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Copyright Theft: will Google remove the offending website?

     
11:41 am on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I found a website that stole the entire content of my homepage and some of my custom page scripts. I have been considering filing a lawsuit against them. It's easy to look on the WayBack Machine and see when I first entered my homepage text and when they stole it a few months later.

Is there a URL that I can use to contact Google about this? I read on here somewhere that Google will remove pages and sites that have obviously stolen someone's content. Does anyone know if that is true?

Have any of you ever tried to prosecute someone for this type of thing? Does anyone know of a good Internet copyright attorney? I found one locally, but he's not that well-versed in Internet matters. I would imagine that if I could find a good Internet copyright attorney who knew about this stuff, it would go much smoother.

2:02 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google will remove offending pages, but as that doesn't actually remove the pages from the web, it is not the first step.

First, ask them; second, ask their host ...

At all times, keep copies of all mail / email, and download their site as it is now, onto cd.

Dealing with copyright theft is generally a civil matter, so you'd need to demonstrate 'hurt'.

Google will require a staemnt 'on pain of perjury' faxed to them, with as much supporting info as you can raise to prove it's yours.

2:10 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is there a URL that I can use to contact Google about this? I read on here somewhere that Google will remove pages and sites that have obviously stolen someone's content. Does anyone know if that is true?

You can file a complaint here: [google.com...]

However, as Quadrille stated that will not remove the content from the internet, only exclude it from Google's SERP's.

3:00 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"First, ask them; second, ask their host"

The problem with this is that it tips off the offender. He removes the content that he copied word for word, but then he just gets smarter about HOW he steals your content, rewording it and such. Better to simply file the DMCA and get his page or pages removed and not tip him off that you are watching him.

3:15 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I suppose that's a risk, but I think it's more likely they'll go take someone else's!

I've had seven out of eight thefts resolved at webmaster / host level, only one had to go to Google (who were quick and efficient, as was Yahoo!). None of them 'reoffended' (or plagiarised), and I did check the URLs about six months after the original event.

But the seven were individual thieves, whle the eighth was 'industrial'.

Also, I'm not so worried about the 'rewriters'; most have such poor English (or such cheap software), that they can't actually make a lot, even as MFA!

10:02 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"Also, I'm not so worried about the 'rewriters'; most have such poor English (or such cheap software), that they can't actually make a lot, even as MFA!"

Oh boy, I could some post hilarious examples of guys who reworded my content so badly that it almost required subtitles. They should have been working on foreign language documentaries instead of webpages.

10:24 pm on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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File a DMCA with Google... forget about contacting the site or host. There's little reason to do so (unless you plan to file suit), and they'll likely take it down before being punished.

I'd go straight for the juglar:

[google.com...]

... and if they're running Adsense... have them booted from there as well (usually for life):

[google.com...]

... and (part 2) if they're running adwords, and it's going to said page(s)... file a DMCA with them too:

[google.com...]

There's no reason to give them a 'chance'... they knew what they did, that or they used poor judgement with whomever they hired. Either way it's no excuse.

3:16 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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"First, ask them; second, ask their host"

The problem with this is that it tips off the offender.

I agree. No need to inform a thief that he is a thief.

Re the DMCA to the Host--my experience is the host can accept the DMCA and remove the content however if the copier refutes the DMCA then the content goes back up and the next recourse is legal procedures because the host can't act as a lawyer. My client who filed the DMCA couldn't take the matter to court because the client and the copier live on opposite sides of the US.

I agree that the best recourse is to write a DMCA to Google or whatever other engine is involved. My client filed a DMCA with Google about a week ago and the copied pages are disappearing off the internet as we speak.

3:56 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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File a DMCA with Google...

I did that before. One of them filed a counter notification. And then google sent the counter notification to me and restored all his pages.
4:03 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>>>
I did that before. One of them filed a counter notification. And then google sent the counter notification to me and restored all his pages.
>>>>

That was my understanding... By filing a DMCA with Google, all the other site has to do is protest it, and everything is re-instated and the next step would have to be an expensive lawsuit.

I guess, for someone willing to take that step, they would then have legal information from the other site falsely claiming (perjuring) that the content belongs to them and it might result in an easier win of a lawsuit...

4:38 am on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google publishes the entire contents of your DMCA notification to the Internet. Anybody in the world who desires can access verbatim what you communicated to Google. I don't see how anybody would think dealing with Google insures their privacy.

The people who are tough on content theft hands down are Yahoo. Report a few pages to the right people there and they will annihilate a web site. Yahoo has an extreme no nonsense policy if you prove your case. Yahoo’s feeling is it sends no message whatsoever just removing a few pages. Belive me their people are downright scary.

12:11 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I found both yahoo! and Google to be equally efficient; both gave detailed instructions on filing the claim - and what that meant; both acted within 24 hours.

If they filed a false claim in return, the SE has no option but to restore the site and let the courts sort it out; in such a case, someone has committed perjury, and no SE has the authority to decide which one.

See a lawyer; you are not just talking about a civil copyright theft, but a criminal offence; perjury.

Good Luck!

12:34 pm on Mar 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That was my understanding... By filing a DMCA with Google, all the other site has to do is protest it, and everything is re-instated and the next step would have to be an expensive lawsuit.

There are quite a few example of successful removals. Chilling Effects posted one of mine where the other guy protested. Today, his site has a new look and different content.. not mine. If you have a valid claim you simply need to follow the directions on the complaint. That IS what's it's for.

I too second, or third, maybe fourth will tell you, don't bother contacting them. The DMCA does not require you to take that action, and doing so will only extend your agony. If you want them removed from the web, go for their host. That's not as easy as a takedown from the SE's, but it can be done.

Thanks for the extra links bobothecat. I kept hearing rumors about em...

 

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