My first DMCA or is it Fake?

17 replies
I got an email today that starts off with

'Following is an official DMCA and trademark violation complaint, about pages of
bb-articles.com (and any other article sites that you own or control), on behalf of
.........................'

The sender claims

'I. We have not authorized the submitter (i.e., "............," "..............," or other usernames) to use our name, URL, or trademark(s).
II. The submitter (i.e., "...................," "....................," or other usernames) was
paid by a direct competitor to post hundreds of duplicated articles (with links to
our site) so that our site will be penalized by Google. The violator was unaware
that he was being used to commit the crime. We do not hold him responsible. He has
already agreed to stop submitting additional articles, but existing articles/pages
must be removed.'

If I had been sent an email from the authors asking me to remove the articles, links or make changes I would do so no problem and they wouldn't need a DMCA. But this email doesn't sit right with me.

If it's genuine it will have been sent out to a lot of article directories, but the articles in question were submitted in 2009 and there has been no activity that I'm aware of from those authors or pen names since then and the domain would have benefited from the article marketing..

It doesn't make sense to me because if somebody wanted to harm your business by getting lots of backlinks they would just pay a backlinking service not pay extra for articles written too. If in the unlikely event Google were to penalize the domain linked to it would have happened in 2009 not now, and as I pointed out in my return email the domain would be more likely to suffer now if there was a sudden big drop in backlinks if they are contacting a lot of directories.

So the 2 scenarios that I can think of is that either the site owner is panicking because of Googles shake up or somebody has faked the DMCA to lose their competitor a lot of backlinks in a short time and I don't want to play a part in that.

I've tried to use the contact form on the domain in question to verify the email but it isn't working. Next I will try to contact the authors and ask them about it. I may end up removing the links but what I won't do is remove the articles because unless the DMCA sender is lying they don't belong to him they belong to whoever paid for them.

Has anybody else experienced something like this?
#dmca #fake
  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    Is that the entire e-mail? There is no statement of US Law in there even.

    Caleb
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
      Originally Posted by Caleb Spilchen View Post

      Is that the entire e-mail? There is no statement of US Law in there even.

      Caleb
      No there are 7 sections. I just picked the most relevant bits out. The only mention of the US is:

      2. Our exact, US/international class word/service trademarks are as follows

      No mention of US law at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
    Always ask a lawyer, and not the forum
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    • Profile picture of the author Alfred Shelver
      Caleb,

      I don't think she was wanting legal advice, she just wondering if anyone else has experienced something similiar.

      If there is a new trend to send false DMCA notices, which to me does not sound impossible. The forum may want to know and offer feedback.





      Originally Posted by Caleb Spilchen View Post

      Always ask a lawyer, and not the forum
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      • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
        Thanks Cathy you hit the nail on the head. I have no need of lawyers and will do what I feel is right in the end. I am contacting the copywriters first before making any decisions. If it's genuine then I may offer them the backlinks.
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        • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
          Originally Posted by PatriciaJ View Post

          I have no need of lawyers and will do what I feel is right in the end.
          The problem is you received a legal demand per laws requiring specified actions that have nothing to do with what you 'feel' is right.
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          • Profile picture of the author Caleb Spilchen
            Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

            The problem is you received a legal demand per laws requiring specified actions that have nothing to do with what you 'feel' is right.
            Straight from the attorney who I get my DMCA acts from :-)

            That's smart advice Brian.

            Caleb
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            • Profile picture of the author Christian Little
              Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

              The problem is you received a legal demand per laws requiring specified actions that have nothing to do with what you 'feel' is right.

              The OP isn't questioning whether or not she has to remove the content. She's questioning whether it's a legitimate request. The fact is that she cannot contact the sender, which puts up a big red flag in my opinion. If you cannot contact the sender to verify their credentials, then I say it's a BS request.
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              • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
                Originally Posted by Christian Little View Post

                The OP isn't questioning whether or not she has to remove the content. She's questioning whether it's a legitimate request. The fact is that she cannot contact the sender, which puts up a big red flag in my opinion. If you cannot contact the sender to verify their credentials, then I say it's a BS request.
                That's right and I still think that it's BS. As the articles are on a lot of directories and other websites I thought that if it was genuine and the same email had been sent to other directory owners that at least one might see this thread.

