Warner Bros. Sent DMCA to Google Against Some of Their Own Pages

Torrent Freak came out with an interesting story this weekend. They have stumbled upon a couple of interesting DMCA notices sent to Google by Vobile, Warner Bros.’s partner in going after copyright infringements.

Normally it’s a way for copyright holders to ask Google to remove links to pirated content from their SERPs. And normally it’s done right. Vobile must have messed up something this time.

They asked to take down WB’s own pages for Batman: The Dark Knight and The Matrix. They have also asked to remove links to such legitimate and popular sites as Amazon, IMDB and Sky Cinema.

They were probably using an automated tool to scrape websites with their given keywords. They failed to check the scraped data and submitted it without checking the validity of the info.

Google Didn’t Remove the URLs

Google made the (obvious) decision not to remove legitimate pages from their SERPs. At least in the case of the above mentioned reputable websites.

The big question is, did they accept such ungrounded DMCA notices for other websites?

What Happens After a DMCA Notice is Accepted?

The link is gone in Google’s SERPs and you will see a notice like this at the bottom of the page:

In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org…

I can definitely see this as a negative SEO weapon if your competitor is determined enough to break the law. You can fight a bogus DMCA takedown by filing a counter-notification (also called a “put-back notice”).

About DMCA

DMCA stands for Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The goal of it is to protect the rights of both the copyright owners and consumers.

Normally copyright holders send notices, claiming that they hold the copyright to digital products that are shared by a third party without their approval.

With Google it’s very easy to submit a DMCA notice. They have a dedicated dashboard for that here. Google checks the notice and if they find it reasonable, they will remove the content (or link to the content) from their SERPs.

Here is the most important information about DMCA from Google.

Have you ever been targeted by bogus DMCA complaints?


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