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Google's dismissive DMCA communication

 1:32 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

We've submitted DMCA notice yesterday. We've received the following communication from Google. I am really surprised to see this kind of dismissive email from Google as the scrapper from Canada copied word for word from my page. What other options are available to me?


Hello [Name],

Thank you for your note.

We have received and reviewed your attached DMCA complaint. At this time,
Google has decided not to take action based on our policies concerning
content removal. As always, we encourage you to resolve any disputes
directly with the owner of the website in question.

If you pursue legal action against this site that results in the removal
of the offending material, our search results will display this change
after we next crawl the site. If the webmaster makes these changes and you
need us to expedite the removal of the cached copy, please submit your
request using our webpage removal request tool at

The Google Team



 2:06 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

So much for all those MC recommendations to file a DMCA complaints, huh?

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 2:45 am (utc) on May 10, 2011]


 2:06 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

From my experience they have to be copying at least 5-6 lines of text.


 2:10 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

...copied word for word from my page...

Did they only copy a 'small portion' that would be considered 'fair use' from your page?

If it's short, then they have the right to use it legally, much the same way as we can post 'snipits' of articles here.


 2:14 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

They copied 500 word article, I just copyscaped and found scrapper's website. No snippets. I submitted 56 DMCA reports yesterday, Google rejected 26 so far.


 2:53 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

So, Google went and made a bunch of 'webmaster help' videos, including one directly on the subject of making sure Google knows who the owner of the content is, and in those videos they say if someone copies you to simply file a DMCA complaint, and now when you do they're not going to do anything?

That's about as ridiculous as it gets...

It seems like there must be more to the story, but if not, then I hope they don't wonder why emotions run so high against them and why people have such a tough time looking at the situations they create rationally, because that's just plain: [edited string of expletives here]


 3:14 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

More details

1. Scrapper bought domain last month, scrapper is topping results now.
2. Scrapper is based in Canada
3. Scrapper's website contains 80% of my content
4. Scrapper slightly remixed some of my content, I did not file DMCA yet for the remixed content.
5. One other copy article is posted in Facebook

I am also considering DMCA Ad-sense report and DMCA host report.


 3:21 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why is browsee submitting DMCA notices? Probably because the scraped content is outranking original content.

And I seem to be seeing a lot of this nonsense in the serps.

This, and the lack of transparency with Panda makes me kinda mad.


 3:24 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

What's more ridiculous is the fact that you actually believed what Matt Cutts said.

Didn't anybody learning anything from his famous page rank sculpting video?


 3:47 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

What other options are available to me?

Send the offendin party a letter outlining that they are infringing your IP by copying your content without your permission. Politely tell them to remove it, and if necessary follow up with a polite, but firm phone call.

You should outline that any infringemnt may involve legal cost and that you would additionally reovery of those costs from them.

No luck - get a judgement in your favour, give it to Google and try to recover the costs from the infringer. Different jurisdictions do pose problems.

But i wish it was as easy as i say - however you asked for options.


 4:02 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Don't know if this will help, but if it us that blatant, I would definitely post it in the webmaster tools forums. Maybe one if their favorite posters in the forums will actually be able to bring it to someone's attention that cares at google.

I mean, if they are copying whole articles, what more proof could google want?


 4:43 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

To date Google has always acted on every DMCA I filed. Remember you have to work totally by the KISS principle when dealing with them. If the stolen content does not link to a particular Google program such as Adsense the support can be pathetic and is often not English based. If they reject and you feel you're right just submit again.

If the offender uses any form of Adsense submitting to them is the best route.

The ultimate revenge in the past was Yahoo. They take copyright infringement very seriously and suspend the whole site.


 4:58 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Maybe Google is making more money off the ads on the copied content versus the original? Goofle's gotta keep the shareholders happy, you know!


 6:35 am on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

What other options are available to me?

Personally, I'd seriously think about calling an attorney and seeing if I could sue Google if I knew the work was mine and they were profiting from having an illegal copy of it in their results ... I don't know the whole situation, and I'm not an attorney, but look at point number 1 I cited from the DMCA in this thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

AFAIK They only have protection if: (A)(i) does not have actual knowledge that the material or activity is infringing...

