law but the legal system provides no effective recourse.

Lawyer also advises that shooting scrapers is definitely illegal outside of Texas, but one is entitled to free representation at the trial :).


 3:24 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

The power of the DMCA is the threat of being delisted from places like search engines, social media, etc. Even if they are located in Russia or China, the DMCA can get them banned from Google and other USA based web service providers. If they are making money from adwords or adsense, this should get their attention.

Outside of the USA, EUCD (European Union Copyright Directive) provides similar protection.

Wheel's steps above are the lawyer steps. The layman's steps are.

1. Cease and Desist email (that's the first point he lists), with time limit and threat to file DMCA. Tell them they will be delisted from google, banned from adwords, adsense, etc. The Email Subject should be : CEASE & DESIST

2. If that doesn't work, send the C&D again, this time cc: the host provider (or do it the first time if you want to use the big stick).

3. Actually file a DMCA with google, yahoo, bing, etc

4. The violator will be notified and delisted

Once I had a violator who was a woman selling consulting services as a location expert. She consulted to a book author and sold them text from one of my web pages verbatim. I didn't C&D her, because I was waiting on my lawyer's advice. But I C&D'd about 100 people for that page at the same time I found her and learned that she had been giving people permission to use this text. I guess somebody told her, because every reference to that book with the stolen text was gone from her website and the book website within a matter of weeks. At that point DMCA no longer applied and I would have had to sue the book publisher, so I tried calling her in Boston a couple of times to let her know what I thought of charlatans and thieves, but she never answered the phone, so I had to let it go.

Conclusion: I've never had to go beyond 2. Step 2, shuts down 90% of violators and most host providers will voluntarily stop/refuse services if the violation is obvious. Most blog hosts will delete about 50% of the blogs immediately if you cc them. In the event you get to step 4, under the DMCA, if you haven't filed a lawsuit within a certain time period, they can request to be relisted, but I doubt many real violators would go so far, to steal content once they know you will fight them.


 4:04 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I neglected to post something the lawyer suggested. Check the TOS of their registrar. Some registrars require a court order to take something down, but others are more DMCA like.


 4:10 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

As I understand the DMCA, registrars are not liable for any content infringements by domains that they have registered. The only time I sent a C&D to one by accident, they said I must contact the host provider.


 4:16 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's not the point. SOmetimes the terms of service of the registrar itself allows takedowns, not the DMCA. According to the lawyer they've done that before.

Something I've not done before, and I'm not quite clear on. If I submit a DMCA to Google, will they remove the site from the serps? The scraper is running adsense. I've done a DMCA to Google for content on blogs, but never for someone who's not affiliated with Google. If they're out of the serps, that takes care of the problem too.


 7:22 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

If Google honors your take down request the offending site (or page) will be removed from Serps and it will be replaced by a notification saying something like, some results have been removed due to [take down request]. I've seen pages like that from time to time. For search engines, the take down doesn't have anything to do with whether or not they use google (or yahoo or bing) services, it is to comply with the safe harbor clause of the DMCA. For a host provider, it only works if they are hosted there.


 8:11 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

sometimes, means I have got a DMCA note 2 times in 6 years, every time I have took down the image within 2 hours, sometimes user upload "bad" images, so I like DMCA and for that I also act at once of respect of the owner. In your case its just pure wrong to ignore that long.


 8:46 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'll have to chew on that. I'm not a big fan of overt action with Google, but this guy's taken steps to stay hidden, I can't use DMCA, and he's using adsense to monetize my content so perhaps it's warranted.


 10:00 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you look at Google's public statements and actions in search engine optimization, they seem to be on your side. Not acting is helping perpetuate the problem. I don't understand this mystique here about google contacts being dangerous. I know a programmer at google and he says he knows nothing about search and has no contact with them. He works on Gmail. The various departments don't spend their free google hours emailing each other on who should be banned for asking that the law be respected.


 10:07 pm on Sep 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not dangerous, it's just that I'm not their police department. I've got better things to do. In this case, there's some faint hope of direct action on their part that is directly beneficial to me.


