How to Report a Website for Copyright Infringement

It takes a significant amount of time and effort to create creative works. It can therefore be upsetting to find out that someone has taken your work and is now using it as if it belongs to them. You do have a right to protect your copyrighted materials online, but you may not know how to go about reporting a violating website for copyright infringement. There are a few ways of doing so, and we are going to look at the most common ones below.

Gathering Information

Before you go ahead, it is important to gather as much information as you can. This is information that shows you are the original creator such as raw image files as well as links where you posted content and the exact timestamp you did so. This type of evidence can make the process go faster.

If you can, also find links where your content is posted, take screenshots in case someone tries to hide this evidence, and record timestamps for when the content was added. For the timestamp, you can find the date and time, but you might not find accurate information.

Reporting to The Host Provider

Numerous online services can tell you which hosting provider is hosting a specific website. You can also find information on the person or organisation that registered the domain name of the offending website.

Web hosting companies have to comply with numerous rules and regulations if they want to stay in operation. One of these is complying with the DMCA, and this is why they take this issue so seriously.

Once you know the hosting provider and the registrant, the next step is finding their DMCA reporting page, which all web hosting providers have.

Contacting the hosting provider will speed up the process and some providers will even send the DMCA takedown notice for you.

Reporting to Google

Google takes duplicate content very seriously, so they may penalise you if they think you have stolen someone else’s content. To avoid this and ensure the stolen content does not appear in search results, you need to report it to Google.

This process is quite straightforward because Google has made available an online copyright infringement form that you can fill out and have the issue handled fairly quickly. The form will ask you what you would like to report and then take you through the whole process.

Google will not take down the offending website, but it will ensure that it is no longer indexed. This means that it will not come up in search results, so it will not affect your revenue and reputation.

Reporting to Law Enforcement

While copyright infringement is seen as a civil rather than a criminal issue in many jurisdictions, you can still file a report with law enforcement. When you do so, you will have an easier time dealing with the issue in court if you contact a lawyer to help stop the copyright infringement on your behalf.

Copyright infringement is a serious issue that should be dealt with swiftly because ignoring this issue can have significant effects on your website, business, and brand. Fortunately, there are several channels you can use to ensure the infringement is stopped.

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