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Copyright Infringment DMCA Notification
GoodLucre




msg:1338898
 10:33 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was notified by Google AdSense this morning that I was reported via the DMCA act that my web site had infringed upon another web sites work. Upon investigation of this allegation, I cannot say whether I did or didn't infringe as it was a daily news article that I had copied as a "Fair Use" type of article. These articles are published and removed daily and I no longer have a copy of it to see it.

If this article did not have a link to the web site on it, am I in a lot of trouble? I certainly do not wish to infringe upon others work and this would be only a mistake on my part.

Has anyone else had this happen to them?

-GL

 

jimbeetle




msg:1338899
 10:45 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whether you have a link back or not, fair use might not mean what you think it means. Take a look at the Copyright Offices discussion on Fair Use [copyright.gov] and the wording of the applicable copyright law [copyright.gov] itself.

Assuming that whoever filed the DMCA with Google has also filed or will also file with other parties (such as your host) you are going to need a lawyer for this. Find a good IP attorney, someone specifically knowledgeable about DMCA, to find exactly what steps you need to take in order to protect yourself.

Also, check archive.org to see if there is a copy of the previous version of the page to help refresh your memory.

novice




msg:1338900
 11:06 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

You might want to check out Chilling Effects. They have a lot of info on copyright infringment. Also, I believe that Google sends them all the DMCA complaints they receive.

walkman




msg:1338901
 11:06 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

usually,
if you remove the article and let them know, everything is fine, unless they really hate you because of something else.

MichaelCrawford




msg:1338902
 11:24 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Fair use doesn't mean you can take the whole article. You can quote a snippet of it, for example to comment on it for the purposes of a review, but simply taking the whole thing and republishing it is a clear case of copyright infringement.

However, it's not Google who should have received the DMCA notice, but you. Google was not in any way at fault.

If you're still republishing news articles this way, you need to stop until at least after you've consulted an intellectual property attorney.

novice




msg:1338903
 11:35 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

However, it's not Google who should have received the DMCA notice, but you. Google was not in any way at fault.

If the copied material appears on a Google search, Google is notified by the copyright holder to remove the content. Also Google forward a copy of the complaint to Chilling Effects.

It's the fastest way to get the person who copied the content to remove it with out an attorney.

[google.com...]

europeforvisitors




msg:1338904
 11:37 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

However, it's not Google who should have received the DMCA notice, but you. Google was not in any way at fault.

Actually, it's proper to send a DMCA notice to Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc., along with the infringer's hosting service (if the latter can be identified). Google's DMCA compliance procedure is explained at:

[google.com...]

[Edited: Looks like Novice beat me to the punch! :-]

MichaelCrawford




msg:1338905
 12:11 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

By the way, I'm no legal expert, but I've been told that an email is not sufficient notice for DMCA takedown notices. They have to be written on paper and bear a "wet signature". That is, written by hand with ink. You can't do that with an email.

They also have to specifically identify the material that is infringing their trademark. Just saying that you're doing so is also insufficient.

Your ISP or hosting service doesn't have to take the material down if you certify that the material doesn't infringe copyright. However, you also have to agree to defend yourself in a lawsuit, and I think it's the copyright holder that gets to pick the venue.

Jenstar




msg:1338906
 12:18 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

However, it's not Google who should have received the DMCA notice, but you. Google was not in any way at fault.

Once the DMCA has been sent to Google, the person whose copyright was infringed can then report that publisher to AdSense for copyright infringement, which is what happened in order for GoodLucre to receive the notice from AdSense.

https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=9894&topic=145

By the way, I'm no legal expert, but I've been told that an email is not sufficient notice for DMCA takedown notices. They have to be written on paper and bear a "wet signature". That is, written by hand with ink. You can't do that with an email.

Yes, that is how the notice must be filed *to* Google by the person whose copyright was infringed upon. Google can then notify the infringer how they chose to.

it was a daily news article that I had copied as a "Fair Use" type of article

Definitely brush up on your copyright law. Unless you had explicit permission to republish the article in its entirety, you are violating copyright infringement law.
Fair use refers to the practice of using a snippet (ie. 2-3 sentences) then linking to the original source so the person can read the full news article. If you simply copied an article and published it on your site without permission, that is not fair use by any stretch of the imagination.

Broadway




msg:1338907
 3:04 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am pleased to hear of your situation. I was aware of being able to file a DMCA complaint with Google but I was unaware that one could be filed with Adsense and they would take action on it. I was under the impression that Adsense would not involve itself in copyright infringement complaints.

GoodLucre




msg:1338908
 3:27 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you for all of your comments. I have learned a lot today. As usual, all of you are very helpful!

Many thanks again!

-GL

OptiRex




msg:1338909
 3:34 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Being the usual Devil's Advocate that I am...

Surely this depends upon where the alledged infringement has taken place?

America likes to believe it has worldwide jurisdiction...but it does not.

Personally I have had two such instances this past year and Google nor anyone else could do absolutely anything since the ISP and the publisher are situated outside of the USA.

This entire 1,000+ page web site still remains available within Google's search engine with only the logo company name, all colour schemes still the same, and contact addresses altered.

Fortunately Google's duplicate penalty sees it at the bottom of the pile however it still annoys me that it is still there even after I spent a fortune trying to get it removed!

DMCA's look good but are they worth the effort?

Remember...Devil's Advocate

incrediBILL




msg:1338910
 4:00 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

America likes to believe it has worldwide jurisdiction...but it does not.

Personally I have had two such instances this past year and Google nor anyone else could do absolutely anything since the ISP and the publisher are situated outside of the USA.

Now that the yank bashing is in full swing <grin> I'll point out that since Google (and the other search engines) are in the US, serving them with a DMCA notice is an easy way to knock foreign infringers offline.

That's what they can do to you, dump your SERPs and you'll post the next "MY ADSENSE INCOME HAS HIT ROCK BOTTOM" thread.

GoodLucre




msg:1338911
 4:29 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just an update:

The first piece of advice received in this post was to get a lawyer, which I did. It seems that this person that filed the DMCA doesn't even own this piece of work but is only hosting it. The DMCA claim is invalid. So, you can only imagine how much trouble this person is in now!

Be sure to always protect yourself!

-GL

europeforvisitors




msg:1338912
 5:16 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

It seems that this person that filed the DMCA doesn't even own this piece of work but is only hosting it. The DMCA claim is invalid. So, you can only imagine how much trouble this person is in now!

If billy-bobs-site.com stole an article from THE NEW YORK TIMES and you stole it from Billy Bob, that doesn't change the fact that you infringed somebody's copyright. It just means you infringed THE NEW YORK TIMES's copyright, not Billy Bob's.

If I were you, I'd learn what "fair use" means--and I'd count myself lucky if the AdSense team pretended that the copyright infringement didn't occur.

moneyraker




msg:1338913
 5:44 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi all, does anyone know how 'fair use' applies to photos? I have a website that features some famous persons and I did get some photos of these people off the net (the ones that are seen in various websites, which makes it difficult to trace the owners of the photos). Am I in trouble now? Should I take them off immediately? Thanks in advance for the advice...

WallyWorld




msg:1338914
 9:05 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

How would one know if a DMCA complaint had been filed with a search engine. If the search engine doesn't notify the website you would never know that it was a complaint that caused your traffic to nose dive.

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