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Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests? 148

tobiasly (524456) writes I run a few websites which are occasionally the target of bogus DMCA takedown requests. Even a cursory look at these requests would reveal that the content these requests try to have removed are not even eligible for copyright (for example, someone named "John Smith" decides he wants to have every instance of his name removed from the internet, so he claims he has a copyright on "John Smith", and the comment section of my website has that name somewhere.) I'm guessing most webmasters of sites with significant traffic face this problem, but I'm having difficulty finding information on domain registrars' and hosting providers' DMCA response policies. Most seem to over-react and require an official counter-response. I'm worried I'll miss one of these someday and find that my entire domain was suspended as a result. Both my domain registrar and hosting provider have forwarded these notices in the past. I'm also worried that they're forwarding my response (including personal details) to the original complainant. Which domain registrars and hosting providers have you found who handle these complaints in a reasonable manner, and filter out the ones that are obviously bogus? Which ones have a clearly stated policy regarding these requests, and respect the site owner's privacy? Some of these domains are .us TLD, which unfortunately will limit my choice to U.S.-based companies.
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Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests?

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  • DMCA process? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by satch89450 ( 186046 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @01:27PM (#47377905) Homepage

    I used to run the abuse desk at a web hosting company before I moved on to automation control. Our company developed a procedure -- and published it -- to handle takedown notices. First, the notice has to be sent to the contact on record with the copyright office, that's part of the law. That meant it came directly to my desk. Further, the person submitting the notice had to provide some proof of copyright. Finally, the notice author has to demonstrate that the infringement didn't fall under fair use, or some of the other exceptions.

    I then investigated the claim, and if I felt there was reasonable cause for the claim I would take down the site and notify the allegedly infringing customer of the notice and our analysis. The customer could then deal with the copyright owner and then the two parties would let us know how it's resolved. Or the customer could remove the infringing material (they still had access to the data even when the site was shut off), let me know, then if I was satisfied that the infringement was removed I'd turn the site back on, and let the complaining party know what had been done.

    There was the case of a person whose site sold knock-off watches. The original manufacturer took exception to the pictures on the site, claiming trademark infringement (which was pretty obvious). The customer took the pictures off. Case solved.

    Then there was the customer who posted MP3s of music. That was a no-brainer. We terminated him for violation of the acceptable use policy.

    There were some trolls, too. One customer had material under copyright, but the customer's use of the material fell under fair use. The troll could not demonstrate how the infringement went beyond fair use. He threatened to sue. Our lawyers took that threat and ran with it -- replied with a threat to counter-sue.

    So different companies have DMCA policies and procedures. It helps to look what they have in place.

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer