What should you do when someone copies and uses your copyrighted image? File a DMCA Takedown Notice on Google. Read this article to find out what steps need to be taken and whether this tool is effective in receiving compensation for your stolen artworks.
DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act under the U.S. copyright law. It covers the rights and obligations of the beholders of copyrighted materials whose rights have been infringed (usually online). DMCA’s regulations apply also to the rights and obligations of the Internet Service Providers and the servers or networks on which the infringing content was placed.
To do you shall follow a couple of steps.
Once you submit the DMCA complaint, Google will review it and follow up with some actions. There is also a DMCA transparency page where you can see the number of DMCA requests which were processed by Google. The errors still happen quite often though.
Due to low copyright law awareness, image theft remains a pressing issue. Plenty of users online do it out of ignorance but it is you who loses the money because of that. Google is getting smarter in finding the pages with duplicated content and stolen photos online but it is still far from being accurate.
Google may have the power to delete the stolen content, but it is not always the case. To make sure that no one else will be benefiting from your pictures anymore, you would need to keep an eye on them yourself which is not easy. We have been there as well. This is actually how the idea for PhotoClaim was born. When Nico Trinkhaus discovered a lot of his pictures stolen, he soon realised that he either spends a lot of money on lawyers or builds a community to have greater power in the hard fight against image theft.
Now it is up to you if you want to try fighting on your own, or you would rather have someone experienced in this field who could not only guide you through the entire process but also monitor the vast ocean of Internet in search of your stolen pictures online (for free!). The choice is yours. In case you want to give our cooperation a try, you can register here.