DMCA Notices and actions have become a part of online life for website owners and online businesses. DMCA is an acronym for Digital Millennium Copyright Act and it is a US Copyright Law that is taken seriously by online service providers like hosting companies and search engines, especially Google. Misterweb has gained, through supporting our SEO clients, considerable experience in the DMCA process and can help you file DMCA notices (or act on your behalf) and we can also file counter claims and help re-instate removed content or URLs.
One of our testimonials: “We found Steve’s DMCA service excellent. We had an issue where our domain was blocked from Google by DMCA, and seemed to be in a blackhole. Steve managed to sort this out quickly and very efficiently. I would recommend him for this anytime.” Peter Clancy, Partner – Olive Horse LLP
So what is the DMCA Law?
The DMCA Law gives teeth to the original owners or authors of content, whether that be images or simple website copy. It aims to protect authors of content so that they can usefully defend themselves against copyright infringement. Read our blog post here about DMCA and copyright infringement.
Who enforces DMCA Actions / Notices?
Online service providers. If you are defending yourself from copyright theft then you can file a DMCA action with the provider most closely suited to the type of copyright infringement you have suffered. If it’s a youtube video you can file your DMCA notice there. However, the most common form of infringement is when other websites copy your website content and use it on their own site, passing it off as their own work. The most efficient way to deal with this is to go direct to Google (as the monopoly search engine carrying the bulk of online traffic), Google act on DMCA notices very rapidly.
Why and When do I need to file DMCA Notices?
Google’s algorithm for ranking website results takes into account quality and originality of the content. In particular, the Google Panda element to their algorithm seeks to demote sites that have duplicate content. Imagine the scenario then, you have worked hard to produce excellent copy, well-written and thoughtfully produced copyright with which to lucidly promote your business to potential customers visiting your website. Then you succeed in ranking high partly because of this effort and care, so you gain profile. Your competitors then find your site as one of the most prominent in it’s niche or industry and decide they will use that content on their website. This creates a duplicate of your work and this can happen repeatedly causing a significant number of largely duplicate versions of your content. Google can often fail in identifying original author status so your website can be deemed to contain significant duplicate content and you suffer serious ranking demotion as a result of these copyright infringements. You may choose to contact the infringing party if its an isolated incident, you can request they remove your content from their website or else face a DMCA action. In many cases there is no reply and you have to file the notice and often there are too many infringing parties to make this a feasible exercise and a DMCA notice is the more efficient way to protect your original work. Taking timely action against copyright infringement is important to restore or protect your organic search engine rankings.
Can I protect myself and my website from Copyright theft?
Yes, to a point. Firstly, through some technical changes to your website you can make it more difficult for infringer’s to just cut and paste. However, you cannot stop someone copying your online works and so you need to be aware that this could happen and be checking for it. The SEO service provided by Misterweb includes scheduled checking and support in enforcing the protection of your copyright material. The premium service of online copyright services such as Copyscape allows you to ‘batch’ check your entire website for infringement.
Can I protect from DMCA actions against my website?
Not entirely. You can and should ensure that your website carries unique copy and this in most cases will mean you never have a DMCA action taken against you. However, ‘negative SEO’ and malicious competitors do exist and it is feasible that unfair DMCA notices could be filed against you. Of course you can only deal with something you know about so it’s important to have in place an early detection system so you are aware you have had content removed by DMCA action as soon as possible, correct set-up of Google Webmaster Tools notification can help in this regard.
How can I deal with a DMCA action and restore my website, URL or content to Googles’ index?
You can recover from a DMCA action, do not panic. The best action to take will depend on why you had the action taken against you and what you have done since regarding the copied content. For example, if the content was yours and you have a genuine defence to make you can submit a DMCA counter claim. However, if you are guilty of copyright infringement but have since removed or changed the copied content then you can proceed in another way to re-include your removed URL or content.
We know how to help and get a positive and quick result, contact us if you would like us to handle the correct response or DMCA counter notice in order to have any removed URLs or content restored to Google’s index rapidly.