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Google Copyright Takedowns

Google Copyright Takedowns

When you create content and publish it online, it’s easy to copy it. But copying somebody else’s original work of authorship is illegal and there are mechanisms in place to protect copyright holders.

What is copyright infringement?

Copyright is the legal protection granted to creators of original works, such as books, articles, blog posts, photographs, e-learning courses, computer software, advertisements, architecture, and more. Copyright protection comes into being at the moment an original work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright infringement, also referred to as piracy, is the violation of copyright by use of works protected by copyright law without the permission of the copyright holder. This is true even if there was a link or citation to the original work.

Google Copyright Takedowns

What is the DMCA?

In the U.S.A., the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, known as DMCA, is crucial to understanding intellectual property on the internet. The DMCA allows copyright owners to send takedown notices to online service providers to request them to remove content that allegedly infringes on their copyright. This is, of course, true to websites hosted in the U.S. However, even when hosted outside the U.S., many online service providers comply with the DMCA takedown notices, especially if hosted in one of the 193 member countries of the World Intellectual Property Organization.


What is protected under DMCA?

DMCA protects creative works on the internet. The owners of a work own its copyright, and therefore the right to send takedown notices against a website owner or an online service provider (such as internet service provider, hosting company, and search engine) if the content is displayed without their permission.

To read more about how to stop copyright infringements online and how to send a DMCA takedown notice see our blog article on:  How To Stop Copyright Infringements Online.



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Why Google copyright removal?

Intellectual property rights holders know that completely removing content from all online channels is virtually impossible. Therefore, they usually focus on removing their content from the most popular search engines, like Google. On Google itself, copyright owners should submit a takedown notice for each one of the Google services where they want the content removed, such as Web Search.

If you ask yourself why to bother if I cannot take down every infringement, the answer is that you can improve the search result so that your exact title or keywords appear high on the search results, preferably number one. Otherwise, illegitimate, pirating URLs will be there instead.


What is the takedown process on Google?

Google responds to notices consistent with the DMCA. This means that when a copyright owner believes certain content infringes on his rights, he sends the takedown form to Google, either himself or through an online brand protection agency. Naturally, those who send many takedown notices, have a better understanding of how to complete the forms and achieve a fast and effective takedown.

When Google receives the notice, it reviews it. When a takedown notice is complete and valid, copyright law requires the removal of content. If this is the case, Google will delist the URL from Search results. This is true for each removal request.

When assessing a takedown notice, Google will check the facts. Although the exact process is not disclosed, Google’s examples of requests are helpful. For instance, to determine copyright ownership Google checks the date of creation or publication. Also, to assess a takedown notice, it is clear that Google needs all the required information.

Google will not remove content when a request does not specify why a website is allegedly infringing, or if it is not accurate. If, for example, the referenced content cannot be found, Google will not delist the URL. 

Moreover, some may choose to use the notice and takedown process to try and remove content that does not infringe on copyright, such as in an attempt to remove negative reviews. This cannot be done under copyright protection laws.

How can I object to a DMCA takedown notice?

If you believe that the DMCA takedown notice was not valid, you can respond by submitting a DMCA counter-notice to the service provider even after the allegedly infringing content has been removed.


What is Google’s Trusted Copyright Removal Program?

As explained above, Google examines and decides which notices are valid. This means that Google is responsible for assessing the DMCA takedown notices. As part of this process, Google uses automated submission of takedown notices for a group of selected members through its Trusted Copyright Removal Program.

The members submit the majority of all copyright infringement claims sent to Google, to the extent that some members send thousands of URLs almost every day. Members are approved in light of their past activity, judging by the number of takedown notices and the accuracy of the notices they submitted. The program, however, applies to Google Web Search and not to Google’s other services and platforms, such as YouTube.

Google Copyright Takedowns

What is Google’s Transparency Report?

Google releases the Transparency Report with data regarding content removal requests. This data helps to analyze how takedown actions affect issues such as privacy and access to information. This can have different applications. According to Google, its commitment to the transparency of requests from government entities assists human rights.


In addition to removal, are there other consequences to copyright infringement?

After being notified, Google is responsible for the removal of infringing content. As for other consequences, copyright owners can file a lawsuit and ask for damages. In some cases, there are also criminal penalties.

Wiser Market Online Brand Protection

Wiser removal

As a Brand Protection Agency, we can protect any original content you created, that is being used online without your permission. Wherever the infringing content or website is hosted we can assist with taking it down, and do it fast.

Using innovative technology to detect online intellectual property infringements and a team of experts with unique know-how, we work closely with our clients to provide professional copyright protection and avoid the need for time consuming and expensive lawsuits.

Wiser Market’s effective online brand protection strategy defends your intellectual property, revenue, and reputation.


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