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How to take down a website for copyright infringement

How to take down a website for copyright infringement

Discovering that someone has stolen your copyright materials and is using them online can be as stressful as it is infuriating. Getting the infringements taken down is essential to protect your revenue and reputation, but figuring out the best way to do this can be difficult. Luckily, sending a DMCA takedown notice doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult, and we’re breaking down the process to help protect your copyrights. 

Summary: 

  • What is copyright infringement & how to identify it
  • How to report a website for copyright infringement
  • What to do if your request is ignored

What’s copyright infringement? 

Copyright infringement is the unlawful use of another individual’s or brand’s existing copyrighted work. A copyright grants you legal ownership of your unique creations like products and website design, but it doesn’t necessarily stop people from stealing this protected content. 

Copyright infringement is a growing problem with thousands of online scammers using stolen copyright content to fool consumers online. Whether you’re a brand or an individual with copyright material, it can be overwhelming and stressful when you find that someone has pirated your content. 

No one wants their hard work and creative energy stolen and used by someone else, but the damage of copyright infringement goes far beyond this. When someone else uses your copyright materials, they put your sales and your reputation at risk. This is why it’s essential to immediately take down a website for copyright infringement as soon as you discover your content has been stolen.

How to report a website for copyright infringement 

Before you begin a DMCA takedown request, make sure you gather all the relevant information you can. Providing links with evidence of the copyright infringement, as well as proof that the content belongs to you, is essential. This can speed up the time it takes for your DMCA request to be approved. 

Once you’ve gathered your evidence of the copyright infringement, follow these steps to get the website taken down: 

  1. Report infringement to law enforcement

Though copyright infringement is against the law, it’s classified as a civil issue that needs to be solved in court vs. handled by law enforcement. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t report the infringement. You can easily report an internet crime to the FBI to officially file the incident. 

While they may not be able to do more than record this information, there are cases of fake websites that are violating federal crimes. In this case, it’s extremely important the FBI is notified so they can address the situation. Even if this doesn’t end up being the case, it’s still a good idea to notify them and have an official record of the infringement.

  1. Contact the company that hosts the website

Contact the website host (i.e. WordPress, Bluehost, etc.) of the infringing website to alert them of the incident. You can find the company that hosts the website infringing on your copyright, as well as information on the registrant of the domain, on ICANN

Web hosts must comply with the DMCA and are held to strict standards in order to stay in operation, so they take infringement seriously. Contacting them right away can speed up the process and save you time, and they may even send a DMCA takedown notice on your behalf. 

  1. Report infringement to Google 

Reporting copyright infringement with Google is essential to ensure the website infringing on your copyrights won’t come up in Google searches. Luckily, this process is fairly simple thanks to the Google copyright infringement form you can access online. The form asks you to choose the scenario you are reporting and leads you through the process so you can easily file your report.

Keep in mind that reporting a copyright infringement to Google doesn’t take down the actual website. This step simply ensures that the website won’t be indexed by Google and won’t come up in search results. 

  1. File a DMCA takedown request

A DMCA request is an official correspondence meant to alert the proper sources of copyright infringement, and can be sent to multiple sources. This can include the domain registrant responsible for the infringement, as well as the web host, search engines, and more. Anywhere the website can be found with your infringing content is a source you can send a DMCA takedown request to. 

  1. Use anti-spoofing technology like Red Points 

Protecting your copyrights from scammers is a full-time job many individuals and brands simply cannot handle on their own. Anti-spoofing technology like Red Points scans the web for infringements, catching them as soon as they occur and beginning the takedown process for you. This saves you the stress and hassle of enforcing your copyright and ensures you’re well-protected at all times. 

What happens if a DMCA notice is ignored?

There could be a variety of reasons your DMCA notice was ignored. First, review your notice and ensure the information is correct and up-to-date. A simple error might lead to your request being denied or pushed off. 

Next, ensure you include sufficient proof of copyright infringement. Maybe you didn’t provide links or exact specifications of the infringement that is occurring. There could also be more instances of infringement in a short amount of time, so be sure to update your request with any additional occurrences. 

Finally, you may want to reach out to the source you sent the request to for a follow-up. See if they can provide you with any information as to why your DMCA takedown wasn’t approved. There may be a simple solution, or they might have somehow lost your request, and following up will ensure you know what’s going on. 

If your DMCA request is still ignored by the web host or service provider, submit your request to as many sources sharing the information as possible. You may not be able to get the site or content taken down altogether, but you can block it from being found. Submitting DMCA takedown requests to search engines and internet service providers can ensure the stolen copyright content can’t be accessed. 

Conclusion

Though the online scammers out there would like you to believe otherwise, protecting yourself against copyright infringement is possible. By closely monitoring domains and scanning for infringements to your copyright content, you can catch infringements quickly and file DMCA notices to take them down. If the idea of keeping your copyright protected from thousands of scammers everyday sounds like too much to handle, Red Points can help. 

Request a demo to see for yourself how Red Points copyright enforcement can help keep your content protected. 

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