1st dmca complaint ever and they want me to remove links?

by Lenny Winkle 111 replies
I received an email from my hosting provider for my 1st dmca complaint. I'm a little confused at the fact that someone can send you a notice forcing you to remove links from your site? There's no complaint about the content just that there are links to the site he is representing.

Fwiw this is on a basic article site I threw up which posts articles submitted directly by people wanting links. These articles are sent to me with links to what they're obviously promoting. I don't really care and just removed the links, but can people really force you to remove links from your site? Is this a joke?

The letter: (verbatim including punctuation and single paragraph use - except for names)

Hello, My name is Mr. Atrocious Grammar, I am the Head of Anti Piracy Department of xxxxxx company (wwwxxxxxx.com), we provide anti-piracy and Intellectual Property protection services for xxxxxxx, Inc (wwwxxxxxx.com), so I'm a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the company. It has come to our attention that your website or website hosted by your company contains links to xxxxxxx, Inc website (wwwxxxxx.com) which results in experiences financial loses by the company we represent, because of search engine penalties. I request you to remove from following website (http:/xxxxxxxxxcom/xxxxx/xxxxx) all links to wwwxxxxxxx.com website as soon as possible. In order to find those links please do following: 1) If this is an online website directory, use directory's search system to look for "xxxxxxx" links. 2) If there are any hidden links in the source code of website, open website main page and v! iew its source code. Search for "xxxxxxxcom" in the source code and you will see hidden links. I have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by xxxxxxx, Inc, its agents, or the law. Therefore, this letter is an official notification to effect removal of the detected infringement listed in this letter. I further declare under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of copyright holder and that the information in this letter is accurate. Please, inform me within 48 hours of the results of your actions. Otherwise we will be forced to contact your ISP. xxxxxx, Inc will be perusing legal action if the webmaster does not remove the referenced link within 48 hours. xxxxxx, Inc will be forced to include the hosting company in the suite for trademark infringement. Looking forward for your positive reply. Regards, Mr. My Grammer Is Atrocious Head of Anti Piracy Department xxxxxx company 1111 xxxx st! r, Brooklyn, NY, 11224 Tel: Fax: E-mai! l: pirac y@xxxxxxcom

I'm tempted to post the real name / link here with xxxxx.com is a scam so they can get a bunch of free links from warriors
#main internet marketing discussion forum #1st #complaint #dmca #links #remove
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  • Profile picture of the author WhamSoft
    Seems very odd indeed.

    I'm no legal expert but I don't see that you have broken any laws.

    They could of just requested you remove the links without a dmca notice, the dmca is for copyright infringements.

    I'd remove the links and break any ties with the company.

    Are your links affiliate links or did you write up a negative review on this company or something?

    Lee
    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      very strange. I have never heard of this happening and perhaps our in-house lawyer or anyone else with experience re DMCAs can chime in. I think you did the right thing by avoiding the hassle of dealing with this company and removing the links.

      Who needs the headaches, eh?
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    • Profile picture of the author Lenny Winkle
      Originally Posted by WhamSoft View Post


      Are your links affiliate links or did you write up a negative review on this company or something?

      Lee
      No, I should have made that clear in the op. They aren't affiliate links and it isn't a negative review, though I don't think that gives you a right to have it taken down.

      This was an article submitted to my site by someone promoting the link (standard 350 word article about the product with 2 links in it placed there by the person that submitted it).

      The article has been there a while, gets no traffic and upon going back and looking, it was obviously spun ( I didn't do much quality control when I 1st started the site).

      So someone goes around promoting something and then comes back later and wants the links removed, but doesn't care about the content?

      Possibly strange technique to have your competitors links removed? I mean if he sent out one of these to every single site with a link I have to think he'd have a pretty high success rate at having links removed right?

      I know I did, even though I know I shouldn't have to remove any link from my site.
  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    It has come to our attention that your website or website hosted by your company contains links to xxxxxxx, Inc website (wwwxxxxx.com) which results in experiences financial loses by the company we represent, because of search engine penalties.
    Says it all. Really.

    They got it by Google (most probably those emails/alerts in WMTools) and they want all backlinks removed.

