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What constitutes identification?



5:00 pm on Apr 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

I did a quick search online and didn't immediately see an answer to this question so I am posting here to see if anyone knows.

I noticed a web site had a large quantity of my lectures on their site. It would be a pain to have to list every single url on their site that is infringing.

To get safe harbor I would assume that the site would at least need to be able to show the documents were stored either because of some temporary, transitory process, or were posted by someone other than the site itself, or came about because of a non-human crawling activity. If they can't show this than it doesn't seem like they could argue that they are a safe harbor. If they are crawling, they need at some point to have stored the url and then the document associated with that url. This would constitute a proof that their acquisition of the document might have safe harbor status.

If I know that all documents in under some path on my website are copyright by me, it seems like I could ask for a take down of documents on their site obtained by their crawler when it downloaded urls that began with a fixed prefix. My question is to what degree the notion of identification has been worked out with regard to DMCA?


8:59 pm on Apr 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Note - this is not legal advice, you don't find that on forums - IANaL but I have filed a DMCA, several years ago.

Basically, ownership is declared in a sworn statement under penalty of perjury. You would need to detail dates and URLs involved and as much corroborating information as possible. If you just read through the forms and instructions, it is something that just about anyone can do, does not require legal representation, though if your work includes that benefit, I would use it. You do not need to establish when and how they obtained your work, only that it is being used without your permission or consent. My suggestion is to download the forms, read them.


9:28 pm on Apr 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

I think the question was how to point out the offending URLs when there are a whole lot of them on the same site. Are you saying that all the pilfered images have some consistent name element such as


that is unique to your material? Or that everything in a particular directory on the offending site is rightfully yours?

I kinda doubt that this can be done in an automated way. But if the number of violations is so huge that it isn't practical to list them individually, it may be worth seeing if you can contact a human. It seems unlikely that someone has swiped hundreds of your images and none of anybody else's-- and if so, someone may want to take a closer look at the site as a whole.


9:55 pm on Apr 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

The question was what Lucy was saying. It involves many hundreds of documents so would be a pain to list out individually. All of the offending material comes from subdirectories of one directory on my site. The link to those documents actually is NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW but was probably ignored. On my site the data was consistently named. On their site, they have preserved my file names, but ditched the rest of the url. Their format is


3:39 am on Apr 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If the domain where your articles can be found allows users to post articles then the Safe Harbor provision may apply, otherwise they apply to the host, not the domain.

You probably would not need to identify each instance, if you contact the domain owner and request that articles you have published in one directory of your site be removed from theirs. They may comply without question, may offer an excuse and then comply or may refuse, or ignore and continue using them. You don't mention whether you have requested that your materials be removed, which should be done before looking into DMCA. If they ignore or refuse, that is when you contact their host.

Since they have kept your filenames, you might submit a list from your sitemap for that directory replacing the /hash/ with * if it becomes necessary.

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