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Adsense and DMCA's

Anyone had success with adsense and DMCAs

     
3:44 am on Jun 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I recently came across a scraper site hosting thousands of pages of copyright infringing material from a site I run.

So I fired off some faxes and emails - to Adsense [google.com] - which is all over this particular scraper - and the hosting ISP. (invalid emails and private domain details for the offending site)

The ISP - despite a very curt email in response - did get the customer to remove the content.

But - Adsense - not even an email in return.

I followed up - nothing back about 5 days later. So now the infringing content is no longer shown - but adsense is still there on pages with no content - and - on millions of other pages of other peoples content on the infringing site.

Obviously I'm very disappointed in the lack of response from Google.

But is this the same experience others have had? Is this a normal response? has anyone had any luck getting adsense removed from a scraper site?

(Adsense Advisor - any comment?)

4:29 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google is picky, with good reason, about DMCA takedown notices that they receive.

Are you the holder, or authorized agent, of the copyright of the material on your site?

Did you make it clear and with specificity, exactly what pages were infringing on YOUR copyright? This includes specifying the pages on the offending site and your own site. In other words, did you follow #1 and #2 exactly, without any generalities such as referring to whole sections or pages that you do not hold the copyright on.

There is also the possibility that Google has to take into account, that the client-id used on that site may not be that of the site owner. Canceling an AdSense account should take more investigation on their part than simply removing offending content from the SERPs.

Lastly, in the legal world, 5 days is nothing. If you are talking about 5 actual days, including the weekend, then it's 3 days, and probably more like two days. What you did when you filed a DMCA was to start a legal process, and that requires care on the part of all concerned.

9:16 am on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Dave - in a word - Yes - complied fully with DMCA - I'm not a newbie at this - gave 10 full examples (and listed another 250 urls via email, out of 2300+ pages I could identify in SERPS) DMCA faxed 8 working days ago, follow up 3 working days ago via email (over weekend as stated).

(Aside - this is the biggest scraper I have ever investigated!)

But not a peep from google - not even acknowledgement of receipt.

Has anyone had any luck with Google Adsense and DMCAs? or is it just another black-hole in which to pour time and effort?

Clearly wiping client accounts isn't in google's interest - and I definitely would not suggest that google would be complicit in something such as knowingly keeping scraper sites profitable for a cut in such ill-gotten profits.

12:39 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I can tell you Google Adsense does take action on properly formatted DMCA requests because we have had one filed against us around a year ago!

A good example of why Google may be taking it's time could be our case, turns out it was a single page submitted to our website by the same company that wanted it removed. A lower (new) marketing person had no idea that the product was submitted to our site by them.

We complied with the DMCA and promptly removed the listing and watched a flood of emails, phone calls and handwritten snail mail appeals ensue from the company that filed the DMCA.The VP and president begging us to relist the product.

Turns out our little site was responsible for several conversions a month on a product that starts at 100k.

Oh well, tough luck for them :) I dont care what they try they will NEVER be allowed back in.

1:17 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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So I fired off some faxes and emails - to Adsense - which is all over this particular scraper - and the hosting ISP. (invalid emails and private domain details for the offending site)

When contacting Google with this type of information, you have to be a bit anal about the sequence of events, where you send the information, etc.

In case you haven't already visited them, here are a couple of links:

[google.com...]

[google.com...]

Note that both have a telephone number for contacting Google about DMCA issues.

FarmBoy

1:18 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You said 5 days

In our experience, Google responds in about 2 weeks after sending the DMCA notice. This is true for both Adsense and the Google index. They definitely don't respond in 5 days.

If the web host is good and sends the remove-the-offending content email, then the content has been removed before Adsense will have a chance to see it.

But you said that Adsense is still there on pages with no content. Then report it using the contact us form as a violation of the policies while you're waiting for them to get to your DMCA request

2:00 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just because AdSense is currently displaying doesn't mean 1) the publisher is going to end up being paid or 2) the advertiser is going to be charged for those clicks. I've occasionally had clicks 'taken back' by AdSense at the end of the month for whatever reason, and I *always* have adjustment credits for invalid clicks at the end of my billing period for my various AdWords clients.

I think this is actually a good thing. You would want them to keep AdSense running while they're doing their investigation, in case the publisher turns out to be exonerated - that way he gets paid. If the publisher turns out to be pond scum (which sounds like might be the case here) Google will yank back the funds. And we *know* they do that - we've all seen the various posts in this forum complaining about it.

9:07 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Note that both have a telephone number for contacting Google about DMCA issues

You just reminded me of something. Google has a presence in Sydney. I wonder if you can file DMCA via them?

ASA?

10:25 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Another possibility that occurred to me and I just tried it out, so we'll wait and see:

Log into Google Webmaster Tools

Dashboard / Report spam in our index / Duplicate site or pages

In my instance it was a whole page.

10:42 pm on June 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, this is a pretty common practice. [chillingeffects.org...] is a good resource for this topic.
1:03 am on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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drall...

Really? I'd swing an affiliate deal with them, should be worth AT LEAST 5K per conversion, and at "several conversions a month" I'd say that's a tidy sum to make swallowing your hurt feelings a little sweeter.

After all, it's just business.

4:46 am on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Another possibility ... so we'll wait and see: Log into Google Webmaster Tools

Did that already couple of times. 10 pages total. Nothing changed. Nada. Waste of time, imho
9:59 am on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've had good success getting sites removed with G's regular DMCA in the past.

