Copyright Take Down Notices for Amazon.com products

24 replies
I received a take down notice today from my hosting provider for a fitness video that I was promoting on one of my websites. This is an Amazon.com affiliate product.

My hosting provider suspended my account until I got this resolved. I ended up removing all references to the product from my website at which point my hosting provider turned my account back on.

I sent them a rather lengthy email explaining Amazon affiliate products. The company that filed the take down notice is listing their products on Amazon and sending out take down notices to people who promote the products on their website.

Watch out. More and more of these take down notices are being sent out and they don't understand affiliate relationships. Their sales department lists their products on Amazon.com and the legal department sends out take down notices to people who promote the products on their websites.

It's comical how stupid these people are. The sad thing is you are guilty until proven innocent. Well...in their eyes you are still guilty.
#amazoncom #copyright #notices #products
  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Find a new host.

    They should only take the offending page down. After you reply "i have the right" they have to put it back. They also have to put it back if the complaining party doesnt file charges.

    Don't quote me as the above is from memory and its been a while since I read the details of DMCA but it's close.

    Also email Amazon affiliate support letting them know.

    Garrie
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    • Profile picture of the author JennySweets
      They must not understand the first thing about affiliate sales.. otherwise they wouldn't want to shut down all of the free advertising for them!

      im sorry but that's just stOOpid.

      Thanks for the heads up, I'll keep an eye, I have an entire astore of stuff but that probably won't be a problem as it's actually through amazon. I *was* going to feature individual products here soon though on a devoted page.. but maybe I will jsut stick with the astore for now, and just stick with other affiliate products there.
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  • Profile picture of the author AceOfShirts
    Is it possible the tape company doesn't want affiliates selling the tapes, just Amazon?

    I have never listed anything for sale on Amazon. Do merchants get the opportunity to "turn down" Amazon affiliates from promoting their products? Do the merchants have to pay more to Amazon if an affiliate sells the item instead of a customer going directly to Amazon to buy the item?
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    What was the reason for the take down notice? You need to be specific.

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author weblink29
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      What was the reason for the take down notice? You need to be specific.
      My host stated that the complaint was for a trademarked product listed on my website and they wanted it removed. This had nothing to do with the domain name...just a product listing.

      Standard legal text sent:

      is/are offering for distribution, sale and/or selling merchandise and/or materials bearing or constituting counterfeits of XXXXXXXXX Trademarks and Copyrights. Such illegal use of XXXXXXXXX intellectual property is likely to cause confusion and constitutes counterfeiting, trademark infringement, dilution, and tarnishment of XXXXXXXXX Trademarks, and copyright infringement in violation of both Federal and State laws. Your servers will be able to accurately locate the infringing contents at the following URL(s):
      I asked my host if they were stating that the product was a conterfeit. They replied that that wasn't the issue. The issue was that I had a trademarked product listed on my site and the owner of the trademark wanted it removed.
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      Nothing to see here folks.....move along.

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      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
        Banned
        Originally Posted by weblink29 View Post

        My host stated that the complaint was for a trademarked product listed on my website and they wanted it removed. This had nothing to do with the domain name...just a product listing.

        I asked my host if they were stating that the product was a conterfeit. They replied that that wasn't the issue. The issue was that I had a trademarked product listed on my site and the owner of the trademark wanted it removed.
        Well, that's certainly bizarre. I wonder if the company who issued the DMCA even knows what affiliates are.
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        • Profile picture of the author weblink29
          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

          Well, that's certainly bizarre. I wonder if the company who issued the DMCA even knows what affiliates are.
          It's getting even stranger. If you look at the list of websites that MonsterBeats sent take down notices to one of the websites is Sears.com

          The people sending out the complaints have nobody governing them to force them to verify that the claim is legitimate or not. They don't care. They just keep sending out the complaints.

          In the case of MonsterBeats they send take down notices to any website that isn't an authorized dealer. They don't consider Amazon.com affiliates at all. Maybe Amazon.com is considered an authorized dealer but the affiliates promoting the amazon.com products are NOT considered authorized dealers.
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          Nothing to see here folks.....move along.

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          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
            Banned
            Originally Posted by weblink29 View Post

            It's getting even stranger. If you look at the list of websites that MonsterBeats sent take down notices to one of the websites is Sears.com

            The people sending out the complaints have nobody governing them to force them to verify that the claim is legitimate or not. They don't care. They just keep sending out the complaints.

            In the case of MonsterBeats they send take down notices to any website that isn't an authorized dealer. They don't consider Amazon.com affiliates at all. Maybe Amazon.com is considered an authorized dealer but the affiliates promoting the amazon.com products are NOT considered authorized dealers.
            That page says these people are selling counterfeits. This just gets stranger and stranger.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathy Curiel
    Which host did you us ?
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    • Profile picture of the author weblink29
      Originally Posted by Nathy Curiel View Post

      Which host did you us ?
      I'd prefer not to say. I have no complaint with the host. Hosting providers have to act on copyright notices. He apologized to me in the email. He advised that he had to follow policy but he was forwarding the information up the chain and to the company that filed the complaint.

      The big picture is companies are filing tons of take down notices and many of them are claims against legitimate postings. The companies don't understand affiliate relationships. The hosting providers and ISPs might understand affiliate product postings but they still have to follow policy when they receive the complaint. Peoples accounts get turned off due to the complaints regardless if they are legitimate or not

      Another company that is doing this is Monster Beats. There are a lot of knock offs so they send out take down notices to any website that isn't an authorized dealer - including websites promoting Amazon.com affiliate products.

