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[Ask Me] DMCA? Legal threats from competetion? Content Got Copied? [Ask Away!]

Discussion in 'Web Hosting' started by youssef93, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. youssef93

    youssef93 Senior Member

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    Hey everyone :)

    First off, please let me point out that I'm NO LAWYER. If you want professional legal advice, hire one.:) I'm simply a webmaster like you but has a long experience with dealing with copyright claims, counter notices and cease and desist letters. A little bit about what I know in the field not to brag but just so you understand that I know what I'm talking about. I've sent DMCAs on behalf of clients to YouTube, Google Blogger, HostGator, Godaddy, Hotfile, MediaFire and other major companies. I have experience sending counter notices, responding and dealing with false DMCAs, restoring taken down content...etc.

    So below are some questions that I feel are frequently asked around here. If I miss any please let me know. I do offer services to take care of these things for you but this thread is by no means an advertisement for this service. All concerns and inquiries will be answered through this thread as fully as I can for free.


    I received a DMCA/Cease and desist letter, should I be worried?

    Depends.

    1- Is the content in question indeed infringing or is it a false claim?
    2- Are you hosting onshore or offshore (server in US or not?)
    3- Who did you exactly piss off? (i.e: who sent the notice?)

    If it's a false claim then you have nothing to worry about even if you're on an onshore server. Simply send your webhost a counter notice and they will be forced to restore the material BY LAW (DMCA Title II "OCILLA") UNLESS the other party files a a lawsuit which they obviously won't do if it's a false claim.

    If your material is indeed infringing then to save a lot of headache, remove it. If you're on an Offshore host you can worry less about DMCAs but then #3 comes into play. If you pissed off one of the big boys like Facebook, do not take your chances. They have deep pockets and an army of lawyers that you do not have. So the summary is: Ask yourself those 3 questions and act accordingly.


    What if someone copied my content?

    Now here you have a HELL LOT of options. I know many people do not know them all.

    1. Gather who.is info, server IP, webhost and the webhost of the webhost. (for example, theplanet.com is hostgator's host). The "small" host can usually be found out using the domain nameservers. The "big host" (theplanet.com) can be found out by reverse looking up the server IP address.

    2. Visit his site try to find a "contact us" link, support form...etc. BEFORE you send anything to his web host, send a warning to him saying you can take legal action...etc. This is very important because sometimes they're hosted offshore and contacting the webhost won't do you good however contacting HIM directly may scare him.

    3. Next step, DMCA his "small" webhost (hostgator here) then if not response, the bigger one.

    4. If this doesn't work, then what you do now is analyze his website's revenue streams. That site is up for a reason, right? See if he uses PayPal to sell a similar product, amazon affiliate, adsense and contact the relevant party explaining that the guy is using their services on infringing content. Prepare to provide sufficient proof that you own the content. (no registered copyright needed).

    5. If this still doesn't work, go after his traffic sources.:D DMCA Google to take him out of search results or YouTube to take down his video or social media / bookmarking sites to take down his posts....etc.



    I've used a brand name in my domain name, should I be worried?

    Well, this depends as well.

    1. What's the purpose behind this?
    2. Which company are we talking about?
    3. What do you host on the site?

    These are all variables. If you're an affiliate of theirs and are not competing directly with them on search engines / PPC..etc. Chances are they'll leave you alone. (still differs from one company to the other). If we're taking about again, a company like Facebook; they're known to go after everyone they can can get their hands on with or without "reasonable doubt". They consider any and all domains having "facebook" "confusingly similar or deceptive to users causing users to believe that your site is part of, affiliated with or endorsed by facebook" even if you host an online grocery store in the site. So again, consider those points and make a decision.


    Those are the major questions that came to mind now. Took a while to brainstorm and write this thread so a "thanks" or "rep" is always appreciated ONLY IF you believe this has been useful to you.:)

    *EDIT*: Just wanted to point out two quick points. The first is, don't try to abuse what's in here because in the same manner that there are many ways to take content down, there are many others to "counter" that. The second point is: Do understand that sending DMCAs all day is a very tedious and anti-productive process. Many people will tell you that you're much better off promoting your site and building others rather than worrying about others copying it. So it's your choice whether you want to peruse it, just move on or outsource it.

    Any questions, please ask away!:D
     
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    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  2. thevil

    thevil Junior Member

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    Last time I checked ALL the (established) affiliates Ive dealt with do not allow trademarked names (their product) in the promoting their product. And no, Im not talking about the small time affiliates from clickbank that let you use their product names in your domains and such.

    But here are some resources...


    A great source of info on fair use
    Code:
    http://fairusenetwork.com/index.php
    http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_use
    http://www.eff.org/
    
    General Help
    Code:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act
    http://www.durangobill.com/Fight_DMCA_Abuse.html
    http://www.chillingeffects.org/input.cgi
    
    
    Counternotices
    Code:
    http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Terrorism/form-letter.html
    http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca/counter512.pdf
    
    Legal Help
    Code:
    http://www.citmedialaw.org/
    http://www.omln.org/
    
    Most important part in running a borderline illegal site involving piracy and dmca is registering yourself as an Agent.
     
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  3. youssef93

    youssef93 Senior Member

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    Thanks for your input!

    Well, I've dealt with pretty big vendors on Amazon that DO allow using the full product name in the domain name. (which obviously includes the brand name). They never tell you "Sure, do it!" in the face like this but they silently allow it. :)