Stolen content? This is “How to Submit a DMCA Takedown Notice”!

Who hasn’t had stolen content? One of the signs that your blog is starting to become successful is that other people have found you and plagiarized your content. That sure doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit idly by and let that happen. For the most part, this blog hasn’t had a lot of splogs stop by, although I’ve had a rash of BS comments from auto-commenting software the last few months.

The nice thing about WordPress is that it has the “pingback” or “trackback” feature that tells you of other posts linking to yours. When I write posts, often I’ll refer to previous posts, and I always use the fully qualified domain name, so I’m not surprised when I get a trackback from my own posts as a comment. I AM SURPRISED however to get a trackback from another site with an article of the same name as mine! I saw a dozen of those come in yesterday – and when I checked the web site out they were coming from, sure enough entire posts had been ripped from my RSS feed (including the RSS footer I added that says “this post copyright 2008, originally from”!

I don’t bother much with all the splogs that excerpt my posts, but the ones that take the entire article is another matter altogether. I went to google to find a sample DMCA takedown form, and I’m writing this post (for you) because it took awhile to find the one I wanted. If this happens to you – this is what you need to do…

How to Fight Copyright Infringement online and stolen content

  • Find out where the web site (that stole your content) is hosted by doing a Whois Lookup
  • This will give you the “Registrant”, and “Administrative” and “Technical” contact information you need for the request (as well as who the domain name was registered through)
  • Often you can Traceroute a domain name, and the last few “hops” will reveal the URL of the web hosting company the domain is on
  • If that doesn’t work do a DNS lookup to see if that reveals who the web host is (in the authority or additional sections)
  • Next, you want to download and fill out a DMCA Takedown Request form. Use the ISP version if you’re going to submit a DMCA taketown to the offending site’s web host and / or domain registrar. Use the search engine forms to get them removed from search indexes as well
  • Visit their web host’s web site, find their support or legal section of the site and get the contact info (usually an email address or contact form) and send them your completed DMCA Takedown form – by law they have 24 hours to respond.
  • If the web host does not respond within 24 hours, do the traceroute again, and get the URL of THEIR PROVIDOR and submit the DMCA takedown to them. This gets their attention 99.9% of the time if you didn’t get it the first time!

It’s very easy to submit a DMCA takedown request when you know how, and it’s only a few minutes taken to get your own copyrighted material off of spammers sites. For the record, when I found my stolen content yesterday, I did try to email them from their listed “contact email” on their web site – and it bounced back to me 5 seconds later! So, I had to resort to submitting the DMCA takedown request today. Hopefully this information helps you do the same if you are in the same position!