DMCA notice declined: Only copyright owner or authorized representative can file a DMCA Infringement


Did Google reject your DMCA notice saying it is unclear to them whether or not you are the authorized copyright agent for the content in question? Read how to handle this situation and get the infringing content removed from Google search.

I have been filing DMCA complaints to the blog owners and Google for various copyright infringements on my content in this blog and various other blogs. Google is pretty good in responding to DMCA notices and they usually remove the content in question within a few days. But sometimes I get this message from them:

We have received your DMCA notice. It is unclear to us whether or not you are the authorized copyright agent for the content in question. Only the copyright owner or an authorized representative can file a DMCA Infringement Notice on his/her behalf. Please note that you will be liable for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees) if you materially misrepresent that a product or activity is infringing your copyrights.

If you or your client is not the copyright owner for this content, we can not process your notice. Please have the copyright owner file a DMCA notice with us. If you or your client is the copyright owner, please provide more detail explaining how this is the case.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Regards,
The Google Team


Here is a screenshot of one of those responses I received today:

Respond to DMCA Complaints

Google sends this response when they are in doubt about the owner of the original content. I doubt if Google looks at the history and authority of the person who file the DMCA complaint. If that is the case, I will probably never receive this response, because I have been filing DMCA complaints last several years and no one ever filed a counter DMCA notice against my complaints. Based on my filing history, Google could conclude I am a legitimate webmaster and my complaints could be genuine. Since I receive many responses from Google saying they are not sure who is the original owner, I am assuming the reviewer of DMCA notices at Google doesn't have quick access to the history of the past complaints from the person.

More reading: Should I file DMCA complaint with Google or with the webmaster of the site which copied my content?

Let us come to the point and see how to respond to Google when you get the response that they are not sure whether or not you are the real copy right owner.

How to prove to Google that you are the copyright owner or authorized representative to file DMCA


There are no definite ways to prove who is the original owner of the content published in internet. In general, Google goes by the overall reputation of the site and the language used by the person filing the notice.

If you are filing a DMCA notice written in very poor language and not in standard format, that is a good indication to Google that you may not be a good author and hence they may suspect you are not the legitimate owner of the content. That may result in rejection of the complaints.

Couple of points to remember when you file DMCA notice or when responding to email from from Google:
  1. Write the complaint in good language. Check your complaint for spelling, grammar and sentence construction errors. Chances of rejection will be significantly low if the notice is written in good language.

  2. Write the message with confidence and do not leave any room for doubts. If you yourself are not confident about ownership of the article, Google is not going to take any chances. Avoid statements like "I am pretty sure the content on the other site is copied from my site.". Instead, clearly state that "Article on the infringing page is a word by word copy of my original article published on ____ date at my website ____."

  3. If you have any proof to indicate that the other site has copied from your site, include them in the mail. For example, if the reproduced article contains an image from your site with a watermark of your site name, mention that in the complaint. If the name of your site is mentioned anywhere in the the body of the article, you can mention that as well.

  4. If your article and the other website has displayed a publishing date and your article has an earlier date, mention that your article was published earlier than the other by showing both dates as proof.

  5. Include the following statement in all DMCA complaints and any other communication regarding the DMCA complaints.

    I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

  6. Include your contact information including phone number, email and address. Google is not going to call you to ask for additional information but it will definitely increase the trust when you provide a way to communicate directly with you. Atleast, providing contact information will give a hint to Google that you are not an unknown spammer trying to cheat other webmasters by getting their content removed.


Sample email to respond to Google when your DMCA otice is declined


Here is a sample letter you can send to Google, when your complaint is rejected with the reason they are not sure whether you are the authorized agent or copyright owner to file the DMCA complaint:

Hello Google team,

Thank you for responding to my DMCA notice. I understand that you are looking for additional information regarding the DMCA complaint I filed.

I am the owner (webmaster/author/editor) of the blog <blog name> and the content in question (<url>) is my original and copyrighted work. Since I am the copyright owner of the content, I am authorized to file DMCA complaint on behalf of <site name>. I hereby confirm that the content published at the url <url of infringing page> violates my copyrights and I request Google to remove the same from Google's index.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

If you need any further information regarding the copyright owner, please feel free to contact me.

regards,
<Name>
<Designation>
<Email>
<Phone number>
<Postal address>
<Links to social profiles>


Once you send the response to Google in the above format, sit back and relax. You may continue looking for other copyright violations and continue to file more DMCA complaints. Within a few days, Google will respond to your email and hopefully remove the infringing content from its search index.

Here is a sample letter you can use to send DMCA complaints to other websites: Sample DMCA complaint letter


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 646 articles authored by Tony John

Related Articles

How to send a DMCA complaint to Google by Email

Google makes it easy to file DMCA complaints by accepting various forms of DMCA notices including online form, email, fax and postal mail. In this article, I will discuss how to file a DMCA complaint by Email to Google about a copy right violation.

More articles: Dmca Complaints Dmca Dashboard

Comments



  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name:
    Email: