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Google is refusing to act on DMCA notices

10:32 pm on May 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I posted in another thread about some problems I was having getting Google to act on several DMCA notices I had submitted.

Over a month later I finally received a reply that said Google is refusing a number of my requests according to their "content guidelines". No details or references were provided to these content guidelines.

Many of the remaining infringing sites are classic scraper spam with Adsense ads. Seeing as how these spam sites are built specifically to target Adsense revenue and are monitized entirely by Google ad dollars, I'd have thought they'd be quick to remove them so they'd qualify for DMCA Safe Harbor.

I've followed Google's DMCA rules to the letter but was still denied. The sites are clearly taking my content and Google has clearly stated that they will not act to remove it from their index. Anyone have an idea of how I should proceed from here?

10:26 pm on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I've had some mixed results with Google DMCA complaints lately. Simple complaints are dealt with very quickly, but the more complex they are the longer they take.

What can take a particularly long time seems to be anything that deals with dynamic pages, because it's quite possible that the content could end up on hundreds of pages on the copier's site.

IMHO, scraper sites don't pose much of a threat. You could probably counteract many scrapers by putting in an IP block based around the IP of the server. Certainly, they'll tend not to trigger a duplicate content penalty.

To be fair to Google, they are the only search engine I've dealt with that actually bothers with DMCA complaints at all..

10:47 pm on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have a client who has a competitior who constantly takes his article and posts it around the net with his name and URL on it. Every month we have to go chase them down and have them removed. The client posted this article on another site's newsletter 2 years ago so it's easy to prove who the true author is.

Out of about 14 stolen articles we've only got 2 that are refusing to remove the articles and we've contacted the host too. The last one also put the article in Google's AdWords and Google said contact the owner/host. The competitor even took the clien'ts text from his adword's ad and used that too. So far no help from google. This competitor is also operating without a business license or contractor's license in his state too. A crook from the word "go."

3:46 am on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I found a copy of my main page on a different site. Myabe competitor, maybe a person who will eventually drop my site once he get enough hits and replace it with something else. I tried to e-mail him, e-mail get returned as undeliverable. First issue was to file DMCA complain with yahoo, Google and msn..but as I read in this forum this will take time untill they will respond. So the only choice I have is to file for copyright certificate through c-site. It was easy do to and price is very cheap. But than this may take up to 4 months until certificate is issued. SO I finally submitted a request to a laywer who quoted me $500 + retainer refundable fee of $3500 if the person will counter back. I told the lawyer that all I need is a nasty letter to be mailed to this person. SO i got him down to $350. I told him to review mine and offeinding site and compare. It was pretty obeviuos that all the links on offending site are poiting to mine, so I do not think that the person will reply back.

I would suggest to copyright the text you use on your site and negotiate some kind of fee with a lawyer who can wite some nice nasty letters.

3:58 am on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guarantee you if someone pulled a few sentences from articles on WSJ, NYT, and Newsweek and put Adsense at the top heads would roll. :)

It's done everyday and I haven't read about any legal issues with it, to date.

4:44 pm on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Why would you want to pay a service a fee to prepare the very simple form you submit to register a copyright, when you can obtain and complete the form for free? Download it in pdf format from copyright.gov.
10:42 pm on May 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Probably nothing individuals can do against SE's listing content that is questionable about copyright infringement alone but there is always the option of finding some lawyers to put together a class action suit and let them fight the battle for you. This usually results in little or no payout to you but a huge payout for the lawyers which makes them very eager to do it. If a class action suit were to succeed against a major SE then the rest would follow suit in a hurry. You could see scraper sites disappear from the SERPs in no time, not because they are breaking the law but if they seem to be riding the fence they may be removed just to be on the safe side. Although the scrapers would inevidently go somewhere else to pollute the internet at least that problem would be taken care of.
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