I recently wrote a post instructing how and where to send a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice when you find your work has been pirated. My experience has been that this is usually all that’s needed to ensure the offending site removes your content.
Usually, but not always. Some sites, particularly sites based in countries that don’t recognize U.S. Copyright law, may refuse to respond, or in some cases (as once happened with me), may respond to inform you that they don’t have to obey no stinkin’ law.
If this happens to you, don’t give up. There’s another option. You can ask both Google and Bing to remove the site from search results. This won’t get rid of the site, and it won’t get your content removed from the site, but it will ensure that the site won’t come up when a curious person or potential customer searches for your content.
Google’s process is a little more complicated, so we’ll start with that. This link to the Google Legal Help page will take you to the beginning of your journey, where you’ll see this: Check “Web Search,” which will take you here:
Our specific issue isn’t mentioned in the list, so check “I have a legal issue that is not mentioned above” (purple arrow). That will take you here:
Choose the first option, “I have found content that may violate my copyright” (green arrow). Next, you’ll be taken here: If you’re the owner of the copyright, or authorized to act on his/her behalf, check that box (purple arrow). If you’re not, close the screen down, because this process won’t work for you. If you clicked the top box, you’ll be taken here: In this specific instance, we’re talking about a book, so click “Other” (black arrow). You’ll be taken to this screen:
Click to be taken to the appropriate form (orange arrow). This will take you to a short, simple form to fill out and submit.
It can take Google several days to respond to your request, but if they find all of your information to be accurate and your complaint to be valid, the next time you search for your content you’ll see an interesting message at the bottom of the Google search page: Bing also has a procedure in place, but it’s much simpler. Just go to their
Notices of Infringement page, fill out the form, and submit.
And that’s all there is to it. As always, if you have questions about copyright consult with an attorney before taking action. I’m not an attorney; I’m just a writer chasing after pirated out-of-print editions of my books.