DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is a bunch of US Copyright laws that check the copyright infringements on the internet. It criminalizes the distribution and production of copyrighted material or intellectual property. It also penalizes the circumvention of technology or software.
Your content on the Google Search may be served a DMCA notice if the complainant finds it to be copyrighted material. Google receives over a million DMCA removal requests every day, it also keeps a track of takedowns on domains on its transparency page. So, there may be a little probability that your URL may be mistakenly removed from Google Search or it may be that the complainant may not be a be an authorised entity to file the DMCA notice or it may be that someone might have filed a fake or bogus DMCA Takedown. So, today in this post I will be talking about, What can one do if they are served a DMCA notice from Google?
Google Receives Over a Million DMCA Takedown Notices Each Day
How DMCA Works for Google Content Removal?
The complainant can use online services like Google DMCA Page Removal tool which is free or DMCA.com which is a paid service to file the DMCA complaint against infringing URL. This complaint is sent to Google’s DMCA Removal department which verifies the Notice and URL/s for authenticity.
If Google finds the complaint to be ‘fine’ then it removes the URL/s from the Google Search, it sends the removal request to Lumen Database and attaches the Lumendatabase complaint link at the bottom of search results. It also sends the Takedown Notice via Email.
Lumen is a collaborative archive which monitors online activity and is maintained by law school clinics. Google or any other search engine do not have any operative association with Lumen, it is an independent web archive.
How to Counter a Google DMCA Takedown Notice?
Request the Complainant
In many cases, the DMCA filed may be wrong, fake, bogus or by mistake or may be filed by an unauthorised individual. If possible, it is good if you first contact the person via mail and request him to retract the notice. It is important to note that there is no one-click process to retract the DMCA filed but if the complainant sends the mail to Google saying that he/she mistakenly filed the Copyright Notice than Google will send a mail to the complainant in the format below and once complainant sends the reply with required details than Google will request Lumen to rescind the notice and the URLs will be restored.
File a Counter DMCA Notice
Notice of DMCA Removal from Google Search
If you believe your content is not copyrighted and you are the original creator, then you can file the Counter DMCA Notice. Here is a direct link to the Counter DMCA Form. Google will verify the counter form with the complainant and if the complainant fails to respond then the notice is rescinded from Google Search and URL/s are restored. The mail you received from Google will also have the counter-notice form.
If Google finds your counter form to be appropriate it may request for more details to prove your point. If Google is satisfied with your explanation then it may rescind the notice.
Note: Filing a notice without having the copyrights over the content may lead to legal complications. So, please make sure you file the counter form if you are the original creator of the content. Also, do not file a Counter notice if it had illegal or unauthorized content on the URLs.
The counter-notification form contains basic information which you need to fill like name, contact email, URLs in question along with details which led you to file the counter form. Once you file the notice you will receive an acknowledgement mail from Google about the request. Below is a snapshot of a portion of the form.
Note: Due to heavy requests, it may take 3 days to over a month for a notice to be retracted and URL’s to be restored if everything is fine.
If everything works fine the Lumen will rescind the notice and URLs are restored on the respective search ranks (Subject to Search Algo Changes and its impact).
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Can Someone File a Fake DMCA Notice?
Yes! someone can impose as an authorised person and file a Bogus Takedown Notice, it is important to check if the complainant is authorised individual or organisation. If the complainant is found guilty of faking than he/she may face court proceedings.
Can I contact Lumen Database Directly?
No! Lumen works on the requests from Search Engines and is an independent web archive. Google or any other search engines do not own Lumen. Only the Copyright agency can contact Lumen behalf of the content owners and complainants.
Can Complainant Directly Cancel the Takedown Notice?
There is no such provision or a cancel button. If the complainant wishes to cancel the notice he/she filed, he/she needs to contact Google or copyright agency and request them to rescind the notice.
How Long it takes for a Notice to be Retracted?
It may take anywhere from 3 days to over a month due to daily heavy requests to Google.
Is it Safe to File Counter-Notice if you do not wholly own the Content?
It is not recommended to file the counter form if you are not the owner of the content or any online product. You may face legal charges. But you can contact the complainant and request him to cancel the notice.
Where can I Contact Google Regarding Takedowns?
You can file the counter-notice and also can mail removal/takedown team at; email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conclusion: If you are served with a takedown notice and looking to counter it then the post above can be very helpful. The post will give you a very good idea about how Google Content removal works. This posts mainly aims at URLs taken down from Google Search result.
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