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DMCA - not getting success at Yahoo



8:33 am on Apr 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

A week after an emailed AND faxed DMCA Complaint to Yahoo the alleged infringers site is still live. I wonder what Yahoo considers to be an "expeditious" response to a DMCA Complaint - a week? a month? a year?

Call Yahoo to inquire and you get an answering machine. I won't hold my breath for a return call from them.

For the record, the complaint filed was valid and listed significant text that was copied "verbatim" from us - along with the location of the copyrighted text published on the infringers site.

A DMCA Complaint to GoDaddy against a different site for similar reasons resulted in a takedown within 2 hours.



7:37 pm on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yahoo have, in my experience, evidenced almost zero respect for anybody's copyright other than their own. And since the plagiariser is paying them (for hosting, or by posting stuff beside which they place ads), and since you're just bothering them (about obeying the law and common decency), they don't reply to you, and they tend not to evidence any respect.

The e-mail address they provide for DMCA contacts is apparently fraudulent: if they bother to reply to your e-mailed DMCA notice, it will be to say that they don't bother to respond to e-mailed DMCA notices; go use the fax number or snail-mail. They also make fairly clear that you should NEVER call them -- though, of course, you should provide them with your phone number and e-mail address!

In my experience, you generally have to wait somewhere between two weeks and three months for Yahoo to respond. And by "respond" I mean "take action". They won't actually reply to your message(s).

At first (five years ago? longer?), the fax information was also fraudulent, but they do appear finally to be responding to faxed notices; you are no longer required to send signature-required, tracked packages in order to force them to comply with the law and their own stated policies. However--

Even though Yahoo obviously run Yahoo India, Yahoo Canada, Yahoo [insert country name here], they will claim to be powerless to act if you provide notice of plagiarism with a non-US URL. They will direct you to contact Yahoo [country name] directly. However, if/when you are able to locate that country's office's copyright-policy page, you'll find that the contact information is -- wait for it! -- the US information. Which, as you'll already have learned, refuses to assist.

Fortunately, Yahoo over-market themselves by cross-posting their own information. If, say, Yahoo India have posted a copy of your content, you should be able to find (if you look hard enough) an apparent US-based version of the copy as well. Don't bother contacting Yahoo-India at all, nor with contacting Yahoo-US with the Indian original; contact Yahoo-US with the US-based version. Once that copy goes down -- surprise! -- so do all the others (despite the obviously-fraudulent claims of Yahoo-US of non-affiliation).

Note: Since sometimes Yahoo staff claim to be "confused" regarding the actual infringement, I provide (in addition to what's actually required by law) printouts of (at least portions of) my original content and their (users') copies. With highlighting. And brackets. And arrows. And labels.

Eventually, it does work. *sigh*

Good luck!



11:55 pm on Apr 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

One of the problems with DMCA regarding web hosts is that there is no consistency - in essence they make their own rules.

Send a DMCA to Earthlink - boom your down and you must file a counternotification before anything else, to include ftp access
to their server.

GoDaddy - Boom your down but they allow access for the infringer to make changes - then right back up. So they do it about half-assed but the infringers do make changes altho not always the complete or correct ones.

Let's not forget the "under penalty of perjury" statement that must accompany a DMCA notice. Try to prove perjury, and, try to get some agency to actually prosecute the infringer that perjures herself.

These are just some examples as to how screwed up the law is.

I did received a response from Yahoo stating they received the notice and will take the appropriate action (altho they've done nothing in a week). So the email and fax numbers do work apparently. The Yahoo copyright agent information listed at copyright.gov does match the info given on Yahoo.

I do agree with you tho that the impression from dealing with Yahoo is definitly one of no respect.


12:24 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

No better at Google. I've had it with 'cease and desists'. They work. The content comes down and is replaced - but there is zero penalty for the theft. I'm sick of that.

Finally decided to go the DMCA route with Google and hit them where it really hurts. I followed their procedures to the letter, documented the original content, provided links to original unedited images that no one in their right mind would mistake as other than authentic and original, provided a link to the live images (which have been live for several years).....


Guess it won't hurt any to wait a while longer before just going back to a 'cease and desist' threat to the owner. Take my property down now - and walk away free. Or, expect to see a very public documentation of the facts. Nobody has cared to call that play yet - but they get away with what they've done.

I am seriously thinking that I should just go with Plan B first at this point. Somebody needs to suffer. Not even notify the owner, and just hit them publicly. I can back it up. Google is doing nothing that I can see. Why not bust them up myself? Prepare a directory with all of the original images, a page briefly noting the theft, a link to the authorized site, and a link to the stolen content? Let them come to me. Let them ask me to drop the directory - after ensuring that everybody in a small world has already seen the indisputable truth. It wouldn't take much verbiage; wouldn't require much in the way of specific accusation at all - it is what it is. I'd just be posting my original images, a couple of links, and expressing disappointment:))


12:55 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

And spending time doing something you should not need to be doing because some yak couldn't do their own work. It sucks.


10:04 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

My experience with Yahoo has been different, one site and several pages on other sites taken down in a few hours after the complaint, but this was a few years ago. One of the important things is that you have to prove that it is your content, not theirs. Everyone can create a copy of a site and send a DMCA complaint to the host of the original site to take the original down. Hosters know this and will therefore not honor each request immediately, escpecially if there could be any doubt about the origin of content.

In all my cases with Yahoo the violaters had copied pages that had been unchanged on my domain since 1998 (verifiable via archive.org) and had copied the pages verbatim, including the absolute links to pictures still on my domain.

Keep in mind that DMCA is one of the easiest abusable ways to remove a competitors site from the search engines and the internet and you should be happy that some companies first investigate before taking action. It could have been your site that people complained about.


1:17 pm on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

IMO any web host that receives a DMCA Complaint should review the complaint for merit before a takedown. Unfortunately some hosts run on automatic for safe harbor protection (dmca complaint=immediate takedown site - then - dmca counternotice=restore site).

That said consider that a host can not render a legal decision as to copyright infringement or origin of content as this must be determined by the courts. For internet situations the DMCA affords hosts with protection from liability should they be named in an actual copyright infringement suit - provided they respond to a DMCA Complaint as required by the Act.

I'm not suggesting that a host disregard prudence to at least review the legitimacy of what is claimed in a DMCA Complaint. A complainant must list the material copied and also list the location of where the copied material is located on the alleged infringers page. This is the only test that need be verified by the host and if the facts of the complaint are true then a takedown is warranted.


11:51 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

Did you put a time limit in your DMCA?

I always stipulate 5 or 10 days to act, depending on the host, before I deem my complaint ignored and they have waived the safe harbor provision of the DMCA before I take further action.

That time limit is usually enough to get something moving in short order as I've never had to get a lawyer to contact a host yet.


2:19 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No - did not specify a time limit.
I'm happy to report tho that Yahoo, after 9 days, has taken the infringing site down. Still not what I consider expeditious considering other hosts react in as little as 2 hours.


12:37 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Anything under a month seems to be pretty good for Yahoo.

Congrats! *smile*



1:30 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Eliz.
I still feel they dragged their feet too long.
And get this - someone at Yahoo left a voicemail here yesterday - returning my call/message from 2 WEEKS ago lol.
Looking forward to calling this fellow and asking why it takes them so long to take action on DMCA complaints.

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