It seems you made them aware there was a copyright infringing piece of work they are showing in their results and if they monetize those results, then you might actually have a case against Google for Copyright Infringement ... IMO It's worth asking someone about.

I think the reason they are so quick with AdSense is they monetize the page, and for them to retain DMCA protection themselves, afaik they cannot know there is copyright infringement they are monetizing ... If you filed a DMCA Complaint and they monetize the results the illegal copy shows on you might have a chance at winning.

Of course if the illegal copy isn't in the results, then there's nothing they can do, because it's not like they're the host or the owner of the site or anything, but if the page is in the results and that page of results is monetized, you might have a chance.


 12:03 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Embarrass Google in forums or try to get e famous blog /site write about it, maybe they'll care then. I don't know the chicken or the egg question but if you were penalized by panda because someone stole your text, it's criminal.

From Google forums:
You guys have to check the cream of the crop here:

My customer site: {some watch website}.net

Now here is someone who RIPPED every single page of his site {some watch website}.net

guess what?

not only he doesnt rank for anymore keywords in our niche but we also dont rank for simple words that we use to rank #1 like:

"****" "***"

Google gave it to the thieves.

On edit: Google is annoyed by DCMA for the simple reason that it costs them money to deal with it. The fact that you may be penalized by Google because others stole your content and Google indexed is no big deal, it's just your livelihood :)

Try sending it to the host and to the hosting upstream provider. CC the complaint to the person and maybe he'll get scared of losing his hosting.

[edited by: walkman at 12:28 pm (utc) on May 10, 2011]


 12:17 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I got the same email from Google. Competitor copied an entire article that I wrote personally and posted it on their site. Then they used snippets of that article throughout their entire site. I DMCA'd just the article that they copied.

Google blew it off with the same email that the OP posted.

As for calling these people, forget it. I've called people twice, and never will again. They'll bullcrap you about how anyone really knows who actually wrote the content, can you prove it, maybe they got it from a third party, anything but talk about removing the content. So DMCA first, then light up the copyright lawyers.

I just called someone this week - they live in the same freakin' rural town that I do in the middle of nowhere - I personally know the guy. Unbelievable tof find this. I call him, tell him he's got my content on his website, could he please take it down. And what do I get? a song and dance about how there's NO way that content came from me, he didn't scrape it, maybe someone got it from another company etc etc etc. Flat out telling him that I personally wrote the content meant nothing to him. In the end he took 2 days but he took it down. Never apologized, nothing.

Next time, I DMCA first, copyright lawyer second. And if I have to pay for a copyright lawyer, I ain't going to be happy.


 1:28 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

what do you do about sites in India that could care less about anything?


 1:29 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all the replies.

In summary, I have the following options available.

1. File AdSense DMCA report
2. File Hosting DMCA report
3. Send email
4. Post message in the GWMT forum
5. Hire a Lawyer

BTW, I meant "scraper" not "scrapper" in my previous post.


[edited by: browsee at 2:06 pm (utc) on May 10, 2011]


 1:34 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is not a suggestion, it's a question:

Would it work under these circumstances to threaten the hosting service with a lawsuit? Even if there was no actual basis in law, it seems a strongly worded threat about how they are facilitating copywrite infringement, how an attorney has been contacted and authorities will be notified, etc, with a bunch of legal mumblejumble thrown in, might scare them into suspending an account.

Just wondering...



 1:39 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

what do you do about sites in India that could care less about anything?

I believe Google rejected some of my reports because the scraper is in Canada. DMCA is legal only in US. But, again Google should not show the scraper site in US results.


 1:58 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe Google rejected some of my reports because the scraper is in Canada.

It doesn't matter where the scraper is. It matters where the scraper is hosted. If it's in the U.S., I think DMCA probably applies. Could be wrong though.


 2:03 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's getting ridiculous.