                I've had a reply back which contradicts the first email, part of it says

                '1. The DMCA is official and valid because the article writer wrote the
                articles for our company, representing our company, with links to our
                company. He has also formally transferred all legal rights of the
                articles to our company.


                In the first email he says that 'the submitter was paid for by a direct competitor' one of the statements is false that's for sure. I'm going to wait to see if I hear back from one of the authors before I do anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanAndrews
    DMCA is for copyright infringement takedown.
    For trademarks, well giving legal advice is dodgy, but if I was confident that I hadn't used the trademark in an infringing way, I'd ignore this. But that's just me.
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
      Originally Posted by RyanAndrews View Post

      DMCA is for copyright infringement takedown.
      For trademarks, well giving legal advice is dodgy, but if I was confident that I hadn't used the trademark in an infringing way, I'd ignore this. But that's just me.
      and this isn't copyright infringement, nor could it be considered a trademark infringement. I really do think that it's a fake.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Unfortunately, in the CPA world, sending fake DMCA notices to try and sabotage a competitor isn't unheard of, especially when doing PPV advertising.

    I would personally speak to a manager at your hosting company and discuss it with them first.

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Rickmci
    Originally Posted by PatriciaJ View Post


    CLIP

    If I had been sent an email from the authors asking me to remove the articles, links or make changes I would do so no problem and they wouldn't need a DMCA. But this email doesn't sit right with me.

    CLIP

    I've tried to use the contact form on the domain in question to verify the email but it isn't working. Next I will try to contact the authors and ask them about it. I may end up removing the links but what I won't do is remove the articles because unless the DMCA sender is lying they don't belong to him they belong to whoever paid for them.

    Has anybody else experienced something like this?
    No exactly like this but similar a few years back. A plea to take down my site siting articles on it violated copyright law. The problem was they were my articles they claimed to be someone elses. They had just been sumbited to a few article directories also.

    >But this email doesn't sit right with me.

    Yea I do not plame you. You may have a competior trying dirty tricks to get you to take down your good pages. I have seen worse ....

    >>I've tried to use the contact form on the domain in question to verify the email but it isn't working

    Even stranger. Sending out DMCA notices without a valid return address. I would look to contact someone that can verify this claim with proof before I took down anything. But always ask you layler.
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  • Profile picture of the author Christian Little
    Call the company in question to verify. If they don't know, ask for their legal department or the number for the firm that represents them. Don't take things down from you site just because somebody sends you an email like that without any way of verifying it's authenticity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    It absolutely reeks of BS.

    Section II is ridiculous
    . Not only does it claim that it is possible to get a website penalized by Google by writing loads of bad articles with duplicate content with links to that website but it later refers to this activity as a 'crime'.

    The claim that they do not hold the writer of the articles responsible is absurd. The most effective thing to do would be to target the author. Even you, yourself, say:

    "If I had been sent an email from the authors asking me to remove the articles, links or make changes I would do so no problem and they wouldn't need a DMCA. But this email doesn't sit right with me."
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I would ignore it until your host sends that to you. In order to get it removed using a DMCA, it should be submitted to your host. They are not likely to submit a fake one to your host. It looks like pure BS to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
      Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

      It absolutely reeks of BS.

      Section II is ridiculous
      . Not only does it claim that it is possible to get a website penalized by Google by writing loads of bad articles with duplicate content with links to that website but it later refers to this activity as a 'crime'.
      Yes it is ridiculous, but they are rather good articles not bad articles they wouldn't be on my sites if they were. I also used quite a few of the articles as content on some of my other sites and it would be very time consuming finding and removing them.

      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      I would ignore it until your host sends that to you. In order to get it removed using a DMCA, it should be submitted to your host. They are not likely to submit a fake one to your host. It looks like pure BS to me.
      I haven't heard anything from my host and I doubt I will. I have said that I will act in 24 hours. What I may do is run search and replace through my sites and change the domains to link removed and then if it is BS it will be easier to replace the links. But this guy is adamant he wants the articles and not just the links removing but can't make his mind up whether he commissioned them or not.
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