How to use Google Transparency Report to find all DMCA notices against your website
It is a good idea to see the historical list of all copyright notices filed to Google against your website, which you may have ignored or not seen at all. Read this article to learn how to check all DMCA take down notices and copyright removal requests.
Before I go into the details, if you are not interested in reading this full article but just want to get the quick link, Check here from the website to find all DMCA requests filed with Google search against your website. Just type your domain name and click on search.
If you like to know how to use Google Transparency Report feature effectively to find all notices against your website, read further or skip to appropriate sections below.
DMCA takedown notice
If you are a webmaster or blogger, you must be familiar with the term "DMCA takedown notice". For those who are not familiar with it, here is the summary of it:
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is an American law, legally applicable to companies and service providers that operate in the USA or provide services in the USA.
- Even though DMCA is an American law, it is generally considered as part of webmaster guidelines followed by webmasters and service providers across the world, especially by those which operate without the boundaries of specific countries. For example, this website (techulator.com) is operated from India, is hosted on a dedicated web server in the USA and serves content to viewers across the world. We follow Indian laws as well as DMCA guidelines for content removal requests.
- In the USA, the DMCA protects the internet content providers (search engines, websites, web hosts etc) from legal claims against them when copyright violating content appears in their platforms/services/websites, as long as they quickly respond to DMCA notices. For example, if someone posts a blog in WordPress that violates someone else's copyrights, WordPress is protected by the DMCA against claims, as long as they respond to DMCA requests and remove the content for all credible requests.
- For many bloggers and webmasters, DMCA means "content removal requests". If a blogger finds his blog post is copied and reproduced by someone else, he can file a DMCA notice to the other party and request him to remove the content. Usually, when content is copied by others, the owner of the original content could file DMCA notices against:
Should i file DMCA against the website or to the search engines?
How to find what action is taken against your notice
Download sample DMCA notice
How to find DMCA notices against your website
If your website or blog violates someone else's copyrights, the content owner may send you a DMCA take down notices directly to you, provided your email address is available to him. If you don't like to display your email address in the website, you must provide other means to contact you, by providing a "contact us" form in a properly visible part of your website.
It is possible that some copyright owners may choose not to contact you but decide to send the DMCA takedown notice to your web hosting company and search engines. The web hosting company may in turn contact you by email using the email address you provided in your hosting account. In case of search engines, they will try to contact you by giving an alert in your Webmaster Tools account. Popular search engines like Google and Bing have their own webmaster tools and you can register your site there to get such notifications.
Find the historical list of all DMCA notices received by Google against your domain
Your Google Search Console account will show you only the notices received from the date the website was registered there. Also, many notices that were ignored by Google may not be listed there. There may be cases where you want to get the historical list of all DMCA notices received by Google against your website. For example, you may have just purchased a website from someone and would like to know all the past DMCA notices received by the purchased domain.
Google provides a service called "transparency report" where it shows all the DMCA notices it received against any domains on the internet. You can search for your domain and see all the copyright notices sent and received it.
Here is the Google transparency report of Techulator.com: https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/copyright/search/?q=techulator.com.
According to the report above, there are 6 copyright takedown notices served to Google with "Techulator.com" as the organization name. This report just says we (or, someone else) used "Techulator.com" as the name of the organization which is filing the DMCA notice. In most cases, this means the notices served by our webmaster to Google to remove content from its search results.
There are 7 notices served to Google where Techulator.com is the domain name of the original source of the content (in our case, 6 of them are filed by us and 1 was filed by the content author, which is why you see 6 in the "Copyright Owners" and 7 in "Reporting organizations").
The "Specified domains" section shows 4 URLs. This is the section which shows all the DMCA notices served to Google against our domain. This doesn't necessarily mean Google removed our pages from Google search based on all those complaints. To know more details, click on the domain name in that section.
Here is a screen shot of the details page where the Google transparency report shows the details of all 4 DMCA notices served against our domain:
The report shows 3 organizations filed DMCA notices that involve our website.
Let's analyze the notices mentioned on the page. Take a look at the "Requests" section in the bottom.
First one was submitted by JTech Inc. They mentioned 2 URLs of our website in the notice and the last column indicates that Google ignored those requests and took no action. (This notice was particularly interesting since it was not really a copyright violation. The author submitted 2 articles in our website which was rejected by our editorial team later. However, those 2 articles were already indexed by Google by the time we rejected it. When Google reviewed our URLs, the articles were already removed which is why Google took no action)
The second one was submitted by "leaked" on behalf of Microsoft. I am not sure if they are legally hired by Microsoft to file such copyright claims. This particular claim was against an article in our website which talks about how to legally download Windows 8. Since there was no illegal content on the page, Google decided not to take any action, which is indicated in the last column.
Surprisingly, the last one in the report is our own company, which indicates we filed a DMCA notice against our own website. I wasn't sure how it happened but looks like out of the 3 URLs we specified in the notice, one of them was our own URL which was mistakenly included. Google took action against the other 2 websites and removed those content from search results and while taking no action against our own URL.
How to find the details of the DMCA notice, including who filed it, which URL was involved etc
The above report doesn't show a lot of details on which page the notice was served against when was it filed etc. To find those details, click on the Request ID in the first column. That will take you to a detail page which shows further details. If it includes URLs that are ignored by Google, you can expand the icon against the domain and see the URL. However, if there are no URLs ignored, there is no way you can see the URLs on this page.
To see further details including the description provided in the notice, click on the arrow icon within a small square against the label "Lumen", which points to https://www.lumendatabase.org. That will take you to a detail page where you find more information about the DMCA takedown notice. Click Here for the sample page which shows one of the notices against us that was ignored by Google.
Check your domain name and share what did you find as a comment below.
How to check the transparency report in 2020? The provided URL is not working.