After reading this thread, I just checked online for whether anyone has copied my best articles/resources. Turns out a few resources had, including one Google Blogger blog (100% stolen content) with Google AdSense ads!

So Google's both allowing stolen content on their servers and paying the thief in the process. I've filed both Google Search DMCA and AdSense DMCA so hopefully they'll take down the blog and person's account soon (.. or not?)

It really needs to be sorted out, although unfortunately it looks like Google have only acted on this issue when a big blog (e.g. Coding Horror) bring it up?

As for the OP - I'd definitely consider contacting the host. Unfortunately only US hosts will tend to act on DMCAs (there's a fairly big Canadian host that outright ignores them, which is annoying!), but it's worth a shot.

[edited by: tristanperry at 2:44 pm (utc) on May 10, 2011]


 2:20 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeah, like I said, this is 'not what I do', but from what I know:

It gets into a bit of a sticky area with international stuff ... Organic search may have some nuances to it AdSense doesn't BUT I'm fairly sure they Have To act on AdSense sites in the US, and Have To act as the Host of the site once they are made aware there is apparent infringing activity.

AdSense I'm almost certain they Must cancel the account for, because if they capitalize on Copyright Infringement afaik they become party to the infringement by not doing anything ... To the best of my knowledge it's the same thing with hosting ... If they are made aware of apparently infringing activity they must act expeditiously to remove access to the infringing work or they become party to the infringement.

My guess is tristanperry will have better luck with the host (Google), page (Blogger) and AdSense being in the US than Browsee did with some portion of the infringement being in Canada, but I do agree with Browsee as far as it seeming like they should not show the infringing page in the US SERPs.

ADDED: There are a bunch of thoughts and ideas I have on infringement in the thread I linked in a previous post in this thread, because I think they are right on the edge too, as chrisv1963 notes below.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 2:25 pm (utc) on May 10, 2011]


 2:20 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

After reading this thread, I just checked online for whether anyone has copied my best articles/resources. Turns out a few resources had, including one Google Blogger blog (100% stolen content) with Google AdSense ads!

So Google's both allowing stolen content on their servers and paying the thief in the process. I've fieled both Google Search DMCA and AdSense DMCA so hopefully they'll take down the blog and person's account soon (.. or not?)

I'm not a lawyer, but I think Google is on very thin ice here. They are making money of stolen goods.


 3:50 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Regarding the Coding Horror discussion about copyright violations and scrapers, I believe that discussion was before Panda rolled out and involved Matt Cutts and some other guy from Google.

Anyway, my point is they were saying they had a big update (Panda) coming out that would address the issue.

I guess Panda just made it worse. Thoughts?


 4:26 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

This all started at Hacker News as well. Google is very sensitive when embarrassed by other techies, that's how Cultofmac and Digital Nation came back within a day. So if they screw 10000 others to not look like idiots at a famous tech blog they will do it. Funny how in that article (and before Panda) the Coding Horror guy admits that 88.2% of his traffic come from Google! Kinda odd, no? And now it's probably 98%.

It's scary how Google's direction is influenced by a post. This update was supposed to deal with eF***dom ranking higher with scrapped stacke***erflow answers and look what we got. Now people are penalized because others stole from.


 4:50 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

If you don't find your original post on a blogger blog, then you are very lucky.

Funnily, google don't remove the blog. They just remove the post.If the blog need to be removed, then you will have to prove that he is a repeat offender.

The fact is google hasn't run the "quality" evaluation on several forums and blogs hosted on blogger.


 4:53 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree with you walkman. Matt cutts seem to be going out of his way to help a few individuals but he turns a blind eye even if a large number of people complain about this issue after panda.


 5:14 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks walkman.

I knew I wasn't dreaming.

Please just fix this Gooble. I promise I'll go to church every Sunday.


 5:45 pm on May 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would suggest examining the DMCA notice you sent and make sure something in it is not missing. If Google accepted some but not all, then it may suggest there is something about the rejected ones that is missing.

Definitely follow up on the registrar and web host, as long as they are based in the United States. Remember, the DMCA is an American law.

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