Friday, July 29, 2011

Blogger Is Streamlining Copyright Violation Handling

Cyberspace conflict, using Blogger blogs, is becoming a commonly reported problem in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken. To keep up with the problem, Google is streamlining their processing of copyright violations, and of copyright violation appeals.

We see improvements in 3 processes, making the overall DMCA package more transparent, and more effective.
  1. Violation reporting.
  2. Reported violation notification to targets.
  3. Research and appeal by targets of violation notification.
Google recently announced
In keeping with Google’s public commitment to make copyright work better online, our team has been working on improving the copyright environment for bloggers and copyright owners alike. As access to the web grows, bringing new content and services online, it becomes even more important to ensure the rights of everyone involved are protected and understood.

To report a Copyright Violation, as previously, you should start from Report alleged copyright infringement: Blogger. The article Blogger Buzz: New tools for handling copyright on Blogger makes the reporting process more transparent to both those submitting the complaints, and those targeted (righteously, or spuriously) by the complaints.

Note that DMCA Claims should not be submitted, frivolously.
IMPORTANT: Misrepresentations made in your notice regarding whether material or activity is infringing may expose you to liability for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees). Courts have found that you must consider copyright defenses, limitations or exceptions before sending a notice. In one case involving online content, a company paid more than $100,000 in costs and attorneys fees after targeting content protected by the U.S. fair use doctrine. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether material available online infringes your copyright, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.
When you report an offending blog, provide very precise examples of your content which has been copied, and of the corresponding content in the offending blog. Do not expect Blogger Policy Enforcement analysts to search through the content of both blogs, and guess how you are offended - show them specific examples of the offense.


Besides the improvements to the complaint process, the violation notification process has been improved. In the past, many blog owners, who did not check their email carefully, or who had even setup Blogger accounts not based on actual email addresses, were frequently surprised by DMCA takedowns. Now, owners of blogs subject to copyright violation action will see two effects.
  1. A large DMCA Complaint notice, at the top of the dashboard.
  2. Specific posts in violation will revert to Draft status, rather than being deleted.
Rather than having the entire blog, or individual posts, deleted (and having no idea which post(s) in the blog might be a problem), the offending posts can be found reasonably easily, in Draft status on the "Edit Posts" menu.

Finally, targets of violation notifications can (and should) research and appeal the violations.

All of this will help to demystify both the complaint process (for those needing to register a complaint), and the appeals process (for those targeted by a complaint), and reduce stress to everybody involved.

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