    Wanna bet?
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    • Profile picture of the author Lenny Winkle
      Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

      They got it by Google (most probably those emails/alerts in WMTools) and they want all backlinks removed.

      Wanna bet?
      I certainly wouldn't bet against it. I'm very tempted to give them some free backlinks here.
  • Profile picture of the author dv8domainsDotCom
    Yeah, I can only think that the "anti-piracy" rep and the "SEO" rep (if any) of this company REALLY need to get a pow-wow together and discuss what a backlink is, and as long as the content is relevant that a backlink from any source is generally, a GOOD thing!
    1) They're idiots.
    2) Remove links, tell them you did so, and be done with the idiots.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    LOL... The article on your website is probably outranking their own site in Google and the SEO guys are scarred that one article can do that so they are forcing you to take it down so they don't look like douches to their customer... LOL
    • Profile picture of the author Lenny Winkle
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      LOL... The article on your website is probably outranking their own site in Google and the SEO guys are scarred that one article can do that so they are forcing you to take it down so they don't look like douches to their customer... LOL
      I didn't look but the ting is they aren't asking for the content to be removed or claiming copyright infringement. They're claiming the links have to be removed because its hurting their business.

      You surely can't go around the internet forcing people to remove links from their sites, let alone because you think they make you look bad?

      Granted it isn't a great article but its readable 300 words and ranks pretty decent in my seo plugin for on page. It's not a negative link.

      This is why I almost think it could be their competition. Send out an email to all of your competitors linking sites and get even 50% taken down?
  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Legally, in the U.S. at least, I don't see how someone can force you to remove links. It's your site, you can link to who you want to as long as you aren't unlawfully libeling them or intentionally bad-mouthing them by telling lies in the actual content on your site.

    They can request, but I don't see why you would have to comply if you are not doing anything against the law.

    Though I'd like to hear a lawyer's thoughts on that issue.
    • Profile picture of the author Lenny Winkle
      Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

      Legally, in the U.S. at least, I don't see how someone can force you to remove links. It's your site, you can link to who you want to as long as you aren't unlawfully libeling them or intentionally bad-mouthing them by telling lies in the actual content on your site.

      They can request, but I don't see why you would have to comply if you are not doing anything against the law.

      Though I'd like to hear a lawyer's thoughts on that issue.
      I agree, but you have to admit it worked. It isn't worth my time or hassle and since they sent the letter to my hosting provider it certainly isn't worth getting in a hassle with them.

      That said:
      1. Why would anyone send a letter to have 2 links to their website removed. Links that were in a readable 300 word positive article about their service. They didn't ask to have the article removed, they just want links to their site, that paint them in a positive light.

      There's nothing wrong on my site, all decent articles, no controversial topics, no porn, only a couple of ads. They sent me this article.

      2. Who would ever think they have a legal right to do that.

      3. If you did do that what level of success do you think you'd achieve.

      4. It seems like it works ( worked on me) but it seems like the only person who benefited was this services competitors
  • Profile picture of the author Exel
    Reading that mail this is what I saw (edited):

    It has come to our attention that your website or website hosted by your company represents serious competition to our business, which results in experiences financial loses by the company we represent, because of search engine penalties. I request you to close your business as soon as possible, so we can have no competition.
    Someone opens a store in your neighborhood: "hey buddy, would you please close your store, I'm getting less customers, thanks."
  • Profile picture of the author Charanjit
    I would personally make sure I out rank the website you are linked to, then in the site write how it only cost you $5 dollars to get their.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    1. This has bogus written all over it. I'd ask for a copy of the contract authorizing the person to send a DMCA notice. Just asking for the contract can be an effective way of quickly shutting down complaints.

    2. This isn't a copyright issue. Just a linking complaint.

    3. If I knew who they were and where they were, and evaluated how much I'd be tempted to delete the article (just to avoid any copyright issues) and keep the links!

    4. Send a counter DMCA notice.

    5. FYI - Attorney's fees are recoverable against someone who makes a fraudulent DMCA complaint. 17 USC Section 512(f).

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      1. This has bogus written all over it. I'd ask for a copy of the contract authorizing the person to send a DMCA notice. Just asking for the contract can be an effective way of quickly shutting down complaints.

