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DMCA Notice Bowling

Not sure what to do...

     
8:42 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We received a DMCA Notice this morning. The "infringing" article has been on our site since 2006 (this can be verified at archive.org). We BOUGHT a license to USE the article at constant-content.com in 2006. The article in question is still available at constant-content.com, for any person to purchase. There is no unique/full rights available on this article.

The person who filed the DMCA complaint claimed that he owns the copyright (the article was added only recently on his site), but needless to say, Google disabled Adsense on our ENTIRE site. I faxed, and submitted an electronic counter notice, explaining that we have not infringed on the copyright of the complainant, providing receipts etc. I also emailed the complainant. He emailed me back and apologized. He also emailed Google Support (but I donít think they respond to emails).

How long will it take for Google to act? Do I just wait? I feel like Iíve been fired, while Iíve been working day and night for "my employer". Does the complainant just get away with his "mistake"?
9:05 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You did the right thing. But I understood that Google would send you a request to respond to the complaint before turning off your account. Are you sure you didn't receive an earlier request for information? If not then it sounds unfair.

It's still in the afternoon on the West Coast. If you faxed the response back to Mountain View then there's still a possibility that your account may be turned back on relatively quickly. But that's just an opinion, I've never experienced this before.

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:08 pm (utc) on Jun 29, 2010]

9:05 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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you're in a great position ...

sue the person that served the original DMCA complaint
9:20 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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> But I understood that Google would send you a request to respond to the complaint before turning off your account. Are you sure you didn't receive an earlier request for information? If not then it sounds unfair.

Martinibuster, they didn't and I don't think they do. From what I've read here at WebmasterWorld it can take a while before they restore your account.
9:22 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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topr8,

I wish it were so easy. He's in Canada, I'm in Africa.
9:33 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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yes, that is complicated,

lets hopr you get adsense back soon then!
11:25 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I wish it were so easy. He's in Canada, I'm in Africa.


Fine.

File a DMCA complaint against him using YOUR content which you can prove via archive.org

Make it a full out DMCA war, what the heck.
11:32 pm on June 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hi Susanpilot,

We had the same thing happen a couple years back. Google did give us a few days though to respond and remove the content while the dispute was being settled or they would disable ad serving to the page which was part of the DMCA.

The content was ours as is all of our content and was submitted by the companies marketing dept to our site 3 years earlier.

We could care less though and did not want to even bother with it so we removed the content, explained it all to Google with documentation the content was ours and everything was fine. The Adsense team was really a great help with the whole ordeal and very professional.

Are you sure Google didnt get in touch with your earlier regarding the DMCA notice? If not then they must have changed DMCA procedures up quite a bit since then.

Side note: The company that we removed has asked for the last 3 years on average twice a month to be relisted on our website and I still get a laugh every time they do;)
5:16 am on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Drall,

No, Google definitely didnít get in touch with me first, and the complaint was just about one page out of nearly 3000. Maybe youíre a bigger publisher than we are. Maybe Google trusts companies in Canada more than companies in Africa. But today I will send the same info with the ogre's email attached.
7:57 am on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Drall,

He's a lawyer, maybe that's why Google didn't care to contact us first.
12:49 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Did they just disable adserving or did they close your account?
12:50 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It normally takes Google 2 weeks to even respond to DMCA requests -- after you fax the DMCA notice to them. And you have to fax the request to them separately -- one to Google Adsense and another to Google search.

We've never been on the receiving end of the complaint, always on the complaining side. And it always frustrates us that the process is not quick enough. And then we are normally told that they are looking into the matter and have contacted the other party ...

So I am surprised that they turned off your account immediately without prior notification. It just runs counter to our experiences thus far.
2:23 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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When everything is over, calculate your losses and send a bill to the guy who reported you. If he wrongly accuses you of copyright infringment and has your ads taken down, he is liable.
3:10 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Wow all this over ONE article? About 2 years ago we sent Google a DMCA regarding a site that copied 10,000 of our pages. Google did nothing. Left them in SERPS, left their Adsense up.

I spent 2 days documenting the crime and outlining over a 1000 specific cases of page to page comparisons where they had stole our content.

It was funny because they didn't even do a good job of stealing it. They loaded the 10,000 pages all on the same date. Then after the DMCA, they modified the dates on all the pages to be years older than their 3 month old site.

Again, Google didn't care and did nothing.

So for you to be put through the ringer for ONE page amazes me. Either they have become much more strict and involved in DMCA violations, or someone made a mistake.
4:24 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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In one case, our 5,000+ page site was copied in its entirety. The other person changed our Adsense publisher ID to their ID. Google Adsense came back to us and wanted us to modify the DMCA to put our URL and the thief's URL where the content was copied. To do that for 5,000 pages was a huge pain!

And this was just 4Q of last year, so not sure how much has changed in their policy since then. So it's a bit surprising that they simply pulled the plug on you without giving you a chance to defend yourself because they've been so meticulous about these things.
4:26 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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When everything is over, calculate your losses and send a bill to the guy who reported you. If he wrongly accuses you of copyright infringment and has your ads taken down, he is liable.


do this and don't wait on google to fix this, you have to take care of yourself go find another ad serving platform ASAP!
4:30 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Drall,

Google disabled the sub-domain where the "infringing" article is located. But that is about everything. The other sub-domains are very small, and still under development, so our income is now less than $10.00 a day. It used to be $175.00.

Alika,

I too, have never been on the receiving end. Nearly a decade ago, I worked with our Dept. of Trade and Industry/Interpol to straighten out a guy in the USA (product related) who had stolen our copyright. It wasnít a 100% successful, but shortly after that we received $200,000 (todayís currency), plus monthly royalties, when another person did the same. You learn along the way. And, I filed a DMCA complaint at Adsense to stop a person who had stolen hundreds of articles from out site.

By now, I know more about international copyright laws than the average person. It IS a slow process. The ogre who filed the complaint did so on May 31. It took Google a month to respond.

Jecasc,

That is exactly what my husband said, but then I said Iíd rather post at Webmasterworld, and see what the "experts" say. I donít post often (what can I teach you?), but I visit this site every day. Itís been a habit for many, many years.

The man who filed the complaint seems to be rich, and besides being a lawyer, seems to be really well-known in the website world (Iíve done my homework, but I cannot post details here). So, he can afford to pay for our losses.

The money made from Adsense is used to support my parents (retired) and to buy the ďfrillsĒ for the LD children I teach. And, once in a while, to get away from it all and go up in the skyÖ That is what is at stake.

Maximillianos,

ONE article.
5:27 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Let's just hope that Adsense Advisor drops by and sees this case.

In the meantime, send them emails asking for reinstatement. Again. And maybe again.
6:39 pm on June 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The damage may go beyond your adsense on the site, it would also impact the overall ranking of the site since they think it infringes on copyright. That will take longer to show any effects from. Try to contact Google daily until this is resolved in full.
11:38 am on July 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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A fake DMCA complaint is a criminal offence - at least AFAIK its made under penalty of perjury. That should give you some leverage in getting damages, and a lawyer might be subject to some other penalties if there is misconduct.

Was the lawyer the copyright holder, or was he acting for someone else? Did his apology give any explanation of why the complaint was made?
12:28 pm on July 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Not that I'm hating against Africa, but I wonder if Google has a shorter leash with certain countries in that continent.
7:28 am on July 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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graeme_p,

The lawyer was the person who claimed to be the copyright holder. His law site (he has many sites) is filled with Adsense.

He said in his apology email and withdraw notice that when he filed the DMCA notice, their records indicated that they had purchased an exclusive license to use this article. However, upon further review it appeared that their license was solely for the use of the article and permitted the author to allow others to use the article as well.

Anyway, it took two faxes, two electronic counter notices, and a few emails, but this morning I received the email from Adsense Support to say they have re-enabled ad serving. It will take up to 48 hours for the ads to appear. What is interesting is that they responded to the counter notice that I emailed them, which I didn't think will have any effect but I sent one anyway.

Thanks everybody, for you help.
11:29 am on July 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's a DMCA process -- they definitely respond to the filing and the counterfiling. No surprise there. And it's a good thing you did it, because you can email till you're blue in the face but the only thing they want to see is your counter notice.

Good lesson for many folks here as to the process to be followed when a DMCA complaint hits you
11:41 am on July 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Alika,

Adsense stated in the their DMCA notice to me, to file a counter notification with them, I must provide a written communication (by fax or regular mail -- not by email, except by prior agreement) that sets forth the items specified. Yet, they still responded to my email. So yes, it is worth a try, should this happen to anybody else in future.

Susan
7:54 pm on July 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

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What a mess, I'm so sorry Susan!
4:41 am on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Ads are finally back this morning! It took 144 hours for them to reappear, not up 48 as stated by Adsense Support. It might be a coincidence, but yesterday I sent a long email to them, in which I gave all the facts from beginning to end.
12:57 pm on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Good to hear that!

In the email they just sent today on Adsense Policies, they do say that there are some situations that they will disable ads without sending a warning -- and copyright infringement is among them.

So I suppose when someone sends in a DMCA complaint now, they just stop the ads without warning, pretty much like what happened in your case. That's interesting to know.
4:15 pm on July 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The money made from Adsense is used to support my parents

It really is so descpicable, people struggle to get by and buddy needs to interfere(steal) not from the rich,no, but from the working class. The internet needs the Equalizer (Ed Woodward)
Glad to hear you have ads back.