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DMCA Complaint Template

January 13, 2011 2 comments

If you run a blog or website, you may run across someone stealing your content. In the blog world we call them “splogs” (spam blogs). They come in many forms, but usually it’s a site that takes your content (including images) from your RSS feed and reposts it as its own (with or without links to your site).

So I created a DMCA complaint form you can (re)use to put these people out of business.

DMCA Complaint Template (2003)

DMCA Complaint Template (2007)

It contains all the correct language (as it currently stands) for submitting DMCA complaints to U.S.-based web hosts. To find out if a given website is hosted in the United States, visit network-tools.com and enter the URL.

Just download the appropriate template and replace the highlighted sections.

I would go even further, depending on how pissed off I was — if the splog has ads, complaining to their ad networks will hit them financially as well.

Please do not leave comments asking me for specific advice on how to fill out the form. Google is your friend.

What do you do when you find your content somewhere else?

Some websites suggest that you contact the content thief first. From DevTopics:

If you discover a website has republished your original content without permission, the first step is to ask the splog to remove your content from its site. The best way to do this is to post a comment under your article on the splog for all its readers to see.

I disagree. The splogger had to deliberately scrape your content. It couldn’t possibly be an honest accident that deserves the respect of you asking nicely. The fact that it’s there at all means that we’re beyond the point of discussing this nicely.

If the person had approached you first and asked if they could use it, that would be the time to have a nice conversation with them.

Posting a comment is the worst thing you could do. It shows that you don’t really know how to contact the website and gives the splogger a respect they don’t deserve. Plus it looks like begging. In public.

The fact that your content is on someone else’s site is proof that the splogger deliberately disregarded your copyright. Serve ’em!

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