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Google's DMCA policy


Author Message
GoogleGuy Says

PostPosted: August 24, 2003 3:58 PM 

Importance: High

GoogleGuy describes Google's policy for responding to Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) requests.

GoogleGuy Says: [Link to quote]

There's nothing new here; we've responded to DMCA requests like this for over a year now. People on both side of copyright debates have strong arguments (copyright protection vs. fair use), and I think our DMCA policy is more clear than any other search engine I know of.

If you see that notice, it means that someone has claimed copyright infringement in a complaint to us. What we do is send the complaint to a third party (chillingeffects.org). After Chilling Effects has a record of the complaint, we remove the url from our index. If a search would have brought up the url, we instead show this message at the bottom of the page:

"In response to a complaint we received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed X result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint for these removed results "

The message includes a link so that the user can click and read more about the complaint. We also try to contact the webmaster who posted the alleged copyright infringement and ask if they wish to counter-notify. Counter-notification means that the webmaster disputes whether the material in question is infringing on copyright. If the webmaster counter-notifies, we return the url to our index. At that point, Google is out of the dispute--it's between the person alleging copyright and the person accused of copyright infringement, but Google isn't involved.

For people who think that copyright issues are easy, I disagree. Both sides have valid points. Imagine how you would feel if someone ripped off your entire website, for example. Now imagine how you would feel if someone accused you of copying their website when you wrote your site yourself. It's easy to imagine lots of different scenarios that are tricky to handle well.

For people who want more background, we document our DMCA policy at
This has also been discussed multiple times on WebmasterWorld before, e.g.

What's always interesting to me is that people never seem to ask other search engines about their DMCA policy. ;)

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