Coincidently, yesterday I fired off another 15 DMCAs and am waiting for the results.

ps. Although I've never had success with sites that scrap 100's of two sentence fragments.

12:52 pm on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi RonS, my lawyer said "remove the listing, counter notify and never speak with them again". That pretty much sums it up.
1:00 pm on June 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Fire your lawyer. :)
9:39 am on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Complaint made - initial fax - Thu May 28 2009

Still no response - 2 weeks exactly... I'm hoping for a "we just reviewed your DCMA and couldn't find the offending content" email today.

Ps. Yep faxes are such a PITA - why cannot an vaildated adsense publisher - with a representative etc etc - file these by email - they cost a lot to send from anywhere overseas.

10:13 pm on June 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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file these by email - they cost a lot to send from anywhere overseas

Amen!

2:34 am on June 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Did they scrape your entire article or just an excerpt? Under the DMCA you must consider fair use. Google could have made a determination that excerpts are legally fine. Also you have to consider the fact that legally the responsibility is with the hosting provider and owner, so Google has very little incentive.
2:35 am on June 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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faxes are such a PITA

Filing a DMCA form is a legal procedure, stuff like ""I swear, under penalty of perjury,..." requires a signature.

Providers don't follow up on a DMCA complaint out of their own goodness. They do it to get protected under the DMCA (safe harbor protection), so you jump through the hoops of the legal system.

In an international context this is a bit of a pity as we don't seem to need the US's DMCA outside of the US. Generic copyright is often more than enough. But in the US, the DMCA complaint will get you much more results.

3:17 am on June 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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@RockSolidWes > Did they scrape your entire article or just an excerpt? Under the DMCA you must consider fair use ... etc etc

I repeat - I am not a newbie. Yes - much more than quoting - each of the pages I investigated was fully scraped - with hotlinked images as well - extra annoying. For sake of the discussion - please could other posters skip the assumed innocence of scraper site part...

> that legally the responsibility is with the hosting provider and owner

Interesting aside though: in cases such as this how much liability does an advertising partner (google or other) have for making profit out of illegally obtained content? morally - obviously wrong - but legally?

(I'm not looking for legal advice... just looking for opinions ideas etc)

2:35 am on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ok - today - finally I received an emailed reply from Google; 28th May complaint - 23rd June reply.

Paraphrasing the reply; "we couldn't find the infringing content so we've done nothing"

Clearly PHD's are not working in the legal department... the DMCA against the ISP worked - so they removed it.

I've sent a reply with an attachment with some of the infringing pages that I downloaded at the time.

Come on Google - stop hiding behind DMCAs and stop providing income on clear cut scraper sites.

ASA - this is the area that annoys your publishers more than any other - if you can take one thing back to the googleplex - this is it.

12:17 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've had good success with G's regular DMCA.

I simply provide them with the search query and the site and nothing more since it is obvious they have copied everything near the query string.

1:35 pm on June 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Paraphrasing the reply; "we couldn't find the infringing content so we've done nothing"

Clearly PHD's are not working in the legal department... the DMCA against the ISP worked - so they removed it.

In the original post in this thread you wrote -

The ISP - despite a very curt email in response - did get the customer to remove the content.

If you want to get the AdSense account of a content thief shut down, don't contact the ISP or the webmaster before filing the DMCA, notifying AdSense and waiting for the process to work. If the content isn't there when AdSense looks, there's no remedy required of AdSense.

Your content is no longer being used by this other person, so that's a good outcome. Next time, just change the order in which you do things and you can have the content removed and have the AdSense account closed.

FarmBoy

4:58 am on June 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Your content is no longer being used by this other person, so that's a good outcome. Next time, just change the order in which you do things and you can have the content removed and have the AdSense account closed.

Agreed - for my site great - but this scraper is has millions of pages from others as well. Google have the technology to show who these sites are - a DMCA should be a mere formality - in extreme cases.

Google should be proactive on this - because currently they are bank-rolling the content thieves. "Do no evil" obviously went out the window a while back.

I will change my DMCA process to - DMCA adsense - wait one month - DMCA host - I'm expecting to find another one any day now - 1 or 2 big scrapers a month is the norm.

6:44 am on June 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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We also received a mail from google that they have blocked our ads from one of our major channel and send an attachment in mail. But the attachment is wrong thats for some other site which is copied from <snip>. How can we ask google to send the correct attachment so that we can make sure that we are the violator? Please reply to this post its urgent. As we have only 4 days left.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:24 pm (utc) on June 30, 2009]
[edit reason] Removed specifics. [/edit]

6:51 am on June 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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why would you want to do adsenses' or googles job for them?

As well why would you care, why harm others when you can't do it yourself, I just dont' understand the " Narq " mentality I guess seems all so childish and sad when we concern ourselves with trying to do others dirt heres a great quote for you sir.

" Those that can, Do "
" Those that can't, Teach"

7:05 am on June 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just wish ASA would look in and see how we can file from overseas via email.

I know some people can.

7:11 am on June 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No use to write mail. I am writing from past few days regarding my problem but got no reply and after 4 days they'll block ads from my entire website.
6:35 am on July 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I just wish ASA would look in and see how we can file from overseas via email.
I know some people can

A long shot I know, but can a moderator draw this to ASA's attention?

I don't want to hassle anyone but this annoys the hell out of me.

9:39 am on July 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How can we ask google to send the correct attachment so that we can make sure that we are the violator?

The fact that you're even not sure if you're the violator or not shows that you probably run a risky site in terms of copyrights.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33