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So, the content's gone, that URL redirects to the list of topics for that board, all is well. Right?
Well, once a month or so, I still continue to get a message in Google's Webmaster Tools that someone had filed a DMCA complaint and that particular URL has been blocked. Even though that particular posting was deleted probably 2 years ago!
Come on, GOOG, you guys can do better than that.
If the url is still truly blocked and you want it unblocked, I'm sure a Reconsideration request would handle it - you'll get a human look at the situation instead of mere automation.
If Google is going to continually notify me of a non-event by e-mail (or GWT messages), they should provide for using the same channel to answer.
(Scroll down the page and look at Counter Notification)
You do have to send written or fax notification to Google that the material is down. Remember, this a legal matter, not a Google matter and there is a process.
One other note to share about this, on the bottom of that url there is also a statement by Google:
"Many Google Services do not have account holders or subscribers. For Services that do, Google will, in appropriate circumstances, terminate repeat infringers. If you believe that an account holder or subscriber is a repeat infringer, please follow the instructions above to contact Google and provide information sufficient for us to verify that the account holder or subscriber is a repeat infringer."
So if you do use other services such as AdWords, adsense, etc.. and a site is what Google calls a "repeat infringer" Google can suspend any Google accounts and they will ban a website completely.
So it is important to respond to every notification.
The administrator of an affected site or the provider of affected content may make a counter notification... When we receive a counter notification, we may reinstate the material in question.
Do you want to take that chance or take 2 minutes and mail a letter or send a fax to Google that the material in question is gone?
Google is a third party to this and they have to follow the law and they will not make exceptions. If you read through Yahoo and Bings DMCA intructions you will see the same things.
The only way to change the process is to change the law which will more than likely not happen.
Well, it is unfortunate that the DMCA was filed and it was unfortunate that a user posted material, but it is your website and you are responsible for your users posts for copywrited material.
That's the other issue I have with this whole thing- we are accused of some wrongdoing and we have to jump through hoops to prove we did nothing wrong, but we are not even being given the information that is being used to accuse us.
Google (apparently) removed the cached content from their servers, and blocked the content from being re-indexed (which it wouldn't anyway since the URL is long gone). They have also notified the owner of the site in question. They have fulfilled their legal obligations under the DMCA complaint.
As you pointed out, they are a 3rd party. They have no legal obligation (or right) to force a site to take down the content when they have no control over that content.
Sorry if I sound snarky, but over the past few months I have wasted an incredible amount of time because of the inaction or inefficiency of others. I am sick and tired of wasting my time because other people have the inability or unwillingness to do their jobs, which creates a lot of work for everyone else. I expected (and continue to expect) much better from Google.
Obviously, Google recieved a complaint and they saw the material on your site and notified you. You have to follow through on this or take a chance of being banned.
As far as the work load goes, its all a part of running a website. There are some things in the world you just have to do.
Also,the DMCA complaint that is filed with Google does forward to a third party (Right on the DMCA Portion of Google's Page):
"Please note that in addition to being forwarded to the person who provided the allegedly infringing content, a copy of this legal notice will be sent to a third-party which may publish and/or annotate it. As such, your letter (with your personal information removed) will be forwarded to Chilling Effects (http://www.chillingeffects.org). You can see an example of such a publication at [chillingeffects.org...] A link to your published letter will be displayed in Google's search results in place of the removed content"
Again, Google will pull the page down or look at a cached page to verify that information is correct and take proper action (Banning the URL or even banning the website in question.)
So let me make it clear, their legal department did see it either live or in a cached version of the page and does have this on file. Chilling Effects also has this on file and you can search their database.
Google is required by law to keep DMCA's on file and I am more than sure Google keeps their ducks in a row on this issue.
Otherwise, if they did not see the information or it did not verify against the complaint that was filed they would have never banned the URL and never notified you.
Google has *NOT* put any of their ducks in a row on this one, yet apparently expects me to jump through hoops to compensate for their unduckiness.
To file a counter notification with us, you must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail -- not by email, except by prior agreement) that sets forth the items specified below.
Chilling effects does not post everything, but they will have it on file. Again, ask them for a copy of the complaint and they will provide it to you.
The DMCA complain was filed with Google- not with us nor our hosting company
The law specifically allows this. What do you expect Google to do about it?
Again, ask them for a copy of the complaint and they will provide it to you.
If it clear where you can ask for it? Why do Google not simply forward every complaint automatically.
I suspect that if you complain the messages will stop, only a human can call off the nanobytes.
The law specifically allows this. What do you expect Google to do about it?
The last message from them is long deleted, so I guess I will have to wait until the next nasti-gram and waste some time and money to file a counter complaint.
What you fail to realize is this is not a Google issue, it is your websites legal issue. Anyplace in the world when ever a legal action is taken there is paperwork involved. The person who filed the DMCA filled out paperwork and you have the option to respond.
This is not Google's fault, they are merely following the law.
On one hand
Google may not have done all that they are legally required to. Google is legally required to notify the website owner and give the website owner the opportunity to challenge the complaint. IF Google did not do this then Google has not done all they are required to do under the law. As you yourself stated, the OP has the option to respond, but what's missing from that statement is that Google has the responsibility to provide the web publisher with the opportunity to respond, something that may not have occurred.
But on the other hand...
It's interesting that there is no Chilling Effects record. Google routinely files a report of any DMCA actions they've taken at Chilling Effects. If there is no record of such action there then it's possible there was NO DMCA filed or processed, which may explain why the OP did not receive notice. If so, then it points to an error at Google if WMT is flagging a URL as the subject of a DMCA filed with Google when there is no actual record of a DMCA.