      2. This isn't a copyright issue. Just a linking complaint.

      3. If I knew who they were and where they were, and evaluated how much I'd be tempted to delete the article (just to avoid any copyright issues) and keep the links!

      4. Send a counter DMCA notice.

      5. FYI - Attorney's fees are recoverable against someone who makes a fraudulent DMCA complaint. 17 USC Section 512(f).

      .
      My thoughts exactly.
    • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
      Banned
      Great points and I'd like to add..

      Unless the OP omitted some information this isn't even a valid DMCA complaint anyways.

      The OP also said that the email was sent to his hosting provider. I don't know whom you are hosting with but its apparent they don't know what a valid DMCA notice looks like either so I'd recommend switching hosts.



      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      1. This has bogus written all over it. I'd ask for a copy of the contract authorizing the person to send a DMCA notice. Just asking for the contract can be an effective way of quickly shutting down complaints.

      2. This isn't a copyright issue. Just a linking complaint.

      3. If I knew who they were and where they were, and evaluated how much I'd be tempted to delete the article (just to avoid any copyright issues) and keep the links!

      4. Send a counter DMCA notice.

      5. FYI - Attorney's fees are recoverable against someone who makes a fraudulent DMCA complaint. 17 USC Section 512(f).

      .
  • Profile picture of the author agc
    I kinda like doing the 10,000 backlink fiverr gig. Just one will do, no need to drop $20.

    Stop at a starbucks, or hotel w/ a computer in the lobby, create a quick gmail account, and drop the link report in an email.

    Why? Because if it's REAL, then the guy wants YOU to clean up HIS mess, for FREE. I'd charge a $99 administrative fee for redacting content. So make an even bigger mess for him to clean up.

    Or, maybe its a competitor trying to get links deleted. The backlink report w/ 10,000 links on it would be a great kick in the nuts.

    In fact, I don't kinda like it, I really like.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lenny Winkle
    Here's the email from my hosting company which included the dmca request I posted in the op:


    We have received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") complaint involving domains under your control. Please note that HG has only passed on the sufficiency of the Claimant's notice, per 17 U.S.C. Sec. 512, and has not sought to determine whether the Infringing Materials on the Web Site do indeed infringe upon the Claimant's intellectual property rights.

    Within a forty-eight (48) hour period, we will need you to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or we will have to disable this material to be in compliance with federal DMCA laws. A copy of the original DMCA notice is listed below our contact information.

    Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, your rights as a Respondent to this complaint include, but are not limited to, a possible counter-notification to us, per 17 U.S.C. Sec. 512(g)(3). We encourage you to review the federal statutory procedures for filing a counter-notification and seeking legal advice to see if taking such an action would be appropriate. Solely as an additional resource, the online form at DMCA Counter-Notification -- Chilling Effects Clearinghouse is shared for possible use in consultation with your own counsel. We cannot provide individual legal advice, and do not analyze your particular website or activity for the legality of its content.

    You may send a counter-notification using postal mail or fax; email is not accepted.




    So am I required to get involved in this beyond breaking the links? Also I don't want any hassle with my hosting since I have other sites there that are important and this site is pretty unimportant.

    I've been getting regular article submissions to the site from various posters using the postrunner plugin. I just check that the article scores ok on readability, looks ok, add tags and post. These are article writers specifically asking me to publish the article on my site.

    I just went back and checked and find this same article writer has submitted 4 separate articles that I published with links. WTF? They sought me out asked me to publish these articles they wrote and now they're coming after me?

    They only mention the links in 1 article in the letter. Let me say again I could care less about the links they're simple links to a securityservicedotcom type name. They wrote the articles and they inserted the links!?

    I'd be interested in a hosting providers opinion on if I need to deal with this beyond removing the links in the article. I'd especially be interested in the HG guys opinion since I know he posts here. I realize this isn't their issue at all, but would like to make sure I'm not heading for hosting trouble on my shared acct.

    Also to know if this is real and are they getting letters like this for other people threatening you to remove links?

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