How to Avoid DMCA Takedown: Guide for Affiliates & Marketers

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DMCA takedown has become one of the toughest issues for webmasters, affiliates, and digital marketers today.

Every day, we hear about another site that has been taken down because of a DMCA complaint – what’s worse, many of these removal requests are not legit at all. 

In this article, I will discuss what the DMCA is, how it affects you, and how to prevent it from ruining your online business.

How to Avoid DMCA Takedown Guide for Affiliates & Marketers

What is a DMCA takedown?

Copyright infringement is a prevalent problem nowadays, and it can be challenging to determine who is responsible for the infringement. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was created to provide a clear process for handling copyright complaints – and ensure that website owners follow proper procedures when responding to takedown requests.

DMCA takedown is a request from a copyright holder to remove content from a website. Usually, it is made because the person or company that owns the copyright feels that their material has been infringed upon.

How does a DMCA takedown work?

Business Marketing Team Discussion Corporate Concept

DMCA takedowns usually involve a complaint filed with Google – which requests that the infringing material be removed from their search results. Once the copyright holder has filed a formal notice, Google will review it and begin taking down any content related to the complaint.

Many times, this process is abused in an attempt to have competitors’ websites de-indexed from Google’s search engine. For example, if you are a publisher of affiliate marketing links – and another site decides to use your links on their website without permission, they may file a DMCA complaint against your site in order to have it removed.

Why are DMCA takedowns so bad?

As mentioned above, while DMCA was created with good intentions, there are many situations where it is abused or used inappropriately. For example, some copyright holders make false accusations of infringement in an attempt to remove content they don’t like – even if they have no legitimate legal reason to do so.

Meanwhile, there are also many cases where content is removed without due cause, resulting in damage to online businesses and loss of revenue for website owners.

Furthermore, Google’s DMCA takedown policy is often flawed; as a result, it is – most of the time – excruciating for webmasters/ site owners to get their content reinstated once it has been removed.

What to do if your site gets taken down because of a DMCA complaint

When a copyright holder submits a takedown request, the website owner must act quickly to remove the content in question. However, several important steps need to be taken for you to stay in compliance with DMCA rules. For example:

How to protect yourself from DMCA takedown requests

So how can you prevent DMCA takedowns and protect your online business from these types of attacks? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep your head cool

First and foremost, it is important to always verify that any complaints filed against your site are legitimate. This can be done by carefully reviewing the complaint – looking for any discrepancies or errors – before taking action.

2. Follow the procedure

If you do receive a DMCA takedown notice, make sure that you follow the proper procedures for responding to it. In most cases, this will involve removing the infringing content from your website and filing a counter-notice with Google if necessary.

3. Make use of web security platforms

One way to avoid DMCA takedowns is by using an anti-piracy service such as Sucuri Secuirty. These services help monitor your website for potential copyright violations, and can quickly remove any infringing content if a DMCA takedown request is received.

In addition, they also provide additional protection against other types of cyber threats that can harm your online business, such as hackers and malware attacks.

4. Hire an SEO expert

Consider working with an online marketing or SEO expert to ensure that your content is not flagged for copyright violations by Google or other search engines. This will reduce the likelihood of receiving any DMCA takedown notices in the first place!

Final resolution - DMCA ignored hosting

If you have tried every method possible – but still struggle with DMCA complaints, consider hosting your website on a DMCA ignored server – in other words, a hosting platform that does not respond to or comply with copyright infringement claims. While this is not a perfect solution, it should provide added protection – in cases where the takedown notice was issued by an overzealous or fraudulent claimant.

Most DMCA ignored hosting providers are based offshore – in countries where copyright laws are laxer (e.g: Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Hong Kong, etc.) For those looking for an affordable solution, I recommend that you give Cambodia a try. Although it is not a popular choice, Cambodia is home to a number of cheap DMCA-ignored hosting services that still promise to deliver. Not to mention, the local government has no legal obligation to comply with DMCA requests, making it a great option for online businesses looking to avoid copyright claims.

Among the various providers in the country, I would say that 1Byte is a pretty solid pick – their reliable data center and top-notch customer support make them a truly great hosting company in Cambodia. In addition to web hosts, 1Byte also provides domain registration services – with a multitude of domain names in Cambodia and international TLDs to choose from (including .com, .net, .org, and more).

How to Copyright Your Content & Protect it from DMCA Takedowns

If you have created original content for your website/ blog, then it’s important to secure copyright for your work. This can be done by registering your content with the US Copyright Office, which grants you exclusive rights over any written material, images, videos, music, etc., that you post online. Follow these steps to make sure that you get things done right:

1. Determine who owns the copyright – this will most likely be either yourself or your organization if you are a blogger.

2. Gather all of your original written and visual material together in one place.

3. Register your content with the US Copyright Office using their online system – or by submitting a paper form via mail.

4. Once you have secured your copyright, make sure that you include a copyright notice at the bottom of all blog posts – this will help protect your work from DMCA takedown notices and other types of copyright infringement complaints.

In order to further protect your content from being flagged by Google or other search engines as potentially infringing, use encryption tools such as SSL Certificates, which can be purchased for a relatively low price and easily integrated into WordPress blogs or websites in just a few clicks.

Final thoughts

As an affiliate marketer/ website owner, it is vital that you be aware of the risks associated with copyright infringement – particularly if you are using third-party content on your site or in your marketing campaigns. One of the most common threats that you may face is a DMCA takedown notice – which can have serious consequences for your business if not handled properly.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself from these types of requests and ensure that your business remains safe from unnecessary legal actions. I hope that the tips listed above should help keep your online business running smoothly. Good luck!

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