      Here's their website listing the websites they sent take down notices to:
      www.monstercable.com/counterfeit/dealers_blk.asp
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      Nothing to see here folks.....move along.

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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Personally, I'd confirm it is not a counterfeit product. The question, is the product sold on Amazon you were promoting a real product or counterfeit?

    One thing to check is who the seller on Amazon is. It is real easy to sell something on Amazon.

    Presumably, Amazon would have been notified of the problem before you were.

    Assuming these are not counterfeit products but the real things you're promoting via Amazon, then you may have some legal options against the merchant.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author FtlLuke
    This just seems a bit odd. There are countless Amazon affiliates out there promoting products that have trademarked names and copyrighted material. Unless you blatantly copied the company's material (intellectual property), presented the material as if you were representing the company or included language that could be considered damaging, I can't imagine them being upset to have their product promoted in a positive manner. Whatever the situation, I think I would have to figure out why it happened so I don't experience the same thing with another product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cool Hand Luke
    Well if you "prefer not to say" what hosting company pulled this BS, then what's the problem? You seem to be fine with the way things went down.
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    • Profile picture of the author weblink29
      Originally Posted by Cool Hand Luke View Post

      Well if you "prefer not to say" what hosting company pulled this BS, then what's the problem? You seem to be fine with the way things went down.
      It's not the hosting company that files the take down notice. The owners of the intellectual property are the ones filing the notices with isps and hosting providers. The isps and hosting providers all seem to follow the exact same policy when they receive the complaints. You can't blame the isps and hosting providers.

      I think new laws/policies need to be implemented requiring them to determine if a complaint is legitimate or not before proceeding with it but they don't at this time - and that's a problem.
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      Nothing to see here folks.....move along.

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  • Profile picture of the author THK
    Well, the company doesn't need to know a thing about affiliates, but they should have some knowledge about the company they are dealing with, in this case Amazon. It is no secret that Amazon use affiliates to generate sales. People who didn't know about it, should know by now after the "nexus" fiasco in all big states like NY, TX and CA.

    What kind of people run these companies, I really wonder! People who act like they know it all are normally the biggest fools...lol.

    Thanks for the heads up weblink29.

    Tanvir
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I just checked out that monsterbeats list again and I think clearly, some of those sites are selling counterfeits. There are numerous China sites on there that habitually sell counterfeits. Maybe there's an Amazon seller who is also selling counterfeits. It's a possibility.

    But I also found this
    Monster Cable Correspondence

    Monster Cable Issues Yet Another Bogus DMCA Notice To A Search Engine | Techdirt

    Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice | Techdirt

    Can We Send A Moron In A Hurry With A Mini Golf Club Over To Monster Cable? | Techdirt
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  • Profile picture of the author efwebm
    You aren't technically selling anything. Amazon is. There is no law that says you can't link to Amazon's page, and Amazon gives you rights to use the graphics for affiliate site purposes.

    Sounds like the company needs to not be an Amazon vender if they don't like how Amazon works.
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    • Profile picture of the author dfs_dean
      Amazon specifically says they have sales agreements with some companies that prohibit their products from being placed on affiliate sites.

      Check out this link.

      Peace
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      • Profile picture of the author McT
        This message from Amazon tells affiliates that they are not even capable of creating links to products from merchants who don't allow it, so I highly doubt the take down notice is due to linking to their products.

        I agree, it could just be that they don't understand the relationship between Amazon and their affiliates.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Yet another reason to not attempt hiding the affiliate relationship.

          I flat out tell people that I'm an Amazon affiliate, and that I've chosen to offer links to products on Amazon because of the wide availability and reputation for service, not to mention competitive pricing. Never have gotten one of those takedown notices.

          Hmmmm...
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  • Profile picture of the author stig57
    Was the take down notice initiated by the product owner or the ISP ?

    I promote products on both Amazon and eBay. eBay is regularly patrolled by copyright owners. I regularly had listings pulled just for using a product name, but I've not had similar problems on Amazon if you stick to the product info that already resides in their database.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carlsbadd
    This has happened to me on a couple sits I run. Long story short, pick up the phone and talk to someone. Don't quit until you talk to some one with authority and take notes. This sounds like BS from the get go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Gehr
    I would seriously consider moving hosts...no, actually, I wouldn't consider it, I'd do it!

    If we base affiliate marketing on what the rep from this hosting provider is telling you, then every affiliate marketer would be shut down--which makes no sense.

    Although I can't speak on their behalf, I would imagine if you communicated directly to Amazon in relation to this "issue" they may even back you up and possibly even give you more clout to clobber the host with in your retort.

    There may even be sections within the Amazon Associates affiliate marketing policy clauses on Amazon that you could provide your host.
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  • Profile picture of the author christopher jon
    If we base affiliate marketing on what the rep from this hosting provider is telling you, then every affiliate marketer would be shut down--which makes no sense.
    If a Hosting provider receives a legitimate DMCA, they have to follow the law. Opinions don't matter or count.

    What the hosting company did is exactly what they are supposed to do. Warn the webmaster, if no action is taken, take the site down until the problem is resolved.
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