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Submitting a DMCA to Google

Is it worth it? Do I have to prove I own the copyright?



9:19 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I recently uncovered a number of people copying, verbatim one of my best articles. To exasperate the problem, one of them even used it a press release for his website.

I have contacted the person who now owns the site in question (it's not the same person who actually sent out the press release). But he lives in a 3rd world country and has a "I am beyond your reach" type attitude.

Basically, he refuses to remove the content because he says that I can not prove I own the copyright. The article has been on my site for more than 2 years before his was even created. I still have the original Word doc file which is time stamped. I also have copies of my site on my hardrive which are also time stamped well before the creation of his site.

Is that good enough to convince Google to ban his site? Do I even need to provide proof (if he doesn't try and fight it)? He might well try to fight it. He's being a real a-hole about the whole situation.

Please note: I do not inteed on suing this person. From what I understand about it. I don't need to if Google believes that I am in fact the copyright owner. Personally I don't care if has the article there as long as G doesn't index it.


12:06 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is protecting your copyright worth it? Of course it is - by whatever legal means and tools are at your disposal.

As far as Google and DMCA's are concerned, have a read here:


For more insights, have a good trawl around here:


Good luck!



11:00 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes - it's worth it.
Make sure you have your ducks in order and explicitly follow the instructions on Googles DMCA page (link in previous post).

You don't have to "prove" anything to Google or a web host for that matter. If you wind up in a CI civil suit in court then you will. Go to the wayback machine and you should be able to print out copies by date of your site and theirs showing you had the original content.

Your DMCA Complaint is a legal document and should specifically address

1. Your content/text/image/whatever that has been copied and give the location (url).
2. List what was copied and the url where it can be found.
I believe you have to go a bit further with regards to search results but that is covered on the Google DMCA page.

At worst Google does nothing.
At best they remove the site from the index (and search results.
Good luck.


11:45 pm on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I do not inteed on suing this person.

Then why publish content to make money?

You only use legal recourse to protect your business and it you never intend to use that legal recourse don't bother filing a DMCA because if it fails, a lawsuit it the next step.


1:51 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks for the advice. I was wondering if I needed to prove anything to Google. They don't say anything about on their site but now I know, so thanks.

BTW the last I heard, the wayback machine is not admissible in court. I have dated copies of the work on my computer though so proving it's mine wouldn't be impossible.


I don't intend to sue this person because he lives in a foreign country that's very far away from where I live.

From what I understand, I have to sue that person in his own country. Am I wrong?

As far filing complaints without the intent to sue... I would change my mind in a heartbeat if I thought it would be cost effective to do so. In any case, filing a DMCA might mean that I don't need to sue anyone so it's worth a try.


2:02 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Ah, gotcha, foreign countries are problematic.

Depending on the ISP, many honor complaints about AUP violations which is worth a try too.


2:15 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The likelihood of going to court in your case is probably nil.
Filing a DMCA specifying what has been copied from your site and where it is located on the infringers site should provide sufficient merit (proof) for Google to remove the infringing site from their index. I'm not sure on wayback machine but it wouldn't hurt to maintain a copy of those records from your site and theirs.


6:06 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks a lot for the advice guys. It's been very helpful.

You guys know anything about the Bourne Convention? I've been reading about it and it seems like any country in it (most are) should respect the copyrights of persons in other countries. I've not really seen anything about enforcing it though. It would be nice to have some "ammo" against ISPs in foreign countries. For the moment, the offending website is hosted in the US but the owner insists he's going to move it outside the US if I persist to "harass" him.

Anyway, I'm off to learn more about AUP violations. Thanks again for the tips.


12:17 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I would cease communications with the infringer and file the DMCA. Apparently they are not interested in cooperating.


12:48 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yeah, I did that. I'm waiting to see how Google and his host are going to react.

Do you know if Google will contact me once they decide on what they are going to do? I'd assume they would but then again G isn't known for keeping people informed.


7:05 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If the infringer files a DMCA counternotification then google/host is required to send you a copy. You then have a short time to file a lawsuit. If you don't the infringing site goes back up. Other then that don't expect to hear from either.


11:23 pm on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well that just sucks. I guess there really isn't much you can do about offenders in other countries, if you aren't willing to go there and sue them for it. Also, the country in question for this particular case is known for handing out slaps on the wrists of offenders.

I'm pretty sure this guy will fight it. He's been a real ass the entire time.

However, there is an upside. I had a partial ban on that site which just got lifted so my version went to #1 for all meaningful phrases associated with that article. His copy fell to like 600. Karma, maybe...


1:06 am on Apr 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

" my version went to #1 for all meaningful phrases associated with that article. His copy fell to like 600."

In effect, he's dead already. You've won. If he's at 600 you don't need him removed from the Google index...


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