 2:23 am on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I filed a DMCA with Adsense (a different site from the one I pointed above), Adsense wanted me to show proof that I have sued the other party before they remove them from Adsense. This site copied word for word several of our articles (which so happen to be our top money makers), and then claimed the authorship as their own (they put their byline in the article, and removed my name.

We are providing you with the counter notification and await your notice (in not more than 10 days) that you have filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the counter-notifier's allegedly infringing activity. If we do not receive such notice from you, we will not remove the AdSense publisher from our program.

I had to drop the claim because I was not willing to spend money on a lawsuit. Such a shame.


 4:49 am on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

They can break the law but the legal system provides no effective recourse.

If you cannot afford $100,000 you are not the sort of copyright holder who bought the laws.


 5:01 am on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I find the idea of enforcing through the registrar very disturbing.

I would never use a registrar with that policy, because it puts you in a weak position: assuming you do your best not to breach copyright you could easily have a problem with user generated content, content you buy in good faith that turns out to be plagiarised, disputed copyrights, variations in copyright law between countries, and simple fake claims.

As far as this case is concerned, I suspect a complete perfect copy is the smallest threat: it is helping search engines (and perhaps even users) realise it is the duplicate. There has been a perfect copy of my site in Russia for years, and I it never ranked for anything. I suppose I should send Google a DMCA. The big threat is bits of your content being ripped off big sites.


 5:07 am on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

>> If Google honors your take down request the offending site (or page) will be removed from Serps and it will be replaced by a notification saying something like, some results have been removed due to [take down request].

Took google six months to get back to us on the DMCA notice and by that time the scraper had moved to a new site. Worth going through the rituals? I'm not too sure.

Better points of attack are the host. Unfortunately, they moved from their US host to a European host who required a whole bunch of other paper work.

To google's credit, their algorithms seem a little bit better now compared to jan / feb of this year and the guys have a hard time ranking against us.


 12:19 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

In less than a month I've had Google close down one site and forced the other to remove a couple of my pics.

If it's pictures that are being stolen then Google acts quick in my experience, articles are more difficult to enforce.

The problem with pictures is that once one person has stolen them then others steal from that site and you're blowing in the wind trying to stop it at that stage. Stopping it when just one site has stolen is much the best option.


 1:29 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Scrapers getting you down? Tell us about blog scrapers you see:

Google meets the definition of a scraper, right?

Can we report them as well?


 6:57 pm on Sep 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

@frontpage, no Google is not a scraper: they do not try to convince anyone that the content is their work, they link back to you, and if you want you content off their site blocking their bots with robots.txt works.


 6:08 pm on Sep 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

funny this has happened before to me. and what adsense wants to see is the filing by the courts so....


of course it will be tossed out, but the goal is to stop the money flow. Here is a link to something simular and what the guy had to do. Most import issue here is that you get the court papers filed and ASAP send it out to all the parties involved.


now some of the first steps,
get every proper complaint in order before filing.
get every internet service provider information so that you can file
get yahoo's gmail bing address for claim
then get CJ, neverblue media and the advertisers claims

basically you are going to spend about 200 packages worth of mail and emails making sure that you kill this parties ability to earn revenue and or rank on the web.

rather simple ...
then in the future, get those domains and redirect to your website. LOL

Yep I am a prick when it comes to my web content, but I am not a good writer, so what others do in 1 day it takes me 2 weeks. I got to protect my little bread and butter.


 9:28 pm on Sep 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>It's not dangerous, it's just that I'm not their police department. I've got better things to do. In this case, there's some faint hope of direct action on their part that is directly beneficial to me. <<

This is about protecting your content and stopping the hordes of content thieves. We all have better things to do, but if you have enough time to pay a lawyer, this seems like a no brainer.


 12:20 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

@mojomike interesting link.

I wonder what the situation is in other countries with small claims courts?

That is even more evidence that the laws are deliberately written to favour big media.


 3:49 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

What I want to know is how you discovered this scraper so quickly?


 4:52 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I grab sentences from my page and Google them in quotes. There's probably better ways,but it's a pretty good low tech way for someone with only 20 pages or so on their site.

For example:

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