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Monday, June 29, 2015

How To File A Copyright Infringement Complaint With GoDaddy

Posted By: ZiLe Ohai - 7:02 PM

UPDATE: This post was censored and removed by Google after a complaint filed by Vinnie Spina as part of a harassment campaign. 

We were not given notice or an opportunity to protest the censorship. We have a first amendment right to publish information of public interest on irontroll.com as established in Obsidian v Cox. 

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As one of the largest website hosts on the internet, GoDaddy and its affiliates have thousands and thousands of websites. It would be impossible for them to police each website daily to make sure it complies with standard laws regarding content and spam. GoDaddy relies on the public to report websites that violate copyright laws, post child porn or send spam mail.


In reality, GoDaddy is a corporation that makes a ton of money from webhosting so they don't actually care what might be on any particular website as long as it's not going to land them in court or cause them trouble with a government agency. Unfortunately, a website that has posted defamatory articles about you generally doesn't qualify. The first amendment guarantee of freedom of speech will always trump your outrage. Until you take the matter to court and show that statements about you were made with malicious intent and caused damage to your reputation, GoDaddy won't give a hoot.  

But it's a totally different story if there are allegations of copyrighted material being used without the owner's permission.  In that case, GoDaddy has a one size fits all, knee jerk reaction. They will remove public access to the material or suspend a website while it investigates. The suspension will last as long as the GoDaddy investigation, at least 2 weeks and probably longer.

Sending a notice that your copyrighted material is being used without your consent is called a DMCA complaint. You send your complaint to GoDaddy and they notify the website owner and give them a copy of your complaint. At the same time, GoDaddy will remove access to the material infringing on your copyright but may opt to suspend the site right away. 

If the website owner refuses to remove the copyrighted material or decides to file a counterclaim, GoDaddy will continue to block public access to the material but most likely will suspend the website. It then gives the Copyright Owner between ten and 14 days to take legal action and file a copyright infringement lawsuit. If no legal action is taken, the website will be reinstated. 

So the short version is: if you file a DMCA complaint, GoDaddy will cover its ass by assuming your allegations are true and suspend the website you're complaining about until the issue is resolved by a lawsuit or lack of a lawsuit.

But... GoDaddy is a stickler for proper forms, dotting i's and crossing t's, so your complaint needs to be in the proper legal format. Below you'll see a basic template for a DMCA complaint to GoDaddy. I partially filled it in by randomly selecting a website called FauxRealityEntertainment and actress Kristen Johnston. If you discover a GoDaddy website like fauxrealityentertainment.com is using your copyrighted material without your permission then copy the template below and change the parts in BOLD to fit your particular DMCA complaint. 

Take note that an electronic signature is needed. To create one just sign a piece of paper and either scan it or take a picture with a webcam then embed the picture of your signature in your email.



You will be sending your DMCA by email

to: copyrightclaims@godaddy.com

Subject: Copyright Claim

Date: Insert the correct date

To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is a Notice of Infringement as authorized in § 512(c) of the U.S. Copyright Law under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  I wish to report Copyright Infringement for material that appears on a website for which you are the designated host. 

The copyrighted material, which I contend belongs to me and appears illegally on the website for which you provide hosting services, is the following:

DESCRIBE THE MATERIAL THAT'S BEEN STOLEN AND WHERE IT WAS TAKEN FROM.
The copyrighted material was taken from THE VERIFIED TWITTER TIMELINE OF KRISTEN JOHNSTON which is located at https://twitter.com/kjothesmartass

The copyrighted material includes the following:
https://twitter.com/kjothesmartass/status/516426458487476224
https://twitter.com/kjothesmartass/status/428295581849513984
https://twitter.com/kjothesmartass/status/613110375337230336 
Continue listing each item being used without permission

Name the website where your copyrighted material is being used without permission

The website infringing the copyrighted work is:  fauxrealityentertainment.com specifically the following pages:

GIVE THE URL (http://whatever) where the stolen material is being used

1.
http://fauxrealityentertainment.com/kristen-johnstons-false-claims-underhanded-tactics

contains  3 tweets by Kristen Johnston aka @kjothesmartass


3. http://fauxrealityentertainment.com/did-rise-and-stand-defraud-celebrity-kristen-johnston/
contains 4 Direct Messages by Kristen Johnston
 aka @kjothesmartass

4. http://fauxrealityentertainment.com/cable-actress-kristen-johnston-where-is-she-now/ 
contains 4 tweets by Kristen Johnston 
 aka @kjothesmartass. The author claims these are "embedded" tweets but the html source shows the tweets are copied and pasted.

5. http://fauxrealityentertainment.com/kristen-johnstons-false-claims-underhanded-tactics/kristen-johnston-tweets/ 
A password protected area devoted to tweets by Kristen Johnston after being denied permission to use copyrighted material by Kristen Johnston
 aka @kjothesmartass.

Thank you for your timely response to my DMCA complain

My contact information is as follows:

[Your Name]

You can give your address and phone number but this will probably be given to the person you're complaining about so it's not adivised. It's better to create a new email address to use for the DMCA correspondence.

[Your Email Address]

I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials as described above is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.


[Electronic Signature] INSERT A PICTURE OR SCAN OF YOUR ACTUAL SIGNATURETHEN PRINT YOUR NAME HERE



Here's a summary of what GoDaddy expects in a DMCA complaint:

1 An electronic signature of the copyright owner, or person authorized to act on behalf of the owner

2 Identification of the copyrighted work you claim has been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works on that site.

3 Identification of the material that is to be removed and information reasonably sufficient to permit GoDaddy to locate the material.

4 Information where GoDaddy can contact you: email address or telephone number

5 A statement that the Complaining Party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

6 A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the Complaining Party is the owner, or is authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.



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